A 3-step guide to certifying your emotional support dog

The constant lifestyle changes and the increasing number of stressors have caused mental health problems to become prevalent in recent times. Having a pet can be extremely helpful to comfort and support you through difficult times. And if you are already a dog parent, you can check out how to register them as your emotional support animal.

Emotional support animals are different from service/therapy animals. While they are don’t have the same rights or therapy training as service dogs do, certain factors set them apart from regular pets. Here’s how to register a dog as an emotional support animal:

1. Approach a certified mental health provider
When requesting Emotional Support Animal (ESA) rights for your dog, it is important to remember that there is no official registration database for ESAs. Instead, you require a recommendation letter from a certified mental health professional. You can get this letter from your own mental health provider or make an appointment with one. You can also apply through a reliable online ESA letter service like Emotional Pet Support, ESA Doctors, or CertaPet to register a dog as a support animal.

2. Choose the right type of ESA letter
Different types of ESA letters are given to a pet owner depending upon their needs. A certified ESA letter for housing will allow you to reside with your ESA even in no-pets accommodation. A travel confirmation makes your pet eligible to travel with you in the cabin without additional charges for airlines that accept ESAs. In these cases, the animal must fulfill the airline’s requirements for pets, so it is better to check with your airline about their ESA programs before traveling. You can also choose to get a house and travel combo ESA letter to meet both needs.

3. Receive an ESA Letter
The ESA letter that you receive must follow certain guidelines to be accepted everywhere. It must be written on a letterhead provided by a licensed mental health professional and must display their license number, signature, and date of issue. An ESA letter should also not be older than a year. It should also mention your need for an ESA, prescribing an emotional support dog or cat as necessary for your mental health and well-being.