Licensed Mental Health Professional, Prairie Conlon, talks about ESA’s in Restaurants

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Licensed Mental Health Professional

A great part of having an emotional support animal (ESA) is that they can fly and live in rented accommodation with you. But are emotional support animals allowed in restaurants and other public places? Can ESA owners grab a bite to eat with their faithful companion animals by their side?

Our Clinical Director and Licensed Mental Health Professional, Prairie Conlon, took the discussion to Instagram. Didn’t catch it? No worries, we’ve got you covered!

When Are Emotional Support Animals Allowed in Restaurants?

When going out with a service dog, you may access all public establishments. But it’s a different story when it comes to ESAs. The question remains — are emotional support animals allowed in restaurants?

The short answer to that is: it depends. ESAs can only go into public establishments that have a pet-friendly policy. If the restaurant you’re dying to go to allows pets, your ESA can go in. If it doesn’t, then your cute pooch will need to stay home.  You can always call ahead and check with the establishment’s owner if they can make an exception for you! Make sure you explain your situation and hope for the best.

Check out Prairie’s take on this!

Why Service Animals are Legally Allowed in Restaurants and ESAs are Not

This is because service animal laws are different from ESA laws. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) covers service dogs (and the occasional miniature horses). This law allows them to go into all public establishments while the dog is on duty. But this isn’t the end of your dreamy lunch-or-dinnertime escapades with your ESA! There are plenty of pet-friendly public restaurants in the United States. A quick Facebook or Google search will give you a list of pet-friendly restaurants near you.


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