The Third Most Popular Emotional Support Animal In The UK Is… Weird

Er... rather you than me.
Carol Yepes via Getty Images

According to the World Animal Foundation, 62% of households in the UK have pets and over half of UK adults have a pet. It’s fair to say that we are a nation of animal lovers and for many of us, no house is a home without a little animal companion.

However, new research from has highlighted the most popular emotional support animals in the UK and the results are definitely surprising. As you may expect, the two most popular pets were cats and dogs but the third most popular was… snakes?! This is especially surprising given that 2 in 5 Brits have a fear of the slithering creatures...

According to Vet Help Direct, corn snakes, which are a common choice of pet snake for beginners, are docile, easy to care for, and easy to handle. So we reckon they’d actually make sweet companions to have around!

Animals Are Good For Mental Wellness collected the top 20 most popular emotional support animals which included ferrets in at number 11, goats at 16 and even pigeons swooping in at number 20.

According to Vanessa Louise Moore, an emotional health coach and wellbeing and self-care expert, animals are great for our well-being and comfort:

“They seem to thrive on the affection and the attention that we give them and are keen to play and interact most of the time. This helps keep our focus away from our overthinking minds, our worries, and our troubles which is often a repetitive cycle of the same old thoughts and beliefs each day. Our overthinking can be mentally draining and exhausting - and animals allow our minds to feel free as we play and care for them.”

Virginie Ferguson, owner of Clan Wellness added: ”Animals have a great impact on our nervous system. Just like humans, most mammals broadcast their emotional and nervous system state through the upper part of the face. We can recognise signs of threats like fight or flight or even freeze.”

“On the other hand, this is also how mammals co-regulate and soothe one another’s nervous system to go into ’safe and social.”

Dr Stephen Porges, the father of polyvagal theory mentions dogs in his lectures – namely that the face of a relaxed dog will help soothe our nervous system into the relaxation response, in turn lowering our stress levels and blood pressure.

Most Popular Emotional Support Animals In the UK

  1. Dogs
  2. Cats
  3. Snakes
  4. Rabbits
  5. Chickens
  6. Horses
  7. Hamsters
  8. Rats
  9. Birds
  10. Fish
  11. Ferrets
  12. Lizards
  13. Turtles
  14. Bearded dragons
  15. Guinea pigs
  16. Goats
  17. Hedgehogs
  18. Pigs
  19. Frogs
  20. Pigeons