What Is an Emotional Support Animal?
An emotion support animal is any animal that provides comfort and companionship to an individual with a mental health issue or emotional disability. Emotional support dogs are the most common ESAs, but any animal can be an ESA. Emotional support animals do not need any individualized training – they serve a beneficial purpose simply through their reassuring presence. Their companionship helps their owner cope with the challenges of living with mental health conditions such as depression, general anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
What Types of Emotional Support Animals Are There?
You are probably familiar with dogs being emotional support animals. After all, dogs can form strong bonds with their owners and are known to be calm and loyal. This makes them ideal emotional support animals. However, any animal can be an emotional support animal, from cats and rabbits to mice and birds. What matters is the bond the owner has with that animal and the therapeutic benefits they derive from the relationship.
Do I Need An Emotional Support Animal?
If you struggle with mental health challenges such as depression or anxiety, an emotional support animal might help improve your quality of life. Even without specialized training, an emotional support dog can ease a person’s anxiety just through the dog’s presence. Anyone can own an emotional support animal, and it does not need any special license or certification. However, if you plan to live in rented housing with your ESA, you will most likely need a valid emotional support animal letter from a licensed mental health professional. Fortunately, you can now complete the entire process online using a recommended ESA letter support service.
How Do I Choose an Emotional Support Animal?
Although emotional support animals are more than just pets, choosing an emotional support animal is similar to choosing a pet. You will want to ensure that you feel a close emotional connection with your ESA. You’ll also want to consider the practicalities – how will you take care of your emotional support dog? Depending on your living arrangements and budget, your choices may be more limited. You’ll have to consider the logistics of feeding and providing veterinary care for your ESA, as well as ensuring that you can live with your emotional support animal.
Can I Live with My Emotional Support Dog?
With a valid ESA letter, you can live with your emotional support animal, even if your landlord typically has a “no pets” policy. Under the federal Fair Housing Act, landlords and housing providers must make reasonable accommodations so people can live with their assistance animals, including emotional support dogs. If you want to live with your emotional support dog, you’ll need to contact a licensed mental health professional. Your therapist will assess your symptoms and determine whether you have a legitimate need for an ESA. You can either meet with a therapist in person or use an online ESA letter provider that arranges virtual consultations with licensed mental health professionals.
Once you have your ESA letter, your landlord should permit your emotional support to live with you, whatever the breed. They must also waive pet fees and pet deposits for assistance animals.
Are Dogs the Best Emotional Support Animals?
Dogs are, by far, the most popular emotional support animals. This isn’t surprising considering how widespread dog ownership is in the United States and the fact that dogs are known as “man’s best friend.” Dogs can easily pick up on their owner’s feelings and state of mind and provide companionship and emotional support in times of extreme stress and anxiety.
Generally speaking, dogs are easier to train than most other animals – although specialized training isn’t required for an ESA. Unlike service dogs, there is no expectation for ESAs to be able to perform specific tasks. Their only role is to be a comforting presence to their owner. However, many emotional support dogs have completed obedience training and understand various commands. They may also be able to provide some practical assistance, even if they have not reached the same training standard as a service dog. Your landlord will expect good behavior from your emotional support dog, and you should ensure that your ESA is housetrained.
Although your ESA does not have the same legal rights and entitlements as a service animal, your ESA letter may help you bring your emotional support dog to certain public places. You will need to ask the owner or manager of the establishment if your ESA will be allowed to enter. Assuming that your dog is well trained and behaves well around people and other dogs, presenting a legitimate ESA letter from a licensed mental health professional may encourage the venue manager to make an exception from their usual rules against animals.
What Are the Best Emotional Support Dog Breeds?
When choosing an emotional support dog, you will want a dog who is very in tune with your emotions and can respond accordingly to your moods and actions. You will want to choose an intelligent, gentle, and affectionate dog who can recognize when you need comfort, provide physical contact, and stay close to your side. Your dog should have a sensitive nature and a strong desire to ensure your personal safety. Even though your ESA is not a service dog, certain breeds are better suited for training to perform specific tasks for their owners.
Choosing a dog breed known for personality traits such as calmness and loyalty will help ensure that your ESA can provide emotional support in times of difficulty. This list is not exhaustive, and plenty of other breeds, from Golden Retrievers to Yorkshire Terriers, have excelled as emotional support dogs.
Here are some of the most popular dog breeds for supporting people with mental illness.
Popular Dog Breeds Known for Their Loyalty:
- Great Pyrenees
- Basset Hound
Popular Dog Breeds Known for Their Calmness:
- English Cocker Spaniel
- Golden Retriever
How Can I Get an ESA Letter for My Dog?
Although you don’t need special permission to own an ESA, you will need an ESA letter if you want to live with your companion animal in most rented housing. Don’t be daunted by this requirement – obtaining an ESA letter is simpler than you might think.
You can quickly secure an ESA letter online, but choosing a reputable ESA letter provider is essential. Many of the best ESA services offer a satisfaction guarantee, so if your letter doesn’t work for your housing needs, you’ll receive a full refund.
Your provider will connect you with a licensed therapist who will conduct an evaluation of your mental health issues and assess your need for an emotional support dog. If they believe that an emotional support dog could help ease your mental health conditions, they will issue you an official ESA letter that you can use for housing. Under federal law, your housing provider must accommodate emotional support animals. However, you should ensure that your emotional support dog is well suited for apartment life – for example, herding dogs are not likely to adapt well to being confined in a small living space.
FAQs About Getting An Emotional Support Animal Letter Online
Is It Hard To Get An ESA Letter?
It is not difficult to get an ESA letter. By choosing an online ESA letter provider, you can take part in the mental health consultation from the comfort of your home. If your therapist agrees to your need for an ESA, they will issue you with official documentation that you can use for housing purposes.
Can I Use My ESA Letter When I Move Into My Apartment?
Before moving into your apartment, get in touch with your landlord about your plan to live with your ESA. Although federal law prohibits housing providers from discriminating against people with disabilities (including mental illness), you will almost certainly need to present a legitimate ESA letter to demonstrate your clinical need for an ESA.
Can I Get An ESA in Any State?
You have the right to own an emotional support dog in any state. As long as your ESA letter is signed by a mental health professional licensed to practice in your state, it should be valid wherever you want to live.