Emotional Support Animal Letter
Animals provide a sense of comfort, protection, and calm to people who are coping with emotional distress.
If you’re thinking of using an animal for this purpose, you’ll need to talk to your doctor about how to get an emotional support animal letter.
This letter will allow you to take your animal with you in certain places like stores, on airplanes, or in restaurants. Read this helpful guide to show you how to ask your doctor for the letter and what it should include.
Where to Get Your Emotional Support Animal Letter
In order for your ESA letter to be valid, it must come directly from a licensed healthcare or mental health professional. These experts can be anyone from psychiatrists to licensed social workers, psychologists, and licensed counselors.
Many Americans suffer from emotional distress, and a support animal can be extremely beneficial. When your animal is able to be constantly by your side, it makes functioning a whole lot easier.
For anyone who needs to use an emotional support animal, an official letter must be carried with you at all times. This letter can prove to your landlord or an airline worker that the animal is medically necessary.
Some business might ask to see your letter in order to allow your animal into their facility. Keep in mind that not everyone allows service animals, regardless of whether or not you have a letter in hand.
Be wary of any private services that claim to issue animal emotional support letters for a fee. The only legal and valid source of these letters is via one of several licensed, professional health providers who can diagnose your specific issue.
What Your Letter Should Include
An official emotional support animal letter needs to include several different facts for it to be valid. When you talk to your doctor, make sure they understand the current rules regarding these letters so you don’t run into any problems later down the line.
All ESA letters must include the following information:
- Your health professional’s official office letterhead and their signature
- The date of issuance for your letter
- The health professional’s type of license, the date of their license, the current license number
- The state that issued the license to the mental health professional
- A statement of confirmation demonstrating that your emotional support animal is essential to your day-to-day life
- A description of how your animal helps your condition
- An official recommendation from your doctor stating that the ESA is needed
- Your name, your pet’s breed, type, and name (this information isn’t required but it is recommended)
Make sure that all of the items on this list are included in your letter. If your doctor deems the letter is appropriate, writing it and giving it to you should only take several minutes.
How to Talk to Your Doctor About an ESA Letter
Writing an emotional support animal letter is the easy part. Convincing your doctor to give you one might prove to be more difficult than you expect.
For patients already in therapy for a medical condition, getting the letter is easier than those who are not currently undergoing any form of treatment. If you are in therapy, ask your therapist about getting an ESA letter.
The therapist can determine if having a pet by your side will help you through your recovery or assist you with your day to day life. If they believe the animal can help you, they’ll probably be happy to write a letter for you.
For patients who are not in therapy, there are still some options available. You can start the process by seeing a mental health professional as soon as possible. Explain your current situation, and let them know you feel an animal could be beneficial.
The doctor or psychologist will need to analyze your condition and make the determination as to whether or not an ESA can help you. If they deem the animal as a form of therapy, you will probably be able to get them to write and sign the letter.
Convincing Medical Professionals
Not all doctors are enthusiastic about writing emotional support animal letters. Some do not feel that these animals can really help people coping with a variety of mental disorders and conditions.
Others may think most patients who ask for an ESA letter are simply trying to get permission to board their pet on a plane for free or take them with them wherever they go. The skepticism about emotional support animals is the main reason most letters get rejected.
If you’re convinced that the letter can help you, you can plead your case with the doctor in person. Sometimes, expressing the importance of having your animal with you is all it takes to convince them to write the letter.
Be open and honest with your doctor and give them some real examples of how your emotional support animal is helpful. When they understand how the animal improves your condition, they’ll be much happier to give you the documentation you need.
Animals for Emotional Support
Whether you have PTSD, panic attacks, or anxiety, animals can make a big difference in your life. Talk to your mental health professional or doctor to find out about getting an emotional support animal letter.
With your pet by your side, you have a new lease on life and can enjoy your surroundings much more easily. Learn the laws regarding these letters so you can talk to your doctor in an open and honest way to get the help you need.
Visit our website to find your service dog and to learn more about how animals can help you cope with your condition.