What is an Emotional Support Dog?

Emotional Assistance – Such as offering deep pressure for calming purposes, recognizing signs of emotional distress and facilitating removal from the triggering stimulus, including crowds and claustrophobic situations, helping reduce emotional stress and overload in the workplace, offering tactile stimulation and affection, locating exits and a service dog for anxiety.

Treatment Assistance – Such as providing medication reminders, helping an individual with communication-related tasks such as conveying
a need and waking individuals who are sedated.

Security Assistance – Such as checking for intruders, calling for assistance, turning on or off lights, preventing strangers from getting too close and guarding valuable possessions while in public.

Medical Crisis and Other Emergency Assistance – Such as retrieving medication to relieve symptoms, retrieve beverages so medication can be taken, retrieving an emergency telephone, summoning aid, answering the door, calling an emergency hotline like 911, alerting their owner to a smoke alarm and aiding in a safe exit and carrying needed medical supplies.

How to Qualify for An Emotional Support Dog?

To qualify for a service assistance dog, you must have a legitimate disability, disorder or medical conditions. Further, this disability, disorder or condition must impair your ability to function normally in life in such a way that a trained dog can help you overcome that impairment enough to function more normally in life. Very common disabilities where a service animal can help :

  • Allergies
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Chronic pain
  • Asthma
  • Autism

Rights Emotional Support Dogs Have

01. Travel Rights of Emotional Support Dog

Under the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) a person with an emotional support dog is permitted to have that dog accompany him or her on airplanes. Moreover, the airlines are legally required to make certain reasonable accommodations for them. These accommodations include, but are not limited to, exempting you from any pet fees and allowing your dog to join you in the passenger cabin rather than be checked into the cargo compartment.

Additional Requirements, Exceptions and Restrictions

There are certain additional requirements, exceptions and restrictions to the general rights afforded by ACAA to emotional support dogs. Depending on the airline, additional requirements to allow your emotional support dog to accompany you on flights may include:

02. Housing Rights of Emotional Support Dog

As a person with a disability, you can legally have a service dog accompany you into any public building or space, business or transportation, so long as the dog’s presence there doesn’t pose a direct health or safety risk to you, the dog or others. Here is a list of just some of the places you can go with your service dog:

03. Rights of Others Regarding an Emotional Support Dog

As a person with a disability, you can legally have a service dog accompany you into any public building or space, business or transportation, so long as the dog’s presence there doesn’t pose a direct health or safety risk to you, the dog or others. Here is a list of just some of the places you can go with your service dog:

Legitimate Emotional Support Dog Registration
Requires a Legitimate ESA Letter

The only item you need, in most cases, to travel on an airplane or obtain housing with an emotional support animal (ESA) is a valid ESA letter. Emotional support dog registration is one way to obtain this letter that can be easier and more effective than seeking and using a letter without ESA registration.

Emotional Support Dog Requirements

In addition to the ESA letter you need to have an emotional support dog, you and that dog must meet other requirements to travel and live in “no-dog” housing together.

Training and Behavior

While emotional support dogs need not be trained to perform any particular service tasks, they must at least be trained enough to be calm, quiet and well-behaved in public settings, including in the confines of an airplane in flight, and in a residence and shared spaces like yards and lobbies in a shared building. The dog must not bite, growl or scratch, and it must not excessively whine or bark. It must also not behave aggressively toward children or other dogs or other animals.

Health and Vaccination Records

All airline and housing authorities are within their rights to request proof that your emotional support dog is current with all of his or her vaccinations and is free of any illnesses or conditions that would disqualify him or her from flying or living in a particular building.

Airline-approved Dog Carrier (For Travel)

In some instances, you may be required to provide an approved pet carrier in which to place your emotional support dog during certain periods of the flight or under certain allowable circumstances, such as if the dog is behaving too anxiously or unruly in the cabin.

Learn more about airline-specific pet carrier requirements

Registering Your Pet with Certify My Pet, You Get

ESA letter from a licensed mental
health professional

24/7 Support for any questions

plane

Help with paperwork for air travel
and housing

ID Cards, etc

Registration in our database, after which the cost of
renewing your ESA letter will be $100 instead of $150

Documents You Get Registering Your Dog

ESA Letter

Register your emotional support dog with Certifymypet.com and the first benefit you get is a private one-on-one consultation by video with a physician licensed to practice in the state where you live.

Based on the answers you gave to a few basic questions you were asked when you registered, the physician will ask you a few questions to confirm your qualifications for an emotional support dog.

Then, assuming you qualify, the physician will issue you the highest level of ESA letter: a real doctor’s prescription.

Certificates and IDs

You get a number of different official-looking certificates and identification cards with emotional support dog registration with Certifymypet.

You get a digital certificate you can pull up on your phone to identify your dog by name as your official emotional support dog.

You also get dog tags to attach to your dog’s harness directly to do the same.

Harness and Vest

While a service dog vest and harness are not required for an emotional support dog, they can help to more easily and readily identify your emotional support dog to all others you encounter along your path.

This alone can cut down tremendously on needless questions, hassles, delays and obstructions.

Emotional Support Dog FAQ

Why Dogs Make Great Emotional Support Animals?

Dogs are known to be unconditionally loving, if not to everyone they meet then at least to the person who takes care of them. Dogs are unwaveringly loyal and unceasingly affectionate. They also can be trained with relative easy to obey basic commands like “sit,” “lie down” and “come” and to walk on a leash. They can likewise be socialized to behave in groups and public settings, including in the presence of other animals. They can also be housebroken, so as to avoid messes indoors. Dogs are eminently malleable in nature and have both boundless energy and ability to relax, so they can accompany a person on an activity when they need to be active and can quietly, patiently rest when they need to be calm.

Emotional Support Dog vs. Service Dog

As a person with a disability, you can legally have a service dog accompany you into any public building or space, business or transportation, so long as the dog’s presence there doesn’t pose a direct health or safety risk to you, the dog or others. Here is a list of just some of the places you can go with your service dog:

Emotional Support Dog vs. Psychiatric Service Dog

As a person with a disability, you can legally have a service dog accompany you into any public building or space, business or transportation, so long as the dog’s presence there doesn’t pose a direct health or safety risk to you, the dog or others. Here is a list of just some of the places you can go with your service dog:

What Breed of Dog is Best for Emotional Support?

As a person with a disability, you can legally have a service dog accompany you into any public building or space, business or transportation, so long as the dog’s presence there doesn’t pose a direct health or safety risk to you, the dog or others. Here is a list of just some of the places you can go with your service dog:

Steps to Get a Legitimate ESA Letter

Register your pet in 3 Easy Steps 100% ONLINE

02.Step

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Online Doctor's
Consultation

03.Step

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Receive Your Documentation
(PDF + USPS mail)

Already have an Emotional Support Dog?

Learn the differences and see if your ESA dog can become a Service Dog

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