How to Ask Doctor for Emotional Support Animal? (+ Samples)

Many people suffer from emotional or mental problems such as depression, anxiety, or agoraphobia, which makes it challenging to live normally.

In many cases, having an emotional support animal can help those who suffer from psychological problems. Those pets will offer affection and companionship while helping to lift the sufferer’s mood and calm the anxiety.

Do you have a specific question about the subject? Then use the table of contents below to jump to the most relevant section. And you can always go back by clicking on the black arrow in the right bottom corner of the page. Also, please note that some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. For more details, check the Disclosure section at the bottom of the page. 

What is an Emotional Support Animal?

An emotional support animal (ESA) is an animal, usually a dog or a cat, that provides therapeutic benefits to people who suffer from some emotional problems by their presence. It can also be any other animal, though, such as a rabbit, guinea pig, miniature horse, ferret, etc.

Those animals don’t need to have any specialized training. But should get through general obedience classes and are not allowed to display any negative behaviors that may be dangerous or annoying to others. 

Just in case, ESA is not the same a service dogs. Check our article covering differences between service dogs and ESA for more details. 

How to get an ESA letter and why you need it?

If you have an emotional support animal, then you really should get that letter. Sometimes it also called a prescription. And it typically comes from a mental health professional.

It should include the following information: 

  • The professional’s letterhead and signature
  • Professionals license type, date of the license, license number, and the state where the license was issued.
  • The letter must state that an emotional support animal is a vital part of your life
  • Description of how the animal helps you with this condition
  • Your name and the details about your emotional support animal 

There are many advantages to having such a letter.

You will be able to rent apartments even when pets are not allowed.

In some cases, with this letter, you can fly on planes and use other means of public transportation with your pup. And even go to certain public places, including stores, restaurants, libraries, schools, and other buildings accompanied by your pet. 

If you are looking for a proper ESA letter you should check out American Service Pets, they are one of the best suppliers for quality service pet letters which will increase your chances of getting the approval.

Can a physician write an ESA letter?

A physician can write an ESA letter under certain conditions. The physician has to be licensed and needs to be someone who has treated you over a period of time. It also has to be treating you for your mental health or emotional condition. Their ESA letter must follow the same guidelines as that of a letter written by a mental health professional. 

Can a therapist write an ESA letter?

If you are seeing a licensed professional therapist for your emotional or mental health issues, then they can write an ESA letter for you. They have to follow the same procedure for writing the letter as any other mental health professional. 

Can a family doctor prescribe an emotional support animal?

Your family doctor usually is someone you have been going to for several years, and you have a great deal of trust in them. So it is only natural if you are suffering from emotional or mental issues, you will seek the help of your family doctor rather than a stranger.

So the good news is that your family doctor can prescribe an emotional support animal for you. But only as long as they are the ones treating you for those specific issues you need the animal for. 

Who can prescribe an emotional support animal?

Several people can prescribe an emotional support animal, including your family doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist, and clinical social worker. However, the prescription or ESA letter must come from the professional who is actually treating you for your condition.

ESA sample Letter

If you are going to talk to your doctor and ask for emotional support animal bringing along the draft version of the letter will smooth the process. Here’s the draft you can take with you. 

Credits: thanks for the cover photo to Canva.

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