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November 22, 2019
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Family Living

How to Get Prescription for Emotional Support Animal? 

Undoubtedly, dogs are great companions but some work seriously in helping others. Dogs have a natural talent, which when carefully refined with intensive training transform them into working dogs. In the past, some breeds were categorized to perform specific works like guarding or herding, but today they may be unable to do those tasks. On the other hand, there are multiple or mixed breeds that can get those tasks done correctly.

Different Kinds of working dogs

  • Therapy dogs
  • Service dogs
  • Police dogs
  • Detection dogs
  • Military working dogs
  • Search & rescue dogs
  • Herding dogs

All these dogs go under intense training to do a variety of tasks but there are emotional support dogs that offer therapeutic support to an elderly or disabled person. These dogs are categorized as emotional support animals {ESA}. ESA dogs cannot be defined as service dogs as per the Americans with Disability Act.

Usually, dogs or cats offer affection, companionship, and non-judgmental positive respect to an emotionally or physically disabled person. This is the valid definition of emotional support animal, which can be of any species. You need an ESA prescription from a mental health professional or licensed therapist that verifies your disability and need of an emotional support animal.

What kind of animals is qualified as an ESA?

Every type of animal can be qualified to be an ESA including dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, mice, ferrets, etc. Even their ages don’t matter. Unlike the working service dogs, ESAs don’t need to be trained as their presence only helps to reduce the symptoms of mental disability. The only need is that the chosen ESA has to be manageable in public and should not be a nuisance around or in the home environment.

How to qualify an animal to be an ESA?

Unlike service dogs, the ESAs are easily qualified as there is no need to be trained specifically to do a task. Instead, the handler will need to get qualified as a person in need of animal support at home and while traveling due to mental illness.

Your mental illness must be defined in a properly formatted recommendation letter by a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist. Physicians or other medical doctors may not be qualified if they are not licensed, mental health professionals. The ESA letter is evidence of gaining access to housing with ‘No Pet’ policy and even abroad a flight for free.

Do ESA dogs need to wear a harness or identifying clothes?

No, there is no Federal law that needs ESA or service dogs to wear any kind of harness or specific clothes. It is strongly recommended to make your pet look official. This reduces the confusion when you take them along to different places. Even make sure that your ESA is obedient and does not create any havoc or this can increase your stress level.

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