Emotional support animals (ESAs) are great for people who suffer from emotional or mental distress, but many people don’t know how to get their pets qualified as an ESA. The process may seem daunting, but it’s actually quite simple.
In this article, we are going to help you understand how you can get your dog approved as an emotional support animal. We’ll also take a look at what benefits and privileges you and your dog will get once it’s approved as an ESA.
How Do You Get a Dog Approved as an ESA
To get your furry companion approved as an emotional support animal, you must get an ESA letter from a mental health professional. You’ll have to show this letter to landlords and hotels to ensure that your pet is allowed to stay in rooms that aren’t pet-friendly.
Luckily, there’s no specialized training for an ESA, so you don’t have to hire any professional trainer. Any dog or cat is eligible to become an ESA as long as you can get a letter from a mental health professional that says you have been diagnosed with a mental health condition and your pet helps you cope with it.
We also suggest registering your emotional support animal, as this will get you an ID card, which you can show as proof that your dog is an ESA.
Why You Should Get Your Dog Approved as an ESA
If you suffer from mental health problems such as depression or anxiety, and you believe the presence of an emotional support animal will help improve your mental state, then you should consider getting your pet approved as an ESA.
The most important thing this will help with is your mental health. An ESA’s purpose is to help you feel better and less anxious.
Having an ESA letter gives certain rights under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA).
For example, once your dog has been approved as an ESA, it’ll be able to move in with you even if you live in an accommodation that’s not pet-friendly. Keep in mind, though, that you will have to show an ESA letter to the landlord.
Your ESA will be able to fly with you in-cabin, providing you with emotional support throughout your journey. One thing to note, however, is that airlines may charge you an additional fee depending on the size of your pet.
Another benefit of having an ESA is that your pets can stay with you in a hotel room where pets are generally not allowed. Of course, you’ll have to show the hotel an ESA letter or an ID card to verify that your dog is indeed an ESA.
Difference Between an ESA and a Service Animal
A service animal is a dog that assists people with disabilities. It differs from an ESA in that it has been professionally trained to aid a person with a physical disability. It doesn’t help with mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety.
An ESA, on the other hand, serves only one purpose – to help its owner feel positive emotions.
For an animal to qualify as a service animal, you don’t need any letter. You just have to make sure it’s trained to perform tasks that help with your disability.
Service animals have more rights than ESAs. For example, restaurants can’t deny entry to your service animal in any situation. In many cases, you will be able to take two service animals with you in a restaurant.
With ESAs, however, restaurants won’t get into any legal trouble for not allowing your pet in their establishment.
Get Your Dog Approved as an ESA
As you can tell, getting your pet approved as an ESA isn’t a difficult process. All you have to do is get an ESA letter from a mental health professional and get your pet registered as an ESA.
Once you’ve done those steps, you’ll have the freedom to take your pet to most places you visit. It can even stay with you in an accommodation where pets aren’t allowed as long as you can show the ESA letter to the landlord.