Emotional Companion Dog- An Owner’s Guide

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Emotional companion dog


An Emotional Companion Dog is an emotional support animal which is prescribed by a licensed mental health professional to help with an individual suffering from depression or a panic disorder, along with many other disabilities. This is different than a service dog or a therapy dog which need extensive training. A dog does not need specific training to become an emotional support animal, as most dog owners know since they are commonly known as “man’s best friend”.

What is an Emotional Support Animal?

An emotional support animal, often called an ESA, is an animal that alleviates the emotional or psychological symptoms associated with a owners condition or disorder. The animal does not need to be trained to perform a disability-specific task and performs its function simply by providing companionship or emotional support. While people use many different animals as ESA’s, dogs are typically the preferred animal due to the companionship and loyalty to their owners.

Can my dog become an emotional companion dog?

Of course they can! All that’s needed is a prescription from a licensed medical professional and your emotional companion dog will become an emotional support animal – it’s that simple. You can start by taking certapet’s easy 5 minute survey. By doing so, you can see if you will be a good candidate for an emotional support animal. If you qualify you will be set up with a friendly board certified mental health professional and you can receive your ESA letter via email with a hard copy being sent directly to you in a few business days.

What disabilities qualify me to have an Emotional Support Animal?

Emotional Support Animals help with a variety of conditions. Studies have shown they can help with depression, panic disorders, post partum depression, anxiety or phobias and fears and even post-traumatic stress disorder. Having an emotional companion dog can greatly lessen these and many more disabilities. Talking with a licensed medical professional is a great way to tell a doctor what your disabilities are, and seeing if an ESA is the best course of action for you. You’ll be well on your way to getting the help you need and deserve.

What legal protections do I have with an ESA?

The federally outlined legal protections for an Emotional Support Animal are 1) to fly with their emotionally or psychologically disabled owner in the cabin of an aircraft (which is covered in the Air Carrier Access Act of 1986) and 2) to qualify for no-pet housing (which is covered in the Fair Housing Act of 1968). You’ll also need to be prepared to present a letter to airlines and property managers from a licensed mental health professional stating that you are emotionally disabled and that he/she prescribes for you an emotional support animal. Be weary of sites making you pay for an ESA letter without coordinating with a mental health professional, as these are usually scams.


See If You Qualify for an Emotional Support Animal


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