Disclosure – this is a collaborative post.
You, as parents, have a natural tendency to be overprotective from when your children come out of the world and while growing up. Then suddenly, without you noticing, something has been bugging them, and they start being anxious. How do we help our children and relieve them from emotional burdens?
According to the experts, there are proofs about the benefits of providing an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) pet to children to cope with anxiety. When children have pets, they are calmer, more responsible, and less likely to be depressed.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the following data for 2016-2019:
- Approximately 5.8 million, 9.4% of children aged 3-17 had been diagnosed with anxiety
- Approximately 2.7 million, 4.4% of children aged 3-17 had been diagnosed with depression
These data alone will give us a more comprehensive picture of what’s happening in the minds of average children. Young as they are suffering from complex situations.
Why an ESA Pet?
An Emotional Support Animal pet only works with qualified mental health professionals and will guarantee your letter will pass federal and state laws.
Remember, your animal is not just a pet; they are essential to your mental health and safety.
Getting an ESA Letter
Simply put, an ESA Letter proves your need for a support animal because of a mental or emotional disability diagnosed by a licensed professional.
Nobody just gives an ESA Letter. It must come from a licensed mental health professional within your state.
How does an ESA Letter work?
Getting an ESA Letter in three easy steps:
Two-minute screening. The first step is to take a short, confidential assessment to see if you are a good candidate for an ESA or PSA Letter.
Talk to a therapist. We shall set you for a Telehealth appointment with a licensed mental health professional in your state.
Get your ESA Letter. Once approved, you may claim your letter within 24 hours.
Pet Dogs and Children’s Health
Many studies have proved that adults caring for pets are more likely to have stronger emotional and mental health. However, there are not enough studies on children’s health and pets.
Children easily get attached to pets. Caring for a pet dog in the home causes a decreased probability of childhood anxiety and obesity (Gadomski et al., 2015).
The Benefits of Emotional Support Animal (ESA)
Children with pets, like dogs, interact with them in fulfilling ways. When children aged 7 to 8 were asked who they think gives them comfort, they answered pets more than they answered people close to them.
1. Affects children’s mental health and growth
Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT), pet therapy, Emotional Support Animal (ESA), Animal-Assisted Education (AAE), and Animal-Assisted Activities (AAA) are all forms of Animal-Assisted Interventions.
Animal Therapy is a program that aims to help people cope with and recover from some physical and mental conditions. A therapy dog, for example, is trained to comfort people in situations and needs that require therapeutic benefits through companionship. This dog is just one of the ideal Emotional Support Animal (ESA) pets that could act as therapeutic agents.
The best example is the dog’s capacity to follow human communicative cues, which may be effective agents for children’s emotional development. Sadly, as of now, there is only a little evidence that primary care providers may use to stress the benefits of pet dogs for children when they are counseling parents.
Future emotional and behavioral disorders might be prevented when children are given the attention they need while young.
2. Promote a sense of responsibility and empathy
When children are taught and given responsibilities like taking care of a pet dog,
They learn what responsibility is through experience. Pets need food, water, and love. Many pets require exercise, like walking. They must be groomed, like brushing and bathroom time when your child needs to walk the dog. These things develop a child’s heart, brain, and lungs.
- According to a blog article by Michigan State University, children over five years old may be given developmentally appropriate responsibilities by caring for a pet.
- Four-year-old children should constantly be monitored when they are with their pets.
- Children below four years old should not be responsible for caring for a cat or dog entirely on their own.
In a blog post by the National Institutes of Health, the fantastic benefits to children of taking care of pets were emphasized. According to it, there was a study in 2015 done on children with autism, where proof revealed that these children were calmer when taking care of their pet guinea pigs.
3. Dogs may help kids cope with Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
In another study by NICHD, two groups of children diagnosed with ADHD were enrolled in a 12-week group therapy session.
This was the process:
One group of children read to a therapy dog once a week for 30 minutes, while the other group read to puppets that looked like dogs.
- Both groups showed improvements from the therapy sessions.
- The children who read to the actual pet animal performed better regarding social skills, prosocial behaviors, and problematic skills (sharing, cooperation, and volunteering)
- It may help children focus their attention, improving their executive functioning skills.
There is nothing more satisfying than the thought that your child is happy. If getting a pet is one of the ways that can help them, so be it. Every parent wants the best for their children.
Disclosure – this is a collaborative post.