About Emotional Support Animals

Everything You Need to Know About Emotional Support Bottom line:

  • Mental health professionals prescribe emotional support animals (ESAs) under the law.
  • Legal accommodations differ in between service pet dogs and emotional support pet dogs.
  • ESAs have approved specific housing and air travel lodgings by law.

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Emotional support animals (ESAs) refer to canines and other family pets that provide emotional support and convenience to their owners daily. ESAs lawfully need to be recommended by a licensed mental health specialist like a therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist.

Emotional support animals differ from service pets in a few crucial ways. Service pet dogs have been trained to carry out specific jobs for people, and as such, as normally given access to anywhere their owner goes. Emotional support animals do not require any particular training, although owners need to make sure they’re trained in public. ESAs are not granted access to facilities such as restaurants or shopping centers like service canines are.

People with ESAs are afforded some extra rights, such as the capability to reside in otherwise non-pet-friendly real estate under the Fair Real Estate Act. Additionally, the Air Carrier Gain access to Act allows both service animals and ESAs to accompany their owners in the cabin of an aircraft during flights. Emotional support animals provide an important service to those who need it but misrepresenting a pet as an ESA is both unethical and prohibited in some states.

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