How to Become a Therapy Dog Owner and Improve Your Well-being

Emotional Support Animal How to Become a Therapy Dog Owner and Improve Your Well-being

How to Become a Therapy Dog Owner and Improve Your Well-being

Having a dog with you to help you cope with emotional circumstances and mental health dilemmas is a necessity for many people. However, not just any pet will do. When you're wondering how to become a therapy dog owner, you need to understand exactly what that entails for the canine in question - and for you.

You can work with DoNotPay to get a letter sent out for various circumstances pertaining to your therapy dog. We'll let landlords know why you need him, ask airlines about their policies, and request proper accommodation for you and your canine companion at other venues.

Understanding the Difference Between a Pet and an Emotional Support Animal

Every pet can offer you emotional support in your own home. They bring comfort and companionship. However, a true Emotional Support Animal is designated as such. 

An ESA gets certified and recognized as being necessary to your mental well-being. They need to be trained by a professional to ensure they maintain proper behavior when in public spaces. In most cases, this pertains to a dog, although other animals may qualify in certain circumstances.

Obtaining an ESA Letter

In many cases, you will need to get an ESA letter verifying your dog's status. This letter should NOT:

  1. Be obtained online from a random site
  2. Have instant approval
  3. Require you to pay to register your dog
  4. Come with a lifetime guarantee

The letter needs to come from a mental health professional and indicate that the person in question requires their therapy dog due to disability. The professional's contact details, issue date of their license, and state of issuance should all be included. They may even include information about the dog, such as their name, breed, and licensing information.

Here are some more important questions about an ESA letter:

Who Can Write an ESA Letter?Mental health professionals and those working in the medical field are able to write ESA letters. This means you can ask your therapist, doctor, psychologist, or other medical professional to complete a letter for you. They should be signed and dated at the time of issuance.
Do I Need an ESA Letter for Housing?Under the Fair Housing Act, you are able to have an Emotional Support Animal in your home whether it is rented or owned. However, some landlords may still give you trouble over your dog if pets are not typically allowed. It is wise to send a proper letter for housing so that your dog will be accepted. Send a copy to the landlord and keep one for your own records.

Reasons to Get a Therapy Dog

There are many reasons why you may want to get a therapy dog. You may need one if you suffer from:

  • Social anxiety
  • Depression
  • PTSD
  • Neurocognitive disorders
  • Sleep disorders
  • Heightened stress
  • Many other ailments and mental health struggles

Requesting a Therapy Dog on Your Own

If you're wondering how to become a therapy dog owner, you should start by speaking with your own medical health team. Whether that be your therapist or doctor, they should be able to either write the letter for you or point you in the right direction of who can. Most will be happy to assist you if you truly have some sort of anxiety or mental health struggle that could benefit from having the emotional support of a companion animal.

Turning Your Current Dog into an ESA

In order for the pet you already have to be an ESA, you need to have him undergo proper training. Get him set up with an appointment to learn the necessary behavior skills to handle a public setting. Your therapist may be more likely to issue a letter on your behalf if she knows you have taken the time to get your dog trained and ready for the task.

Requesting a Therapy Dog With DoNotPay's Help

DoNotPay will help the process. We will send demand letters on your behalf requesting that your therapy dog be approved at your residence, on an airline, or at other venues. 

  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.


DoNotPay will get to work generating a letter for your landlord, contacting the appropriate agency about accommodations for your ESA, or requesting one from your mental health care professional. The goal is to get you an answer as soon as possible.

Will DoNotPay Help Me With Other Important Business?

DoNotPay can assist with sending demand letters for therapy dogs to airlines, such as United, Southwest, or American. We provide many more services than this, though, including:

We can also aid in any other important business matters you don't want to face alone. DoNotPay is always on your side!

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