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How do Emotional Support Dogs Help Children with ADHD?


adhd emotional support dog

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common emotional disorders that focus on attention and activity. According to studies, every year millions of children and adults are affected by ADHD. The treatment of ADHD involves various methods. Some are in the form of medications, while others are based on psychotherapy. Another effective approach is to use emotional support dogs as they help to reduce the symptoms of ADHD in a healthy way. Experts agree with the idea of pet therapy because pets can help ADHD groups to improve socialization, calm stress or anxiety, and get rid of loneliness. Read more about how emotional support dogs help children with ADHD and how they affect mental growth and normal life.

What is ADHD?

ADHD is a fundamental health problem that affects brain function and then normal life. There are three core symptoms of ADHD:

 • Difficulty in staying focused

 • Hyperactivity 

 • Exhibiting impulsive behavior 

However, these three behaviors can develop into further problems and influence daily life. The implications of ADHD include a number of issues like the following:

 • Problems at school or at work 

 • Self-esteem problems 

 • Relationship issues 

As ADHD is linked to anxiety and depression, it is difficult to resolve the symptoms without action. Considering the wider implications for life, medical professionals suggest that patients with ADHA demand the treatment that works now and in the long run.


Emotional support dogs can help children with ADHD

Treatments for ADHD include a variety of tactics, but owning an emotional support dog is becoming an increasingly popular method to alleviate the symptoms of ADHD. Children with attention deficit disorders benefit from the support of ESA dogs. These dogs give kids the opportunity to learn healthy habits and overcome imbalances that may affect their lives. What is more, children with ADHD can feel responsibility and affection for animals if they grow up with a dog companion. There are other benefits:

 • Outlet to burn off excess energy 

 • Dependable and non-judgmental companion 

 • Encourages daily routines 

 • Helps to eliminate stress and anxiety 

 • Increases social interaction 

 • Diverts attention in a healthy way 

adhd treatment for children

Scientific theories on the effects of emotional support dogs for the treatment of ADHD

There are many scientific theories on the benefits of ESA therapy for ADHD. Here are just a few examples:

1. Provides outlets

One of the common traits of ADHD is having extra energy. Therefore people with ADHD are always in a hyperactive state, which can trigger the feeling of restlessness and stress. The companionship of a furry friend who loves to run outside can burn off the extra energy outdoors in the fresh air. Having an emotional support dog is a win-win strategy which not only fulfills the playtime of kid and dog, but also decreases the owners’ anxiety.

2. Creates/teaches consistency

Dogs, like humans, have their routine, which is completed by the owners. They need to be fed, walked, trained and accompanied every day. Implementing a timetable or routine is actually good at teaching someone how to plan, which is a positive way to relieve stress and to build confidence. Individuals with ADHD can take advantage of these traits and learn to control their instincts and hyperactivity by caring for a dog. In addition, dogs are loyal animals that give unconditional love to somebody who treats them kindly. A disciplined ESA dog will pay back the owner’s love and assist him when in need. For example, by calming the owner by sitting on his lap or belly and licking the owner’s face.

3. Provides opportunities for social interaction

Dogs are social animals that can naturally build a connection between people. They can melt restlessness and embarrassment in awkward social situations. People with ADHD always feel isolated in social settings, so it is difficult for them to make new acquaintances. Fortunately, this problem can be addressed positively with a dog. First, people with ADHD may be forced to make contact with strangers when they are outside to take their dog for a walk, but in doing so they will be happy and feel free. Dogs are a great way to strike up a conversation, which is a breakthrough for those who cannot open themselves to strangers. Additionally, ESA dogs are allowed to enter certain places that are prohibited for a household dog. For example, in the narrow aircraft, we can see an ESA dog that remains around his owner. Actually, in people with ADHD, the symptoms are triggered when they need to share a small space with other people. And ESA dogs can distract them and help them get rid of restlessness, which can greatly reduce motion sickness and other accidents. ESA dogs are also allowed to live with their owners in a property with a “no pets” rule, which is beneficial for someone with ADHD who lives with other roommates in a dormitory.

Although ESA dogs offer various benefits, we should not rely on our furry friends to completely solve the medical issues. It is best to follow the professional advice of doctors and to be treated on a continuous basis.