An emotional support animal is an animal that provides comfort just by being with a person. Because they have not been trained to perform a specific job or task, they do not qualify as service animals under the ADA. However, some state or local governments have laws that allow people to take emotional support animals into public places. You may check with your state and local government agencies to find out about these laws.

If you have an emotional or psychological condition and your animal provides comfort and support, then you could qualify to have an emotional support animal.

You must speak with a mental health professional and find out if you qualify. Any animal or breed can qualify as an emotional support animal.

Typically, if you would like to fly or live in no-animal housing with your animal, airlines and landlords can legally request that you have a letter from a licensed mental health professional stating your need for your emotional support animal.

Any animal or breed can qualify as an emotional support animal as long as it helps support an emotional condition and meets guidelines for legal emotional support animals to have. Please note that if you have an exotic animal you should verify with the appropriate authorities such as Fish and Wildlife that your animal may be legally kept in a home.

While a vest, leash, tag, collar, and other accessories are NOT a requirement for emotional support animals, they can often be helpful in clarifying that your animal is an emotional support animal and reducing questions about your animal.

Under the Fair Housing Act, housing providers are obligated to permit, as a reasonable accommodation, the use of animals that work, provide assistance, or perform tasks that benefit persons with a disabilities, or provide emotional support to alleviate a symptom or effect of a disability.

Once your pet is considered an emotional support animal he or she can stay with you at your residence even if they do not allow pets. While for some landlords, a registration may be acceptable, they can legally require that you have a Dr. Letter stating your need for an emotional support animal.