Emotional Support Dog Certification and How to Get an ESA Dog?

An emotional support dog is an absolute must for people suffering from some kind of emotional or mental limitation. These kinds of animals are more than pets and are here for a purpose. These dogs accompany their owners everywhere and provide comfort to them by supporting them emotionally.

While dogs are the most preferred ESAs but there are other animals also that work quite as well as emotional support animals. These types of animals include cats, rabbits, miniature horses, ferrets, hamsters, birds, fishes, and others.

What Is An Emotional Support Dog?

An emotional support animal or dog is a special kind of dog that is more than a pet and helps the owner with various mental and emotional disabilities. It is recommended by a mental health professional or a therapist who analyzes the patient to determine its need.

Can any doctor write the emotional support dog prescription letter? No, only a licensed mental health practitioner can do it for you. The purpose of an ESA dog is to provide mental relief to its owner through its unconditional love and support.

Emotional Support Dog Training: What do I have to Do?

How to train an emotional support dog or what emotional support dog training does my emotional support dog need? The truth is, an emotional support dog or any other animal does not need any specialized training. A service dog or a therapy dog is specifically trained according to the disability of the owner. Emotional support dogs provide companionship which is why they are commonly known as Companion Dogs.

Your emotional support dog just needs to be well-behaved, housebroken, and vaccinated.

Are there any Core Emotional Support Dog Requirements?

Luckily, no. Unlike a service dog and a psychiatric dog, both of which are used to assist mentally and physically challenged individuals, an ESA dog does not have any core requirements. They do not require extensive training like the aforementioned kinds of dogs and all they need to be is disciplined, clean, and vaccinated.

Which are the Best Emotional Support Dog Breeds?

When looking for an emotional support dog, many people like to know about the dog breeds that make the best emotional support dogs. However, no one breed is better than any other breed but it also depends on the owner’s needs and household also. Houses with children prefer dogs that are kids friendly.

Some of the dog breeds that make the best ESAs are listed below:

  • German Shepherd
  • Golden Retriever
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Corgi
  • Pug
  • Poodles
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Brussels Griffon
  • Irish Wolfhound
  • Collie
  • Great Dane
  • Chihuahua

And many others. The list is not inclusive and you can get pretty much any dog as your emotional support dog.

As stated on CNN by Mr. McCullough, RealESALetter.com is a legit ESA letter provider for flying with your emotional support animal. The letters are signed by a legal LMHP and only the qualified people get the letter.

Do I Need an Emotional Support Dog Vest for my ESA Dog?

Not really. Getting an emotional support dog vest is not necessary to identify your dog but we highly suggest that you should get one. There could be a number of benefits of getting a dog vest for your emotional support dog. Some of the key benefits of having an emotional support dog vest are given below:

  • You can identify your dog as an emotional support dog and not a mere pet
  • Emotional support dog vests inform the strangers that it is ‘not’ OK to pet your emotional support dog
  • Your emotional support dog will be less likely to be distracted
  • Emotional support dog vests could be handy for service dogs also
  • They come in different fabrics and types and you can choose from them easily
  • You can put your emotional support dog’s identification cards in the vest to prevent losing them

Emotional support dog vests offer a number of other benefits and this is why we strongly recommend that you get one for your dog.

Emotional Support Dog Certification: How to Qualify?

Qualifying for an emotional support dog is necessary before getting your four-legged comfort canine. Since an emotional support dog is different from a pet, you just cannot get it without proper screening and documentation. To qualify to get an emotional support dog or animal, you need to get in touch with a licensed mental health professional and get yourself checked.

Follow the below steps to qualify for an emotional support dog:

Examine yourself Thoroughly to Understand Your Need for an Emotional Support Dog

Before applying for an ESA dog letter, make sure that you understand and know your need for it. Sometimes, people think that they need an ESA because they don't feel good or they feel happy around dogs or animals. This is not the right way and you should stay away from it.

Before consulting a mental health therapist, analyze your condition and how an emotional support dog makes you feel better. Some sure signs that you need an emotional support dog are that you feel depression and anxiety all the time and your dog makes you feel relaxed and secure.

Build a Relationship with your Mental Health Therapist

You just cannot ask for an emotional support dog prescription letter out of the blue. Before bringing up the topic of acquiring an emotional support dog, you need to be in contact with a therapist regularly. The mental health therapists need to know the actual and complete mental state of the patient.

Some mental and emotional instabilities could be rectified and managed with mainstream treatment and medicine while others may need ESAs. Before writing the letter, your therapist will check and analyze you completely beforehand.

You will Need a Mental Diagnosis for an Emotional Support Dog

Not all mental and emotional limitations are eligible for the emotional support animals or dogs. When checking and screening you, the mental health therapist will check your symptoms properly and thoroughly. Some of the main and significant mental illnesses that make anyone eligible for an emotional support dog include:

Chronic Depression

Being depressed sometimes and staying in the same condition for days, and even weeks, is different. Chronic depression is common in people who have gone through some kind of trauma or loss. An emotional support dog helps such people in staying calm and comfortable.

  • Postpartum Depression

    Postpartum depression is a common phenomenon in new mothers. While many argue that this is a temporary state, sometimes this could prolong and transform into chronic depression. An emotional support dog helps in controlling the symptoms and preventing it from changing into something more severe and serious.

  • Anxiety

    Besides chronic and postpartum depression, anxiety is also a very common symptom in people suffering from depression and stress. Everyone needs a companion or a friend to deal with the increasing anxiety level. Your emotional support dog can help you with the anxiety through its unconditional love.

  • Panic Attacks

    Severe anxiety sometimes results in panic attacks. These attacks could be a result of accidents and other serious and severe life situations. That is when you need a companion to help you calm your mind down by relieving anxiety. Emotional support dogs and other animals help normalize you and stay by your side all the time.

  • Social Anxiety

    Do you feel anxious in public? It is more common than any of us know. Social anxiety is the fear of the public and many people go through it. There could be many reasons for it but there is nothing that an emotional support dog could not help you control.

    An ESA dog will help you deal with your social anxiety fear by boosting up your confidence.

  • Bipolar Disorder

    Your emotional support animal can help you with your changing energy level or irregular change in the mood due to bipolar disorder. If left unattended, the condition could be dangerous for you and the people around you. With the help of an emotional support dog, you can manage and control it effectively.

  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

    OCD can have adverse effects when it comes to daily life routine. Getting an emotional support dog can help you deal with it, through its love and companionship. The condition is common in people that have gone through some childhood trauma or prolonged stress.

  • Phobias

    Some people suffer from different types of phobias that can affect their daily life. Your emotional support dog can help you relieve anxiety by decreasing the stress level, caused by the various forms of phobias and fear.

  • Impulse Control Disorder

    Do you find it hard to control your urges? If you suffer from an impulse control disorder, the support and comfort provided by your dog can help you with it.

  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

    The intensity of the post-traumatic stress disorder can vary, depending on the anxiety level. There could be multiple reasons for it like horrible past experiences or any nightmares. A companion by your side can help you with it by improving your mental health.

Get an Emotional Support Dog Letter from a Licensed Therapist

Can my family doctor write me an emotional support dog letter? Unfortunately no, he cannot. Only a licensed mental health practitioner could write a letter for you. Since they have specialized in mental health therapy, they know better and how to check and examine your condition and symptoms properly.

Renew your Emotional Support Dog Letter Annually

No emotional support letter is for life and you will have to renew it on an annual basis. Your emotional support dog letter is valid for a year only and if an ESA provider tells you otherwise, then it is a scam. Make sure that you renew your letter on time to avoid any legal complexities.

Wondering if you qualify to get an emotional support dog?

Get your legitimate ESA letter provided by our professional therapists and enjoy the companionship of your four-legged friend.

How to Get an Emotional Support Dog?

You can get your emotional support dog either through an online process or with the help of a mental health practitioner. However, you will have to qualify for it and you can qualify for an emotional support dog only if you suffer from an emotional or mental disability.

When consulting a therapist for your emotional support animal letter, you will have to go through the following steps:

  • Contact the mental health therapist.
  • Explain your condition and need for an emotional support dog.
  • Go through the screening.
  • Get your emotional support dog letter.

Some people prefer online methods over going through the hassle of visiting the therapist. When applying online, you will have to follow the below steps:

  • Fill an online questionnaire.
  • The therapist will screen your application.
  • If qualified, get the letter within 24 to 48 hours.

To check if you qualify, our therapists are here to assist you. All you have to do is fill out the form and you will get an emotional support dog letter within 24 hours or less, if you qualify.

How to Make your Dog an Emotional Support Dog?

How to make your dog an ESA dog?

Some people already have a dog that they want to convert into an ESA. How to do it? The simple way of doing it is to propose the dog of your choice when it comes to choosing an ESA for you.

Understand that no matter what, you will need to get a valid ESA letter for it. After you clear the screening and qualify for the letter, name your dog as your desired ESA.

What is an Emotional Support Dog Certification?

An emotional support dog certification is another name for an ESA letter. Some scam companies try to rob you of your money by telling you that an ESA letter and an emotional support dog certification are different. However, they are the same.

To get your emotional support dog, you will need a legitimate and legally sound ESA letter. Do I have to get my emotional support dog registered also? No, there is nothing like emotional support dog certification. All you need is the ESA dog letter to enjoy the companionship of your friend everywhere you go.

Do I need to Get an Emotional Support Dog Registration?

Many people wonder if they would need to register an emotional support dog with any organization. No, you do not need to get any registration for your animal.

Many online organizations mislead the new ESA owners by telling them to get an ESA registration, which is wrong. All you need is an ESA letter to live and travel with your dog peacefully.

Emotional Support Dogs Vs. Service Dogs

There is a grey area when it comes to the difference between ESA and service animals. Many people think that they are the same, which is wrong. An emotional support dog is not specifically trained for a disability. The main purpose of an emotional support dog is to provide mental relief and comfort through their love and companionship.

When we talk about service dogs or assistance animals, the major difference lies in the abilities of the two. A service dog helps with the physical disability of the owner.

Guide dogs are used by blind people that can help them walk. Similarly, a person suffering from a hearing disability can use a signal dog for his assistance. The service dogs are individually trained according to the disability of their owner.

While getting an ESA letter online, you will see a lot of websites claiming to register an emotional support animal. There is no such thing as emotional support dog registration. To enjoy the company of your emotional support dog, all you need is a valid ESA letter. That is the only certification you require. As far as the dog breed is concerned, that depends on your choice.

To enjoy the company of your emotional support dog, all you need is a valid ESA letter. That is the only certification you require. As far as the dog breed is concerned, that depends on your choice.

Emotional Support Dog Rights and Laws

Now that you are clear about the concept of an emotional support animal, you should also be aware of the legal protections offered to an ESA.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects the rights of ESA owners and their emotional support animals. Following are the two main laws that can help you enjoy the perks offered by a valid ESA letter.

  • Live With Your Dog

    The Fair Housing Act Federal law helps the ESA owners by making sure that their ESA dogs can accompany them in their apartments.

    No landlord or building owner can deny this right to an ESA owner; also, they cannot discriminate against him. In addition to this, the landlord cannot ask for any pet fee or surplus charges to keep the ESA in the apartment.

  • Travel With Your Dog

    As per the Department of Transportation, the Air Carrier Access Act allows the ESA owners to air travel with their emotional support dogs. If you have a valid ESA letter, you can travel on public transport and commercial airlines as well. Also, no airline can ask for any additional fees for your companion animal.

    To enjoy all these perks, you have to make sure that the ESA letter you are getting is 100% enforceable and legitimate.

    Be careful; there are severe consequences for a fake ESA letter.

How to Identify a Real Emotional Support Dog Letter?

A legally sound ESA letter is written by a licensed mental health practitioner. However, identifying these letters is important if you do not want to land into some dire consequences. When working with an online ESA letter provider, make sure that you have checked it thoroughly and inside out.

When checking the letter, make sure that your letter has the following things:

  • Written on the therapist’s official letterhead
  • Has the therapist’s genuine signature
  • License number of the therapist
  • The state where the therapist is licensed to work
  • Contact details of the therapist
  • Qualifications of the therapist

Moreover, before deciding to work with an online source or any therapist, ask for a sample or blank ESA letter to see the details that they will add to it.

Go through the ESA letter samples and make sure that you get the best for yourself and your animal!