Dogs have offered people all over the world mental and emotional support for a long time. If you have a dog at home, you know how happy it can make you feel after a long and stressful day at work. Most individuals keep dogs for comfort. However, some people need a dog’s company throughout the day.
An emotional support dog assists people with mental, physical and emotional disabilities in several ways. The law recognizes an emotional support animal if it’s registered. Normally, individuals with mental illnesses have difficulties associating with the general public. Instead, they isolate themselves due to insecurity issues.
An emotional support dog can assist in reducing loneliness such people tend to experience. Moreover, therapy animals can calm individuals during panic or physical attacks, atop helping them socialize.
Top 5 Things to Know about Emotional Support Dog Registration
- ESA Letter
Considering to register your dog as an emotional support animal? You do not require an official registration process. All you need is a licensed doctor or therapist to assess your dog and write an emotional support animal letter (ESA letter).
Only a mental health specialist is responsible for writing the ESA letter. Anything your regular family doctor writes isn’t acceptable. Work with a therapist specializing in animal therapy so you do not have to worry whether the letter is acceptable or not.
- Contents of an ESA Letter
A good ESA letter contains your personal details such as your name. It states that you have a mental disorder according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. It also indicates that you are unable to perform some of your daily activities due to your mental condition.
The letter must include the federal regulations that protect you. Make sure your letter isn’t dated more than a year from the current date.
- Qualifications for an ESA
Only emotionally disabled persons or people with mental disorders legally qualify for an ESA letter. A licensed mental professional such as a psychiatrist, therapist or psychologist is mandated to provide a prescription letter to prove your condition.
If you are currently not working with a health professional, search online for highly accredited mental professionals. Registration is not a legal requirement, but voluntary. However, registering for ESA helps you avoid the hassles of moving around with your dog, among other benefits.
- About Your ESD
Your dog needs to be ready for the responsibility it’s about to have, even though there is no requirement for special training. It is essential for your dog to know how to behave among people and even other animals.
If you are not sure about your dog’s behavior, like if it barks and jumps onto people, find a dog trainer to correct the behavior.
- Your Rights as an ESA Owner
The Federal laws forbid anyone from discriminating against your emotional support dog. Therefore, it means that you can live in apartments with ‘no pets’ policy and fly in airplane cabins with your emotional support animal.
Registering your dog comes with many benefits you wouldn’t want to miss. However, it’s important to work with a certified and licensed mental health professional to ensure you get a legal letter.
Contact us to learn more about emotional support animals and register your dog today to enjoy the benefits that come with it.