Requirements for having a service animal

words Al Woods

having a service animal

The animals you own can be of help to you in various ways such as giving protection and providing companionship to you as well as other family members. Take for example, if you are physically challenged in any way such as having to cope with mental illness, your trained dog can assist you in various ways.

Still, although animals can help you in different ways, there are requirements set down by the state authorities where you are from that you have to meet and one of those necessities is that you get an Emotional Support Animal Certification (ESA) as well as other things.

So what are the requirements that you need for having helpful mammals around?

Get An Emotional Support Animal Certification (ESA)

If you are a mentally ill person, you can get an Emotional Support Animal to help you cope with your illness. Unlike service animals, which are trained to perform specific tasks, ESA pets provide companionship and affection. As a result, they can be a valuable source of support for people who suffer from anxiety, depression, or other mental health conditions. If you think an ESA pet could improve your emotional well-being, the first step is to do research on how to get an ESA letter from a licensed mental health professional in your state. This letter will confirm that you have a mental health condition that benefits from the presence of an animal. Once you have an ESA letter, you can bring your pet with you on planes and into other public places. Although your animal doesn’t require to have any special skills to act as a support for you during your mental health crisis, you are still required to have an ESA certificate in your possession.

What Is An ESA Certificate?

An ESA certificate is a written form prescribed or recommended by a therapist that says you are emotionally disabled. Experts at say that ESA specialist therapists can conduct screening tests to determine how far your mental health condition has reached. At Therapeutic, they help in various ways to assist you in getting an ESA certification such as to give you a free screening and consultation as well as to help you get your ESA letter. Other experts such as psychiatrists, psychologists or mental health professionals can also issue an ESA certificate to you.

ESA Letter: What Does It Contain?

  • Your ESA letter must contain a number of facts so people can take you seriously. Some things that your letter must contain are as follows:
  • Proof that you are a patient of a qualified mental health professional
  • You are under the care and guidance of a recognized mental health expert or facility
  • You are limited from performing one or more human activities because of your mental health state
  • That having and keeping an emotional support animal is necessary to help you cope with your mental health issues.
  • The above proof of your mental health state can be shown to airline attendants when traveling, your landlord and when you are applying for a job.

Other Disabilities That Qualify You To Get Help

The list of requirements that qualify you to get help using a service animal and that has to do with mental health conditions are listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). A qualified therapeutic expert can help you identify these traits. You will have to have one or more of the below mental health issues affecting you before a qualified body can issue an ESA certificate so you can have a service animal. 

Social Phobia

Social phobia or social anxiety disorder as it is called in some circles is intense anxiety that you suffer because of fear of people judging you, encouraging a negative self evaluation, or suffering from social rejection. If you are experiencing social phobia, you may find yourself withdrawing, unable to find the right words to speak or undergoing distress. Additionally, people might view you as stupid, boring or awkward. These traits make individuals suffering from social phobia want to avoid doing any form of public performances such as public speaking or acting before an audience.

get service animal

Emotional Condition

 People that tend to have a problem controlling their emotions to the extent that it may cause danger or harm to themselves and to others around them are said to be suffering from an emotional condition. Emotional disorder can cause a person to suffer from one or more of the following conditions:

  • Conduct disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Bipolar
  • Psychotic disorders
  • Obsessive-convulsive disorder


 Seizures usually happen because of a problem happening in the brain caused from an abnormal electrical activity. A seizure can be mild or convulsive and can happen on one side of the brain or the entire brain. If you are troubled by seizures, it is advisable that you get help. Ask your therapist to treat and if possible allow you to get an ESA letter so you can have a pet helping you.    

Mental Retardation

This problem can occur from as early as in the womb or later on in years. It can be inherited or caused by a number of things such as Down Syndrome, mercury poisoning, brain injury and others things. 

Your life can change for the better once you have an expert that specializes in helping mental disorder patients carry on their lives with the aid of a pet. The requirements of getting such a creature are not difficult and you will get on with your life in a more positive manner.


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