Top 15 Hypoallergenic Small Emotional Support Dog Breeds For Anxiety and Depression

Choosing the right dog breed as an emotional support animal (ESA) is an important decision. Although there are several dog breeds that can support every dog owner emotionally, some breeds are even more suited to this role than others.


Small dog breeds, with their compact size and affectionate nature, can offer immense emotional support and help alleviate anxiety and depression symptoms.

Benefits of Emotional Support Dogs

Emotional support dogs provide alot of benefits to individuals with anxiety and even depression. Below are the advantages of having an emotional support dog at home:

Companionship: Emotional support dogs mostly provide their owner with constant companionship, reducing feelings of loneliness and even isolation.

Unconditional Love: Do you know your dog has a great capacity for unconditional love, and also provide comfort?

Stress Reduction: Study has it that, when you talk or engage a dog has been proven to lower your cortisol levels and even reduce stress.

Increased Physical Activity: Owning a dog encourages physical activity, which can positively impact overall well-being.

Social Support: Emotional support dogs can help individuals develop social connections and facilitate social interactions.

Emotional Stability: Dogs have a calming effect on their owners and can help regulate emotions during times of distress.

Factors to Consider for Small Emotional Support Dog Breeds

When selecting a small emotional support dog breed, there are several factors to consider:

Temperament: Look for breeds known for their friendly, gentle, and affectionate nature.

Size: Small breeds are more suitable for individuals living in apartments or confined spaces.

Exercise Needs: Consider the energy level of the breed and ensure it matches your lifestyle.

Grooming Requirements: Some breeds require more grooming and maintenance than others.

Top Small Emotional Support Dog Breeds

1. Chihuahua

Chihuahua -

You can see Chihuahuas as small-sized dogs but, they possess big personalities. Chihuahua create strong connections with their owners and even stay loyal over time. Despite their small stature, Chihuahuas are very courageous and provide a high sense of security to individuals with anxiety or depression.

2. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

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Known for their gentle and affectionate nature, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are excellent emotional support dogs. They really enjoy being around people and are good at making their owners feel better and emotionally stable.

3. Pomeranian

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Pomeranians are soo sweet, cheerful and even outgoing dogs that can bring immense joy to individuals struggling with anxiety or depression. They are intelligent and also easily trainable.

4. French Bulldog

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French Bulldogs are known for their friendly and adaptable nature. They’re sweet and affectionate, enjoying being with people. They are good for emotional support dogs for those who want companionship and comfort.

5. Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier dog - petsmartdogcom

Yorkshire Terriers, or Yorkies, are small but confident dogs that are highly devoted to their owners. They have a loving nature and even provide emotional support through their affectionate and even loyal behavior.

6. Shih Tzu

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Shih Tzus are wonderful and friendly dogs that enjoy being with people. They are calm and gentle dogs that love to provide emotional support and comfort to people feeling anxious or sad.

7. Maltese

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Maltese dogs are mostly known for their sweet and even gentle temperament. Funny? lol!. They form strong bonds with their owners and are highly responsive to their emotions, making them ideal emotional support companions.

8. Havanese

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Havanese dogs are affectionate, sociable, and highly trainable. They make great friends and also comfort people who need it. Because they are small and affectionate, they are perfect for those who feel worried or sad.

9. Bichon Frise

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Bichon Frises are happy and gentle pups perfect for offering emotional support. With their friendly nature and their strong empathy, they make good friends with people having mental health issues.

10. Miniature Schnauzer

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They are best Known for their alertness and loyalty that excel in providing their owners with emotional support.

11. Boston Terrier

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Boston Terriers are affectionate and even sociable dogs that enjoy being around people. They have a fun-loving dog that will give you emotional support and even companionship to individuals in need.

12. Corgi

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Corgis are known for their playful act and affectionate personalities. They are highly trainable and can provide emotional support through their unwavering loyalty and companionship.

13. Dachshund

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Dachshunds, or Wiener dogs, are loving and loyal companions. Despite being small-sized dogs, Trust me, I have studied that they have this big hearts and can provide emotional support to people living with anxiety or depression.

14. Shiba Inu

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Shiba Inus are independent yet very loyal pets (depending they are being treated) they provide emotional support through their unwavering presence. They are known for their calm demeanor and can even help their owners find comfort during his/her difficult times.

15. Pug

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Pugs, cute and loving dogs, are great at giving emotional support. They love to play around with people and can make their owners happy, most especially those people living with anxiety or feeling sad.

Selecting the Right Small Emotional Support Dog Breed

When selecting the right small emotional support dog breed for anxiety and depression, it’s essential to consider your own needs, lifestyle, and preferences. All of the breeds in this world have unique characteristics, so you must look out for a dog that will align with your temperament and that can provide you the emotional support you want.

Consider factors like the breed’s temperament, energy level, grooming requirements, and compatibility with any allergies or sensitivities you may have. Moreso, spend time with your dog before deciding to ensure a strong bond and connection.

Training and Certification for Emotional Support Dogs

While emotional support dogs do not require specific training or certification like service dogs, it’s still essential to invest time and effort into their training. Basic obedience training can help your emotional support dog behave appropriately in public and be well-behaved at home.

You can as well enroll your dog in training classes with a professional dog trainer so as to make sure they grow up with good manners and social skills. This will help both you and your dog to navigate various situations with ease.

Remember to consider factors such as temperament, size, exercise needs, grooming requirements, and allergies when selecting an emotional support dog. With the right match, you can experience the therapeutic benefits of having a small emotional support dog by your side.

Emotional Support Dogs vs. Service Dogs

When it comes to assistance animals, two categories that often create confusion are Emotional Support Dogs (ESDs) and Service Dogs.

Emotional Support Dogs (ESDs)

What They Do:

They provide their owners comfort, companionship, and even emotional stability to individuals living with mental health issues like anxiety, depression, or stress. Their basic role is to offer unconditional love and also support to their owner.

Service Dogs

What They Do:

They are well trained specifically to perform specific tasks for individuals With disabilities. Guiding individuals with visual impairments, and hearing impairments and also assisting those with mobility issues.


Q: Can any dog be an emotional support animal?

A: While any dog can potentially be an emotional support animal, certain breeds are more commonly suited for this role due to their temperament and characteristics.

Q: Do emotional support dogs require special training or certification?

A: Unlike service dogs, emotional support dogs do not require specific training or certification. However, basic obedience training is beneficial for their behavior and manners.

Q: How do emotional support dogs help with anxiety and depression?

A: Emotional support dogs of any breed give you companionship, unconditional love, and also emotional stability, which can help ease anxiety and depression or related symptoms.

Q: Can small emotional support dogs live in apartments?

A: Yes, small emotional support dogs are well-suited for apartment living due to their compact size and lower exercise requirements.

Q: Are there any specific grooming needs for small emotional support dog breeds?

A: Grooming needs vary among breeds. Some small emotional support dog breeds may require regular grooming and maintenance, such as brushing and occasional haircuts.

Q: How do I know the breed that is right for me?

Consider your lifestyle, living conditions, and even personal preferences when you are choosing a breed. Research well and spend some quality time with potential companions to make an informed decision.

Q: Are hypoallergenic dogs completely allergen-free?

No dog is entirely allergen-free, but hypoallergenic breeds produce fewer allergens, making them a better choice for individuals with allergies.

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