Getting Certified For An ESA | Common Faqs

Pets can provide you with an amazing level of comfort as their owner, and that is no secret. However, if you suffer with certain mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, or otherwise, taking care of a pet can actually help you be more emotionally stable. For this reason, federal regulations now allow for some pets to be designated as qualified ESAs (Emotional Support Animals). If you have an animal you feel provides you with emotional support, it is a good idea to get to have an ESA. Here are a few of the most common questions and answers regarding the ESA process.

What are the benefits of being qualified for an ESA?

If you are certified for an emotional support animal, you get several benefits. One of the more noteworthy benefits is that you may be able to live in a dwelling where pets would not otherwise be allowed. For example, if you live in an apartment and the landlord says no pets are allowed, your ESA pet may be allowed anyway. Additionally, you may be able to travel with your pet and take it to public places or events where they would not normally be allowed. 

How do you go about getting your pet certified?

It is not so much that your animal is certified, but you. In order to get certified for an ESA, you have to receive a qualification letter from a therapist or mental health professional that states you could benefit from having the emotional support provided by an animal. From there, you can pretty much self designate the animal you claim to be an ESA. There are ID tags, vests, and even patches that you can order which your pet can wear that shows that you are qualified to have an ESA pet.

What types of pets can be used for ESA purposes?

Pretty much any animal that is commonly kept as a pet can be used for ESA purposes even though most people assume ESAs to only be canines. Your cat, rabbit, guinea pig, or even your bird could be an ESA pet if you prefer. Because the level of emotional support does not involve a specific species, but how you interact with the animal, an ESA could be just about any type of animal that is domesticated. However, you do have to keep in mind that an ESA is not upheld by the same laws and regulations as a service animal, in many locations. Contact a business, such as Next Generation Psychology, for more information.