Animals can be a whole lot more than just pets to their owners. With the increasingly recognized human need for emotional support, some animals are now labeled as support systems – specifically referred to as emotional support animals or ESAs. While there are a number of ESA services that exist, it’s important to find and use one that not only makes the process easy for you, but ensures that the emotional support certification of your animal is recognized. The process of getting your ESA letter isn’t complex, as long as you work with the right services and follow the process the right way.
For that reason, we have done all the necessary research and put together a list of the best emotional support animal services sites you should visit for your ESA letter. We’ve specifically included information about each ESA site that will help get you through the process with ease. In addition, this article will answer some of the most important questions people have about emotional support animal services, just to ensure that you have a seamless experience getting your emotional support letter.
Top 3 Emotional Support Animal Letter Providers
- CertaPet – Editor’s Choice (Discount Code Below)
- Emotional Pet Support – Runner Up
- Pettable – Honorable Mention
Reviews of the Best Emotional Support Animal Letter Services
1. CertaPet – Editor’s Choice for Best ESA Service
*USE DISCOUNT CODE: EASYESA
- Simple and speedy process
- Strong confidentiality feature
- Total compliance with relevant laws
- Option of speaking with a licensed mental health professional
- Easy telehealth setup
- CertaPet’s money-back guarantee excludes a fee for the initial consultation
Features of CertaPet
CertaPet offers you excellent and trustworthy emotional support animal letter consultation services. Unlike a number of other ESA letter services, CertaPet provides you an initial screening process for free and doesn’t require you to pay any form of fee before the process can be initiated.
The secure process is also simple and fast, which is one of the reasons why CertaPet has enjoyed positive reviews and recommendations from previous users and reputable platforms like Entrepreneur Magazine, Forbes, Inc., and Fox. Through their years of existence, they’ve offered ESA services to over 65,000 clients, of which 7,500+ have officially given positive reviews and 5-star ratings.
Again, the process is easy even right from the screening stage, as it will not take you more than 5 minutes to find out if you qualify for an ESA letter or not. CertaPet doesn’t give a letter to everyone that requests one. This is based on the underlying principle that not everyone needs one. An emotional support letter will only be granted to a person who has an emotional disability or a mental illness, one which an emotional support animal can help alleviate and help the treatment plan work. For that reason, CertaPet’s screenings are followed up by a telehealth conference with one of their licensed independent mental health professionals who will listen to you and walk you through the process of determining if you truly need an ESA.
CertaPet doesn’t require you to physically visit a doctor’s office for a consultation, as you can speak directly to a licensed mental health professional from the comfort of your home. Based on the screening and evaluation process, you get a recommendation from the mental health professional on the ESA letter request. If they find you to be eligible, then you’ll be issued a valid ESA letter right on CertaPet’s online portal. This process is very fast and easy. You get your letter immediately in a pdf format for download and printing, but if you decide to go with the mailing option, you only need to wait for a few days for it to get to you via USPS.
Their customer support team also makes the process easier for you. They are available to answer questions on time, and the feedback from those who have used the service highly praised the outstanding customer service CertaPet offers.
What makes CertaPet unique?
One thing that stands out with CertaPet is how fast the process is. Right from the screening test to the consultation with licensed mental health professionals and down to getting your ESA letter when you qualify, the process is simple, easy, and fast. Their website can also be easily navigated, showing you where to find the information that you need. You can also request a more specific ESA letter, which can either be for housing or travel purposes, depending on what you need it for. The ESA housing letter is given to your landlord to avoid paying any emotional support pet fee or charge that may be requested.
CertaPet also extends its services to psychiatric service dogs, another type of assistance animal that enjoys public access and free travel. These letters are referred to as the PSD housing letter and the PSD air travel letter.
CertaPet is compliant with all federal and state laws and regulations, so you don’t have to be worried about the eligibility of your landlord or the airlines will accept your letter. CertaPet is ideal for persons who genuinely need an ESA letter within a short period of time.
2. Emotional Pet Support – Runner Up
- Same day ESA approval
- Easy-to-fill-out form and in-depth questions in the application process
- Customers approve mental health professionals
- Generally simple and efficient process
- 100% refund policy within 30 days of purchase
- Medical insurance isn’t acceptable to cover exam fees
- The website may be a bit clunky
Features of Emotional Pet Support
Emotional Pet Support provides top-notch services. Through its years of experience, Emotional Pet Support has provided support to over 200,000 satisfied customers. A couple of things stand out in their overall services, from delivering a great customer experience, to their 100% refund policy and a wide range of customer-approved licensed mental health specialists.
One feature of Emotional Pet Support’s services that’s got customers raving is its same-day approval of the ESA letter which runs every day of the week. However, this feature doesn’t automatically mean that every request for an ESA letter is granted on the same day.
Emotional Pet Support has an efficient service process that has to be followed thoroughly to get an ESA letter. First, you’re required to take a one-minute exam that’s free and then proceed to a full 10-minute ESA questionnaire. Once those two steps are completed, you’ll be connected to a licensed mental health professional whom you choose from a pool and have your consultation via telehealth services. This professional goes on to review your exam and if you get approval, you have your ESA letter written out.
Emotional Pet Support services are 100% online and you don’t need to go through the hassle of visiting a doctor’s office or submitting anything at an office branch.
Although the website may appear a bit chunked up, you can patiently find your way through it and get guided through the process of applying for your emotional support letter. You can also request an optional ESA certificate which you’re advised to have for housing and apartment purposes. When you choose this option, you have to enter your name along with the information of the animal that you would like to designate as your emotional support pet while answering your questionnaire.
Along with its great customer service, Emotional Pet Support services is approved throughout all 50 states in the USA and recommended on platforms like the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, TEDx, CNN, the Huffington Post, and USA Today. Emotional Pet Support is highlighted by reviewers to give a satisfactory customer experience, quick turnaround, and relief of getting your approval letter on the same day.
Note that the customer-client interactions are purely done online, and you may not necessarily get calls from their support team until the entire process is done. But Emotional Pet Support guarantees you a legitimate ESA letter that can be used for the purposes you need them for at any time. They don’t want you to have to spend any more time away from your support animal and that’s why they’ve made the entire process fast and seamless. They also provide services relating to psychiatric service dogs, so you can get exempted from air travel fees for your PSD.
What makes Emotional Pet Support unique?
Once the process is done and you qualify for an ESA letter, you get your official ESA letter online the same day through an e-PDF file via a HIPAA-compliant server to ensure confidentiality and safety. If you aren’t completely satisfied with their services also, there’s the choice to request a 100% refund, which you’ll get as long as you request a full refund within the first 30 days of purchasing the service.
Emotional Pet Support understands your need for your support animal to be with you wherever you go. They understand that people with mental illnesses and emotional disabilities are entitled to their medical treatments options at every point in time, without any form of discrimination. That’s why they want to ensure that that right is upheld at all costs and you get to stay with your support animal to remain as comfortable as possible.
3. Pettable – Honorable Mention
- Very fast and convenient assistance process
- Ton-notch customer support
- Quick turnaround time
- Streamlined and detailed websites
- Full payment is required before any consultation, but with a 100% refund policy if letter doesn’t work
The entire point of getting an ESA letter is to ensure that your comfort is guaranteed at different points in time. However, the process of guaranteeing your comfort shouldn’t be stressful to achieve. And that’s what Pettable intends to give you. If outstanding customer service is what you need, then Pettable should be your choice.
Features of Pettable
A quick look at Pettable’s review shows how customers laud Pettable for a great experience from start to finish. The emotional support animal registration process with Pettable was described as “exceptional”, “friendly” and “extremely helpful”. And the customer experience here also cuts through the experience with the licensed professionals and therapists.
When you choose Pettable as your emotional support animal service provider, you are working with a chance of getting your pet certified within 24 hours. This certification is not only written, but also signed by a licensed professional who will confirm that your pet is an important part of your treatment plan to ensure that you properly deal with your mental illness or emotional disability appropriately.
You only need to pass your evaluation process and qualify to obtain an ESA letter for your use. It can be used for a wide range of purposes, from housing permits to air travel restrictions. Whichever way it works, you’ll no longer be subject to unnecessary no-pet policies or extra charges because you have a support animal.
In essence, Pettable helps you cut down on those discriminatory experiences you may be subject to just because you have an emotional support animal to ease you through mental health difficulties.
How Pettable provides ESA letter services
- The first step of the process is starting an application online and seeking a recommendation from a certified mental health professional within 24 hours. When you apply, you have to take a 3-minute test with Pettable so you can get a therapist match to have your evaluation.
- Next, you’ll have a consultation scheduled with your therapist, but this will only be via a phone call without a face-to-face experience. This may be a downside for a number of people, but what Pettable seeks is to ensure that you have the easiest experience, without the need to have to physically visit a mental health professional.
- During the call, the therapist will evaluate your mental state and conclude whether you truly need an emotional support animal or not. If the therapist recommends you for an ESA, you’ll receive your ESA letter in 24 hours.
The Pettable process is also quick and you’re connected with professionals as soon you complete the quiz and request for one. You get the copy of your ESA letter in a pdf downloadable format which you can either keep or print as the need be.
Pettable is trusted and recommended by platforms like CBS, NBC, FOX, and USA Today. Their services are also praised by numerous emotional support animal owners especially because they gave them the opportunity to enjoy the company of their ESA as they went through the route of healing from mental illnesses and emotional disabilities.
Pettable is compliant with federal laws and state and regulations and you don’t have to have that extra worry whenever you move around.
What makes Pettable unique?
Pettable therapists are compassionate and helpful. They make you feel at ease while providing them with personal information throughout your evaluation process. Irrespective of the patient way they take you through the process, it still ends up being fast and efficient so you don’t have to worry about wasting time.
Even after the letter’s been issued to you, Pettable still offers an ongoing support service where you can come back to them whenever you have any issues relating to your emotional support animal. Their therapists and customer service professionals can help if your landlord or travel provider questions your ESA letter. If your ESA letter doesn’t work as intended, Pettable will give you a 100% refund of your money.
How to Get an Emotional Support Animal Letter
There are only a few steps that need to be followed to get an emotional support animal letter, but you need to ensure that they are followed thoroughly.
- Ensure that your pet can categorically act as an emotional support animal for you. However, before this can happen, you need to have been diagnosed with a mental or emotional disability for which you’ll need an animal for emotional support. The condition can range from anxiety and depression to attention deficit disorders and phobias. If you have an existing mental health diagnosis, you can tender it when applying for an ESA letter. However if you don’t have one already or you aren’t sure if your condition qualifies, you should speak to a licensed mental health professional to give you a precise diagnosis.
- You need to get in contact with a licensed healthcare provider from any of the services above. This is to certify that you in fact need an ESA and to also ensure that the process is quicker. That way, you don’t have to deal with the stress of going back and forth to a healthcare professional which may worsen your condition, especially if your mental or emotional disability relates to anxiety or depression. The idea of ESA letter service companies like CertaPet, Emotional Pet Support and Pettable is having a one-stop center that provides everything you need, making the process easy and convenient for you to achieve.
- Once you’ve completed the required questionnaire and completed the process to have a licensed professional to issue you the ESA letter, you can either adopt an animal as your ESA or designate your current pet as such. The important thing is to ensure that you have a genuine connection with the animal and you consider the ESA as a lifetime companion.
ESAs typically don’t require specific training to make them fit, but you may need to personally invest time in training your ESA yourself to ensure that it can really help you get the appropriate treatment that you require. You can also get the help of a local trainer to aid your ESA socialize at home, in public or wherever it is you have to be together.
What Does the ESA Letter Help Me With?
The ESA letter is a document that specifically recognizes your pet as an emotional support animal for your mental and emotional disability. It excludes the animal in question from traveling, housing, and other regulations and policies that regular pets are subject to.
The ESA letter can help you with a number of things including:
- Protection from federal laws and housing regulations that would ordinarily keep you away from your pets as a result of “no pet” policies.
- Invalidating pet fees, pet rents, and other payments that your landlord may require from you for your animal to live with you.
- Before 2021, airlines in the U.S were compelled to recognize ESA letters to allow ESAs on board, but from January 2021, the Department of Transportation left the decision at the discretion of each airline. While most airlines still recognize the ESA letter, some may require you to pay a pet fee.
Summarily, an ESA letter gives you the freedom to live with your animal while enjoying protection from discriminatory practices.
What Disabilities Qualify for an Emotional Support Animal?
First, to qualify for a legitimate ESA letter, you have to have a mental disability. Mental disorders provided for under the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) qualify for an emotional support animal. Examples of mental disorders or disabilities that qualify include:
- Learning disabilities
- Attention deficit disorder
- Chronic stress
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
How to Register an Emotional Support Animal?
No official registration database exists for ESAs currently, but an ESA letter from a certified healthcare professional is sufficient to request an allowance for an animal to be approved for emotional support provided that the ESA letter:
- is legitimate,
- expressly explains the need for an emotional support animal, and
- includes the license number, date, and signature of the provider.
As mentioned earlier, if you don’t have a mental health professional already, you can either work with one of your choice, or go with the one provided by one of the ESA services recommended above.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Are emotional support animals really effective?
Yes, they are. Emotional support animals have quickly become important parts of the mental and emotional health system, as they provide valuable comfort and relief from the symptoms of various emotional disabilities. Human interactions with animals increase the levels of the hormone oxytocin in our systems, and this can inhibit the production of stress hormones, thereby helping you create a renewed sense of calm and comfort. With a better sense of comfort and calm, you can steadily develop your groove back and start healing from the emotional disability you suffer from.
- Can emotional support animals go anywhere?
ESAs have access rights to most places. As long as you have a proper ESA letter, the federal law (including the Fair Housing Act) allows your ESA to live with you in your home regardless of a landlord’s rules regarding pets and also ride in the airplane cabin with you when your airline service allows it. Also, laws prohibit discrimination against employees and students with disabilities, which will cover your companion whenever you’re at work or in school.
However, the law doesn’t cover private establishments; so if restaurants, hotels, or businesses expressly prohibit your ESA, then you may not go into such establishments with them.
- Can I have an emotional support animal that isn’t a dog?
Yes, you can. Although the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) acknowledges only dogs as service animals, there is no such restriction for assistance animals, including ESAs. After dogs, cats are the most commonly owned emotional support animals that exist. This is because of how comfy and cuddly cats can get, especially with their small sizes.
Even aside from dogs and cats, domestic animals like rabbits, minipigs, and hedgehogs are used as companions. The most important thing is that the animal provides therapeutic assistance for its owner.
- Can I have more than one ESA?
Yes, you can. There are no hard and fast restrictions when it comes to the number of emotional support animals you can have at once, only that you have to ensure that you aren’t breaking any state or municipal regulations. Also, each ESA must be certified by your health professional as necessary for your well-being.
You must also get individual ESA letters for each of your support animals and must be renewed when due – every year.
- Is there a size limit of my emotional support animal?
Currently, no size restrictions or limits exist with ESAs. What makes a true ESA is that it provides therapeutic relief to you for your mental or emotional disability, and this isn’t depending on the weight, height, breed, or anything else. However, the only restrictions you may encounter will be in regard to sizes, especially with specific airlines that have size restrictions.
In order to avoid any form of mishap or clash during travel, ensure that you contact the airline in question before booking, so you understand if they have any form of policies restricting pets and ESAs.
- How long is an ESA letter good for?
This will depend on the application the ESA letter is used for. ESA letters are typically used for travel and housing purposes. For housing purposes, your letter gives you and your ESA the right to accommodation and it is in effect for as long as your rental or ownership exists. Once your landlord sees and acknowledges it, you’re covered under the federal Fair Housing Act.
For travel purposes, as long as the airline services in question permit emotional support animals, the ESA letter is valid for one year. Afterward, you’re expected to renew it annually.
ESAs have become such an important part of the mental and emotional health system. They are regarded as valuable tools for providing comfort and relief from the symptoms of various emotional disabilities. From having to deal with depression or anxiety, to coping with loss, loneliness, and isolation, there’s a lot having an emotional support animal can do for you.
When you have an emotional support animal around you, you have a better chance at dealing with the emotional trauma of any kind of level. Such animals not only offer you companionship and comfort when you need it, they also provide relief for your central nervous system. From the constant cuddling to the attention it seeks and gives to you, your ESA can be what you need to alleviate worries and stress until you get better.
But just as important as these companions are for mental health, so is getting the right paperwork in place and ensuring that your emotional support animal is regarded as such. You need to ensure that your animal is registered as an ESA so you don’t have to deal with pet restrictions, in-house pet regulations, or any other thing that can restrict you from having the best aid you can get from your emotional support animal.
There’s no question as to the importance of an ESA letter to be able to properly identify your companion as an emotional support animal. With one, you don’t have to worry about the popular “no pet policy” when seeking accommodation in any area of the country or the regular landlord hassle of paying pet fees. Also, you can enjoy the company of your favorite ESA while you travel, instead of being away from each other while on board. Your ESA letter covers all of that.
Getting the required ESA letter may become a hassle, however, if you don’t go through the right means. In fact, the alleged struggle of getting ESA letters can sometimes outweigh the comfort received from. But that doesn’t have to be the case – particularly if you use one of the three emotional support animal services we’ve recommended. No one should be made to go through more emotional trauma or disability than they already experience, and if a particular animal provides you with the support you need, then you should have access to that source of comfort whenever you need it.
Get your ESA letter as soon as you can to convert your beloved animal to the emotional support system that you need. From there, you can go on to enjoy the benefits of having your emotional support animal with you at every point of need.