Get your dog an Emotional Support Animal Certification

Emotional Support Animal Certification

We all can struggle with a loss,  a process that stresses you too much, and the emotional support of a pet can make a difference. Learn how to get your dog an Emotional Support Animal Certification – ESA.

An Emotional Support Animal Certification is a document that is issued by a licensed mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist, who is responsible for your mental or emotional health.

First of all, let’s be clear: There is no such thing as a certificate or a certification program that officially qualifies a dog as an emotional support animal under law, but if a licensed mental health professional certifies that the presence of a loving dog can help someone to overcome from a mental illness it is possible to get a certification.

If you are about to take a trip, but you are going through a difficult time, you are depressed or you feel insecure in some situations (such as flying by plane); having the emotional support of a pet can make a difference.

What is an emotional support animal?

Although the term is generally attributed mainly to dogs, an emotional support animal is any type of animal that brings comfort to its owners in overwhelming moment or any other situation that stresses them.

So a support animal could be: a pig, a cat, a parakeet or even a rabbit.

However, when it comes to travel, it is more common to see dogs or even cats as emotional support animals.

Dog on a plane as emotional support animal

Does my pet need to have any special training in order to have a certificate of emotional support?

This question is very common among travelers who require emotional support, the answer is that there is NO special training for this type of animal.

However they do need to have basic training to obey their owner, since the intention is that they are by your side at all times during the trip and are not a source of stress.

So an animal used as emotional support cannot be barking all the time, pee and poop, chasing it all over the place, or even biting other passengers.

Steps to get your dog an Emotional Support Animal Certification

  1. Recognize your need for an ESA
  2. Connect with a licensed therapist/doctor
  3. Demonstrate your need for an ESA
  4. Get your document(s)
  5. That’s it. No need to register your dog.

Note: however, that sometimes landlords and airlines may require additional forms regarding your ESD to be submitted in addition to the ESA letter.

Source: ESA Doctors

This document must be issued by a mental health specialist, be it a psychiatrist or psychologist who is treating you.

Therefore, if you plan to travel soon, it is necessary that in your next consultation you request the issuance of the certificate.

Some airlines require a special form to be filled out, as well as its submission on dates prior to the flight. Your certificate should not be more than one year old by the time you travel.

The document issued by the professional must contain the data that endorses him as a specialist in the field, as well as the data of the patient and the pet.

The certificate must indicate that you are under treatment from a mental health professional and that you require your pet for emotional support to travel.

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