February 25, 2019

The Myth Behind Emotional Support Animal Registration in Canada

Reading Time: 3 minutes

With so many companies selling an emotional support animal registration in Canada, it can be easy to fall into a trap. Luckily for you, in this article, we’ll go over what documents you need to get to own an ESA and which ones are just frauds.

Why There’s No Such Thing on to Register Emotional Support Animal: Canada Style!

The so-called emotional support animal registration AND certification in Canada does not exist. No law requires you to register your ESA or to get them certified! Companies trying to sell you an emotional support animal certification in Canada are fraudulent.

All you need to get an emotional support animal in Canada is an emotional support letter. This letter is issued by a licensed mental health professional. All the information it contains is about you as the owner and why you need one.

The Difference Between Service Animals and ESAs Explained!

Service dogs and ESAs are not the same things. They’re not even protected by the same laws.

A service animal helps physically disabled people with their day-to-day activities. They are trained to perform specific tasks for their owners. Think of seeing-eye dogs or dogs that help people bound to wheelchairs.

An emotional support animal provides comfort for their owner. Their role is to keep people company and reduce their anxiety levels, for example. While they’re still just as needed by their owners, they are not considered service animals!

Emotional Support Animal Letter Canada Is All You Need

Getting an ESA is not hard to get if you genuinely need one. All you need is an emotional support letter. This letter is written by a licensed mental health professional who can practice in your state. It states that you have an emotional or mental disorder and that you’d benefit from having an ESA with you.

It’s very important to know that this letter is written to you — not to your ESA. Therefore, there’s no need for an emotional support animal registration in Canada.

CertaPet is here to make this process even easier. We handle all the paperwork and logistics so you don’t need to worry about anything. The first step to get your cuddle buddy is to take our simple 5-minute screening test. If you qualify, we’ll put you in touch with a licensed mental health professional. Easy!

Disclaimer: CertaPet’s LMHPs do not issue ESA letters for Canadians at this time, but later in 2019, we will have qualified therapists in multiple Canadian provinces who specialize in treatment planning and emotional support animals.

Service Dog Certification vs Getting a Legitimate Emotional Support Animal

Do you want to live with your ESA? How about travel by plane with them? If you do, you have to have a valid emotional support letter!

No emotional support animal certification in Canada has legal value. This means that showing it to an airline or to your landlord does absolutely nothing! Not having a legitimate letter means you’re not covered by any ESA Canadian law…

Emotional Support Animal Canada Laws Every Canadian Needs to Be Aware Of!

Remember how we said only emotional support letters grant you legal protection? It’s true! If you have a valid letter, then the federal and province-based ESA laws will apply to you.

The first law you need to know is the federal Air Transportation Regulations. According to this law, your ESA can travel with you in the cabin — free of charge! This applies to all domestic flights and to some international flights. Before traveling abroad, though, check their ESA policies and whether or not they let animals into their country.

The second law you need to know regulates housing. You are allowed to live with your ESA in rented properties, even if they have a no-pets policy. Each province has its own law — so look up the one that protects you! All these housing laws have one thing in common: they force your landlord to provide reasonable accommodation for you and your ESA. And the best part? You won’t be charged a pet fee!

Misrepresenting an Assistance Animal in Canada: The Penalties of Fake Services Dogs and ESAs!

If you are caught misrepresenting an assistance animal in Canada, you will have to pay a fine. How much you pay varies from province to province. In Quebec, for example, you could be “liable to a fine of not more than $1,400 in the case of a natural person, or a fine of not more than $7,000 in the case of a legal person.” [resource: Assistance Dogs International Organtization]

Getting an ESA the legal way isn’t as complicated as you are probably thinking. Avoid all emotional support animal registration in Canada and focus on getting a valid ESA letter!

5 Facts You Need to Know About ESA Certification in Canada

The best way to avoid getting scammed is to know all there is to know about ESAs. Read these five crucial facts you need to know to protect yourself against frauds!

  1. Run from all companies selling an emotional support animal certification in Canada. They’re frauds!
  2. The only way to get an ESA legally is to get an emotional support letter.
  3. Only licensed mental health professionals can issue these letters.
  4. Emotional support animals do not need to be trained.
  5. Due to health concerns and safety, most people get an emotional support dog or cat.

Emotional Support Animal Letter Canada: The First Step to Getting an ESA Letter is to Contact a LMHP

If you have a mental or emotional disability and live in Canada, consider an ESA.

Thousands and thousands can attest to their new lives as emotional support animal owners and the kind of impact these furry friends have. Through the good and through the bad, ESAs do not leave your side and provide you with the love, care, and, you guessed it, support you might need.

emotional support dog in canada apartment

Common Questions on Emotional Support Animal Registration Canada

Can I register dog as emotional support animal in Canada?

A company is asking me to pay for an emotional support animal certification in Canada. Should I buy it?

All product and Company names are Trademarks™ or Registered® trademarks of their respective holders.

Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase CertaPet.com may earn a commission. Keep in mind that we link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission we receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.