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Join date: Jun 23, 2022


Documentation required for getting an ESA Letter - 2022 Guide

Before we state the differences between the laws related to emotional support dog and service dog, let us first see what is the difference between these two dogs. An emotional support dog is kept when the owner is facing mental disorders like depression, stress or anxiety. This means that an emotional support dog help a person recover from mental illness. On the other hand for ESA letter, service dogs are kept to assist and perform chores for a person with physical disabilities. Now, let’s move onto the laws.

Who can keep it?

To keep a service dog, one must be physically disabled and in need of assistance. Some disabilities like deafness or blindness are not apparent. But due to any physical disability, one can keep a service dog. For keeping a service dog, it is necessary to get a psychological test done and request your medical expert to issue a letter for this purpose.

Related laws

Different states follow different laws related to emotional support dogs. However, for the service dogs, the laws are more uniform. ADA protects the rights of a service dog owner and gives it a number of privileges. For an esa letter for housing, two important acts are passed. The Fair Housing Act allows the owner to keep emotional support dogs inside their residency which otherwise may not allow pets. The Air Carrier Access Act allows the owner to take their emotional support dogs on a flight. The flights can be a scary experience for those who suffer from anxiety. But with ACCA, it can be made stressful. Some airlines may require the notification 48 prior to the flight. The emotional support dog may, however, face a penalty in case of violent behavior.

Access to public locations

There is a huge difference when it comes to privileges because services dogs get more advantages. The emotional support dogs are not allowed to places where food is either sold or served. They also can not be taken to places where pets are not allowed. If the ESA dog starts making a loud noise or causes chaos, the authorities can ask the emotional support dog to leave. On the other hand, service dogs are allowed to almost all public places. The difference is because they are trained and there is little to no chance that they will cause a disturbance.

Documentation required

Both service dogs and emotional support dogs require proper documentation. However, when it comes to verification, things are easier for the service dog owners. If an owner of a service dog is stopped at any public place, airport, or by housing management, all they have to do is tell authorities their dog is a well-trained service dog. However, if the dog is an emotional support dog, they are required to show the ESA dog letter. You can view an emotional support animal letter to get an idea. There are many available online for free.

Intensive training

The emotional support dogs do not require any intensive training. They just need to listen to their owner’s simple commands. The ESA owner must know to calm and walk their ESA dog. On the other hand, a service dog must be trained by its owner, or a professional trainer to perform certain tasks.

Allowed in offices

The service dogs are allowed to accompany their owner when going to the office. They will not be restricted from entering the office building. But the employers might request owner to make their ESA dog wear vests for easy identification. But on the other hand, the emotional support dog are allowed in the offices. If the offices allow keeping an emotional support dog with employees, then they may be allowed. But generally, the emotional support dogs are not allowed in the office buildings and there is no law that challenges the action of employers.

It is important to know the difference between laws related to emotional support dog and service dog to avoid any penalty. For more information, do visit visit

Useful Resources:

Is service dog certification necessary for your guard dog? - 2021 Guide

ESA Laws One Must Know - 2022 Guide

Penalties of getting caught with fake ESA letter - 2022 Guide

Travel with your ESA during the COVID-19 pandemic - Tips to follow

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