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Hypoallergenic Cats for People with Allergies

We all love kitty kitties! Ok, well, maybe not all of us. But for those of us who have a cat that (and for those of us who have one as an emotional support animal), it can be torture to have allergic reactions to the very creatures we adore! Some cat-allergy folks are disciplined enough to Stay Away from the sneezy, itchy, red eye inducing felines. Others simply suffer through the physical discomforts induced in order to snuggle the purring sweet ones, only to regret it later when they are feeling stuffy, itchy and miserable.

If you have a cat as an emotional support animal and have cat allergies, you are in a predicament. But did you know there are hypoallergenic cat breeds? These mystical cats may just be the answer to your dreams. While it’s true that no cat is 100% allergen free, many people have found relief with certain breeds due to a difference in their saliva as compared with most breeds. We’ll get into the specifics, but first, it’s important to understand what causes allergies and why cats in particular cause such an exaggerated reaction in so many people.

What Causes Allergies?

Allergies, in general, are caused by an overly responsive immune system that reacts to harmless proteins in the environment, as though they are dangerous invaders. The immune system responds to this perceived threat by releasing ample amounts of histamine, which causes the uncomfortable symptoms such as itching, sneezing and hives. Among the many potential allergens, some common ones include plant pollens, molds and animal dander.

When it comes to cats, people are often surprised to learn that they are not actually allergic to the fur, but to a protein found in the cat’s saliva. In fact, over 60 % of people who are allergic to cats are specifically allergic to this protein which is called Felis domesticus 1 (Fel d 1). When your emotional support animal fondly bathes her entire fur coat with her rough little tongue, she is also thoroughly dowsing herself with saliva—and you know what that means. This allergy-inducing protein is now coating kitty’s coat from top to bottom, leaving you vulnerable to unpleasant reactions when you come in contact with the fur.

In addition to the saliva, Fel d 1 is found in the feline sebaceous glands (a waxy substance that keeps their skin oily and somewhat waterproof), the lacrimal glands (tear ducts) and the perianul glands (around the anus). Other proteins that have triggered some degree of allergic response in people include Fel d 2, 3 and 4.

Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds

Now that we understand a bit of what causes cat allergies to be so severe, we can better understand why there are certain breeds that will not have such a bothersome effect. For example, an emotional support animal cat that sheds less than others will spread less of their protein coated hair all over your house leading you to experience fewer miserable allergic reactions.

However, wouldn’t the best sort of emotional support animal cat be one who doesn’t produce the allergy-triggering protein to begin with? There are a few breeds who actually have less Fel d 1 in their systems and people have reported having far less negative reactions to these particular cats.

It’s important to note that no cat breed is 100% hypoallergenic, since all cats, like all animals, produce dander. Dander is a common allergen and if you are among those who are allergic to the dander as opposed to the Fel d 1 protein, a hypoallergenic cat may not solve your predicament. You can get tested to find out your specific allergy, or experiment to see which cats your react to.

Let’s examine a few specific cat breeds who produce less than average Fel d 1 protein and several cat breeds who shed less than others.

Siberian: As their name suggests, the Siberian cat come from the Siberia in Russia. Also known as the Siberian forest cat, if you live in a cold weather place, this might just be the perfect emotional support animal for you. They are hardy and strong, weighing between 15 and 27 pounds. They have luxurious, long, thick, triple haired coats with waterproof hair.

This breed is the well known to have far smaller levels of Fel d 1 than other cat breeds, though they still have some mind you. The exact levels of the protein can be different from one cat to the next, but in general, if you are looking for a Fel d 1 free cat, this is the closest you’re going to get.

Their hypoallergenic tendencies are not the only attractive thing about inviting a Siberian cat into your home. A very playful breed, Siberians are great with children and other animals and are even said to enjoy playing in water! They are also quite intelligent, are natural mousers and tend to be quiet voiced (unlike the talkative Siamese).

Siamese: The Siamese cat comes from Thailand (formerly Siam) and they are distinct because of their slanted blue eyes, big ears, a light colored body with a dark face and long skinny legs. Like the Siberian cat, Siamese have less Fel d 1 in their systems, so they may be good emotional support animals for the allergic cat lover.

The Siamese cat appears frequently in myth and lore as this ancient breed had an esteemed place by the side of Siam’s royalty, even taking up residence in temples where they were catered to as kings and queens.

Siamese cats are known for being quite affectionate, playful and talkative. They do not like to spend a lot of time alone, preferring to have their human companion by their side. Their sociability makes them less than ideal for someone who is gone a lot as they can become destructive if left lonely too often.

Balinese: Balinese cats are a result of human breeders crossing the Siamese with other cats to produce a long-haired version—thus, unlike our previous two examples, their name may be misleading, as they are not actually from Bali! These cats are similar to Siamese, their parent breed, with the main difference being their longer medium length coat.

Since they are descendants of the Siamese breed, it is perhaps not surprising that the Balinese also tend to have less Fel d 1 protein. In addition, their single layer coat of hair means they shed less, making them extra appealing to those with allergies.

The Balinese personality is also similar to their parent breed, as they are also marked by being very playful, talkative and companionable, though they are bit more independent than the Siamese. They also tend to get along with other people and animals. These cats are an excellent choice as an emotional support animal.

Cornish Rex: While they don’t produce less Fel d 1 than other breeds, Rex’s do shed much less than other cats. Rex’s in general lack guard hair and the remaining hair is curly, laying close to the body. (You can also check out the Devon Rex or the Selkirk Rex who also shed less). Because of their unique fur, people with cat hair allergies often do well with the Rex breeds.

Cornish Rex is a very unusual looking cat with huge ears, a lanky body, and “rippling” fur. They have even been said to look somewhat alien. These cats are very energetic and love to be the center of attention. Another great choice as an emotional support animal.

Burmese: The Burmese cat comes from Burma, where it was, at one point, worshipped in temples. With large gold eyes, they were known as copper cats. The variety found in the US is mainly brown while more color variants exist in other parts of the world.

These pretty kitties are known to have less Fel D 1 than other cats (perhaps due to the fact that they were interbred with Siamese when they first made their journey to the US) and they also shed less than other cats.

These excellent emotional support animal prospects are extremely social and are known to follow their owner from room to room. They do quite well with children and love to sit your lap. They are quite expressive and will talk to you with their charmingly scratchy meow.

Russian Blue: Russian Blues are another low-shedding breed with stunning silver tipped hair. The Russian Blues have a plush double layer of fur that sticks out at a 45 degree angle, so that if you draw patterns in their hair, it will actually stick. Their coats are said to be like that of a seal’s and they were likely even hunted for their pelts at one time. Like the Siberian cat, the Russian Blues come from Russia.

An amazing cat as an emotional support animal, the Russian Blue breed is known for its emotional intelligence. They can actually look sad when ignored and have been known to sense sadness in people which they respond to with touch and by acting silly. On the flip side, they are easily startled and are uncomfortable with change. Preferring their routine to remain consistent, changing location is difficult for them, meaning they probably won’t make for the ideal travel cat.

These kitties are independent and will do fine if left alone, though they also like human company and are quite playful. In fact they even like to play catch. Though they’ll be friendly with the whole family, they often choose to partner with one human in particular ? an excellent trait in an emotional support animal.

Sphynx Cat: These famous, “hairless” cat breeds include the Peterbald and Donskoy. While not actually hairless, they have a fine down which can barely be felt or seen. Because of the lack of hair to absorb the Fel d 1 containing oils produced by their sebaceous glands, their oily skin can actually be even more of an allergen than fur is for some people. On the other hand, some people with allergies do quite well with the Sphynx cat as an emotional support animal, probably because they are actually allergic to cat hair. Besides being hairless, these cats have many wrinkles and a cute pot belly. Their faces are surprisingly sphynx-like (thus the name). Despite their regal appearance, these cats are quite acrobatic, loving to be the center of attention. A very mischievous extrovert, these cats will definitely keep you entertained. They love humans and get along well with other animals too.

A Few Other Tips

In addition to the above breeds, when considering a hypoallergenic cat as an emotional support animal, there are few other tips. For instance, male cats tend to have more Fel d 1 than females cats, so you may be better off getting a female cat. In the same vein, an intact male has more Fel d 1 than a neutered male, so if you do get a male, it is a good idea to get him fixed. Also, for some reason dark haired cats tend to have more Fel d 1 than light haired cats, so you can keep this in mind too while picking out an emotional support animal.

If you already have a cat as an emotional support animal, or still experience allergic symptoms after getting a hypoallergenic breed, there are some good rules of thumb to follow at home in an effort to minimize uncomfortable reactions.

Be sure to vacuum frequently and clean surfaces, in order to minimize the buildup of hair and dander. Also, brush your cat frequently—at least once a week—to prevent unnecessary amounts of hair in your home. You could also try putting homeopathic drops in the cat’s water which are intended to reduce the Fel d 1 effect.

In addition, if possible in your home, it helps to have outdoor cats when it comes to allergies, for a few reasons. For one thing, a cat who goes outside will do a good amount of its shedding and dander dropping out in the open, leaving your space relatively free of these allergens. In addition, cat litter boxes often contain the greatest amount of Fel d 1 since so much is found in the anal gland of the cat. This means that if you do away with a kitty litter box in favor of having the cat go to the bathroom outside, you are automatically minimizing a source of allergies. (Plus you won’t need to deal with changing the litter!)

And of course, you can always turn to antihistamines, decongestants or even steroids for extreme allergic attacks.


If you love cats and have or are considering one as an emotional support animal but have an allergy that frustrates your ability to enjoy time with sweet felines, consider getting yourself tested for allergies. Once you know your specific allergy, you can figure out which kitty breed you feel best around. Also, remember that every cat is different, and while spending time with one kitty may wind up giving you a horrendous stuffy head and itchy eyes, you may feel just dandy around another cat.

To make your cat an emotional support animal, click here.

Emotional Support Animal News

People like flying with their emotional support animal because having them can significantly reduce anxiety during a stressful travel and flying experience. Although many animal species qualify as emotional support animals, if you want to fly with an emotional support animal, you’re better off with a cat or dog.

In August 2019 the Department of Transportation ruled that service animals could include dogs and miniature horses, while emotional support animals would be allowed at the discretion of the airline. Nearly all airlines limit emotional support animals to cats and dogs only.

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Lyft’s Service Dog Policy

There are many occasions when we need to travel by car with our Service Dogs. If we don’t drive ourselves or are without a car temporarily, we may need to use a taxi service.

The taxi industry has changed considerably in recent years with the rise of companies such as Lyft and Uber changing the way we call and pay for cabs. It’s certainly much easier than it used to be to take a taxi, it’s also more common and much cheaper.

The aim of this article is to provide you with all the information you need about the Lyft’s Service Dog Policy so you know exactly what the rules are and you can confidently book a ride for you and your Service Dog with Lyft. We will also provide details about what to do if you have a bad experience as well as some general guidance about traveling in a car with your Service Dog.

Are Service Dogs always allowed in Lyft cars?

Lyft is very supportive of people with Service Dogs. They believe everyone has the right to a safe ride and encourage their drivers to make everyone’s experience with the company a positive one.

No Lyft driver has the right to refuse you a ride because you have your Service Dog with you. Both the law and Lyft’s Service Dog Policy states that they must always say yes and take you and your Service Dog wherever you need to go.

There are no exceptions to this rule. Lyft drivers are not allowed to refuse you entry to their car with your Service Dog because they have an allergy to dogs, religious or cultural objections to animals, or even an allergy or phobia.

Do I need to carry proof that my dog is a service dog?

No, you are not required to have any sort of paperwork with you to prove your animal is a Service Dog. Your dog does not need an identification tag. The driver is not entitled to ask for any proof. If you say your animal is a Service Dog, that should be enough for the driver and he should take you and your Service Dog.

According to Lyft’s Service Animal Policy, drivers are allowed to ask you two questions:

Is the animal required because of a disability?
What work or task has he been trained to perform?

Even if a driver suspects your dog isn’t a registered Service Dog, (or tries to use this as an excuse not to take you) he is not allowed to refuse you a ride for this reason.

If any driver suspects someone is abusing the system by pretending falsely that their animal is a Service Dog, the driver would still have to take the passenger and their dog to wherever they wanted to go, but he would be at liberty to report them afterward.

What happens if a driver refuses to take me because I have a Service Dog?

If a driver refuses to allow you to use the Lyft service because you are accompanied by a Service Dog, this would be considered to be discrimination. There would be an investigation, and if it is proved that the driver refused to take you because you had a Service Dog with you, he would not be allowed to work for Lyft again. This “deactivation” would be permanent.

If you believe there has been a violation of Lyft’s Service Dog Policy, you are invited to call 1-844-250-3174 or contact support. This might include being refused a ride or charged fees because you had a Service Dog with you.

Once you submit a complaint, Lyft will investigate and get back to you within two weeks to let you know what has happened as a result of your complaint. They will tell you about any actions that have been taken, including whether the driver has been removed from the Lyft platform.

If there isn’t enough evidence to determine whether discrimination took place, a note will be made on the driver’s record about your complaint. If a similar complaint is made about the driver in future, your case will also be taken into consideration and it is likely that the driver will not be permitted to work for Lyft again.

If the investigation concludes that discrimination did not take place, no further action will be taken against the driver, but Lyft will let you know.

For full details about how to submit a complaint if you feel you were discriminated against by a Lyft driver by being refused a ride with your Service Dog or mistreated in some other way, consult the User Guide for Riders with Service Animals.

Are all Lyft Drivers knowledgable about Service Dogs?

Lyft Drivers should all be aware what a Service Dog is, and that you have the right to bring them along with you on the ride. They are informed about the sort of training Service Dogs receive and the sort of tasks they often perform.

Lyft has produced written information called the Lyft Service Animal Pamphlet which is available from their customer service department. If you are a regular user of the Lyft service it would be useful to get a copy. It very clearly states that it is Lyft’s policy that all drivers must allow Service Dogs in their cars.

Should I inform the driver in advance that I have a Service Dog with me?

It is not a legal requirement or Lyft policy that you have to let the driver know you have a Service Dog with you when you make a booking. However, you may choose to let your driver know out of courtesy.

Will I be charged any extra fees because I travel with my Service Dog?

No, you will not be charged any extra fees if you take a Service Dog with you in a Lyft car.

For instance, you will not be charged a cancelation fee if the driver cancels because you have a Service Dog (although this shouldn’t happen, if it does call 1-844-250-3174).

You cannot be charged a cleaning fee for your dog being in the car unless he urinates, vomits or defecates and the driver is able to provide photographic evidence.

I’m a Lyft driver, can I take my Service Dog in the car?

Yes, if you are a Lyft driver and have a registered Service Dog you can take them in the car with you, even when you have passengers.

It’s possible some passengers might not want to get in a car with a dog because of allergies, fear or personal preference. It’s also possible that you might not have room to take their whole party if there is a Service Dog in the car.

If that is the case you must cancel the passenger’s trip and allow them to order another car. Lyft drivers are advised to call passengers to tell them there will be a Service Dog in the car and give them the option to cancel their ride before they are picked up.

Lyft drivers are not allowed to have their own animals in the car unless they are registered Service Dogs.

Are other non-service animals allowed in Lyft cars?

While drivers are not allowed to refuse Service Dogs a ride, they can use their discretion for animals that are not registered as a Service Animal. Some drivers might not mind, others might be less keen.

If you have an animal who is not a registered Service Dog it is advisable to call the driver to check first if he will allow him to travel. If he refuses and cancels your trip, you should not be charged. If you are, contact support who will be able to refund you.

General advice about traveling in cars with dogs

Your Service Dog has probably experienced traveling by car as part of his training, but if it’s been a while or you feel a bit nervous about taking him in an unfamiliar car, read these tips about car travel for dogs to help you feel more prepared.

1. Build up to big trips

If you know you are going on a long car journey with your Service Dog, get him used to short trips first. It’s a good idea to frequently take him on a short trip so he gets confident in a car environment. If you suddenly have an emergency and need to take him in a car, you don’t want it to be a shock for him.

2. Don’t give him a big meal for the road

Dogs, like people, can get sick in cars. Perhaps more so, because it can be harder for them to balance. Avoid giving him his main meal just before you travel. Either give him a light meal or wait until you get home.

If you are going on a long journey and your Service Dog has a history of getting car sick, talk to your vet. He might be able to give you some suggestions or medication to stop him from vomiting.

3. Take him for a walk first

However well behaved your Service Dog is, traveling by car isn’t much fun for him. He might find it stressful to be in an unfamiliar environment and he might not enjoy being confined.

Make sure you take him for a good walk before his trip, to allow him to release some energy and relieve himself before he gets in the car.

4. Don’t let him hang his head out of the window

As cute as his ears look flapping in the breeze, it’s very dangerous to drive with your dog’s head out of the window as he could get injured. It’s a good idea to invest in a special harness that clips to the seatbelt in the back of the car to keep him steady.

5. Be prepared

Just in case of accidents, bring along a plastic bag or two and some wet wipes. You might also want to bring along some water and a small bowl so you can give him a drink. If you are going on a longer journey bring along something for him to sit on to protect the car from hair and accidents.

6. Never leave your animal in a parked car

You’re not likely to leave your Service Dog in a taxi unaccompanied, but just in case the situation arises, always remember how quickly cars can get dangerously hot. Never leave an animal in a parked car because they can become dehydrated very quickly.

7. Make sure your dog can be identified

Losing your Service Dog would be devastating, especially if you are traveling far from home and he is in an unfamiliar environment. Make sure he wears an identity tag and is microchipped.

Final words…

There are times when we need to travel in a car with our Service Dogs and it’s reassuring to know that Lyft, as a company, is supportive of people with Service Dogs.

If you plan to book a ride with Lyft, consider informing your driver in advance that you have a Service Dog with you out of courtesy, but remember this is not a legal requirement.

Remember also, there are no exceptions to the rule that a Lyft driver must not refuse to take you and your Service Dog even if he has a fear of dogs, an allergy, or objections on religious or cultural grounds. You are not liable for any extra fees because you travel with your Service Dog either, unless he defecates, vomits or urinates in the car.

If you believe you have been discriminated against call Lyft on 1-844-250-3174 or contact support.

We hope this article has given you all the information you need to ride confidently with Lyft with your Service Dog and the peace of mind to know that you can travel easily with your Service Dog wherever you need to go.

Happy traveling!

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A Comprehensive Guide to Asking Your Doctor for an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Letter

Updated May 30. 2023

Understanding the Importance of an ESA Letter and Housing Accommodation Rights

If you’re considering getting an emotional support animal (ESA) to help with your mental health, obtaining an ESA letter is a crucial step in securing housing accommodations. An ESA letter serves as a legal document that grants you certain rights under the Fair Housing Act, ensuring that you can live with your emotional support animal even in housing communities with strict no-pet policies. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of asking your doctor for an ESA letter, providing step-by-step instructions and tips for effective communication.

The Fair Housing Act and the Protection Provided by an ESA Letter

Before delving into the process, let’s first understand the legal framework that supports the need for an ESA letter. The Fair Housing Act (FHA), enacted in 1968, prohibits housing discrimination based on disability. This includes mental health conditions that may benefit from an emotional support animal. According to the FHA, housing providers are required to make reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities, which includes allowing ESAs in housing communities with no-pet policies.

To qualify for these accommodations, you need an ESA letter from a licensed healthcare professional, such as a doctor or therapist. The ESA letter serves as evidence that you have a disability and that your emotional support animal is necessary to alleviate symptoms of that disability. It is essential to have this documentation to protect your rights under the law.

Initiating the Conversation with Your Doctor

When it comes to asking your doctor for an ESA letter, open and honest communication is key. Here are some steps to follow:

Step 1: Research and Prepare Before speaking with your doctor, gather information about emotional support animals, their benefits, and how they can help with your specific mental health condition. Educate yourself about the Fair Housing Act and familiarize yourself with the legal requirements. This preparation will help you approach the conversation confidently and address any concerns your doctor might have.

Step 2: Schedule an Appointment Request a dedicated appointment with your doctor to discuss your need for an ESA letter. This will ensure that you have enough time to discuss your situation thoroughly.

Step 3: Communicating Your Need During the appointment, express your feelings and emotions openly, explaining how your mental health condition affects your daily life. Be honest about the challenges you face and how an emotional support animal can provide the necessary support and comfort. Share specific examples of how an ESA can alleviate symptoms and improve your overall well-being.

Step 4: Addressing Concerns Your doctor may have concerns or questions about issuing an ESA letter. Be prepared to address these by providing information about the benefits of ESAs, relevant studies supporting their effectiveness, and any research you have done. Reassure your doctor that you understand the responsibilities that come with having an emotional support animal and that you are committed to providing proper care and training.

What Information to Provide

To help your doctor understand your situation better and to ensure the ESA letter contains all the necessary information, consider providing the following:

  1. Medical History: Share your mental health history, including any diagnoses you have received and the treatments you have tried in the past.
  2. Symptoms and Limitations: Explain the specific symptoms you experience and how they impact your daily life. Emphasize the areas where an emotional support animal can provide assistance.
  3. Previous Treatment: Discuss any previous treatments you have undergone, including therapy, counseling, medication, or other interventions.
  4. Benefits of an ESA: Clearly articulate how an emotional support animal can help alleviate your symptoms and improve your overall well-being. Provide examples

Tips for Effective Communication

In addition to the steps outlined above, here are some tips for effectively communicating your need for an ESA letter to your doctor:

  1. Be Open and Honest: Share your experiences, thoughts, and feelings openly. Your doctor needs to understand the impact your mental health condition has on your life.
  2. Stay Focused and Concise: Be clear and concise when describing your symptoms and how an emotional support animal can help. Stick to the relevant information to ensure a productive conversation.
  3. Provide Supporting Evidence: If you have any relevant research articles, studies, or testimonials that support the effectiveness of ESAs for your specific condition, bring them to the appointment to provide additional validation.
  4. Listen and Respond: Give your doctor the opportunity to express any concerns or questions they may have. Listen attentively and respond respectfully, addressing each point thoughtfully.


Obtaining an emotional support animal (ESA) letter is an important step in securing housing accommodations under the Fair Housing Act. By following the steps outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can effectively communicate with your doctor and increase your chances of receiving the necessary documentation to protect your rights.

Remember, open and honest communication with your doctor is essential. Take the time to educate yourself about emotional support animals and their benefits, and be prepared to address any concerns or questions your doctor may have. By providing thorough information about your mental health condition, symptoms, and the ways an ESA can help, you can demonstrate the genuine need for an ESA letter.

Always approach the conversation with respect and understanding, acknowledging the responsibilities that come with having an emotional support animal. Show your commitment to proper care and training, as this will help alleviate any concerns your doctor may have.

Obtaining an ESA letter can make a significant difference in your quality of life, allowing you to have your emotional support animal by your side in housing communities with strict no-pet policies. Remember to familiarize yourself with the Fair Housing Act and your rights as an individual with a disability. With proper documentation and understanding of the process, you can confidently advocate for yourself and your mental health needs. Take the first step today by scheduling an appointment with your doctor, and together, you can work towards securing an ESA letter that will provide the necessary legal protection and accommodation for you and your emotional support animal.

If your doctor or clinician is unwilling or unable to write the letter for you, contact us to set up your clinical evaluation today! Referred by the VA and Kaiser doctors.

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How to Get an Emotional Support Animal in the USA

Animals can lift your spirits; this is an accepted fact. But if you have a mental or emotional disorder, you, like many people, may benefit even more from keeping a critter by your side, as often as possible.

Because pets aren’t always permitted where you live (or want to live), and the cost for your pet to travel on an airplane is costly (up to $150 each way), you can jump through some hoops to qualify your cat, dog, or other pet as an emotional support animal and get some cool benefits. Valid emotional support animals are not considered pets.

Because emotional support animals aren’t considered pets, but instead, assistance animals, they help people have an equal opportunity to enjoy housing and air travel with the dog or cat, and without a fee. That means a landlord or airline cannot restrict an ESA because it is a certain breed or charge fees or deposits in connection with an ESA.

In addition, your emotional support animal may fly with you in the cabin of an aircraft and you can’t be charged a fee. Are you interested in getting an emotional support animal (ESA)? Do you wonder what type of animal can become an ESA? Or are you ready to get an emotional support animal and want to want to know exactly how to do it?

Here is everything you need to know about how to get an emotional support animal in the USA – or make your pet one – and make sure it (and you) gets the special treatment it deserves:

Will Your Pet Qualify?

In a word, yes! All domesticated animals may qualify as an ESA (cats, dog, mice, rabbits, birds, snakes, hedgehogs, rats, mini pigs, ferrets, etc.) and they can be any age (young puppies and kittens, too!). These animals do not need any specific training because their very presence mitigates the symptoms associated with a person’s psychological/emotional disability. The only requirement is that the animal is manageable in public and does not create a nuisance in or around the home setting.

Although any domesticated pet will qualify as an emotional support animal, nearly all airline companies have been allowed by the US Dept. of Transportation to restrict emotional support animals to dogs and cats only. If you don’t plan to travel with your emotional support animal, however, then your hedgehog will qualify. Even if you have a Pitbull and the apartment complex you want to move to bans Pitbull’s, you can’t be denied an apartment because of your Pittie.

If you already have a pet, that pet can serve as your ESA if you qualify for an ESA letter. If you do not have an ESA and are interested in adopting one, we recommend reaching out to your local animal shelter or rescue organization to find your perfect ESA. If you have your heart set on a specific breed that is hard to find in at a shelter or rescue, another option is to reach out to a responsible breeder.

If you don’t have a pet, consider adopting one from your local shelter. Many people find just the right dog or cat … and one that needs a loving home. Owning an emotional support animal is a serious commitment and choosing an ESA with the right temperament and attributes for you and your situation is important. Developing a strong connection with your emotional support animal will help make your ESA more effective in relieving the symptoms of your disability.

Below are three (3) basic steps you should consider to get an emotional support animal.

Here’s How You Qualify

Decide if you can benefit from having an emotional support animal

First, you must decide if you will benefit from having an emotional support animal. Emotional support animals are available to anyone that is suffering from a disability, which can be a mental illness or emotional distress condition. According to federal law, an ESA letter must come from a licensed health care provider, but recognizing that you may have a condition that could benefit from an emotional support animal to minimize the symptoms you are experiencing is the first step.

There are several conditions recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM V) for which an emotional support animal can be beneficial. These include:

  • Learning Disabilities
  • Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Depression
  • PTSD
  • Phobias

Get an ESA letter from a licensed mental health professional

Next, you’ll need an ESA letter from a licensed mental healthcare professional or physician to formalize things and make it legal. If you have severe anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, or another emotional or mental illness, you may be able to have your licensed therapist or family practitioner write you an ESA letter. They’ll also need to be willing to complete3rd party verification forms from airlines (if you plan to fly with your emotional support animal) and property managers (for rental housing).

If you don’t have a therapist or your therapist or family physician is unwilling to write such a letter, you can attain an ESA letter from a licensed therapist online (it’s easy and legitimate) from a reputable company like National Service Animal Registry (NSAR). NSAR is a licensed mental health services agency that specialize in online/telephone disability assessments and offers letters of prescription to clients who qualify. They also register and provide all the accessories that make having an emotional support animal confrontation-free.

Consider registering your ESA and dressing him/her the part.

Although you don’t legally need to register your emotional support animal, carry an ID card, or have your ESA wear a special vest when in public, airline companies strongly encourage it, and those who have lived and travelled with an ESA will tell you that legitimizing your emotional support animal makes life abundantly easier and minimizes confrontation. National Service Animal Registry provides all these services and is the oldest service provider.

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Buying the Best Vests for Your Service Dog

Dogs are humans’ best friends, and they are incredibly intelligent animals that are capable of much more than they often get credit for. Service dogs are the perfect example. Every single day, these smart and well-trained dogs do their duty and keep those who are hard of hearing, visually impaired or otherwise physically or mentally challenged safe and secure. Service dogs go through rigorous training and are held to extremely high standards to ensure they can keep their human companion safe at all times. With that being said, it’s also important that service dogs are given the education and support they need to do their jobs right. This may mean you need to buy a service dog vest to make your service animal clearly identifiable and recognizable. If you’re in the market for a superb service dog vest for sale, here is a very helpful guide to finding the best one for your beautiful dog.

Awesome Applications

When it comes to searching for service dog vests, your first and foremost thought should be how you plan to use this vest. Before you make the decision on which one to purchase, you really need to think about your plans for the vest and your service animal. This will help you determine which vest features are crucial and which ones you can live without. The majority of dog vests have Velcro for easy fastening and an easy-to-see sign. Plus, the majority of these vests are made from nylon, and the visible signs identifying the presence of a service dog are key. There’s plenty of benefits associated with using service dog vests, particularly with dogs of a smaller size that may not be able to properly wear a collar without hurting their throat. It’s also great to use service dog vests for walking your dog, as you can easily clip the leash on the back of the vest to avoid twisting and tangling. Keep in mind that this may be difficult with larger or more aggressive dogs. Thinking about these features will help you make the right choice when you buy a service dog vest online, whether that be added weight or clear signage. You don’t really want to settle for a so-so service dog vest that doesn’t truly meet your needs — instead you want to find something that stands out in the best way possible.

Comfort and Weight Training

There’s such a versatile variety of service dog vests on the market today! These accessories have become the most well-known symbols for service animals. After all, these vests are an extremely effective training tool, especially when you consider the weight training ones that help to build muscle definition and increase their weight. If you can find a weight training service dog vest that suits your budget and will help with your training exercises, then you’ll be good to go. The same thing goes for a comfortable, well-fitting service dog vest online. Every dog is wonderfully different, and what may fit well and seem comfortable for one dog may not be the same for another canine. You want to keep them feeling cool and comfortable so they can focus on their service dog duties!

Aesthetic Appeal

You also want to consider the overall look of the service dog vest. This is a fun opportunity for you to choose the colors and designs that match up with your personal preferences and your dog’s personality. If you can find one that comes with saddlebags, a complete service harness and loops for your leash, along with highly visible colors, you should put that on the top of your list. The brighter the color, the easier your dog will be to see from a distance and the safer they will be along busy roads with traffic. Of course, the trick is finding which features you can’t live without and how much you’re willing to spend to get those features. There’s fantastic value out there to be found in service dog vests, especially with how much use you’ll get out of these accessories.

If you’re interested in finding the best service dog vests for your precious pooch, visit National Service Animal Registry for an awesome selection at affordable prices.

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Vegetables Your Service Dog Can and Can’t Eat?

When you have a best friend who is also a furry, four legged service dog with a happy grin and a wagging tail, it is only natural to want to share a plate. It’s fun to share food—it’s a major part of human culture and one of the ways in which we connect with one another. But…dogs are canines, not homo sapiens (hard to remember, I know) and thus, have not only different nutritional requirements, but also different digestive abilities.

To reassure you, before we go any further, it is absolutely Ok to share food with your service dog, just not everything, and certainly not in the same quantities.

While your service dog is an omnivore, meaning they can eat a range of meat and plant based foods, our sweet domestic version of the species is not always quite so strictly in touch with their instincts that they will know to avoid potentially toxic foods. In fact, dogs are notorious for eating just about anything put in front of them, including things like chocolate, which are quite toxic, as well as over eating until they make themselves sick. To be fair, it is a dog’s instinct to overeat, seeing as how in the wild their ancestors (and current relatives, such as the wolf) would gorge themselves on the kill, uncertain when the next meal would arrive.

Since your service dog will not necessarily be a good judge of what is appropriate and safe to eat, it is up to you, as a devoted companion to your furry friend, to take on the responsibility of being informed about the various foods we eat and whether they are safe for sharing with our pups.

This article will focus on vegetables in particular. Are vegetables good for your service dog? Are vegetables harmful to your service dog? When is it appropriate to feed your service dog veggies, and how should you prepare them? And how much? Keep reading, as we delve into these questions.

Doggie Digestive Systems: Carnivore or Omnivore?

Are dogs carnivores (strictly meat eaters) or omnivores (capable of eating meat and vegetables, like humans, and raccoons)? This is actually a bigger debate than you might guess. While dogs seem to be made physiologically to be carnivores, they are classified as omnivores because they can (and do) eat plant materials, including fruits and vegetables. In fact, eating strictly meat will make your service dog sick over the long run, as he will be missing essential nutrients.

Still, dog bodies are optimized for meat, with the pointy teeth of a true carnivore and a digestive system emphasizing strong stomach acid (to kill bacteria of decaying meat), a lack of amylase in the saliva (necessary for the breakdown of starch), an extra large stomach (in order to contain all the meat from those gorging fests) and an overall shorter digestive tract than herbivores or even full on omnivores (like humans) who need a longer tract to breakdown and absorb plant material.

On the other hand, your service dog is an incredibly adaptive animal and are capable of processing a wide range of foods for its nutritional content. Indeed, since hounds joined the human race as one of our specie’s favorite allies some 15,000 years ago, they have certainly proved themselves capable of surviving off a wide range of foods, indicating a more omnivorous habit. Unlike cats, for instance, who really cannot process most vegetables and will not survive without a high meat diet, dogs have proved that they can (and will) eat and digest vegetables. Dogs do not, however, need vegetables to survive. That is, they do not need vegetables in the way we do—but they do need plant material.

The diet of your service dog’s ancestors included eating the stomach contents of their prey: herbivores, who were chock full of plant material—mainly grasses. Canines are also scavengers, meaning they can both eat and receive good nutrients from eating rotting vegetables, carcasses and even (though a little disgustingly) poop.

A good idea, in light of this information, would be to focus the bulk of the diet on animal protein, but incorporate vegetables and other foods as more supplemental bits. The best vegetables will be leafy greens, since they are most similar to the grasses a dog would eat in the wild. However, other vegetables, offered in moderation, can be good too. We’ll discuss more specifics below.

What Nutritional Value Do Vegetables Have (For a Dog)?

Vegetables provide a wide range of minerals and vitamins. They also provide wonderful fiber, which can improve digestion (or, conversely, hamper digestion, causing diarrhea if overdone).

Every vegetable will of course have a different make up of vitamins and minerals. Some of the essential vitamins and minerals required by the canine and which can be found in varying degrees in a given vegetable include: B Vitamins, Calcium, Chlorine, Choline, Copper, Folic acid, Iodine, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Niacin, Pantothenic acid, Phosphorus, Potassium, Riboflavin, Selenium, Sodium, Vitamin D, Vitamin K and Zinc.

How to Introduce and Prepare Vegetables for Your Service Dog

So, now that we know your service dog can eat vegetables, how do we actually feed these healthy veggies to our puppy dogs? Can you just put a pile of well-seasoned and prepared veg on a plate for your service dog’s dinner? Or toss him a raw salad?

The answer is no. It’s not quite that simple. Your service dog can eat vegetables, but there are ways to make it easier for him/her to digest and assimilate the nutrients.

Dogs take a while to adjust to any new food. In fact, when introducing a new food, it is not uncommon for a dog to get diarrhea, not necessarily because the food is inherently bad for him, but because his body does not recognize it. It takes time for the body to learn what a food is, and how to break it down and use it to build cells.

This is why it is a good idea to begin small: Try giving your service dog just a bite or two of that zucchini, and increase over time, watching to see his reaction. Give his body time to adjust to this foreign experience, because one thing for certain, if your service dog likes the zucchini, she will not be moderating herself.

Another reason starting slow is a good idea, is that it will allow you to watch your service dog for an actual allergy. Dogs, like humans, sometimes just have a bad reaction to a specific food. While a little diarrhea is normal when introducing a new food, if it sustained and/or in combination with other symptoms such as lethargy or puking, call your veterinarian (and it goes without saying, STOP giving the problem food to the poor pooch!).

Another way to both ease the transition for your service dog into eating vegetables, and to assure the highest rate of digestion and absorption of the veggie, is in a mindful preparation. While dogs can handle some raw vegetables, their digestive systems are not as efficient at processing raw foods as humans (due to the shorter, carnivorous digestive tract).

There are lots of ways you can prepare the food for optimal digestion insuring your service dog gets all the nutrients it can out of the veggies. You can boil, steam, bake, grill or roast the fine veggies for your grateful service dog. Or, you could even leave it raw, but puree it, so the smaller bits will be easier to assimilate into the canine body.

Yet another good reason to cut the veggies into small pieces or cook them ahead of time, is because your service dog’s jaws and teeth are not ideally suited for chewing: their jaw only moves up and down, unlike a human (or herbivore) jaw, which moves side to side while chewing. They also have less molars. This means that dogs tend to swallow quickly—which can potentially lead to choking, especially with hard vegetables.

As for seasoning, salt is unnecessary. In fact, it can even be dangerous, leading to sodium ion poisoning. This is also why it’s a good idea to avoid pickled veggies as well, since they tend to be very high in sodium. Your service dog gets all the salt he/she needs from natural sources and are sensitive to excessive intake of this mineral.

If you really want to exercise your culinary genius for your beloved service dog, it is ok (and even beneficial) to add some more neutral herbs, such as rosemary or parsley. Think culinary herbs here, and as always, be sure to check that they are safe before tossing them into the dish.

And if you find you really enjoy preparing your service dog’s veggie snacks, you can even take it a step further by making your own dog food with a combination of proteins, vegetables and grains!

Vegetables to AVOID!

The list of vegetables to avoid is actually not so extensive. The main thing with veggies is that dogs don’t need that many of them—and they will get sick if fed a particular veggie in too great of portions or too often. If you regulate how much veggies your hound is getting, she should be just fine. The truly toxic veggies are few, and even they would need to be eaten in a large quantity to really cause damage.


This root vegetable of the alium family is dangerous to dogs in large quantities because of a constituent found in it called thiosulphate. Terrifyingly, because dogs lack the enzyme necessary to digest this chemical, it becomes toxic in their bodies and can cause the rupture of red blood cells, known as hemolytic anemia.

Don’t panic if your service dog gets a hold of a slice of pizza with onions on it. While you definitely do not want to intentionally be feeding him onions, a few here and there will not cause great damage. However, a cumulative effect—that is, eating a little bit of onion on a regular basis over a long time—can have quite serious consequences.

Some breeds are more sensitive than others, but it’s a good idea to avoid onions altogether just to be safe. And that includes powdered onions! Many seasoning include powdered onion, so keep this in mind when feeding Fido table scraps.

Other members of the Alium family such as chives, leeks and garlic also contain this ingredient, so best to avoid them in big quantities as well.


Rhubarb contains oxalates, which are salts which can bind with the bodies calcium, causing a calcium deficiency. The stem is actually Ok to eat, as it contains such a small amount of oxalates. The leaves, however, contain toxic levels of oxalates if enough is consumed. Symptoms can include drooling, diarrhea, tremors and lethargy.


Technically a fruit, Avocados contain persin, which is actually considered only mildly toxic to dogs, if at all. It has gotten a bad rap due to the poisoning effects it has on other animals, such as birds and cattle (so if you have a canary or a cow, do not feed it avocado…but your service dog will probably be fine, if you follow the outline above and introduce it slowly, observing the response).

Vegetables for You and Your Service dog to EMBRACE!

Luckily, as evidenced by the very few harmful veggies for dogs, most vegetables are fair game for you hound, when given in moderation and prepared in the correct way. And that is great news, because vegetables are often a healthier alternative to commercial treats which contain additives and chemicals.

Here’s a list of some of the popular vegetables to feed dogs (though far from exhaustive), and why they are good, along with any stipulations in the preparation.


Broccoli is great, but only in small quantities—it contains isothiocyanates, which can cause stomach upset, so feed in moderation.


Especially noted for their high beta carotene and Vitamin A content (essential for healthy bones and immune system, among other things), carrots are also excellent for cleaning tartar off dog teeth!


Celery is high in fiber, Vitamins A, B and C as well as plethora of minerals. It is great for your dogs heart and also contains Apigenin, which is a cancer fighting compound. While high in salt (meaning, like the rest of the veggies, only serve in moderation!), celery is known to freshens a dog’s breath.


Corn, in the form of corn starch, is actually one of the primary ingredients in mainstream dog food. Corn is a source of proteins, carbohydrates, antioxidants and linoleic acis. Corn is great, just be sure not to give it to your service dog on the cob! This is unfortunate, since it seems like corn on the cob would make such a great chew toy! However, the inedible cob can actually rip up your service dog’s digestive system, causing major damage. On the flipside, popcorn is ok! (so long as it’s plain without butter and salt).


Cucumbers are so full of water and minerals that they are quite hydrating, among other things. While the skin is the most healthy part, it is unfortunately also the most challenging to digest. Peel it before feeding your service dog to avoid stomach upset.


A great, snappy treat, greenbeans contain vitamin C, K and manganese.


High in iron, potatoes are great for dogs, so long as they are cooked (either boiled or baked, without seasoning).

Sweet Potatoes

Full of beta carotene, potassium, vitamin B6 and C, sweet potatoes are also great for your service dog’s fur coat and skin.

There are literally dozens of other vegetables out there: root veggies such as beets, squashes, pumpkins, cauliflower, zucchini and various greens, such as kale. The main thing to keep in mind when considering a new vegetable for your service dog, is to introduce it slowly. And it is always a good idea to look up each new vegetable, just to be sure it’s safe and to check on the specifics.


There are lots of good reasons to incorporate vegetables into your service dog’s diet. Feeding your service dog vegetables can be a great low carb alternative to doggie treats, offering her baby carrots or slices of cucumber. It can also be fun to share your food with your pup. If you’re cooking dinner, for instance, and chopping veggies—perhaps you want to share the experience with Rex by tossing him a bit of zucchini. Veggies can also offer dogs important vitamins and minerals. Just remember that your service dog’s diet should really be based around protein. Celebrate vegetables and experiment with the safe food options for your pet, just remember to keep your hound’s diet balanced.

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How Much Does a Service Dog Cost: A Buyer’s Guide for Your Service Dog

For many people with disabilities, service dogs are absolutely essential. These animals make everyday life more manageable and enjoyable. However, because of their high costs, getting a service dog can be a daunting and stressful task. With adoption costs, training, vet trips, and more, obtaining and caring for a service animal can cost thousands every year. Read this guide to learn about all the expenses associated with owning a service dog and how you can pay for yours.

Already-Trained Service Dog Costs

Though the specific amount will depend on the breed of dog and the type of training it gets, you can expect to buy a service dog for between $15,000 and $30,000 upfront. Some service dogs can cost as much as $50,000. Along with these initial costs, many pet owners spend between $500 and $10,000 every year caring for their dog. These yearly expenses cover things like food, veterinary checkups, vaccinations, toys, and additional training.

Why Are the Initial Costs so High?

Service dogs require much more training than other dogs do. This extensive training and additional care usually take place during the first few months of their lives. The amount you pay goes toward adoption costs, puppy vaccinations, spaying or neutering, and trainer’s fees. You can cut down on the initial costs significantly by training the dog on your own or with assistance from a certified dog trainer. Though it costs less in the short-term, this method usually takes longer and may actually end up costing more in the long-term.

Costs to Train Your Dog to Be a Service Animal

If you already have a dog that you want to train to become a service animal, you may be able to save some money on the initial costs. The amount this route will cost depends on your dog, how much it already knows, the specific tasks it must learn, the trainer’s fees, and how much time the trainer can dedicate to your dog. If your dog has already received some obedience training, it can take between four and six months to train them for a task service. The precise amount of time it will take depends on the task your pup must learn and the pup’s aptitude. Additionally, service dogs are expected to be able to perform these tasks in a number of different environments. A lot of dogs can take up to two years to become fully trained for public access. The hourly fees professional dog trainers charge varies greatly from region to region, though you can expect to pay around $150-250 per hour. These expenses can also add up very quickly.

How to Pay for a Service Animal

There are a few different ways you can raise the money to pay for your service animal. Here are a few ideas to help you get started:

  • Use a nonprofit grant. There are many organizations like Service Dogs for America and Assistance Dogs International that are dedicated to helping people with disabilities find service dogs for little or no fee.
  • Build up your savings. Though this is easier said than done, it is much easier to buy a service dog if you have a little extra savings in the bank.
  • Take out a loan. If you are unable to get help from a nonprofit, you can try to take out a personal loan to cover the costs of the service animal.

Contact us at the National Service Animal Registry for more important information about service dogs.

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Chicago, IL: A Great Place to Visit with Your Service Dog

Chicago, sometimes known as the “Windy City” is a busy metropolis full of skyscrapers, great food, and even better music. It’s the third most populous city in the United States, and has a wide selection of dog friendly locations you can bring your pet or emotional support animal.

If you own a service dog, you already know your dog is welcome anywhere, but there are several places around Chicago your service dog will enjoy for a little off duty fun, or that provide important care your animal needs to keep working for you. Here are our favorite spots in Chicago for your dog.

Places to eat

Taking your service dog to a restaurant is part of the job, but if you have an emotional support animal its usually barred from restaurants. Fortunately, there are dozens of dog friendly restaurants in Chicago. These are our favorites.

Harry Caray’s Tavern

Enjoy a spectacular view of the waterfront while sitting down with your service dog for a great meal. Harry Carays at 600 E Grand Ave, Navy Pier, Chicago, IL, US, 60611 has a dog friendly patio you can enjoy the meal on, while also bringing along an emotional support animal or other pet for the meal.

They have great food as well as a spectacular meal, including vegan options such as the Beyond Burger if you have dietary restrictions.

Big Stars

If you’re craving tacos, you’ll love Big Stars at 1531 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL, US, 60622. Big Stars features incredible Mexican food, and are most famous for their taco slinging skills. The Wicker park location is especially interesting because of its unique building…it was converted into a restaurant from a 1940’s gas station.

Which ever location you choose, dogs are welcome on their patio, and are well liked at Big Stars.

Take your dog to a four paws up hotel

Whether your dog is a service dog or an emotional support animal, he will love the Hotel EMC2, Autograph. This trendy hotel has no green space on the premises, but there is a dog park available just 3 blocks away!

The hotel itself allows dogs to be left unattended and unkenneled in the hotel room with a signed waiver, and does not charge an additional fee for large dogs. Beds, bowls and treats are available at the front desk for the use of your dog during his stay. See it for yourself at 228 E Ontario St, Chicago, IL 60611.

Stay at a pet friendly apartment

Service dogs and emotional support animals can’t be kept out of apartment buildings, but there are perks to staying in a dog friendly apartment, such as an abundance of green space and the ability to keep a non-working pet.

The Morgan at Loyola station allows up to two pets, and takes dogs up to 50 pounds. They are conveniently located close to the downtown area, and has an abundance of outdoor space including lake access, as well as plenty of amenities for you as well. Enjoy a fitness center, bike storage, club house, and 24 hour maintenance should something break in your home. Check it out at 1209 W Arthur Ave, Chicago, IL 60626.

Keep your service dog healthy with a vet trip

You depend on your service dog for your independence, so making sure he stays fit and healthy is critical to both your well being and his. West Wrigley Animal Hospital at 3416 N. Ashland Ave. Chicago, IL 60657 is a reliable source for vet care. They offer veterinary treatments for all life stages, and have a state-of-the-art hospital with an in-house diagnostic lab for quick results.

If your service dog or emotional support animal should need veterinary care while in Chicago, this vet should be your first call.

Jackson Bark

Your service dog or emotional support animal is used to accompanying you, and chances are he’s seen a lot of dog parks. If you want to take him to one that’s unique for some off-duty fun, Jackson Bark is the place for you. This dog park features agility equipment to train on and get excess energy out on, and people who have visited report safety features and other amenities such as poop bags. Check it out at 5800 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL, US, 60637.

Take your service dog on his own canine cruise

One of the most popular venues for dog lovers in the Mercury Canine Cruises at Michigan Ave. & Wacker Dr. in Chicago, IL 60601. These cruises are designed especially for your furry friend, so you can rest assured your hard working service dog or beloved emotional support animal will have a good time on this trip.

You can listen to a history of the city as you admire its beauty from comfortable outdoor seating, and there are doggie amenities such as a paper-lined bathroom and dog bowls available for your dog. Your service dog will love this trip, and so will you!

Take your dog on a hike

There are lots of fun places to hike in and near Chicago, and your dog is welcome to join you on some of them. The Valley Line Trail is one such trail both you and your service dog will enjoy. It was made along the path of an old railway, and is currently maintained by the Rails to Trails Conservancy. Just 20 minutes from down town, you can access one of the trail heads at 4400 W. Devon Ave. Chicago, IL 60646.

Chicago is a large city filled with dog friendly places you can go with your dog. Where your four legged friend is a hard working animal, a retiree, or just a pet, there are plenty of things you can see and do around the Chicago area.

If you’ve been thinking about visiting, don’t be afraid to bring your dog along with you to the Windy City. You will love it, and he will too.

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Seattle, WA: A Great Place to Visit with Your Service Dog

Seattle is a thriving metropolis known for the Space Needle, fabulous whale watching opportunities, and how dog-friendly it is. If you are a dog lover yourself or need a service dog or emotional support dog to get around, you’ll love Seattle, Washington. Seattle was even named the most dog-friendly city in the world because of the many opportunities available in it.

Dog friendly lodging

If you’re planning on just a short visit, one of the best places to stay is the Belltown Inn. This dog-friendly inn is centrally located in the heart of Seattle, making it a convenient location for checking out all the sights and sounds.

It has received several awards for being environmentally friendly and for its excellent ratings with customers. Housekeeping will not visit if the dog is left unattended, so be prepared if you want housekeeping while you have your emotional support dog or service dog staying with you.

Staying a while?

If you’re planning to move to Seattle, Cyrene Apartments is a dog friendly apartment located within blocks of the waterfront. You’ll be able to visit the Seattle Aquarium and the Waterfront with just a quick stretch of the legs. Seattle Aquarium welcomes service dogs in all public areas and is wheelchair accessible. Some breed restrictions for Cyrene Apartments do apply for non-assistance animals, but there is no weight limit to the size of the dog. You can see it for yourself at 50 University St.

Take your ESA with you to dine out

If you want to grab your morning cup of coffee on the go, and take your emotional support dog with you, Bark! Espresso is one of the most dog-friendly cafes you can ask for. It has a completely separate area for dogs, and you can even treat your ESA to a doggie latte while you grab a real one for yourself. Bark! Espresso is located at 11335 Roosevelt Way NE.

If you’re hoping for a sit-down dinner you can bring your emotional support dog to, Norm’s Eatery and Ale House is the place to go. All dogs are welcome inside the building so long as they follow the rules. The dog must be on leash, cannot eat off the table or plates, and must not bark while inside. If he can follow these rules, he can come in while you dine! Enjoy a great meal at 460 N 36th St, Seattle, WA 98103.

There are many eateries that welcome pets in Seattle, so if you’re hoping to bring along your ESA, chances are there will be a place close to you that allows it.

Take your puppy to the beach

Not a lot of off-leash dog parks can boast beach access, but Warren G. Magnuson Park off-leash area can. In fact, it’s the only park in Seattle that does. This 8.6 acre park is part of a larger, 350 acre park in the Sand Point neighborhood of Seattle, and the off-leash park is alongside Lake Washington, giving your dog plenty of opportunities for fresh water fun.

There are also a multitude of trails to walk your service dog or ESA along, and many of these trails are wheelchair accessible. It’s a great opportunity for everyone, and easily the best dog park in Seattle. The park is located at 7400 Sand Point Way NE.

Visit an outdoor market

The Fremont Sunday Market is a beautiful outdoor market open year-round. The market is located at 3410 Evanston Ave North and is dog friendly. They ask that your dog be kept on a short leash for the safety of patrons as well as your service dog, ESA, or other pet. Click Here to check out National Service Animal Registry’s 4 foot leashes, perfect for this scenario.

You can find all sorts of things at the outdoor market, from handmade leather satchels to treats to give your service dog or emotional support dog as a reward for a job well done.

Bark at the Park

While your service dog is always welcome at baseball games, you may enjoy taking him to one specifically geared towards dogs. “Bark at the Park” is a baseball game where dog lovers can take their pets for a fun filled day of events, free goodie bags from vendors, and of course a baseball game.

Whether a licensed assistance animal or just a pet, he may have never been to a baseball game. This is your chance to let him experience the full fun of this event and watch a great game too.

Need a vet?

Whether your dog is a service dog, an emotional support dog, or your very best friend in life, good veterinary care is vital to their health. In the case of a service dog or an emotional support dog, your dog plays a vital role in your level of independence, and your emotional health as well, making it critical for both you and your pet that he remain healthy.

That means knowing the best local vets in case your dog gets sick or injured while you are in Seattle. If you’re looking for the very best care for your dog, consider Lien Animal Clinic. With over 300 5 star reviews, and prompt attention to those who do have a problem, you know you’ll be treated well when you take your furry companion to this clinic.

Rex Seattle

Service dogs work hard, and sometimes they deserve a little pampering too. Rex Seattle has everything you need to take care of your dog while you are in Seattle. Located at 1402 12th Avenue, you’ll find grooming, a self-dog wash, and select products as well as a caring staff.

Seattle is a great place for dog lovers. If you have a assistance dog and depend on your dog for your own wellbeing, you can rest assured that there are plenty of places you can keep your dog in tip top shape while you are enjoying this big city.

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Are Landlords Able to Deny an ESA?

If you have an emotional support animal, you may be under the impression that you can take them everywhere. That’s one of the principal advantages of obtaining your emotional support dog registration in the first place – helping you identify your animal to the public. If you get anxious in crowds or tend to feel isolated and insecure when you’re in unfamiliar environments, having an ESA can help settle your nerves and ease your anxiety. What if you’re moving to a new place? If you’re considering renting a new apartment, is your landlord required to accept your emotional support animal when you move in? Here’s what you should know regarding landlords and your rights to an ESA.

Protection from No Pets Policies

Landlords are allowed to restrict their tenants from having pets. It’s common for them to place restrictions so that pets are prohibited, or they limit the kinds of animals permitted based on species, breed, or size. Emotional support animals, however, aren’t considered pets. They provide necessary assistance to people with physical or mental disabilities, so they must be allowed in all apartments under federal fair housing laws.

Federal Fair Housing Act

It’s a violation of federal law to discriminate against people with disabilities. People who require the services of an ESA are considered disabled and are, therefore, protected. This means that the landlord must make reasonable accommodations for the disabled individual. Among these reasonable accommodations is allowing the tenant to have an emotional support animal. ESAs are usually dogs, but the landlord must permit dogs, cats, or any other animal who has ESA certification.

Questions You Can Expect from a Landlord

If you intend to move into an apartment with your ESA, and that apartment doesn’t usually allow pets, you can anticipate that the landlord will challenge you on the necessity of having an ESA. While the law doesn’t require you to show or explain your disability, landlords are allowed to ask for proof that a disability exists. Make sure you have an ESA letter from a licensed mental health professional explaining that you need your emotional support animal.

If you don’t have a therapist or your therapist is unwilling to write an animal emotional support letter, National Service Animal Registry (NSAR) offers a NO-RISK [emotional support animal letter](/esa-letter.html) assessment. National Service Animal Registry is the original and most trusted and referred online provider of ESA prescription letters in the United States, equipped with an extensive network of experienced licensed therapists across the nation who specialize in ESA assessments.

The landlord may want to know in what way the ESA assists you with your disability, but the letter is all you need to show them. Once you’ve proven to the landlord that you have a mental illness and that your ESA is necessary, then the landlord must permit your emotional support animal as part of the rental agreement. You can expect to follow the same process if you get an ESA after you’ve already moved into an apartment. Just because you get an emotional support animal after you’ve lived in an apartment is no reason for a landlord to evict you due to a no pets policy. Simply show them your ESA letter, and they’re required by law to accept your emotional support animal.

If you don’t have an ESA yet, but wish to get one or have your current pet registered as an ESA, contact the National Service Animal Registry. We register emotional support dogs for people just like you so you can get the valuable assistance and support that only ESAs can provide.