Emotional Support Animals in San Jose, CA

By: Kathryn Anderson Updated: September 14, 2021

With over 61.5 million Americans suffering from some form of psychological distress, more and more treatments for these conditions are being introduced into society. But because most pharmaceuticals can cause serious side effects, many sufferers prefer treatments with minimal risks. That’s why emotional support animals are becoming a popular choice.

These pets work to provide their owners with therapeutic relief to help manage their condition and improve overall mental health. ESAs are highly effective at what they do, but owning one isn’t quite as easy as just getting a companion pet. Find out everything you need to know about getting and owning an ESA in San Jose, CA by reading through this comprehensive guide.

What is an Emotional Support Animal?

Emotional support animals are pets that fulfill the role of providing their owners with therapeutic relief for a variety of mental health issues. For instance, an ESA can help a person suffering from depression overcome an episode and maintain stable mental wellbeing.

Unlike service animals, ESAs don’t answer for a disability or limitation such as vision, physical mobility, or hearing, but are rather simply there to make sure their owners are in good psychological standing.

In San Jose, CA, ESAs are becoming more and more popular as the treatment of choice for a lot of individuals with mental health issues. However because these pets are hard to come by, they’re not always that easy to own. In fact, there are a lot of steps you may need to take before you can get your own emotional support animal in San Jose, CA to guarantee that you need one and that the animal will serve a worthy purpose in your care.

Laws Governing the Ownership of Emotional Support Animals in San Jose, CA

Just as there are laws overseeing the ownership of any type of house pet, there are specific laws for the ownership of ESAs as well. In San Jose, CA, these can be categorized into three major subcategories.

1-Travel Laws

The Air Carrier Access Act prohibits any airline from denying flights to individuals with disabilities and their ESAs. While it is very possible to get your ESA on a flight with you, there are certain procedures you need to observe to get clearance.

The most commonly required document for flights is a letter from a licensed health care professional validating the need for an ESA. The letter shouldn’t be over a year old, and the health care professional should be qualified to provide advice regarding your mental health condition.

2-Housing Laws

Landlords are not allowed to deny accommodation to individuals with ESAs. However, they can request some documents from the potential renter before granting a contract. This includes requesting documentation of the individual’s condition and verifying that the ESA is in fact a necessary part of the treatment process.

3-Employment Laws

Employers are not allowed to reject applicants or discriminate against employees for their emotional support animals. In fact, employers are even required to accommodate ESAs in their office even if they aren’t necessarily open to the entry of pets.

Certain exceptions to the rules however can make it legal for airlines, landlords, and employers to deny access, accommodation, or employment to individuals with ESAs. In rare cases when the animals pose a threat to the structure or to the others in the area (such as passengers, tenants, and other employees), the individual with an ESA may then be rejected.

How to Get an Emotional Support Animal in San Jose, CA

There are certain procedures that need to be completed in order to get an emotional support animal. Organizations like Certapet, however, can help make the entire process faster and easier so you can get your emotional support animal sooner.

A CertaPet letter first takes a 5-minute online pre-screening to help determine whether you truly need an ESA. Once that part of the process is completed, CertaPet can then provide you a letter that recognizes that you are a patient under a qualified and licensed mental health care professional and that you can benefit from owning an ESA. The document comes with a prescription for an emotional support animal to help you acquire one easily and legally.

The entire process is compliant with the HIPAA and all laws overseeing emotional support animals, and meets requirements of the Americans with Disabilities act.

Where to Take Your Emotional Support Animal in San Jose, CA

1-Dog Parks

The Roy M. Butcher Dog Park is one of the best maintained parks in the city for emotional support dogs. Offering wide open spaces, separated big and small dog areas, and pristine play areas, it’s a great place to meet new pups and friends.

Another great choice would be Watson Park, a spacious, cool, and clean dog park that offers lots of free fields where your pup can run and have fun while you relax in the shaded breeze.


Naglee Park Garage is a top-rated pet-friendly restaurant in San Jose, known for its casual ambiance and hearty selection. The restaurant offers a variety of dishes that are guaranteed to satisfy both you and your hungry pup.

If you’re in the mood for something a little fancier, the Vintage Wine Bar offers a cozy, classy, and picturesque ambiance, coupled with fine wines and delectable dishes that you’re not likely to find anywhere else in the city.


Travelers on a budget will love Motel 6 San Jose South – a quaint motorist hotel that accommodates pets without any extra fees or charges. The rooms are clean, spacious, and comfortable, making the perfect retreat after a long day out with your beloved pooch.

If you’re willing to splurge a little more, the Fairmont San Jose might just be the perfect hotel for you. Big, clean, spacious luxury rooms with state-of-the-art amenities await you and your pup which they can welcome into the hotel with a minimal extra fee.

4-Events and Activities

Bark in the Park is the biggest pet event in San Jose, offering a wide array of activities, games, and prizes to be won for anyone who comes and joins in on the fun. The dog festival is free-for-all, but a donation of $5 for each dog at the event is encouraged.

There’s more to owning an ESA in San Jose, CA than meets the eye. Make sure you know all the ins and outs of having a trusty emotional support animal by your side to help you get the most out of your pet ownership experience.

Do you Qualify for an ESA? Find Out in 5 Minutes

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