Everything About Emotional Support Animals

Posted by: Pet Palace Resort, on June 26, 2018

There’s a lot of misinformation out there about emotional support animals. Fortunately, we’re here to help! Learn what emotional support animals are, who uses them, and how you can have your pet registered as one. 

What Is an Emotional Support Animal?

An emotional support animal is a pet that provides companionship to someone with an emotional disability. These pets comfort people and make it easier for them to deal with their challenges. Unlike a service animal, emotional support animals have no special training.

How Can I Qualify for an Emotional Service Animal?

To legally qualify for an emotional service animal, you must have an emotional disability and get a certified letter from a licensed mental health professional, attesting to that fact.

Disorders that qualify include:

  •       Learning disorders
  •       Attention deficit disorder
  •       Sexual disorder
  •       Mental retardation
  •       Tic disorders
  •       Motor skill disorders
  •       Bipolar disorder
  •       Gender identity
  •       Substance-related disorder
  •       Cognitive disorders

Where Am I Allowed to Take an Emotional Support Animal?

While there are a number of places you can bring your emotional support animal, you can’t take it everywhere. You are allowed an emotional support animal in the following places:

  •       Apartments
  •       College dorms or other campus housing
  •       Airlines (but check for restrictions before booking)

You are not allowed to have an emotional support animal at these places:

  •       Hotels and Airbnb’s
  •       Restaurants
  •       Stores
  •       Your workplace

In some cases, these places may allow you to bring your emotional support animal with you, however, they’re not legally required to do so.

Are There Any Restrictions on Emotional Support Animals?

No, there are no restrictions on emotional support animals, meaning you could select a dog, cat, ferret, tarantula, kangaroo, peacock, turtle, pig, or anything else you wanted.  There are also no size limits on emotional support animals. However, there are two important things to consider:

  1.     Your Disability. Emotional support animals can draw a lot of attention. So, if you have social anxiety, for example, an emotional support animal may actually add to your stress, rather than alleviate it.
  2.     Your Pet’s Demeanor and Comfort. In the same way you might not like all the attention your pet draws, your emotional support kangaroo may not enjoy it either.

By the same token, your hyperactive puppy that jumps up on everyone may not be a great choice for an emotional support animal. While technically there are no legal restrictions on emotional support animals, you want to select a pet that’s calm, well-behaved, and that won’t draw unwanted attention to you.

Speaking of calm, well-behaved pets, did you know that one of the best ways to keep your pet well-behaved is to give it lots of attention?

If you work a lot and fret over the hours you’re spending away from your dog, our Dog Day Care may be the perfect answer.   We’re also pleased to offer dog boarding and cat boarding services for those times you just need to get away.

Make your boarding or day care reservation online or contact your local Pet Palace to get your pet signed up for any of our services.  We have two locations in the Indianapolis, Indiana area, and four throughout Ohio in Columbus, Hilliard, Delaware, and Cleveland.

 

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