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What Every Parent Should Know about Emotional Support Animals

An emotional support animal offers multiple benefits to children who suffer from a debilitating disorder. Possible disorders include ADHD, depression, anxiety or autism. It’s important to know how to get an ESA letter and what your options are. Below are some important points to keep in mind when choosing an emotional support animal for your child.

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Start by Obtaining an ESA Letter

You’ll need an ESA letter to get your pet certified as an emotional support animal. An ESA letter makes it possible for you to bring your pet home. Making it so much easier on you, without having the added stress of paying pet fees to your landlord. Furthermore, you’ll need an ESA letter if you intend to fly with your pet. ESA travel letters allow you the right to bring your animal on the plane without paying an extra fee. The catch, as long as you meet the airline’s requirements for having an animal on board. We recommend reviewing your airline’s ESA accommodation policies before the day of your flight. 

American Service Pets makes it easy and stress-free to get your emotional support animal. First, fill out our form online. We will put you in touch with a doctor in your area. The doctor can review your case and give final approval for an ESA letter completely online.

ESA or PSA Certification?

The benefits of an Emotional Support Animal certification and a Psychiatric Service Dog certification are drastically different. Fortunately for you, American Service Pets’ network of active board certified doctors can help you find the right path to certification. To find out whether you need an ESA or PSD letter, take our easy, three-step Pet Owner Survey!

Choosing the Right Emotional Support Dog

Emotional support dogs are among some of the most popular support animals. There are many breeds to choose from, making it easy for parents and children alike to find the dog that suits their exact needs. Here are some tips to keep in mind when looking at dogs:

Let your child help choose one. Your child is the one who will need to bond with the dog. We recommend allowing him or her to have a say.

Choose a calm dog if your child is easily agitated, sensitive to noise, or has been diagnosed with ADHD or ADD.

Make sure the dog you pick will be comfortable in your home. Golden retrievers and Labrador retrievers are considered to be some of the best emotional support dogs, but smaller breeds can be best for small homes and apartments.

Prepare Your Home for Your New ESA

Once you decide which support animal to get, you must prepare your home so your new pet will have everything it needs to thrive and be happy. ESA letters, food, toys, and accessories should be purchased before bringing your new pet home. Get in touch with a vet in your local area, as your pet will likely need regular medical care in order to stay healthy. If there are items in your home that would be harmful to your ESA, put them out of reach or dispose of them.

It’s also a good idea to read about pet care with your child, especially if your child is old enough to play a role in caring for the emotional support animal. 

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An emotional support animal can do wonders for children suffering from mental or emotional disorders. These animals have been credited with boosting self-esteem, providing consistency, and helping children overcome feelings of depression, loneliness, and anxiety. ESAs act as a companion offering unconditional love and support, and by giving your child a long-lasting friend to play with. Prepare for your new pet’s arrival by following the pointers outlined above and your entire family will be sure to enjoy the benefits of having a new ESA. 

Get Your ESA Today


Due to the new Department of Transportation (DOT) policy, Emotional Support Animals are NO longer allowed to fly in airplane cabins for free. However, Psychiatric Service Dogs are eligible.


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