5 Facts About Emotional Support Animals That You Should Know


Emotional support animals are generally misunderstood. They’re often confused for service animals or are interpreted as simple pets. The truth is that they are entirely separate from service animals, but they still provide their own unique service and care! And since more and more people are using emotional support animals, we think it’s time to shine a spotlight on them.

In this short guide, we’ll take you through five facts you should know about emotional support animals. We’re sure some of these will surprise you, so let’s get into it!

1. They Don’t Automatically Possess Certification

Some people believe that all emotional support animals come with all the necessary paperwork, but this isn’t the case. A few more steps are involved, and although the process isn’t complicated, remembering them is essential. For an emotional support animal to receive its documentation, it must receive it by applying for ESA certification via a legitimate source. This certification isn’t obligatory, but it may help the support animal’s owner to receive certain perks and benefits. 

2. They Are Not the Same as Service Animals

Although they may look identical to the untrained eye, emotional support animals and service animals are very different. Service animals perform specific tasks they’ve been specially trained for, such as guide dogs or hearing dogs. Emotional support animals play a far more generalized role and can help their owners in numerous ways. This difference is essential to recognize as it affects the legislative protection the owner may be entitled to. 

See also  What You Need to Know About Getting a Cat

3. They Are So Much More Than Pets

Because emotional support animals aren’t specially trained like service animals, they are often disregarded as pets. In reality, they are so much more. They change the lives of their owners in extraordinary ways due to their soothing presence and companionship. Also, under the Fair Housing Act, they can live in accommodations that accept no pets. 

4. Airlines Are No Longer Legally Obligated to Allow Them On Board

Although there is legislation to protect emotional support animals and their owners, there are limitations. An example of this is the recent change to the Air Carrier Access Act. Before the amendment, emotional support animals could accompany their owners on board a flight with no issue. Now, only service animals have this right, although some airlines are more sympathetic than others. 

5. Almost Any Animal Can Become an ESA

Last on our list, and one of our favorites, is the fact that almost any animal can become an emotional support animal. The most common are dogs and cats, but rabbits, birds, hedgehogs, and even donkeys can all earn the status of ESA. The only qualifying factor is whether they provide their owner with comfort! 

Emotional Support Animals Support Their Owners Every Single Day!

Despite more and more people using emotional support animals in their daily lives, they still remain relatively misunderstood. There are many exciting things to learn about ESAs, but most importantly, they provide their owners with mental relief and love. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here