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Emotional Support Animal FAQ

Emotional Support Animal FAQ

emotional support animal questions

When it comes to emotional support animals, or “ESA’s” -there’s no shortage of questions to ask, or misinformation to wade through. Here, we’ll attempt to answer the most frequently asked questions and to clear up the most common misconceptions concerning emotional support animals. If you still have any unanswered questions after reading the articles below, please send them to [email protected] and we’ll be sure to add them to our list.

What is an Emotional Support Animal?

An emotional support animal (ESA) is a pet that provides companionship to a person who suffers from symptoms of a mental or emotional disability. Learn more here.

How to get an Emotional Support Animal?

In order to qualify for an emotional support animal, you need a letter from a licensed mental health professional which outlines your need for the animal. Getting an emotional support animal letter used to be tedious but CertaPet has streamlined the entire process. Moreover, CertaPet is the only HIPPA Compliant website that can give you a certified ESA letter. Learn more here.

How to get an Emotional Support Dog?

Dogs are often preferred over other animals to serve as ESAs by both therapists and patients. If you are thinking about getting an emotional support dog letter and have specific questions, this article should be able to answer them. Learn more here.

What are the benefits of having an Emotional Support Animal?

Having an ESA comes with many benefits, such as being able to live with and even fly with your animal on commercial airlines free of charge. Learn more here.

Does my ESA need an Emotional Support Animal Vest?

A person who is assisted by an emotional support animal must have a properly formatted letter from a licensed mental health professional.

That’s all.

The ESA letter must state that the animal’s handler has an emotional or mental disability identified in the DSM V, and that the animal helps mitigate specific symptoms of the handler’s disability.

The letter is all that is required.

To reiterate however, an ESA vest made of a brightly-colored fabric, such as red or orange will help identify your pet as an emotional support animal.

Learn more here.

What is the Americans with Disabilities Act?

The Americans with Disabilities Act does not specifically address emotional support animals and primarily addresses Service Animals. Learn more here.

What is the Fair Housing Act?

Emotional support animals are protected under the Fair Housing Act, which prevents landlords from discriminating against people with disabilities. Learn more here.

What is Air Carrier Access Act?

The Air Carrier Access Act protects owners of emotional support animals from discrimination by commercial airlines, and allows them to bring their ESA’s in the cabin of the aircraft free of charge, even if the airline does not normally allow pets. Learn more here.

Should I use an Emotional Support Animal Registration Service?

There are plenty of websites who claim to ‘register’ of ‘certify’ your emotional support animal. Should you use such a service? Find the detailed answer in this article. Learn more here.

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219 Comments on "Emotional Support Animal FAQ"

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I wanted to change my payment option. I see that it costs $20 to make some changes on your ESA letter and I don’t mind it, but I want to use a different card. Thank you.


As an ESA will my dog be aloud in public such as stores and school?


Okay I suffer from anxiety and I am considering an emotional support animal but I was wondering could I have my animal go through training as a service dog would for my sake so it would cause me less stress? Or are we not allowed to send an ESA through training at all?



Do your mental health professionals provide signatures for additional documentation that is required by airlines. For example, American Airlines requires an additional document for ESA animals to fly on their aircrafts. I have included a link to their site which contains an additional document.




Has this service worked for everyone? I am afraid I wont get the letter after being assessed. I am a college student far from home and having a companion during school stress and being away from my comfort zone would really help a lot, but that isn’t exactly a medical illness is it? This is what I am afraid of I already have a precious little girl and don’t want to have to find her a new home because of our dorm rules.

Seiarrah Johnson

I got approved 2 days ago and recieved my digital copy. How long does it take for you to receive the physical copy in the mail?


I can’t seem to find the chat feature. I’m trying to find out if there is any way to get a same-day cert. I’m leaving town for the holiday weekend tomorrow and have a dog sitter coming, but was just notified today that my neighbor (whom is crazy lunatic that hates dogs) has contacted my property manager and notified her that I have a dog– and my property manager has asked the dog be removed from the premises within 3 days.

Denise Duzick

Is it possible to get a letter by next Friday if I qualify?


Is it possible to get a letter by next Friday if I qualify?


Do you have to be a California resident to use Certapet?


I have a psychiatrist that believes I would benefit from an ESA. However she is unclear on how to proceed from there. Such as the requirements for a letter, etc. Can you give me some information that will make those more clear?


Hey, I´m from Germany, can I get the registration too?


Can a regular doctor prescribe an ESA?

Keith bergstein

Is a vest and I’d card included in the cost? This is Saturday I need this done by Saturday of next week. I’m flying next Sunday, can you get me 2 vest and letters before next Sunday?

Kayla Melton

How long does it typically take for a therapist to take my request?


Need explanation of what to get asap see counselor on. Wed. Need to turn into apt soon for my service Cat. ! Thanks. Oh don’t have 200.00 to spend on a form to fill out or a letter to wait on for a year ? I am on A S S D I that means I am poor , And this will help
Me many ways to keep my life saver Cat !:). D L


Hi there,
I am in need of an ESA letter for my apartment complex. The office tells me that if I give them the letter they will send it off to corporate and then corporate makes the final approval as to whether or not I can have an ESA living in my apartment. What happens if I purchase your service and then the corporate office says well no we won’t accept this letter? Thank you!

Hello there. My name is Evan Beck and I used your service for a housing esa letter back in January. (you were kind enough to provide me with a 10% off coupon at that time). I now have a need for an esa letter so that I may fly with my pet. I dealt with Julie Martinez before and I emailed her regarding my request but did not hear back. I was happy with certapet and the service I received but am very price sensitive due to some financial challenges I have lately. I found a competing service that can… Read more »
Margaret E Morgan

How much do you charge?

Also I have two pets, two cats, that I want to travel with me. Can you issue one letter with both animals mentioned?

How long is the letter good for?

PAtricia Pastore

Is there an expiration on the certificate?

Jeffrey lim

Hi much is this service and is there a expiration for the cert.