ESAs in Texas

If you live in the Lone Star State and are considering getting an emotional support animal, it is a sound idea to understand the state’s ESA laws. This is also recommended if you are considering a move to Texas. 

Emotional Support Animal Laws in Texas

In Texas, ESAs are covered by federal law, allowing ESAs certain privileges including:

  • Living with you in a rental home even if the facility has a no pets policy (as per the Fair Housing Act/FHA).
  • Traveling with you in the cabin of a commercial airplane (as per the Air Carrier Access Act/ACAA).
  • Not being charged additional fees for living with you or flying with you (as per the Fair Housing Act and Air Carrier Access Act).

Texas’ Human Resources Code covers assistance animals and service animals (defined a dog, or sometimes a miniature horse, that is specially trained to assist a person with a recognized disability and is used by that person). It does not cover ESAs.

Texas law also imposes penalties on people who imply or falsely claim an animal is an assistance or service animal when it is not.

Please note that laws might be added or changed after this article has been posted, so you should check for any changes that could affect you and your ESA.

Emotional Support Animal Registration in Texas

Because the FHA and ACAA are federal laws, the ESA requirements in Texas are the same as all the other states. There is, however, one small distinction. 

In all states, you need a properly executed ESA letter. In Texas, your ESA letter must come from a mental health professional licensed in the state of Texas. This is not a problem: the DOGtor’s extensive network includes mental health professionals licensed in Texas, ready to provide the support you need.

The Fair Housing Act and Texas Emotional Support Animals

With your ESA letter from a mental health care professional licensed in Texas, the Fair Housing Act (FHA) protects your ESA’s ability to live with you even in pet restricted housing. 

Your ESA, however, can be legally be denied given specific circumstances, such as:  

  • Your ESA animal is too large for reasonable accommodation, such as a longhorn bull in a studio apartment.
  • The living unit you want is a single-family home that is not represented by a real estate agent.
  • You want to live in a facility has less than 5 living units and the landlord is occupying one of them.
  • It can be shown that your ESA poses a direct threat to the safety and health of other residents.

The Next Step for an ESA with Privileges in Texas

For your ESA to have the privileges guaranteed by federal law in the Lone Star State, you must have a proper ESA letter from a mental health professional licensed in Texas. That can be easily handled for you by the DOGtor who has helped thousands of people over the years get the recognized paperwork they need with our process that is known across the US (and in Texas, of course) as being easy, quick, and reasonably priced. And, there is no risk for you, because if you don’t qualify, we offer a 100% same-day refund guarantee.

Start your no-risk assessment right now.


Prominent Texas Cities: