Welcome to Emotional Pet Support’s guide for an Emotional Support Animal owner. An Emotional Companion Dog is an emotional support animal that is prescribed by a licensed mental health professional to help with an individual suffering from depression or a panic disorder, along with many other disabilities. This is different than a service dog or a therapy dog because these types of dogs require extensive training, read our blog about the differences between emotional support animals, therapy animals, and service animals to acquaint yourself with the differences. An ordinary pet dog does not need specific training to become an emotional support animal, as most dog owners know since they are naturally referred to as a “man’s best friend”.
What is an Emotional Support Animal?
An emotional support animal often referred to as an ESA, is an animal that alleviates the emotional or psychological symptoms associated with the condition or disorder of the owner. The animal does not need to be trained to perform a disability-specific task and performs its function simply by providing companionship or emotional support. Furthermore, there are also many researched-backed health benefits to owning a pet (or an ESA), and Wileypup goes into the specific details on what these benefits are. Although people use many different animals as ESA’s, dogs are typically the preferred animal due to the companionship and loyalty to their owners. If you’d like to read more about what an Emotional Support Animal is, you may want to consider visiting the Animal Law website
Can My Dog Become An Emotional Support Dog?
Yes, of course! All that’s needed is a prescription from a licensed medical professional and your emotional companion dog will become an emotional support animal – it’s that simple. A great way to start is to take Emotional Pet Support’s 1-minute online questionnaire. By doing this, you can see if you qualify for an emotional support animal. If you qualify you will be set up with a friendly certified mental health professional and you can receive your ESA letter via email with a hard copy being sent directly to you in a few business days. Lastly, just be sure to treat your emotional support dog like how a good owner would treat a pet, and everything will work out fine afterward!
What disabilities qualify me to have an Emotional Support Animal?
Emotional Support Animals help with a variety of conditions. Numerous studies have shown they can help with depression, panic disorders, postpartum depression, anxiety or phobias and fears, and even post-traumatic stress disorder. Having an emotional companion dog can greatly lessen these and many more disabilities. Talking with a licensed medical professional is a great way to tell a doctor what your disabilities are, and seeing if an ESA is the best course of action for you. You’ll be well on your way to getting the help you need and deserve.
What laws protect my rights to an ESA?
The federal laws pertaining to an Emotional Support Animal state that:
1) to fly with their emotionally or psychologically disabled owner in the cabin of an aircraft (which is covered in the Air Carrier Access Act of 1986) and
2) to qualify for no-pet housing (which is covered in the Fair Housing Act of 1968). You’ll also need to be prepared to present a letter to airlines and property managers from a licensed mental health professional stating that you are emotionally disabled and that he/she prescribes for you an emotional support animal.