How to Certify Your Emotional Support Dog

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How to Certify Your Emotional Support Dog

How to Certify Your Emotional Support Dog

To certify your emotional support dog, you have to get an ESA letter from a therapist you’re seeking treatment from or a licensed mental health professional. If you’re new to the treatment, you can discuss how an emotional support animal has helped you deal with the mental health problems and request the doctor to write you an ESA letter. For patients who have an ongoing treatment plan can also get an ESA letter depending upon the doctor’s discretion.

The only exception, in this case, is that terms such as 'how to certify your emotional support dog' are used interchangeably with 'ESA letters.' However, there’s no such thing as ESA certification. All you have to do is get an ESA letter from a psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist, counselor, or a mental health professional. Moreover, if you have a qualifying condition, and you believe that your pet helps alleviate the symptoms associated with depression and anxiety, it’s best to talk to your doctor and determine a proper treatment plan.

So, if you wish to get an ESA letter for your emotional support dog, either get an appointment online or simply visit a physical clinic. At MyESADoctor, we have a team of licensed physicians who can help you get an ESA letter. All you have to do is fill a form online, talk to the doctor over a HIPAA-compliant telemedicine platform, and get an ESA letter via email, upon qualification.

An Emotional Support Dog or ESD is a pet or animal prescribed by an authorized therapist to provide a therapeutic health benefit to those suffering from emotional or mental health issues. No registration or licensing of an emotional support dog is required. You just need an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) letter written by a licensed mental health doctor on their letterhead stating that you have an emotional or mental disability and that the emotional support dog is vital to your well-being. Any dog could be an emotional support dog. No specialized training is needed for them. The only distinction between your emotional support dog and a pet is an ESA letter from the prescribing licensed mental health doctor. Emotional support dogs are not obligated to be certified, but owners choose to certify and carry an ID for their emotional support dog and let the dog wear an Emotional Support Animal vest or harness because it makes going out with their emotional support dog easier.

If you have emotional or mental disabilities, you can qualify for an emotional support dog certification. You may be eligible for an ESA dog certification if you suffer from one or more of the mental health concerns listed below.

  • Anxiety
  • General Anxiety Disorder
  • Depression
  • PTSD
  • Stress-Induced Situations
  • Social Shyness
  • Aerophobia (the fear of flying)
  • Agoraphobia (the fear of leaving home)

The American Disability Act (ADA) states that no individual must be discriminated on the grounds of disability. A licensed mental health doctor can help determine whether you have a qualifying condition for an emotional support dog assistance or not.

In shelters and rescues, or from a legitimate breeder, you can find emotional support dogs. Before or after you get a dog, you can get your ESA letter. No specific training is required for an emotional support dog. ESD must be under your control and consistently well-behaved and cannot cause aggravation or harm at home or in public places.

An ESA letter is generally referred to as an Emotional Support Dog Certificate. You need an ESA letter from a mental health specialist or doctor recommending that you need an animal to help you emotionally.

Steps on How to Certify an Emotional Support Dog:

  • Fill a pre-qulaification form
  • Talk to a licensed mental health professional
  • Upon qualification, receive an ESA letter via email

An emotional support animal letter must include:

  • Written on the letterhead of your authorized mental health doctor
  • The license number of the licensed mental health doctor
  • Signature and date of the licensed mental health doctor
  • Note: The ESA letter is valid for one year only.

Having an ESA letter will guarantee that you will be able to gain eligibility under the Fair Housing Act without paying extra emotional support dog fees. You can search for a local specialist in your area when getting a dog certified as an emotional support animal or go online to a website such as

Your emotional support dog doesn’t need to be “certified” or carry an “emotional support dog certification.” The only requirement is an ESA letter from your licensed mental health professional stating your emotional support dog provides you necessary companionship during times of need.

It can be an exhausting experience to deal with the process of getting an ESA dog certification on your own. We want to assist you by providing you the information, resources, and items you need to secure and provide for your emotional support dog.

Rights Of Emotional Support Dogs Vs. Service Dogs

While emotional support dogs provide therapeutic support, they are not service dogs and do not have the same rights. While a service dog, like a guide dog, is generally permitted wherever the public is allowed, emotional support dogs are not. So they cannot accompany their owners into restaurants or shopping malls, for example, due to the lack of appropriate training and certifying for emotional support dogs, they don’t have as many entitlements under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). However, they do have some rights, including:

Fair Housing Act (FHA) – According to this act, it is permissible for a person with emotional support animals to have them in their homes irrespective of whether there is currently no pet rule. Emotional Support Animals are protected, and property supervisors are required without discrimination to let that person with emotional support animal rent on their property

You can search for a local specialist in your area when getting a dog certified as an emotional support animal or go online to a website such as My ESA Doctor.

Rights Of Emotional Support Dogs Vs. Service Dogs



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