How to Get a Therapy Dog in 3 Simple Steps

Emotional Support Animal How to Get a Therapy Dog in 3 Simple Steps

How to Get a Therapy Dog Easily

A therapy dog is often considered a type of emotional support animal, which is a pet that is prescribed by a mental health professional to help ease certain mental health conditions such as stress and anxiety. If you are hoping to  or have your pet named an emotional support animal, there are a number of things you need to keep in mind. 

First, emotional support animals are considered distinct from service animals and are not covered by the Americans With Disabilities Act. This means that people with ESA dogs will not receive the same accommodations in public spaces that people with service dogs will. The Fair Housing Act, however, does require that ESA owners be allowed to bring their ESA into a rental property or home, even if pets are not otherwise permitted. Some airlines will also allow ESAs on board if requested through an ESA letter.

Getting a Therapy Dog

If you would like to have a therapy dog or have your pet named an emotional support animal, you will need to request that a mental health professional write an ESA letter on your behalf. This letter will state that your dog serves as an ESA and will request that the entity to which the letter is provided make appropriate accommodations for your animal.

It is important to note that only licensed mental health providers can write such letters on your behalf. Private companies such as airlines may honor the request, but they are not required to by law. Housing providers are required to honor such requests, however.

What Is an ESA Letter?

An ESA letter is a letter written by a licensed mental health professional attesting to your need for an emotional support animal such as a therapy dog. The letter can be useful in certain types of situations and should be tailored according to your situation.

While letters can be tailored according to your specific needs, such as the ones outlined below, they should always contain the following information:

  • Letter issue date
  • Your physician or licensed mental health professional's license number
  • Their license expiration date
  • The professional's contact information

Some examples of situations in which an ESA letter can be useful include:

TravelAn ESA letter can be useful for getting accommodation for your therapy dog or another emotional support animal when it comes to traveling on airlines. Not all airlines will offer such accommodations for ESAs, but there are some that will, upon request. It never hurts to inquire.
HousingThe Fair Housing Act requires that landlords permit emotional support animals on the premises, even if pets are otherwise not permitted. You will generally need to present an ESA letter to request this housing accommodation.

It's always helpful to look at some examples of ESA letters before requesting your own.

How to Deal With ESA Requests on Your Own

 and dealing with ESA requests can be a hassle. You need to identify a licensed mental health professional who can attest to your need for an ESA, set up an appointment, and request that they write your letter. Then, once you have your letter, you need to make sure that people like your landlord understand that they must abide by your request.

Not everyone is always going to understand what an ESA letter is, and you may find yourself trapped in more conversations about it than you'd care to have. Luckily, now there's a better way to move through these processes.

DoNotPay Can Offer Assistance With Airlines

First, DoNotPay can help you navigate ESA requests with different airlines. We can contact airlines on your behalf to inquire about their ESA requirements, saving you from waits on hold and other aggravations. Here are some of the airlines we can assist you in asking about ESA requirements:

  1. United Airlines
  2. Southwest Airlines
  3. American Airlines

Get ESA Assistance With DoNotPay

Getting assistance with ESA needs isn't always easy. Different companies will choose whether or not to honor ESA requests in different ways, and you may not be in regular contact with a licensed mental health professional who could provide you with a letter attesting to your need. Luckily, now you have a resource that can help you navigate these questions: DoNotPay.

Here's how DoNotPay can help:

Through our new Service and Emotional Support Animals product, DoNotPay can help you with all of your ESA-related concerns, including contacting your landlord about your ESA, asking airlines about their accommodation options, and finding the most affordable online ESA-letter service.

  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. 

And that's it! Depending on your issue, DoNotPay will generate a letter to your landlord and mail it on your behalf, contact the airline agency and get back to you with an answer, or send a letter to your mental health professional requesting an ESA letter.

Why Use DoNotPay to Get a Therapy Dog

If you are trying to get an ESA letter or inform your landlord of your right to have a therapy dog in your home, DoNotPay is an important resource to have at your disposal.

DoNotPay is:

  • Fast—You don't have to spend hours trying to identify a licensed mental health professional who can write your ESA letter. DoNotPay can find one for you.
  • Easy—Our platform is easy and intuitive to navigate. Just search "service animals," and go from there!
  • Successful—We'll get you connected to the resources you need to make your strongest possible case.

What Else Can DoNotPay Do to Help You With Pet Issues and More?

DoNotPay can help you with much more than emotional support animals. Below are just a few examples of other ways we can help make your life easier and save you money:

Give  a try today to see all the ways it can be of assistance.

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