ESA Austin: An Owners Guide To The City

By: Kathryn Anderson Updated: September 14, 2021

ESA Austin

Austin, Texas is one of America’s fastest growing cities. It is a city with multiple parks and animal-friendly businesses. All of this makes Austin a wonderful city for pets, which makes it a great place to have emotional support animals (ESAs). An emotional support animal is an animal that provides a therapeutic benefit to its owner through companionship.

The animal provides emotional support and comfort to individuals with psychiatric disabilities and other mental impairments. The animal is not specifically trained to perform tasks for a person who suffers from emotional disabilities. Unlike a service animal, an emotional support animal is not necessarily granted access to places of public accommodation but does have protections and laws of its own.

ESA Austin- Top Dog Parks

Only by having a letter or prescription from a licensed medical professional, will you be covered legally under the Fair Housing Act.

This letter will also work for up to one year for flying with your emotional support animal under The Air Carrier Access Act.

The Austin Parks and Recreation Department operates 12 off-leash areas in the city for you to enjoy with your dog. In general, all parks are open for public use each day from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. unless otherwise posted. Most of the parks in Austin are conveniently located within a 15-minute walk of downtown.

CertaPet‘s favorites include Zilker Park on Barton Springs Rd, Shoal Creek Greenbelt on Lamar Blvd, and West Austin Park on W 10th St.

The city of Austin does have ordinances that visitors should be aware of.

  • Rabies vaccinations are required for all dogs, as is required by State Law
  • Owners/handlers must clean up after their dogs and deposit waste into a trash can
  • Aggressive dogs must be removed from public spaces immediately
  • Dogs must be within sight and sound control of Owners/handlers at all times
  • Dogs in heat are not allowed in off-leash areas

ESA Austin- Top Dog-Friendly Restaurants and Bars

If you’re in Austin with your ESA, you might wonder “what restaurants and bars might be dog-friendly?” Well have no fear, Austin has over 170 restaurants that welcome emotional support dogs to their establishment.

Kerbey Lane Café is one of Austin’s most famous restaurants and is extremely dog-friendly. Located on Kerbey Ln Drive, its massive outdoor patio makes it an ideal place to bring your four-legged friend for a bite to eat. Mozart’s Coffee Roasters on Lake Austin Blvd is also a well known dog-friendly establishment.

Mozart’s patio offers breathtaking views of Lake Travis to go along with their gourmet coffee. Another Austin hot spot is Cedar Door Patio Bar & Grill. Located in the heart of downtown on Brazos Street, Cedar offers a great beer selection and mixed drink menu along with all your traditional favorite bar foods.

Most importantly, Cedar is dog-friendly, which makes it an ideal place for those visiting with their emotional support animal.

person and dog in park ESA Austin

ESA Austin- Final Thoughts

A person may wonder where to start the process of getting an ESA.

They can start by taking CertaPet’s simple 5-minute survey to see if you would be a good candidate. If you are considered a good candidate, we can connect you with a licensed medical or mental health professional who will determine if an emotional support animal is best for you.

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