Getting an Emotional Support Animal in New Hampshire

By: Kathryn Anderson Updated: September 16, 2021

emotional support animal in new hampshireGetting an Emotional Support Animal in New Hampshire has never been easier! Americans with disabilities suffering from the likes of anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder are making incredible recoveries with the help of assistance animals.

The benefits of pet relief and owning an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) is becoming well recognized in all states across America, and New Hampshire is following suit.

Emotional Support Animal in New Hampshire: Specific Protection

Getting an ESA in New Hampshire is much like other states. Although both ESA and service animals are protected by the ADA, there are many laws that apply only to service dogs.

This means ESAs have more limitations in public places. However, there are local New Hampshire and federal laws preventing discrimination of ESAs in travel and housing. It is important to familiarize yourself with the laws owning ESAs in New Hampshire as they can vary from state to state!

Definition of an Assistance Animal

In the state of New Hampshire, an assistance animal includes both service animals and ESAs. The confusion arises in the difference between a service animal a therapy animal and an ESA. It is, however, important we know the differences between the two and their significance in New Hampshire!

The purpose of therapy animals is to provide a form of pet relief and comfort for many people. They are usually not owned by any one person so not assistance animals and will often be requested in hospitals on a case-by-case basis.

Close up of service dog with a blind person lying on grass in New Hampshire

Defined in the ADA, a service animal is any service dog that has undergone specialized training to do work and perform trained tasks for the benefits of the owner with a disability. This includes the likes of a guide dog for the visually impaired or seizure alert dogs for medical attention.

However, ESAs do not need to undergo any specialized training, in fact, what qualifies them as an ESA is their ability to provide comfort and security for an individual suffering from a mental disability.

How to get an Emotional Support Animal in the State of New Hampshire: CertaPet’s Simple 5-Minute Process

Close-up of an emotional support dog in New Hampshire

Getting an emotional support animal in New Hampshire is actually easy! CertaPet can have you on your way in 5 minutes. Start with these easy to follow guidelines.

  1. Complete a free online 5-minute screening process.
  2. Get connected online with an LMHP.
  3. Upon approval, you will receive an ESA letter from CertaPet in less than 48 hours.

CertaPet makes the process seem effortless, all we need is your cooperation!

Travel Laws (ACAA – Air Carrier Access Act)

Restriction from some public places with an ESA is expected, but the airplane cabin is not one of them! That’s right, thanks to the ACAA, discrimination during air travel is nothing to worry about.

This is also all at no extra cost! The airline cannot charge you for your ESA nor is it legally allowed to restrict an owner from the company of their ESA. This means your ESA can come with you from customs right through to baggage claim!

Although the airline is not allowed to ask any questions regarding the disability, they are allowed to request documentation and you would be expected to follow standard regulations. These may include:

  • A verification emotional support animal letter (from an LMHP) prescribing the animal as an ESA and the benefits it has for the particular mental/emotion disorder.
  • An explanation for how the animal provides emotional support.
  • The diagnoses must comply with the Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Employment Laws

According to the ADA, a service animal is allowed in most public areas, including workplaces. This protects those individuals from discrimination when entering the workforce. Unfortunately,  ESAs are considered a lesser necessity compared with service animals and so do not benefit from many of these laws.

For this reason, it is important to always ask your employer before bringing your animal into the workplace, as they are not legally required to let you. But some workplaces love the company of animals so make sure to try your luck!

Housing Laws (FHA – Fair Housing Act)

Getting an Emotional Support Animal in New Hampshire? Not sure if you can have an ESA in ‘not pet’ housing?

You sure can! The Fair Housing Act and New Hampshire Human Rights laws (RSA 354-A)protects the rights of individuals with disabilities to have an ESA in reasonable accommodation, even if its a ‘no pet’

policy.  This primarily means landlords cannot deny housing, evict, or charge extra because of individuals need for an ESA. If you are someone requiring an ESA, most landlords will ask for a verification letter from an LMHP stating your need for an ESA (CertaPet can help with this).

So it is crucial you have this at hand when looking for accommodation! In some rare cases, there are some exceptions where the landlord can deny you accommodation. I’ve brought to light some of the more important ones in New Hampshire.

  • Few types of housing (owner-occupied housing with less than three units).
  • If the ESA is disruptive or threatening to other tenants the landlord may be able to refuse to allow the animal on the property.
  • If the ESA is causing damage to the property, you would be expected to pay for damages and it may allow the landlord to refuse your ESA onto the property.

Luckily most ESAs are well-behaved and easy company!

ESA Campus Living

Getting an emotional support animal in New Hampshire will not be an obstacle if you’re considering campus living either! This is because the FHA includes all public accommodation, so regardless of where you decide to study in New Hampshire, the FHA prevents the discrimination of those individuals with ESAs.

ESA dog lying down on a table in classroom in a campus in New Hampshire

However, it is important to not become confused with the laws for the campus housing with service animals. Service animals can go into almost all parts of the university, including food areas and public building, but unfortunately, ESAs are restricted to certain parts of the living accommodation.

Exception to Rules

From the laws discussed above, there are a few exceptions specific to owning an emotional support animal in New Hampshire which are worth noting. Firstly, ESAs are not service animals and it is crucial to remember a lot of the laws surrounding service animals do not apply to ESAs.

If you happen to be traveling to a foreign country (or Hawaii) with an ESA, there may be specific restrictions and procedures in place and the airline may request to be given advanced notice. Though generally speaking, in New Hampshire it is not easy for exceptions to be made around the laws of ESAs.

Punishment for Misrepresentation of an Assistance Animal

In the state of New Hampshire, fraudulent misrepresentation or interference with a service animal could face violators with a simple misdemeanor. However, because ESAs do not fall into the same category as service animals, this law may not apply to ESAs.

Specific laws regarding the misrepresentation of ESAs in the state of New Hampshire is not explicitly stated, but in saying this, assuming there is no such penalty would be naive!

4 Facts You Need to Know Before Receiving Your ESA

  1. You don’t need to ‘register’ or have a ‘certificate’ for an ESA! there is no such document! ESAs do not have specialized training. The most official part of owning an ESA in New Hampshire is getting a verified letter from an LMHP! – this is where Certapet can help!
  2. Employers do not have to allow your ESA in the workplace.  But do ask, some are friendlier than others.
  3. The health benefits of owning an ESA are incredible for both physical and emotional well-being!
  4. Companion animals (pets) are different from ESAs, they do not benefit from the laws surrounding ESAs and instead, follow a simple pet policy.

Where to Find a Suitable ESA!

As ideal as it may sound, there is actually no special training involved to ‘make’ an ESA! Most Emotional Support Animals in New Hampshire can be found at animal shelters. If you already have a pet of your own that you’d like to make a designated ESA, you probably can!

If an LMHP believes that the animal brings you comfort, security and relieves your disability-related effects then you’re in luck! If you do not own a pet then there are non-profit animal shelters scattered in almost every major city of New Hampshire, most with a future emotional support dog waiting for you!

Where to Take your Emotional Support Animal in New Hampshire

Owning an Emotional Support Animal in New Hampshire isn’t all about rules and regulations! whether you’re into eating or exercising with your ESA, have a look at the few favorite places in New Hampshire.

Dog Parks and Dog Runs

In Portsmouth head to:

  • Janness beach
  •  Wells beach
  • South Mill Pond Dog park

In Derry:

  •  Dog park
  •  Mine Hills dog park

Dog-friendly Restaurants and Bars

Fancy a bite? in Portsmouth check out:

  • The District
  • Breaking New Grounds
If you’re in Derry:
  • Amphora
  • Panera Bread

Resorts, Fitness, and Spas

Portsmouth offers:

  • Hampton Inn Portsmouth
  • Hampton Inn

In Derry:

  • Derry Airbnb rentals
  • Econo Lodge Manchester


If exercising with your ESA sounds like you then you’re in luck! Annually in Derry, they have a New England Dog  5Km walk/run in June, so be sure to put that one in the calendar!

ESAs in New Hampshire: How to Get Connected with an LMHP Today!

ESAs have made life-changing differences in the lives of many suffering from mental/emotion disorders and CertaPet is working hard to give everyone their opportunity to experience this first hand.  Not sure if you qualify for an ESA? take our free online screening test now to find out!

Do you have a question about getting an Emotional Support Animal in New Hampshire? Let us know in the comments below.

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