Mental health

Everything you need to know about Emotional Support Animals

If you have a qualifying mental condition and your pet helps you cope with the symptoms, they may qualify as an emotional support animal. Emotional support animals are a great tool for those with certain psychological disorders. They naturally help reduce stress and anxiety, which is beneficial for many conditions. Find out everything you need to know about emotional support animals.

What is an ESA

An emotional support animal is a pet that provides therapeutic benefit to their owner who has a qualifying mental condition like anxiety or depression. Emotional support animals improve the mental health and well being of their owners. Legally an animal can become an emotional support animal, but many therapists and other licensed mental health professionals only recognize the psychological benefits of dogs and cats.

ESA Lawsom

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, is a civil right’s law that aims to prevent discrimination against those with disabilities in all areas of public life, including spaces open to the general public. The ADA has two laws regarding emotional support animals, the Air Carrier Access Act and the Fair Housing Act.

Air Carrier Access Act

The Air Carrier Access Act allows emotional support animals to fly with their owners. They can sit in their owner’s lap or in the area in front of their seat. ESAS do not need to be in a carrier and the airline cannot charge a pet fee. Emotional support animals must be well behaved and not disturb other passengers. Many airlines are changing their policies regarding animal travel, including ESAs, and only allowing dogs and cats in the air cabin. Emotional support animal

Fair Housing Act

The Fair Housing Act prevents landlords from denying tenant housing because they have an emotional support animal and the housing complex does not allow pets. Landlords must provide reasonable accommodation to the disabled tenants. They can not charge a pet fee or pet deposit, but the tenant must pay for any damages caused by the emotional support animal.

ESA vs. Service Dog

Emotional support animals are not service dogs. Service dogs are highly trained to perform tasks for their disabled owner and must get certifications as a service animal. Service animals are allowed to accompany their owners into any area open to the general public, like restaurants and grocery stores, but emotional support animals are not. All you need to get an emotional support animal is a letter from a licensed mental health professional.
Emotional support animals help those with specific psychological disorders deal with the symptoms of their condition. Any animal can become an emotional support animal. There is no training needed. ESAs are allowed to live in housing that does not allow pets and fly with their owners. If you think you have a qualifying mental condition and your pet helps you, take the Certapet 5-Minute Pre-Screening to connect with a licensed mental health professional practicing in your area. ESAs are essential for improving the mental health and well being of those with mental disabilities.

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