It’s no secret that pets improve our quality of life and uplift our spirits, which is why being accompanied by a pet can sometimes feel better than therapy. An ESA pet is an assistance animal that you can keep by your side no matter what. That means that you cannot be discriminated against in pet-free zones as it is required by law to allow you and your pet to remain inseparable. An emotional support animal is there to assist you if you have a disability or suffer from mental illness. So, on that note, if you are interested in making your companion an official ESA, follow this step by step guide to having a therapy pet. 

Step 1 

Learn About What Emotional Support Animals (ESA) Are  

An emotional support animal is a special pet that gets to live with you regardless of the no pet policy at your residence, fly with you on planes, and stay with you in hotels even if they have pet restrictions because you will have an official letter to affirm that this pet is assigned to you by law. ESA pets help to improve the overall well-being of their owner who may suffer from mental illness or a disability. It is vital that you understand that an ESA requires the same amount of responsibility from their owner as any other pet. You will need to make sure you can provide your pet with a loving, healthy environment with food and water and that you will be able to meet your pet’s needs in all aspects. 

Step 2 

Choose to Make Your Pet an Official ESA 

You don’t need to adopt a new pet to ensure it is an official ESA, your existing pet can quality, too. If you choose to make your pet an official ESA, then you would just have to make sure that he or she has the characteristics that are suitable for this role; for instance, a breed or personality that is more indoor-friendly and easy to handle – especially if your emotional support animal is a dog. You might also need to sign up for dog training so you can learn to speak your dog’s language and be able to communicate effectively with them. As mentioned above, you must have the ability to take care of them just as much as they take care of you. However, when you have decided to make your pet an ESA, you would make it official by securing a doctor’s letter to prove that having this animal is for the betterment of your state of mind and quality of life. 

Step 3 

Qualifying for an ESA 

Most people qualify for an emotional support animal because they suffer from anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a disability, or other mental or psychological problem and an ESA pet will help reduce stress, help them navigate through life, and improve their mental well-being. You will need to make sure that you are eligible to have one in your state. If you are, then you will have to go through an evaluation with a licensed psychiatrist or mental health professional who can determine your need for an ESA pet.  It’s important that you do your research and learn all about the ESA requirements in order to qualify for an emotional support animal. That way, it will be easier for you to secure the ESA letter as well because you will be prepared to apply. This letter will then ensure that you can bring your pet in pet-free zones so that he or she can be with you at all times to improve your quality of life. 

Step 4 

Acquire an ESA letter 

The last step is to secure the ESA letter. This is essential as you will need professional permission to prove that you are eligible for such a pet. You will need a prescription letter from your session with a mental health professional who can confirm your condition and symptoms. Then, they must provide you with letters that affirm an ESA is the appropriate form of therapy. These letters are ESA housing letters, ESA travel letters, and ESA housing/travel combo letters. In order to prove your dependability on an ESA, the letter can only be prescribed by a mental health doctor, not a physician. 

An assistance animal helps you navigate through life and gets you through any circumstances that you might find difficult on your own. Whether you suffer from a disability or a mental illness, your pet will help guide you as well as improve your state of mind. All you have to do is learn about the requirements and what it takes to support an ESA and then you can secure your letter.