How to Get Your Dog ESA Certified Easily

iEditorial Note: These blog posts represent the opinion of DoNotPay’s Writers, but each person’s situation and circumstances vary greatly. As a result, you should make sure to do your own independent research. Because everyone is unique, our self-help tools are never guaranteed to help with any specific situation. DoNotPay is not a law firm and is not licensed to practice law. DoNotPay provides a platform for legal information and self-help.

10 Things You Must Know About An ESA Dog

As of mid-January 2022, there are over 200,000 emotional support and service animals in the US. These animals can be a great support for those suffering from mental illnesses. ESAs offer such a great benefit for those with mental illness that they are protected under the Fair Housing Act. Some benefits of owning emotional support animals include:

Reduced anxietySpending time with ESA pets can lighten your mood and reduce your anxiety.
CompanionshipESA support dogs can be a companion to people who experience loneliness.
Better physical healthESA pets can help to reduce pain, lower blood pressure, and stabilize breathing rates.
Trauma supportIf you're facing severe challenges like trauma, pets can provide comfort.
Reasons to liveCaring for an animal can enhance your self-worth, giving you a sense of purpose. Besides, you create an emotional bond as you care for the animal while receiving love in return.

Still, they need a lot regarding paperwork for registration and all of the necessary accommodations. Traveling with an emotional support animal requires different accommodations for different airlines, such as United, Southwest, and American Airlines. DoNotPay can help you keep it all straight and help connect you with the right information, ensuring that you can address any ESA-related concern easily and efficiently.

What Is an Emotional Support Animal?

While a pet provides emotional support regardless of ESA status, a mental health professional must prescribe an animal to be properly certified as an ESA. The person registering the emotional support animal must have a mental illness that has debilitating effects, and a therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist can certify this by filling out forms and writing a letter.

Any domesticated animal may qualify as an ESA (ferrets, cats, minipigs, , rats, mice, hedgehogs, rabbits, birds, etc.). They can be of any age as well. An ESA can be prescribed for these conditions because the presence of an animal can alleviate anxiety and depression. Having a pet to care for creates a purpose and something to focus on in their life.

What Is an ESA Letter, and Who Can Write It?

An ESA letter certifies that your pet is an emotional support animal and provides verification that allows you to receive different accommodations. An official ESA letter must include the following information:

  • The name of the licensed mental health professional (LHMP) that's recommending the ESA
  • The name and phone number of the practice where the LHMP is currently employed
  • The type of medical license the LHMP has, the date it was issued, and the state of their jurisdiction
  • Confirmation that the LHMP is providing you with treatment for a disability listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual
  • The date the ESA letter was issued and an official letterhead

Different samples of ESA letters can be found online. Consult your mental health professional to develop an ESA letter personalized to your unique situation.

Can a Dog Be an Emotional Support Animal?

If you already have a dog that provides you with emotional support, you're probably curious about whether or not you're able to register your beloved pet as an official emotional support animal. The answer is absolutely yes! If you consult with your mental health professional and agree that an ESA diagnosis would benefit you, you can certify your dog as an ESA.

How to Request a Dog to Be an Emotional Support Animal on Your Own?

If you're interested in requesting for a dog to be an emotional support animal on your own, the following steps can serve as a guideline.

  1. Consult with your mental health professional or connect with one if you don't currently have one.
  2. Request that your mental health professional write an ESA letter to certify your dog.
  3. Certify your conditions and demonstrate your specific need for an ESA.

Once you've received an ESA letter, you can use this letter to whenever necessary.

Use DoNotPay to Help You Request a Dog to Be an Emotional Support Animal Easily and Efficiently

Requesting for a dog to be an emotional support animal and ensuring all proper accommodations are made for things like housing and travel can be a hassle. DoNotPay can make the process easier for you by asking you questions about your specific situation and generating the most beneficial results.

DoNotPay has recently developed a new Service and Emotional Support Animals product that can help you with any of your emotional support animal-related concerns. Some of these options include asking airlines about their accommodation options for support animals, contacting your landlord about your emotional support animal, and finding the most affordable ESA-letter writing service online. Follow the simple steps below and learn how DoNotPay can help you with your specific concerns.

  1. Search "service animal" on DoNotPay.

  2. Select the type of issue you need help with, including contacting your landlord about your ESA/service animal, asking your airline about ESA options, or requesting ESA/service accommodations at other venues.

  3. Answer a series of questions about your current situation and the details of your ESA/service animal, so we can generate the best results for you.

That's all there is to it! DoNotPay will generate and mail a letter to your landlord, contact the airline agency and come back to you with a response, or send a letter to your mental health physician seeking an ESA letter, depending on your circumstances.

What Else Can DoNotPay Do?

DoNotPay can help you with all of your ESA-related concerns. If you need to request the accommodation from different airlines or even across different states, DoNotPay can accomplish this for you easily. Explore the relevant links below to gain more information about various pet-related concerns DoNotPay can assist you with.

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