Dog Animal Support

How to Register a Dog as an Emotional Animal Support?

emotional support dog registration
Emily Nelson
Written by Emily Nelson

More and more pets are called as an Emotional Support Animal. But what is it? Some people don’t understand its meaning and annoying react to its owners that they bought an ESA registration for their animal. But I would like to clarify and a sense of an emotional support animal registration, how to register an emotional support dog, and how to get an ESA Letter properly.

In this article, I describe the process of an ESA registration, an emotional support dog registration, and a therapy dog registration.

What is an Emotional Support Pet?

how to register dog as emotional support dog

An Emotional Support Animal (ESA) or Pet is an invaluable friend for persons having mental health disorders. It means that an Emotional Support Animal provides therapeutic support like a part of their mental health treatment. Typically, cats and dogs are emotional support animals. However, exotic animals also may help people with mental health issues. 

A psychiatrist and author of The Power of Different, Gail Saltz, assumes that pets provide people presence, unconditional love, warmth, and softness. It holds all thought to be calming and mood-boosting. People have to care for them, and due to that, they get structure, purpose, and being needed.

The mere animal presence can make people feel more comfortable. Pets can relieve emotional stress that therapy can’t. Therapists can’t give full support to 24/7 as emotional support animals do.

Thus, emotional support pet registration becomes more popular in the United States. If you think how to register a pet as an emotional support animal, it means that you feel the needs of your pet presence when you travel or move to another rent house. After the registration, your pet will be protected by two Federal Laws: The Fair Housing Act (FHA) – The Department of Housing issues guidance relating to the FHA and The Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) – The Department of Transportation issues guidance regarding the ACAA.

How To Register An Emotional Support Animal?

If you want to register an emotional support animal, you have to be qualified for an ESA Letter by a licensed mental health professional. There is no official registry. Most airlines allow emotional support animals with proper documentation from a mental health doctor. That’s why you have two options on how to register for an emotional support animal.

Register dog as an emotional support animal is playing with a hand

What is the process of Emotional Support Animal Registration?

Emotional Support Animal Registration must be bolstered with a letter by a licensed mental health therapist. By Federal Law, an ESA Letter should be written by a therapist who specialized in animal therapy. You don’t need any specific registration. An ESA Letter has approved your rights to have an emotional support pet. 

If you have your therapist that you visit regularly, it will be the best choice to ask about ESA Letter. He/she should know all the requirements for the Emotional Support Animal Registration of America. 

If you don’t have your therapist, or he/she is unaware of ESA rights, you may get approved for it online. Qualify mental health specialists will check the application form that you fill on the website and call you to clarify your symptoms.

The online process contains three steps:

  • Fill the application form;
  • Wait for a mental health specialist is checking your ESA application;
  • Get Approved in 48 hours.

You will receive your emotional support registration-ESA letter by email then mail.

register dog as emotional support dog

ESA Registration

Sometimes, some landlords may ask you about ESA Registration, but they are misinformed. You don’t need to have any specific registration, except an ESA Letter where it tells that you have all conditions to have an emotional support animal. 

If you found a website that asks for money to confirm that you have a registered emotional support animal, it means a scam. There are no Federal Laws where tell about specific registration. 

The only real way to get an ESA letter is to qualify for a legitimate ESA letter from a mental health professional (psychologist, licensed marriage and family therapist, licensed professional clinical counselor) online or offline.

Register Emotional Support Animal – What do you need to keep in mind:

  • Step 1. Connect with a licensed health professional. If you’re in therapy, you can ask your therapist or contact a doctor via the service to get approved for an ESA Letter. If a mental health doctor finds that the animal can be beneficial to you, they can provide you an ESA letter. To connect with a doctor online, you have to complete the ESA Questionnaire here.
  • Step 2. You must demonstrate your needs for an emotional support animal in your life. If you have any mental health conditions (depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc.) and it disturbs you in your daily life. The ESA letter must be written on the official letterhead of a licensed health professional and include the license number, the date of issue and expiration. 
  • Step 3. Make sure that your animal doesn’t pose a threat to people. If you’re registering an emotional support animal, don’t forget that your pet will contact with other people. Your animal doesn’t need to be trained. Ethical behavior is a crucial thing to be with you during travel by airplane and live in rental houses.
  • Step 4. Tell your landlord or airline about your emotional support animal. You can provide your ESA letter to your landlord or airline via email. Check the info of a specific airline before flying. Some companies ask to fill additional forms. You should submit all the paperwork 48 hours in advance of your flight date. 
how to register dog as an emotional support animal

How To Register Your Dog As An Emotional Support Animal?

Most people want to register a dog as an emotional support dog because you feel that when it with you, your emotions are stable. 

Thus, all the process to register your dog as emotional support is the same for all animals.
You don’t need to visit a veterinarian to ask about an ESA Letter. You should contact only a mental health professional to get approved for an emotional support animal letter.

How To Register An Emotional Support Dog?

You should contact your mental health professional or contact a doctor online on the website. Also, fill the questionnaire where you tell about your mental health conditions. A licensed doctor will check it and may contact you to clarify all the provided info. After that, you will get an ESA Letter.

When you get an ESA Letter, you don’t need to register a dog as an emotional support dog. You have everything to use the Federal Laws for emotional support animals.

Emotional Support Dog Certification

You don’t need any specific certifications to register your dog as an emotional support dog. Some people mean a certification – a letter that you will get from a mental health doctor.

You should get a real ESA letter from a mental health professional. Otherwise, you may have problems to take your emotional support dog on a board or with your landlord.

This website guarantees an ESA Certified Letters are Air Carrier Access Act Compliant and US Department of Housing & Urban Development Fair Housing Act Compliant. It’s the right way to get ESA Registration – Letter of America.

Free Emotional Support Dog Registration – Is it real?

Yes, it is real to get a free emotional dog registration – letter. If you already visit a licensed mental health professional. If you visit a doctor regularly, you don’t need to pay any additional fees. 

If you found a website that tells you that may register the dog as an emotional support animal for free – it means a scam. You can’t provide this piece of paper to your landlord or airlines.

register dog as an emotional support animal

How To Certify An Emotional Support Dog?

Some people confused the phrase “certifying a dog” with getting an ESA Letter. The only proper way to certify your dog as an emotional support dog – is contacting a mental health professional online or in real life.

This Letter confirms your needs for an emotional support dog. After getting it, you don’t need to register your dog at any organization or website. Also, you don’t need any moving support certificate.

ESA Dog Registration – is it required?

Federal Laws of The Fair Housing Act and the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) don’t require any specific ESA Dog Registration. You may get an Emotional Support Animal Identification Card when you prove that you need an emotional support animal on this website. 

You should provide its name, age, breed, weight. This information may be included in the ESA Letter too. So, it’s only this way legally register emotional support dog.

How To Register Dog As a Therapy Dog?

Some people confused a therapy dog and emotional support animal dog because of having the same meaning but for different groups of people. Also, they have various rights in the Federal Laws. 

A Therapy Dog is one of the types of assistance animals. This kind of dog provides emotional support and comfort to many people, for example, in the hospitals. Also, if you want to register as a therapy dog, your dog should earn the AKC Therapy Dog title. Some training steps are necessary to become the AKC certified. You can’t buy a therapy animal registration on the Internet. 

Here are steps on how to get a therapy pet registration: 

  1. Your dog should be socialized by being around other animals and strangers.
  2. If you’re sure that it has good behavior with others, you should go for a test where check behaviors as no jumping and being able to walk in a loose leash.
  3. Training classes that you should visit.
  4. Distraction-proofing class which helps to become more focuses on a dog;
  5. Therapy Training Class. The dog and its owner go for therapy visits.
  6.  Your Dog will get registration as a therapy pet.

So, if you need a dog that supports just your emotional stability, you should get an Emotional Animal Support Letter. If you understand that you need a dog for a community – you need to get a Therapy Dog Registration.

how to legally register an emotional support animal

How To Get Your Pet Certified As An Emotional Support Animal?

So, in this article, I told you different ways how you’re able to get your pet certified as an emotional support animal. Getting an ESA Letter is one legitimate way to get emotional support animal licenses. 

There are a few ways:

  • Visit your own licensed mental health professional;
  • Get it online via the website;

You don’t need to get an additional emotional support animal license or an anxiety dog registration. You need to prove that you have mental health conditions, and your dog is a part of your treatment.

I believe that this information helps you to get an ESA Letter and use the rights of emotional support animals.

Сan emotional support animals fly for free?

For flying for free for emotional support animals, the owner should provide the required documents to airline companies.

  • First of all, the owner should have a proper emotional support animal letter. Without the ESA letter, you cannot use the laws for emotional support animals.
  • Secondly, you should fill an application form before flying. You need to check your airline website and check what kind of documents you should provide before check-in. If everything is correct, you can fly with an emotional support animal so free.

Сan emotional support animals fly internationally?

Yes, emotional support animals can fly internationally. However, before the flight, you should provide correct information to the airline about your mental health issues (ESA letter), your animal health certificates, required documents of an airline (a special form) and all documents that are required by the destination country. Some airlines, like Delta, don’t allow emotional support animals on flights that over 8 hours. 

Be careful and check the rules of your airline company.

Also, you need to prepare hygienic needs for your animal on flights over 8 hours in duration.

Сan emotional support dogs fly first class?

Yes, emotional support dogs can fly first class with their owner. However, the owner should follow these rules:

  • Special documentation for emotional support animals before flying (ESA letter, hygienic needs, filled application form before the flight date, health certificates for your dog, confirmation of animal behavior form)
  • A dog must be clean and well-trained
  • You cannot use a seat next to you for your dog. It must be able to fit at your feet or under the seat. 
  • A dog shouldn’t be too large or too heavy

If everything is clear, you can fly with your emotional support dog in first class.

Сan emotional support dogs go to hotels?

For some hotels, you can go with your emotional support dog. However, you should check how a hotel is pet-friendly. If you see that it said that they don’t allow any pets, you cannot go into it.

Emotional support animals do not equal service animals. It means ESAs cannot go to all public places. Sometimes, you can ask for living with your emotional support animal in a standard hotel, if you prove that your pet has good behavior. They may allow you to check-in with dogs.

Nevertheless, it is such a rare situation. Better to find, pet-friend hotels in your area.

Сan emotional support dogs fly to Hawaii?

Yes, you can fly with an emotional support dog to Hawaii. 

However, you should know that the ADA and Hawaii law don’t cover any rules for emotional support animals. Owners of public accommodation cannot accept you with an emotional support animal. The Hawaii law excludes emotional support animals or any companion animals. They have the same rules as ordinary pets. 

Hawaii supports the rule of the federal Fair Housing Act that allows people with disabilities to rent accommodation and don’t pay additional fees.

Сan emotional support animals go to restaurants?

Restaurants are public places — that why emotional support animals cannot go to restaurants. If you see a logo – pet-friendly cafe/restaurant, you can visit it with your animal.

Otherwise, emotional support animals cannot visit it.

Сan emotional support animals go on cruises?

Emotional support animals that provide emotional support, comfort, and companionship to people with mental health disorders, are not allowed onboard the ship.

Only service animals can go on cruises. However, when you choose the journey, you may check if they are pet-friendly.

Some cruise lines like Carnival, Norwegian, and Disney Cruises have different rules for pets. You should check it before buying a tour.

Сan emotional support animals live anywhere?

No, emotional support animals cannot live anywhere. Under Federal Fair Housing Laws, ESAs must be able to live in apartments with a no-pet policy with their owner. And the owner doesn’t need to pay any fee for a pet. 

However, the emotional support animals can’t live in any hotels/hostels, Airbnb. Before booking a room, you should ask the hotel how they are pet-friendly. If they don’t allow pets, you need to look for pet-friend hotels. On Airbnb, you should ask the owner about your chances to live with an emotional support animal. You need to prove the ethical behavior of your animal to be allowed to live there.

Сan emotional support dogs live in apartments?

Yes, emotional support animals can live in apartments. The Federal Fair Housing Law protects people with mental health disabilities to live with their emotional support animals.

The owner doesn’t require to pay an additional fee for renting an apartment. You need to provide a landlord with proper paperwork about your mental health disorder. First, you need to prepare an emotional support animal letter; you can check requirements for it here.

Will emotional support animals help with mental health?

Yes, emotional support animals help people with mental health disorders. The scientific research proved that a person’s friendly dog improved their total health: blood pressure went down, heart rate slowed, more regular breathing, lower stress hormones. When people interact with per their level of cortisol goes down, and oxytocin goes up. So the stress reduces naturally. Just stroking a pet relieves anxiety. You need to ask a mental health professional about the best treatment for you. If a licensed mental health professional considers that emotional support animals help you to reduce mental health issues, you will get an emotional support letter.


About the author

Emily Nelson

Emily Nelson

Emily Nelson is the author and editor that love writing pet content. She spent ages editing pet content, and is focused on animal rescue and providing more rights to the pets.

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