Using Emotional Support Animals for Treating ADHD

ADHD is an acronym for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and is one of the most common mental disorders affecting children. It also affects many adults.  People with ADHD tend to experience a combination of persistent problems such as impulsive behavior, hyperactivity, and maintaining attention.

The three subtypes of ADHD are

  1. Predominantly Inattentive – most symptoms involve inattention
  2. Predominantly Hyperactive/Impulsive – most symptoms involve impulsiveness and hyperactivity
  3. Combined – a mix of hyperactive/impulsive and inattentive symptoms

The American Psychiatric Association estimates that 8.4% of children and 2.5% of adults have ADHD.


While there is no cure for ADHD, there are a number of ways to manage the condition, including, for some people emotional support animals (ESAs). ESA’s can help relieve some of the symptoms of ADHD by:

  • Offering a healthy distraction
  • Minimizing feelings of isolation
  • Being a non-judgemental companion
  • Providing consistency
  • Offering unconditional love
  • Requiring routine
  • Encouraging trust building
  • Minimizing loneliness
  • Building trust
  • Offering something positive to think about
  • Helping with self-esteem issues

Emotional Support Animal vs Regular Pet?

Actually, in the majority of interaction, an ESA is not that much different than a regular loving and supportive pet. An ESA, however, is legally recognized so you can be together when traveling and in most housing situations.

Because a licensed mental health professional has prescribed your ESA, they have certain legal protections and privileges. With a properly executed ESA letter:

  • Your ESA can fly with you in the cabin on commercial airline flights for no extra charge under the Air Carrier Access Act.
  • Your ESA can live with you even in housing with a “no pet” policy for no extra charge. This is federal law under the Fair Housing Act.

Just like a regular pet, ESA are not required to have specific training. It is in your and their best interest that they have basic obedience training so they can be well-mannered and under control in public.

Emotional Support Dogs for ADHD

One of the most popular pet choices for ADHD is an emotional support dog because:

  • Dogs need exercise and play which can be an outlet for extra energy.
  • Dogs like physical contact which can minimize anxiety and stress.
  • Dogs can help with socialization, including meeting new people.
  • Dogs require a routine, which can be comforting to a person with ADHD, as well as helping develop and hone time management skills.
  • Dogs are an easy target for empathy which can be challenging for a person with ADHD.
  • Dogs can be a calming influence and stress reducer.

Helping With the Challenges

Living with ADHD can be challenging. For some, many of those challenges can be made easier with an emotional support animal. If you are considering an ESA for you or for your child, it all starts with a properly executed ESA letter. The DOGtor can help you by simplifying the ESA letter process just like we have helped thousands of other Americans. Not only is our service fast, and affordable, but it also comes with a 100% guarantee if you do not get approved.

Take our no-risk assessment today!