Who can qualify for emotional support animals

mm Paul Verbiton June 25, 2019
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emotional support dog

We all know the importance of the animals and how it can really provide support for people, especially when it comes to emotional support. That is why in recent years, there has been an influx of animals being regarded as pets that can provide emotional support to the owners. These pets are termed as the emotional support animals.

What can the emotional support animals do?

In short, the emotional support animal can help to provide emotional support to owners who might be suffering from mental issues. It can range from owners suffering from depression or owners who have emotional issues as a result of having emotional baggage that are too much for them to handle. The main reason why these emotional support animals do so well at provide support to their owners is because animals can’t talk, and that is exactly what these owners need.

You see, sometimes we just need an outlet to express our thoughts and emotions, but we refuse to talk to humans as there is a fear of being judged. As such, since the animals can’t talk and hence cannot be judgemental, they are the perfect option for owners to seek solace in.

There is a misconception going on, saying that any dog can be regarded as an emotional support dog, and they must be allowed into all public places. While not completely untrue, not all dogs can be regarded as an emotional support dog. Also, not all dogs are allowed into public areas too. You will need to have a letter from the therapist to certify that you are emotionally disabled before you can be allowed to have an emotional support dog.

How do you qualify to have an emotional support animal?

The basis of having an emotional support animal is to provide support to the owner who is suffering from emotional problems as well as mental issues. As such, in order for you to qualify to have an emotional support animal, you will first need to have an emotional or mental disability. And it is not as simple as declaring that you have such illnesses. Rather, you will need to be properly certified as having such problems by registered medical health professionals, which includes psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist or any other registered and certified mental health practitioners. This is required so that people won’t abuse this system. You will need to get these professionals to write the letter for you.

Contents of the letter

The letter that you obtain from the professionals must be well formatted and filled with critical information that properly described the condition. It must contain the following information:

  • You are currently a patient that is undergoing treatment by the signee
  • Your functions in life is severely limited because of the disability
  • The emotional support animal will greatly aid in your recovery process
  • Mental health professional’s letterhead
  • Medical practitioner’s license type, license number and state at which license is valid
  • Date of issuance of letter

Note that the letter is valid within a year of signing it. This will be important to note as the validity of each letter is just one year, and if you enter the airplane or the public area with an outdated letter, you will not be allowed into the places at all.

Who can write the letter?

As mentioned, the letter will be important as it will allow you to legally certify that you can have an emotional support animal. But while the letter is important, not everyone would be able to write the letter, and it is actually against the law to have a fake letter at hand. Since the emotional support animal targets those with emotional problems or mental issues, it can be naturally assumed that the personnel that can issue the letters are doctors working in similar fields. These are your psychologist or therapist.

There is a misconception that all doctors can issue the letter. This is false. For example, you can’t expect the physiologist to issue such a letter since they are in no authority to determine if your condition is deserving of an emotional support animal or not.

Medical conditions that warrants the issuance on an emotional support animal

It is worthwhile to note that there are some medical conditions that allow you to have an emotional support animal. This is stated in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of Mental Disorders Version IV or V.

Here is the list of medical issues in the list.

  • Mental problems
  • Various learning disorders like those in the autism spectrum
  • Psychomotor disorders
  • Bipolar disorders
  • Disorders relating to the abuse of drugs or alcohol, or even sexual issues
  • Various other mental cognitive problems

What type of animals can be an emotional support animal

There is generally no strict list of animals that qualifies to be an emotional support animal. It can be your pony to your aquarium fishes. However, it is worthwhile to note that most emotional support animals are dogs as well as your ponies dogs are generally regarded as the best type of emotional support animal because of its smaller size and hence easier acceptance into public areas as well as on to the airplane. This is further validated, given that dogs are one of the most common pet in the world too.

Hence, the problem here isn’t the type of animal, but rather the temperament of the animal itself. Since the emotional support animal’s main task is to provide a safe place for the owner to seek solace, you will need to get an animal that is docile, and mild tempered and does not pose as a risk to the public. This is important since your emotional support animal will be out in the public with you for long hours, and any threat to the public must be properly managed.

Some examples of common dog breeds that are enrolled as an emotional support animal includes the Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers or even the German Shepherd. The latter is particularly surprising to many as they are commonly misunderstood to be fierce. Rather, the GSD to loyal and does have a calm disposition to it!

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Category: Blog, Furry Friends
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Paul Verbiton

I enjoy spotting opportunities and doing my best to grab them if I can. I am eager to see the world, I love taking photos and writing, coming up with topics that are pleasant to read, funny, and interesting at the same time.

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