How to Designate Your Dog or Cat an ESA

If you already have psychiatric condition that substantially limits at least one of your major life activities, you may qualify to have your dog or cat designated as an emotional support animal.

To designate your dog, cat or other type of domestic animal, as your emotional support animal, you need to get a letter from your psychotherapist or physician (or other licensed professional like nurse practitioner or social worker) recommending the emotional support animal to help with your psychiatric disability. The letter must state that the person has a disability; however it is not necessary to identify the specific disability. The letter must also state that in the professional opinion of the provider, it is essential for the person to have the ESA.

The animal has to be able to live peacefully with people without being a danger or nuisance. To become an emotional support animal, the animal does not require any special training.

Next: Psychiatric Disability 

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Michael Halyard, LPCC, LMFT

Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor & Marriage and Family Therapist

Psychotherapy & Referrals

Emotional Support Animal Letters

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