NSAR

National Service Animal Registry

NSAR

National Service Animal Registry
Service Dog and Emotional Support Animal Blog

A Service Dog and Emotional Support Animal Blog

Patient Speaking with Doctor

How to Ask Your Doctor for an Emotional Support Animal Letter

Any animal can be registered as an ESA, regardless of their species and without any specialized training. Having an ESA enables you to bring your animal with you when traveling and allows you to have your ESA live with you even in pet-free housing. While you don't legally need to supply a doctor's letter to have these rights, having this document can make traveling and getting housing restrictions waived much easier for you. Here's what you need to know about getting an emotional dog support letter from your doctor.

Discuss Your Mental Health

First and foremost, you and your doctor should have an in-depth discussion regarding your mental health, if you haven't already done so. In order to legally register a dog for emotional support animal status, you must have a mental or emotional condition that improves with the presence of an ESA. Most often, people utilize ESAs to help with anxiety and depression, but they can also be used to aid those with PTSD and ADD, among other conditions.

If you have not yet received an official diagnosis for your mental or emotional health issues, then that is the first step in registering your pet as an ESA. Discuss your symptoms and your troubles with your doctor. Not only does this allow you to qualify for a legally recognized ESA, but it can also help you to get other essential help in treating your condition.

Ask about an ESA

Assuming your doctor knows about your mental or emotional health struggles and assuming you have worked together to establish an agreed-upon treatment plan, the next step would be to ask your doctor about their experience with emotional support animals. Ask them if they have patients who have benefited from an ESA and what kinds of improvements those patients have seen. Then, ask if they think your condition might be improved through the use of an emotional support animal.

If you already have a pet that you would like to have registered as an ESA, talk to your doctor about how your pet has helped to relieve your symptoms or improve your condition. Your doctor will likely ask several questions regarding your pet and its impact on your condition. Don't be alarmed by this; many people will try to get an ESA letter for their pet simply to avoid housing fees and travel costs, so your doctor is just trying to verify that you have an actual need for an ESA.

Request the Letter

If your doctor or other licensed mental health professional agrees that you could benefit from an ESA or that your current pet qualifies as an ESA, receiving a letter stating as much is a quick and simple process. You should expect there to be a cost for this letter, just as there would be a cost for any other prescription or treatment plan.

Hands Holding Paws with a Heart

The letter must state that your mental health condition has been verified, you're receiving treatment, and a current patient of the doctor writing the letter. It should also state that your mental condition impedes your ability to participate in at least one daily activity, and an ESA is a part of your current treatment plan to cope with your symptoms.

With this letter, exercising your right to travel with your ESA and have them live with you without paying pet housing fees should be much easier. Register your ESA using our website to receive a certificate stating their status in a matter of minutes.

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