Companion animals improve our mental health.
If you suffer from a mental health condition, having a companion animal for emotional support can be therapeutic. But you want to make sure your emotional support animal has the rights they are entitled to.
It’s important to register your companion as an emotional support animal. Keep reading for more on what you need to know about emotional support animal registration.
What is An Emotional Support Animal?
An emotional support animal (ESA) is not the same thing as a service animal. Emotional support animals are basically prescribed by a mental health professional to provide mental health benefits to a patient who suffers from mental illness. Mental health conditions that may be improved by companion animals include clinical depression, anxiety disorders, and panic disorder.
On the other hand, service animals have specific training that allows them to perform tasks for their handler. These include recognizing the signs of oncoming medical emergencies like seizures and alerting their handler or bringing them medication.
Service dogs have more rights than emotional support animals. There are no rules that say what species can be registered as emotional support animals.
How Do I Register My Emotional Support Pet?
It’s important to understand that there isn’t an official registration system for emotional support animals. Instead, what you need is an emotional support letter from a qualified mental health provider. Service pets ESA letters give you and your pet access to the many benefits of emotional support animal registration.
Emotional support pets aren’t required to wear any sort of identification that declares their status as a support companion.
We recommended vetting ESA letter providers before requesting a letter. There are a number of companies out there that have scammed pet parents by providing fake documents or certification letters.
What Rights Does My Pet Have?
Emotional support animals are covered under the Fair Housing Act (FHA). This means that if you rent, your landlord has to provide reasonable accommodations for you and your pet. Usually, if you have an emotional support animal letter, your landlord can’t charge pet rent or require a deposit for your companion animal.
Another common reason to certify your emotional support animal is so they can fly with you in the cabin on airplanes. This benefit is covered under the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA).
It’s worth noting that airlines have become increasingly picky about this. If you plan to travel with your companion, it’s critical to have an ESA letter that is dated within the year you plan to use it. You should also contact the airline before your flight to make sure your emotional support animal is cleared to travel with you.
Interested in Emotional Support Animal Registration?
The process of emotional support animal registration is important to make sure your companion is protected by emotional support animal laws.
Being an emotional support pet owner is a big responsibility. Check out the rest of our blog to learn more about how to keep your best friend happy and healthy.