Emotional Support Animal looking outside

What is an Emotional Support Dog? What do they do?

In Emotional Support Animal by Emotional Pet Support Team8 Comments

An Emotional Support Dog is a dog that a licensed mental health professional has determined provides some benefit to an individual with a mental or emotional disability. They do not require specific training and provide emotional or mental stability to their owners through their love and companionship. Emotional Support Dogs are also commonly called Companion Dogs and are a specific type of Emotional Support Animal (ESA). They are not service dogs. If you want to know more about the differences between the two, read here.

Top 10 Emotional Support Dog Breeds

What Disabilities Qualify for an Emotional Support Dog?

  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • General Anxiety Disorder
  • Depression
  • Panic Disorder
  • Postpartum Depression
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Phobias and Fears
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder
esa dog

Emotional Support Dog Prescription

An Emotional Support Animal Prescription is actually a letter from a Licensed Mental Health Professional or Physician. This is the ONLY requirement for your dog or cat to be an Emotional Support Animal. There are a number of websites and companies that offer to “register” your animal – this is not required and does not legally allow you to live or travel with your animal.

Two Federal Laws primarily protect the rights of people with Support Animals. Although the rights are not as expansive as those granted to Service Animals, there are still two very important points to be aware of.

  1. Living With Your Dog – The Fair Housing Act ensures that an individual requiring an Emotional Support Dog will be allowed to live with their animal. Furthermore, it prevents landlords and rental companies from being able to charge pet fees or deposits.
  2. Traveling With Your Dog – The Air Carrier Access Act ensures that people are able to fly with their Emotional Support Dog without having to pay additional fees. The airlines do require that they are informed in advance and that a recent (less than one-year-old) medical letter is provided as well.


  1. Pingback: 10 Resolutions For Your Emotional Support Animal - Emotional Pet Support

  2. please help me, my dog is not being considered or thought of? shes not eating, shes stressed, please help, she is stressed nd sadden,she throwing up .. please me find a foster or safe care for her well being right now, im so worried, its making me very stressed and sick nd sad , shes not being treated fairly

    1. Hi Catherine,
      We can’t find you a foster home for your dog. We suggest you search online for a nearby vet and take your dog there to get this situation looked at. ~ EPS Team

    1. Author

      Hi Thiago,

      ESA’s are protected under FHA/HUD for dwellings and airline travel only. ESA’s are not permitted in public places including hotels, taxis, restaurants, trains, busses, or stores. Only Service Animals that are trained (for people that are blind/deaf/etc) and certified for a specific work/function/task for the disabled are permitted in public.

    2. Author

      Sorry, ESAs cannot go into hotels unless the hotel in question allows it.

  3. I had a rescue ,very abused German Shepherd,rottie ,mainly German Shepherd ,he was abused when born for the first couple years , I took him in as my ESA DOG ,WITH MY HEALTH I COULDN’T KEEP HIM , I HAD HIM FOR 5YRS MY HEART IS BROKEN I CAN’T WATCH OR HARDLY EVEN LOOK AT ANOTHER DOG , I MISS MY DOG SOO MUCH , I’VE BEEN STRUGGLING WITH SHOULD I GET ANOTHER DOG THAT IS COMPATIBLE WITH MY HEALTH PLEASE HELP I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO ❤️

Leave a Comment