November 9, 2020Blog

The fully accessible guide to training an emotional support dog

By Dr. Leslie Brooks DVM, MPH
Vet Advisor @ betterpet

Everything you need to know about training, living, and traveling with an ESA.

Covered in this guide

  • The lowdown on emotional support dogs: what they are, how they differ from service dogs, who should get one, and how to certify them.
  • Breeds/types of dogs that make the best emotional support dogs.
  • Everything you need to know about training your emotional support dog. This includes obedience training, emotional training, and socialization.
  • Advice for flying/traveling with your emotional support dog.

What exactly is an ESA (emotional support animal)

An emotional support animal can be a dog, pig, monkey — even a miniature horse that helps humans that are struggling emotionally. In order to be an ESA, a licensed therapist must deem it as such. These animals have specific rights that differ from both service dogs and regular pets:

  • They’re protected under the Fair Housing Act.
  • They’re allowed to fly with owners in an airplane cabin.  Currently, airlines will not allow snakes, reptiles, ferrets, rodents, sugar gliders, or spiders to fly. They will allow miniature horses onboard as ESAs. In 2020, the DOT proposed revising the species rule to only allow emotional support dogs to fly in the cabin and not all ESAs.
  • A special letter from your therapist denotes your ESA.

To continue …..