For many people struggling with mental health conditions, emotional support animals are an essential asset to their quality of life. Emotional support animals help people cope with a wide range of mental illnesses and emotional disorders. But what if you, as an emotional support animal owner, aren’t permitted to have your ESA live with you because your landlord doesn’t allow tenants to have pets? The good news is that there’s a straightforward way to protect your medical need for an emotional support animal, and it comes in the form of an official ESA letter

Your emotional support animal does not require any special certifications (or even training) to fulfill its role of providing comfort and companionship, but you will need an official recommendation from a licensed medical professional to verify your need for its presence. Whether you’re hoping to move to a new home with your emotional support animal, or you’re simply wondering whether your current pet qualifies as an emotional support animal, there are a few things you need to know about ESAs, ESA letters, and housing.

Take this short quiz to see if you pre-qualify for an ESA.

Here’s the bottom line.  

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  • What is an emotional support animal? An emotional support animal is a companion animal that helps its owner cope with mental health issues or emotional struggles. You don’t need to find a specially-trained dog to be an emotional support animal. Any pet that offers you emotional support can be an emotional support animal. 
  • Which animals are best as emotional support animals? Dogs and cats are the most common emotional support animals, but any animal can be an ESA as long as they provide their owner with emotional support and help them to cope with a mental or emotional condition.
  • Why do tenants need an ESA letter? In the context of housing, ESA letters are used to show landlords that a licensed mental health professional has determined that you benefit from the companionship of an emotional support animal. Having a legitimate ESA letter ensures that you and your ESA will be allowed to live together in rented housing, even if your landlord typically has a “no pets” policy or charges pet deposits or fees.
  • How to get an ESA letter: By working with an online ESA letter provider, you will be matched with a licensed medical professional. During an online consultation, this clinician will assess your mental health and determine whether you have a legitimate need for an emotional support animal. If so, they will write you an ESA letter that you can use for housing.
  • Best ESA Online Providers: There are many trusted, well-known online providers of ESA letters, but unfortunately, there are a number of scam sites, too. The best companies have earned many positive reviews from their customers and offer a fast, transparent process to provide ESA letters to clients with legitimate mental health needs.

Read on to learn more about the role of emotional support animals, why tenants need an ESA letter, how to get an ESA letter, and which online ESA letter providers offer the best service.

Take this short quiz to see if you pre-qualify for an ESA.

What is an emotional support animal?

An emotional support animal offers comfort, love, and companionship to its owner. Some people struggle with day-to-day stress and anxiety, which can lead to more serious mental health issues. Many individuals with mental health needs benefit greatly from the emotional support of a companion animal, whether they are coping with a long-term mental illness or dealing with extreme stress and anxiety surrounding big life events, such as moving to another state or switching jobs. Regardless of whether an individual lives with daily mental health struggles or experiences sporadic episodes, a support animal can help.

For those planning to move with a support animal, here are some locations we service:

Also, if you are considering moving to another state, check out this quick guide on tips for moving company quotes.

There is no formal registration or licensing process for emotional support animals themselves. However, to prove to other people (including landlords) that your need for an ESA is legitimate, you will require a letter from a licensed mental health professional verifying this need. 

Severe anxiety, panic attacks, and chronic stress are among the many emotional and mental conditions that can be eased by an emotional support animal.. A licensed therapist can help you determine whether you would truly benefit from the presence of an emotional support animal in your daily life. It’s also possible for a pet that you already own to be regarded as an emotional support animal – your therapist can make that judgment, too.. 

Which animals make the best ESAs?

The most common emotional support animals are dogs and cats. However, an emotional support animal can be any animal that offers comfort and companionship to a person in need. While you most commonly see emotional support dogs, there are many other animals that have successfully served as emotional support animals, including hamsters, rabbits, birds, hedgehogs, and even miniature horses and pigs. Any of these animals can help people to cope with a mental or emotional disability. 

It’s important to keep in mind that although landlords will need to accommodate emotional support animals (as long as you have a valid letter), the accommodations should be reasonable. For example, if you want to live in a top-floor studio apartment, you probably can’t have a miniature horse live with you, even if they are considered an emotional support animal. A landlord is required to provide a habitable space, but ESA owners should also think logically and realistically about which space is best for them and their support animal.

Why do tenants need an ESA letter?

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Many ESA owners who benefit from their animal’s companionship and emotional support may wonder why they need an official ESA letter as a tenant. An ESA letter for housing is essential for any ESA owner because the letter shows others that you have a legitimate medical need for your support animal – they are more than just a pet. An ESA letter will show that your animal plays a specific role in helping you cope with a mental health condition.

Because mental and emotional disabilities are often unseen, some people may dismiss them more easily than they would a cast on a broken arm or another physical injury. An ESA letter is the best way for ESA owners to show others that they have a medical need for their companion animal..

Even if they are less obvious to others, mental health struggles can be just as debilitating as physical ailments, and emotional support animals can help. ​Emotional support animals are essential for helping their owners cope with the daily occurrences and big events that cause stress and anxiety. Moving stress, changing jobs, or losing a loved one can significantly exacerbate everyday pressures and create a dangerous situation for someone who is already struggling with a mental health condition.

There are several important laws that protect ESA owners, especially when it comes to housing rules and landlords – as long as they have a legitimate ESA letter. Clearly, the process of getting an official ESA letter is of vital importance if you need to live with your emotional support animal in rented housing..

How to get an ESA letter

An ESA letter will prove incredibly useful when it comes to showing a landlord your medical need for an emotional support animal. If someone has an emotional support animal and they are asking for reasonable accommodations from their landlord, their landlord must respect the legitimacy of their ESA letter for housing.

There are a few steps to follow when getting an ESA letter. First, you need to find a reputable provider that can help you obtain an official ESA letter for housing. Getting your ESA letter online involves just a few simple steps, and you can complete the entire process from the comfort of your own home. 

Take an online assessment

The first step is to explore your need for an ESA. Certain online services can help you with this step by offering an assessment that you can complete in your own time, at home. The assessment might take as little as three minutes. After you complete this assessment, you will most likely have a consultation with a medical professional. 

Have a consultation with a licensed mental health professional

You’ll need to meet, talk on the phone, or have a video call with a licensed mental health professional to discuss your needs and concerns. You’ll need to be matched with a licensed mental health professional or therapist who is authorized to practice where you live, as ESA letter requirements stipulate that the health professional must be licensed in your state. During this consultation, your therapist will outline the best options for getting you help for your mental health needs. A mental health professional is the best person to determine whether an emotional support animal would be an asset to your treatment plan. 

Get your letter

After your appointment with a mental health professional, they will decide whether you would benefit from the presence of an emotional support animal in your life. If your therapist decides that this is the case, they will issue you an official ESA letter. Your ESA letter will need to include certain information in order to be legally approved. Your letter needs to state your mental health clinician’s name, the name and phone number of their practice, the clinician’s license type and number, and when and where the license was issued.

The letter will also need a statement confirming that you need an emotional support animal. It must be written on official letterhead. If you use a legitimate, well-respected site like Pettable to help you get your letter, your therapist will know exactly what to include on your letter. 

Take this short quiz to see if you pre-qualify for an ESA.

Best ESA Online Providers

The process of obtaining an ESA letter can seem overwhelming, but connecting with an experienced, trustworthy company will streamline the process significantly. We’ve selected a few of the best online ESA letter providers that can guide you through each step of the ESA letter process. 

Connecting with an online ESA letter provider can be life-changing for people living with a mental or emotional disability. Having a mental health condition can cause anxiety, frustration, and fear, but an emotional support animal can help. Don’t hesitate to prioritize your health today.

Pettable

Pros

  • Easy online prequalification quiz
  • Full money-back guarantee
  • Fair Housing Act-compliant ESA letters
  • Customer support, including email and phone assistance
  • You can get your letter in as little as 24 hours after qualifying.

Cons

  • You must provide an email address and phone number to complete the online prequalification quiz.
  • You must pay in full before your consultation, but Pettable offers a 100% refund if you don’t end up qualifying for an ESA letter.

Pettable – The Bottom Line

Pettable has a very easy-to-use process that starts with a simple three-minute assessment about your ESA needs. Pettable will also set up an online consultation for you with a mental health professional who is licensed in your state. If you need a fast and incredibly reliable ESA service, Pettable is one of your best options.

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Fast ESA Letter

Pros

  • Easy three-step process to get an ESA letter
  • Speak with a licensed mental health professional
  • Fast ESA Letter sends ESA letters via email for easy downloading.

Cons

  • You can receive a refund only under certain conditions.

Fast ESA Letter – The Bottom Line

Fast ESA Letter is a HIPAA-compliant online service that connects people in need of an ESA letter with licensed mental health professionals. Their process is simple and straightforward, although you may want to think carefully before committing, as refunds are only issued in limited circumstances.

Real ESA Letter

Pros

  • Offers a free online assessment – no credit card needed
  • Letters are written on official letterhead and signed by a licensed healthcare professional.
  • You’ll receive a physical copy of your ESA letter by mail, along with your emailed digital copy.

Cons

  • There are other services that send digital letters more quickly. Real ESA Letter sends digital copies within 48 hours.
  • It’s difficult to find contact information for customer support on their website.

Real ESA Letter – The Bottom Line

Real ESA Letter offers legitimate ESA letters that comply with the Fair Housing Act, and they connect people with licensed mental health clinicians. Their letters are professionally written and legally compliant, although it can be difficult to access customer support if you encounter any issues.

ESA Benefits for Students

Pursuing higher education can be stressful, and having a pet to come home to can make a huge difference. There are also resources available for students who have emotional support dogs, or who just love dogs in general, like the scholarship below!

A Dog Changed My Life Scholarship

Has a dog been a special part of your life? Then there’s an annual scholarship just for you! The $500 annual A Dog Changed My Life Scholarship Scholarship was created to support those who love and have been moved by dogs, and who need little help in paying for their education or education-related expenses.  The deadline for applications is August 15 of every year, with winners announced one month later on September 15.

a dog changed my life

The companionship of a dog is one of the most rewarding experiences in life. Dogs bring years of joy to individuals and families across the globe. Their unconditional love and support can truly change our lives.

This scholarship aims to honor our furry friends and their caring humans by awarding one student $500 to put towards their education.

Any high school senior, undergraduate, or graduate student who’s a US citizen or permanent legal resident and has been impacted by a dog may apply.

Any high school senior, undergraduate, or graduate student who is a US citizen or permanent legal resident and a lover of dogs is welcome to apply for the Dog Lover scholarship. 

Just click to apply below and share why you love dogs and how a dog has changed your life!

Details: 

  • Amount: $500
  • Application deadline: August 15
  • Recurrence: Annual

Eligibility: 

  • Education Level: High school senior, undergraduate, or graduate student
  • Citizenship: US citizen or permanent legal resident
  • Background: Must love dogs!

APPLY HERE