Every dog owner feels happier because of the love they share with their furry friends. However, some people reap actual health benefits from the emotional support of their canine companions. With the help of a licensed mental health professional, emotional support animal registration is quick and easy. But is it worth making this support official? Here, we go over the factors to consider.
Who’s Eligible to Register Their Dog?
Several conditions qualify a person to register their dog as an emotional support animal (ESA). These conditions include:
- Various other emotional or mental health disorders
People with emotional or mental health issues can qualify for an ESA. Veterans and military members are also prime candidates.
ESAs have become popular because of the health benefits they provide. A support animal can encourage the release of endorphins in people who suffer from mental illnesses. These animals also require attention like any other pet. The responsibility gives their carers a sense of purpose.
What Are the Benefits of Making It Official?
Let’s say you fit the criteria and have a dog in your life whom you find therapeutic. You may be wondering why it’s worth registering them.
Do you get frustrated when you want to go on a trip but can’t bring your dog along? You may feel unable to travel without them due to the condition or circumstance that has brought you together. This can result in missed opportunities.
Registration solves this issue. Official ESAs can travel in the cabin with you without extra charge. Also, there is no size limit for registering an emotional support animal. You can do this regardless of your dog’s breed.
Make sure you let the airline know in advance if you have an ESA. Check their emotional support animal policies. Also, have a letter from your current mental health professional ready. Do all this before bringing your ESA onto an aircraft. If you fail to take any of these precautions, your dog may be denied access.
Another time official registration is useful is when moving into rental properties with strict “no pet” policies. By law, a landlord must allow your registered dog to live with you at no extra charge (except in the case of damage). They must do so as long as you do your part and provide legitimate documents. This is possible because emotional support animals are not considered pets.
People in the 18-25 age category have the highest percentage of severe mental illnesses in the US, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. This is also the category of people who often end up in accommodation that’s opposed to animal companions. This makes registration crucial among young adults.
Where Are Emotional Support Dogs Not Allowed?
It’s important to note the difference between service animals and emotional support animals. ESAs do not have the same access to public spaces as service animals. Unless an establishment is pet-friendly, you cannot assume your ESA is allowed to enter all public buildings. Restaurants, office buildings, stores, coffee shops, or any other public places may not allow your ESA without permission.
Are Dogs the Only Animals That You Can Register?
You can register animals like cats and rabbits. However, dogs are among the most popular animals for those who seek emotional support. This is unsurprising as dogs are the most common service animal. The only other option in this category is mini horses. Dogs are known for their loyalty and companionship. These qualities make them an obvious choice for someone in need of emotional support.