How to Register Your Dog as an ESA? A Step-by-step Guide


Emotional Support Animals offer a host of therapeutic benefits to their owners. They provide comfort, speed up recovery, and reduce the effects of anxiety attacks. These animals do not require extensive training, and any animal that is a source of comfort and contentment to its owner can become an Emotional Support Animal. However, most people choose cats or dogs as Emotional Support Animals. 

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If you want an animal to become your Emotional Support Animal, you must acquire an Emotional Support Animal Letter from a licensed medical health professional (LMHP).

In this article, we will guide you step by step on how to register your dog as an Emotional Support Animal (ESA).

1. Introducing an Emotional Support Dog

Have you spotted more pet dogs, even in areas where pets are prohibited? You may be wondering what’s the reason behind this. Well, the answer is a relatively simple one.

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There is a high likelihood that these are emotional support dogs that offer support to their owners. An emotional support dog is not your average dog.

These dogs have been registered as Emotional Support Animals and are tasked with helping their owners cope mentally and emotionally. 

Though there are various types of Emotional Support Animals, emotional support dogs are the most sought-after since they can be trained to obey the commands of their owners and are quite sensitive. Hence they can pick up even the slightest signal that something is wrong with their owner.

What Is The Difference Between An Emotional Support Dog and a Service Dog?

An emotional support dog is often confused with a service dog. A service dog undergoes rigorous training to help their owners with physical tasks. An emotional support dog, on the other hand, offers comfort and companionship to people who need emotional or mental support.

ESA vs Service Animals
Emotional Support Animal vs Service Animals

2. Evaluate Your Symptoms

John Wooden, America’s famous basketball player, and coach, once said, “Without proper self-evaluation, failure is inevitable.” So, to start your journey towards the path to recovery, self-evaluation is critical. Here are some questions to guide you;

  • Do you feel nervous when you are in public places and hence avoid them?
  • Do you worry excessively?
  • Do you experience frequent nightmares? 
  • Does remembering past events trigger you?
  • Do you feel numb or emotionally detached?
  • Do your mental or emotional issues negatively affect your daily life?
  • Does it affect your relationships?
  • Do you feel lonely most of the time?
  • Do you experience severe mood swings? 
  • Have you lost interest in activities that you previously enjoyed? 
  • Are you scared of traveling alone?
  • Has your sleeping cycle or routine been affected; Are you sleeping more or less than usual?
  • Do you easily get distracted?

If your answer to most of the questions above is yes, it’s critical that you urgently find a qualified and licensed mental health professional near you and book an appointment. 

Read some reviews of your favorite ESA clinic before you register your dog as an ESA.

3. Find a Qualified and Licensed Mental Health Professional

After you have completed the self-evaluation, the next step is reaching out for professional help. You should never take your mental health for granted. Take your time and search for the best licensed mental health professional to help reclaim your mental health.

Follow The Tips Below To Find The Best Mental Health Professional

  • Make use of the internet and search online for the best therapist near you.
  • Ask for recommendations for a great therapist from your family and friends.
  • Check out reviews and customer testimonials for various therapists so that you know what to expect.
  • Go through the websites of various therapists and assess their profiles.

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4. Make an Appointment With a Licensed Medical Healthcare Professional (LMHP)

Now that you have found an experienced and licensed healthcare professional, it’s important that you make an appointment immediately. There are two main ways to consult with the therapist of your choice; Online and face to face.

  • Online Consultations

Everything can be done online these days; including consulting with a healthcare professional. Online consultation is quite convenient for people who don’t feel comfortable seeking help for their mental issues with their doctor or therapist in person.

If you fall in this category you can search for the best licensed medical health professional who you can book an appointment with and can sign an emotional support letter online.

Ways to consult with the therapist
  • Face to Face Consultations

If you are successful in finding a good and certified doctor or therapist, you should not hesitate to book an appointment with them in their office.

The greatest advantage of face to face consultation is that you develop a bond with your therapist. This makes it easier for them to understand your mental and emotional state. 

5. Explain to Your Therapist in Detail Your Need for an Emotional Support Dog

Once you meet with your doctor or therapist, you must be open to discussing your mental or emotional health. It would be best if you don’t become uneasy if your doctor asks you to open up about your mental health issues. 

It’s critical that you share every detail however small. The sole purpose of this session is for your therapist to assess your emotional and mental state. Open up about what you are going through and any symptoms that you may be experiencing.

Trust your doctor or therapist because they are trained to uphold confidentiality and are prohibited from disclosing any information that you share with them.

Wanna register your dog as an ESA? Don’t forget to read reviews about authentic ESA letter providers.




During this session with your doctor, some important details that you must disclose include:

  • Your Disabilities

You should be totally open with your doctor about any emotional or mental disabilities that are hindering you from living a normal life. Explain to them how an emotional support dog would be the right companion for you and how it may help with the emotional and mental disabilities you are experiencing.

Based on the severity of your mental and emotional disabilities, your doctor will recommend the best Emotional Support Animal for you. 

  • Share About Your Lifestyle

Talk to your doctor about your life and lifestyle. This will include your family, friends, and routine. Talk to them about any medication that you are currently taking or that was prescribed in the past.

Tell them how you feel when surrounded by people and how an emotional support dog can steer you towards recovery.

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  • Discuss Your Mood Swings

You should discuss with your doctor or therapist even about the minutest change in your mood or attitude. People suffering from emotional and mental disorders tend to be moody and lock themselves away from people.

Tell your doctor why you think having an emotional support dog will help you deal with your mood swings.

  • Discuss Your Fear of Being Alone

You should disclose to your doctor or therapist your fear of being alone and how you can benefit from having an emotional support dog. Talk to your doctor about your need for a companion to prevent you from thinking about past events that may trigger stress, anxiety, and depression.

Important Details to disclose To Your Therapist

6. Register Your Dog

Most people have little or no information about registering their dog as an Emotional Support Animal. Although it’s not always necessary to register your dog as an Emotional Support Animal, there are a host of websites that will ask you to register your pet and get certifications. Some of these websites will lure you into paying quite an amount so they can issue you with a certificate for your dog, ID card, and vest. 

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You should always be aware of scammers. The only way you can register your dog as an emotional support dog is by applying for an Emotional Support Animal letter and having it approved and signed by a licensed medical health professional.

Beware of websites that want to scam you.

7. Apply for an Emotional Support Animal Letter

After a successful consultation with your therapist, and he establishes that you need an Emotional Support Animal, you can go ahead and acquire an ESA letter. It’s quite easy to apply for an Emotional Support Letter for your dog. There are two ways you can apply for an ESA letter for your dog:

  • Ask Your Therapist

After evaluating you, your therapist will understand your need for an emotional support dog. If your therapist is a licensed medical health professional (LMHP), he can write and sign an Emotional Support Animal Letter for your dog.

An Emotional Support Animal Letter can only be signed by a doctor, psychologist, psychiatrist, counselor, a clinical or social worker.

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  • Ask an Online Therapist

Another way to get an Emotional Support Animal Letter is by finding a legit online site that provides ESA letters signed by certified and licensed therapists.

An online site that claims to provide you with a legit ESA letter will ask you to fill a form that will require you to fill out the following information.

  • Your name
  • Address
  • State
  • Email
  • Your preferred ESA
  • Services you seek to get from an ESA

When you are done filling the form, you will then be asked to fill a questionnaire. This questionnaire includes questions concerning your mental and emotional health. This will help your doctor or therapist understand the severity of your mental and emotional issues. Make sure you provide accurate information. Filling the form with false or inaccurate information will only jeopardize the chances of your application being approved.

How To Register Your Dog as an ESA

Afterward, an online consultation will be held with a Licensed Mental Health Professional (LMHP) to evaluate your mental health status. If he/she finds your mental condition requiring emotional support, they will issue you an ESA Letter.

Before settling on a website, make sure to check the credentials of the doctor and clinic. Many fraudulent sites are looking to make money by claiming they provide ESA letters at ‘low prices’; don’t fall for such tactics.

8. Select the Best Breed for an Emotional Support Dog

Choosing an emotional support dog is a meticulous task. It’s critical that you not only choose a dog that can support you emotionally but that is also relatively easy to handle and look after. Therefore, we’ve shortlisted some highly recommended breeds of emotional support dogs.

  • Golden Retriever

Professionals agree that golden retrievers are the best breed for emotional support dogs. They are a highly affectionate, smart, loving, and patient dog breed that is highly suitable for families. Thus, they tick all the boxes for being a great emotional support dog.

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  • Labrador Retrievers

Labradors are one of the most sought after breeds for emotional support dogs. They are gentle, smart, and comfortable in most situations and places. Labs are highly recommended as emotional support dogs.

  • Collies

Collies are herding dogs, which means they have a natural instinct to look out for their ‘herd,’ thus making them lovable companions to have around. Being naturally, a herding dog enables this breed to sense any change in behavior.

The Collie immediately makes sure a person in distress is taken care of. However, this breed does require a bit of physical exercise, which can also the owner keep fit.

Make sure you read reviews before you register your dog as an ESA.

  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

This dog breed is like a huggable toy. King Charles Spaniel is excellent at cuddling and makes sure to keep their owners engaged in a lot of playtimes. With their gentle and calm nature, these dogs make great Emotional Support Dogs.

  • Yorkshire Terrier

Despite being small in size, Yorkies are highly affectionate dogs that require a lot of attention, but always make sure to shower their human with loads of love. They are perfect companions for travel and are known for adapting well to different situations.

  • Corgi

Though this breed is often hailed as being the favorite of the Royal Queen, it is also one of the most affectionate dog breeds. Their ability to appropriately get along with both children and adults is often lauded. Though Corgis require a lot of mental and physical exertion from their owner, they are a valuable breed.

  • American Staffordshire Terrier

Despite having bad press and reputation, these gentle giants are just that. The Staffordshire Terrier is a very gentle breed that is extremely loyal to its owners. With proper training and upbringing, these dogs can make excellent emotional support dogs.

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  • Chihuahua

These tiny dogs are rather energetic, but they can be trained to respond properly to commands. Due to their fun and energetic personality, they are perfect for playing and cuddling with and will provide comfort to their owner both emotionally and mentally.

  • German Shepherd

This is a breed that is happy when working. Thus, by properly training a German Shepherd you can have a very lovable, calm, affectionate, loyal, and fearless companion that responds well to various situations.

Best Breeds for an Emotional Support Dog
  • Irish Wolfhound

Irish Wolfhounds are naturally sensitive, which means they easily pick up on changes in their owner’s behavior or health.

With their natural tendency to protect, this breed is perfect as an emotional support dog. However, one thing to bear in mind with this breed is that it only lives for about six to eight years, which can be challenging for people who develop a strong attachment to their pets.  

Benefits of Getting Your Dog Registered as Your ESA

Once you have successfully registered your dog as an Emotional Support Animal, you can look forward to the many benefits that this dog can avail you. Listed below are some of the things you may experience once you register your dog.

Read some reviews of your favorite ESA clinic before you register your dog as an ESA.

1. Traveling With an Emotional Support Dog

Once you have successfully registered your dog as an Emotional Support Animal, it will be permitted to accompany you everywhere, including a plane’s passenger cabin. That means that the two of you can travel easily.

However, it is essential to note that your Emotional Support Dog should be trained for traveling since it can be inconvenient if it starts acting out. Under The Air Carrier Access Act (ACCA), your Emotional Support Animal can travel for free with you.

2. Housing Facilities

Some landlords forbid tenants from living with dogs. However, once your emotional support dog has been registered as an ESA, it’s allowed to live in your house with you.

Your emotional support dog will be protected by the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1998. Under this law, an Emotional Support Animal, or in your case, an emotional support dog, is allowed to stay with its owner, without any pet fee charges.

Benefits of an ESA Letter

3. Less Loneliness

It has been proven, time and again, that having a furry companion by your side can significantly bolster your emotional and mental well-being. This also applies to loneliness.

Having an emotional support dog beside you ensures that you always have a friend who is willing to listen and never judge you. They provide a sense of comfort and love to people who struggle with opening up to their peers.

4. Calming Effects

 An emotional support dog is a trusted companion. Sometimes, when people who are experiencing emotional issues become anxious, a trusted companion is all they need to neutralize the effect of an anxiety or panic attack. Dogs are naturally sensitive, and emotional support dogs are perfect for this.

5. Physical Effects

 Though emotional support dogs are mostly recognized for the emotional and mental support they offer their owners, it is worth noting that they also help their owners stay physically active and fit.

At the end of the day, an emotional support dog is a dog, and every pet needs some form of exercise and playtime. By helping their owners engage in play, emotional support dogs not only help their owners take their minds off difficult issues but also help them keep fit and healthy.

Wanna register your dog as an ESA? Don’t forget to read reviews about authentic ESA letter providers.


Waking up every day, wishing to accomplish tasks but failing to fulfill your own expectations can be challenging if you suffer from an emotional or mental disorder. Luckily, today, you can have an emotional support dog to get you through the day.

Dogs are considered as man’s best friend. Don’t hesitate to get your dog registered as an Emotional Support Animal today. Then you can enjoy a stress-free and productive life with them. Never take your emotional and mental health for granted.

You can choose the best dog breed to become your emotional support dog, or you can register your own dog as an emotional support dog and enjoy the many privileges that come with the title.

You and your dog will be allowed to travel and live together once you have an approved and signed ESA letter. So, what are you waiting for? Get your dog registered as an Emotional Support Animal today!

Be smart, look deeper, and don’t forget to read reviews before you go!


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