Emotional Support Animals

What Type of Emotional Support Animal is Best for Anxiety?

After talking it over with your therapist or mental health professional, you’ve decided it’s time. Time to adopt your first emotional support animal and find comfort and relieve from the anxiety plaguing you. Excitement fills you at the thought of coming home to an adorable and understanding furry face after the horrible stress of the day. However, there are so many choices and options. Which is better for anxiety specifically? A cat or dog? A poodle or a greyhound? A Himalayan or Siamese? Cats or dogs?

All animals can help reduce stress and provide comfort. According to recent studies, human and animal interactions activate the oxytocin system; in other words, it releases the feel-good chemicals in your brain. All animals can help reduce anxiety by providing a sense of security, a comforting physical touch, and unchanging adoration and love. Whether you choose a cat or dog, both can help ease your anxiety. However, some breeds are better than others.

Comforting Canines

When getting a dog as an emotional support animal for anxiety specifically, it is important to choose one that is very calm and laid back and not one that barks, yaps, and tears around the house at 100mph. Here are the best breeds of dogs that meet the criteria to help ease anxiety.


Poodles are great for those who may suffer from allergies and have companionable, optimistic personalities that may rub off on their owners.

Labrador Retriever

Labradors are extremely gentle, caring dogs and are known to be great with children and the elderly as well.

Great Pyrenees

This breed is calm, patient, and intelligent, making them easy to train and a fantastic support dog.

Great Dane

These dogs are known for quiet confidence and strength. They are also very large, standing at almost 3ft, so be prepared for that if you choose one.


Greyhounds are very sensitive dogs and love cuddling up with their owner on the couch. They are ideal for people who want a dog who enjoys a lot of physical contact.

Yorkshire Terrier

These pups are very loyal and bond strongly with their owners. They are happiest lavishing love and affection on their person.


These guys will want to stay by your side all day, every day, and never leave. If you want a non-stop companion, they are the breed for you.


Corgis are very affectionate and easy to train as well. They are also upbeat and energetic as well.

Caring Cats

Cats are proud, beautiful, unpredictable creatures, and their calm, majestic ways can be very comforting and provide great companionship. Most cats naturally have calm personalities, but some more than others. Many cats may not like to cuddle, but if you are looking for an emotional support animal, you will want to find a breed that is more likely to enjoy being picked up and hugged. Here are the best breeds of cats for reducing anxiety.


Ragdolls earned their name by being extremely relaxed, easy-going cats. They are very passive and can be picked up, cuddled, and petted for long periods of time.

American Bobtail

Bobtails are playful, affectionate, and active, adding some positive energy and cheer to any home.


What Manx lack in tail, they make up for in personality. They are gentle, playful, and highly intelligent cats.


The classy, stylish, and elegant Persian is second to none, not only in looks but also in character traits. They are very gentle and affectionate with relaxed personalities. Their long coats do require quite a bit of combing and upkeep, however.

Maine Coone

This is one of the largest breeds of cats, so if you want a chunky, fluffy cat to cuddle with, the Maine Coone is for you. They are beautiful and exceptionally intelligent cats.

Russian Blue

Legend has it that the Russian Blue was the cat of choice among Russian czars. They are well-mannered and tend to be more shy and timid.

American Short Hair

American Short Hairs are flexible and get along well with children and the elderly. They are not clingy, but due to their flexibility, they will not fight being handled and petted.


These stunning pets are athletic, independent, active, and somewhat dog-like in their personalities. They are also one of the few cat breeds that can be trained.

In conclusion, both cats and dogs of any breed have been shown to reduce anxiety and are great choices as emotional support animals. Depending on what personality traits in an animal would be most helpful to you, you can pick a breed that matches these needs. You will also need an emotional support animal letter of certification. You can get one of these easily at United Support Animal by talking to one of our qualified experts.