December 30, 2019 4 min read

For a long time now medical experts and pet owners alike have recognized that animals can have therapeutic effects on their owners. Dogs, cats, and even other less popular pets can be registered as emotional support animals, allowing their owners certain privileges, such as flying on major airlines for free, accompanying them into stores and shops, in addition to providing them basic emotional comfort on a daily basis. As the negative stigma surrounding mental distress continues to decline in popular culture, more and more people are recognizing the capability of animals to provide consistent emotional and behavioral support.

In this blog, King Kanine will explain how to register an emotional support animal, and we’ll also discuss things like emotional support animal letters and emotional support animal laws. Keep reading if these topics relate to your current life situation, or if you are simply interested in learning more about emotional support animal registration.

What is an emotional support animal?

As it turns out, many people don’t know what an emotional support animal is in the first place. These are animals prescribed by medical professionals to alleviate symptoms associated with a person’s disability. It is important to note that emotional support animals are not the same thing as pets, although many people conflate the two. You have likely heard that it is best not to play with or distract a guide dog or similar service animal; the same principle applies to emotional support animals. However, emotional support animals are different from service animals in that they do not have to receive special training to help their owners perform basic tasks, like helping blind people cross the road and make it safely into their homes. If an animal is regarded to aid in the well-being of a person diagnosed with an emotional or behavioral problem, then with an emotional support animal letter provided by a doctor, emotional animal support laws will give that animal appropriate registration.

How to register an emotional support animal

In order for a person to register their pet as an emotional support animal, they need to visit a mental health professional and be diagnosed as having a certain emotional or behavioral condition that may be ameliorated with the accompaniment of an animal. These mental health professionals will provide an emotional support animal letter, proving that the animal is a valid measure of treatment. Airlines will often require a bill of health from a veterinarian also, so be sure that your dog or cat (or other animals) has been checked out before trying to board a flight. It is helpful to have this letter on your person at all times, because emotional support animals are not required to wear any special clothing (like service animals are), meaning some authorities may mistake them for ordinary pets.

Emotional support animal laws

Legislation surrounding the use of emotional support animals has changed for the better in recent years. It is now the case that owners of emotional support animals cannot be discriminated against in federal housing, or when being considered for federal financial assistance. At first, this legislation only applied to public housing, but now it also applies to private housing. That said, landlords must be dealt with on a case by case basis, and it should not be assumed that they will all play by the rules and recognize an animal as an emotional support animal, even if they should. When applying for housing, a person with an emotional support animal should have documented evidence that they have an emotional or behavioral disability as diagnosed by a mental health professional, this way everything is in the open from the get-go. It is also important to note that while federal law does not preclude certain species as being emotional support animals, landlords or housing companies may not consider animals other than dogs or cats as valid support animals.

Emotional Support Pet - Registering An Emotional Support Animal

If you or someone close to you wants to know more about how to register emotional support animals, be sure to advise them to speak both with a mental health professional, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist, as well as a veterinarian, that way they can be sure that their current pet is physically and emotionally capable of becoming an emotional support animal. Some dogs might be great emotional support animals were it not for a few behavioral hiccups, and in these cases, it is a great idea to consider including products like CBD in their diets, as increasing research has suggested that cumulative use can have potential benefits in regard to emotional and behavioral stability. Be sure to reach out to a pet CBD expert at King Kanine for more information about purchasing this unique product.

If you have any further information about emotional support animal registration, be sure to share it in our comments section below. Our community would love to hear from you!