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Emotional Support Dogs – What to Know About Certification and How to Get One

There is a lot of misinformation online about emotional support dogs and there are various people about everywhere guaranteeing they will certify your dog as an Emotional Support Dog. It can be hard to know what’s real and what a scam is.

That is why we are here to help you out.

Here in the blog post, we will address the questions you might have about emotional support dogs and how to get your dog certified.

What are the differences between emotional support dogs and service dogs?

Emotional support dogs and service dogs are often confused as the same thing. But there are big differences between the two.

Emotional support dog is a companion animal that provides comfort and support in the forms of affection and companionship to a person suffering from mental and emotional conditions. Support dogs do not have to be trained for their role, but medical documentation known as emotional support certification is required. Emotional support dogs can accompany the individual in no-pet housing and cabin of commercial airlines, but otherwise, they are not permitted in places where pets are not allowed.

On the other hand, a service dog is trained to perform a function or do a job that his or her owner cannot perform on their own due to physical, intellectual or emotional disability. Service dog might lead the blind, alert a deaf person to sounds like alarm clocks, open doors for a person in a wheelchair or calm a veteran suffering a PTDS panic attack. The service dogs are allowed to accompany their owners everywhere, even into establishments where pets are not allowed.

Now that you know the difference between emotional support dog and service dog, let’s move on to how to get your dog certified as an emotional support dog.

Emotional support dog certification

The various online sites claim to help people turn their dogs into emotional support dogs. However, they are all fake, there is no such thing as a certified emotional animal. If you have a debilitating mental health condition and the presence of a dog improves that condition or helps ease symptoms, then the best thing is to talk to your health care provider, therapist or other professional members of your care team. Discuss the mental health benefits that you see from having a dog and they will be able to determine if you qualify as disabled and if so will write you a prescription for an emotional support dog.

The emotional support dog certificate is just an attested letter from a licensed mental health professional stating that the individual under care owns a companion animal that helps ease the symptoms of their disability. The letter needs to be presented to a landlord, to an airline, to a place of business to accompany you there.

Though not required, you may also want to meet with a dog trainer. This is particularly beneficial if your dog is a nuisance barker or a safety concern, landlords can request that the dog be removed from the property regardless of if they are an emotional support dog. So having some sort of training will ensure your Emotional Support Dog behaves well.

The regulations associated with emotional support dogs

While all of us get emotional benefits from having dogs around, it does not mean that every person is entitled to have ESA. Wanting to have a dog but living in a rental property that does not allow pets is not a justifiable reason and neither is worrying about having to fly with a large dog. The only individuals who are entitled to have emotional support dogs are people who have been diagnosed with disabilities and a healthcare provider must prescribe the dog as part of an overall treatment plan to improve the individual’s condition and quality of life.

This is all about ESA and how to obtain a certification and if you need a certification then DOGtor is the place to be.

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