Frequently Asked Questions

"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole." ~ Roger Caras

What Are The Mental Health Benefits of an ESA?

Service Dog – ESA – Therapy Dog Comparison Chart

SpecificsService DogESATherapy Dog
Is allowed to accompany handler to public places, like restaurant, movie theaters, etcx
Is specially trained to perform tasks that mitigate (one) handler’s disabilityx
Is legally allowed to fly in the cabin of an airplane with a handler ** Many airlines are putting restrictions on flying with an ESA now.x
Must be well-socialized and desensitized to all kinds of people, animals, objects, and environments Provides comfort to many others, as directed by handlerxx
Provides comfort to many others, as directed by handlerx
Is legally allowed to live in housing that otherwise has a “no pets” policy Primary purpose is to provide comfort to handlers who experience severe anxiety and/or depressionxx
Primary purpose is to provide comfort to handlers who experience severe anxiety and/or depressionx
Must have “prescription” from doctor or psychiatristX

Your Most Common Questions Answered

A: A therapy dog has one handler and is trained to provide comfort to many, both psychologically and physiologically, to all types of individuals, not just one person. An ESA provides emotional support and comfort to its owner. They do not require special training but do require a letter of certification.

A: Emotional Support Animals come in all shapes and sizes. The best ESAs are the ones that have a connection to their owner. Dogs, cats, rabbits, and even snakes can make amazing Emotional Support Animals.

A: All dogs are individuals. Purebreds, mixed breeds, or rescue dogs all have the capacity to be loving, affectionate, intuitive, emotional support dogs. When a dog’s strong connection is to its human along with basic manner training, the emotional support component can come easily.

A: According to the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), landlords must make “reasonable accommodations” for tenants with disabilities. Certification of an animal, as an Emotional Support Animal, falls in the category of being considered necessary for the well-being and mental health of a tenant.

A: Most colleges will make exceptions for ESAs. Some require extra information about the size and location of the animal during class. All this should be discussed with the school before the ESA arrives at the school.

A: An ESA does not need special training but we recommend basic manners training.

A: The fact that a dog is hypoallergenic doesn’t mean it is completely allergen-free.

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