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Emotional Support Dog Registration 101

What Is An Emotional Support Dog (ESA)?

An emotional support animal (ESA) is a different from a service dog. Unlike a service dog, an emotional support animal does not need specialized training to handle a task. Instead, Emotional Support Animals provide healing to their owner through affection and companionship.

However, they still have special rights. Read on to understand the basics of registering your dog as an Emotional Support Animal.

Who Can Register Their Dog As An Emotional Support Animal?

An Emotional Support Animal is a pet or animal prescribed by a licensed therapist to provide a health benefit for those that suffer from an emotional or mental disability such as Attention Deficit Disorder, Autism, General Anxiety Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, a Learning Disorder, Depression or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. There are no animal type, breed, or size restrictions for emotional support animals.

What Do I Need To Register An Emotional Support Animal?

In order to have an Emotional Support Animal, the law requires you obtain a letter written by a mental health professional stating that the ESA provides therapeutic value. This ESA Letter can be obtained via an evaluation from our licensed therapists.

When Can I Register My Emotional Support Dog?

You can demand access for your Emotional Support Animal as soon as you have a valid letter from a therapist or mental health professional. We also recommend registering your Emotional Support Dog with dog registry at the same time.

Why Should I Register My Emotional Support Dog?

Even though Emotional Support Dogs are allowed in housing with no-pet policies and you have the right to bring your dog with you when you fly, landlords and airlines will often give you trouble and try to bar your access.

Registering your Emotional Support Dog makes your life easier. Any time someone tries to deny you access, you can show them your ESA ID card and certificate. Getting an ESA dog vest also makes it very easy for others to recognize.

How Can I Register My Emotional Support Dog?

To have your dog qualify as an Emotional Support Dog, a licensed mental health professional must determine the animal provides therapeutic value. If you do not have a therapist, you can easily get an ESA prescription letter online.

We offer a phone ESA evaluation with a licensed therapist who can evaluate your need and issue a signed letter acceptable to airlines, apartment buildings, and businesses in general. Then, you can register your emotional support dog to complete the process.

Where Is My Emotional Support Dog Allowed To Go With Me?

Emotional Support Animals do not have access rights to all public areas, but they are granted specific rights.

Under The Fair Housing Act, they have access to all types of housing, even if a landlord has a no-pet policy in place. The Air Carrier Access Act allows them to fly in the cabin of any airplane (there are size limitations, however). It is illegal for anyone to charge you an additional fee for housing or airline access for your ESA Dog. Airlines require the ESA letter from a licensed mental health professional in advance. You can view more about Emotional Support Dog airline policies here.