old jack russell terrier

Lifestyle factors and luck have an influence on how long any individual organism will live. But each organism is a member of a species, and each species has its normal lifespan range and an upper limit beyond which it won’t usually live. It’s rare to find a 110-year-old human, for example – and even rarer to find a 30-year-old emotional support poodle.

Each type of emotional support animal has an expected lifespan. There is quite a lot of variation in the lifespans of the different common ESA species, but the expected lifespan of an ESA is an important factor to consider when choosing an emotional pet. So, which emotional support animals live the longest? Read on to find out.

Who Owns Emotional Support Pets In America?

A wide and diverse range of Americans own an emotional support animal. There is no typical ESA owner. People of all ages, backgrounds, geographical areas, and socioeconomic backgrounds benefit from the companionship of an ESA.

What Are The Benefits Of ESA Ownership?

Emotional support pet ownership can bring great benefits to a person’s life. ESAs provide company, companionship, love, and a sense of responsibility and purpose. ESAs are used to treat the symptoms of a range of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, PTSD, and phobias.

older emotional support dog
Image by medienluemmel on Pixabay: Dogs are the most common emotional support animal.

A Lifelong Companion

An emotional support pet can provide invaluable companionship. ESAs are loyal and loving by nature. It is crucial that you fulfill your responsibility as an ESA owner by treating your pet well and providing it with everything it needs to be healthy and happy. If you do this, your ESA can be one of the great loves of your life!

What Is The Most Common Emotional Support Animal?

Many different species of animals provide people with emotional support. Cats, miniature horses, domesticated rats, and pot-bellied pigs are all popular ESAs. But by far, the most popular emotional support animal is a dog.

Different ESAs Suit Different People

Different ESAs have different personalities and natures. This means that different ESAs will suit different people. If you enjoy lots of play, attention, and interaction with your ESA, a dog or pot-bellied pig would be a great option. If you prefer to spend time alone in quiet solitude, perhaps an ESA cat or snake would fulfil your needs best.

How Long Will You Live With Your Emotional Support Pet?

When choosing an emotional support pet, it is important to consider your own life expectancy. If you are older or in bad health and expect to only live for another ten years, you will probably not want to choose an ESA that is likely to outlive you.

Which ESAs Live The Longest?

So, what ESA pets live for a long time? Let’s see how long each of the most popular species of emotional support pets typically live for. The emotional support pets that live the longest are…

Miniature Horses

Miniature horses are the emotional support animal that have the longest typical lifespan. A miniature horse ESA can be expected to live to the age of 25 on average. Often, miniature horses live well into their 30s.


ESA snakes are not everybody’s cup of tea. But for people who like an independent and more hands-off emotional support pet, a snake can be a great option. How long a snake will live very much depends on the breed, but the average lifespan is a relatively lengthy – somewhere between 15 and 30 years.

Pot-Bellied Pigs

Pot-bellied pigs are popular ESAs because they are intelligent, playful, and loving. These cute creatures have a lifespan of 14–21 years.


A cat is the perfect ESA choice for a person who prefers a loyal, loving companion with a sprinkle of aloofness and an independent nature. Emotional support cats have an average expected lifespan of 13–17 years.

older man with emotional support cat
Image by Pietro Schellino on Pixabay: What pets live for a long time? Cats generally live well into their teens.


Dogs live, on average, to be 10–13 years old. But which dog lives the longest? Some of the longest living dog breeds are:

  • Chihuahua: 15–20 years
  • Jack Russell Terrier: 16–20 years
  • Toy Poodle: 14–18 years
  • Shih Tzu: 10–18 years
  • Yorkshire Terrier: 14–18 years


For several years of camaraderie, cuddling, and relative calmness, you’d be well served by an emotional support rabbit. Rabbits typically live to be between 8 and 12 years old.


Domesticated rats make excellent emotional support pets. They are highly intelligent, playful, and loving. However, a domesticated rat has a relatively short expected lifespan of approximately two years.

How Can I Get An Emotional Support Animal Letter?

The best way to get an emotional support animal letter is to arrange a telemedicine consultation with an ESA doctor through the Moosh online clinic.

The examining doctor will verify your suitability for ESA ownership on a video call and upon confirmation of your eligibility, will email you a certified ESA letter. It is a simple and quick process.

Featured image by Nietjuh on Pixabay