Wandering how an Emotional Support Animal can help you make the most of your travel dreams?
Find out the benefits of traveling with an ESA, why it is a great idea to have an Emotional Support Animal and what you need to know before you travel.
Traveling with an Emotional Support Animal
So, you think you know what an Emotional Support Animal really is? Test your knowledge against CertaPet’s 4 most important things you should definitely know about emotional support animals!
Let’s check out the benefits of an Emotional Support Animal:
ESA Provides Emotional Support!
Duh. Sounds silly but it’s easy to get confused. ESAs are there for emotional support. No training. No fancy qualifications. Just good ol’ canine companionship.
Emotional support animals are your furry friends. They’re your companion when PTSD flares up and they’re always by your side to support you through high-anxiety situations.
ESAs provide all the unconditional love and affection you need so that you don’t have to cope with any mental health conditions alone.
Unlike service dogs and trained support animals, your ESA can’t come with you to work or the grocery store… but they are there when you need them most. In fact, ESAs often make traveling an option for people who’d struggle to walk out of the front door by themselves.
It’s pretty amazing how far you can travel and how much you can achieve with the support of an ESA!
Any Animal Can Be an ESA
Yes, any animal can be an ESA! Cats, dogs, rabbits, and even snakes and pot-bellied pigs can be an ESA.
What makes an animal an ESA? The connection you have with them. If they provide you with comfort and emotional support, they are your emotional support animal. But the important thing to remember here is, some animals are better as ESAs than others!
The Air Carrier Access Act allows you to travel on a plane with your ESA – but that’s easier said than done with certain animal species. Airports, planes and airway staff are accustomed to Mittens and Fido, but Severus the snake? Not so much!
Flying with Emotional Support Animal can be difficult. Airlines can refuse passage if your ESA is making other passengers uncomfortable, behaving disruptively, is on the species/breed no-fly list, or just isn’t allowed to travel to your destination country.
You’ll also find accommodation complications with livestock and non-domestic ESAs like squirrels, goats and exotic reptiles.
An ESA should make your life easier, not cause more stress and hassle!
But Your ESA Letter is For You
To be recognized under the Air Carrier Access Act and other federal laws in place for ESA owners, you need an ESA letter.
But let’s be clear.
An ESA letters state that YOU are in need of an ESA. You can’t “certify” your pet as an ESA!
The ESA letter states:
● That you’re a patient of a Licensed Mental Health Professional for a mental or emotional disability, for example, a psychiatrist or therapist.
● That you’re significantly limited in day to day life by your individual mental or emotional disability.
● That they’re prescribing an emotional support animal as a necessary support tool, to help you cope.
● Details about the specific type of ESA they’re prescribing, e.g. Brian, your pet beagle.
Once you’ve got your ESA letter, you can spread your wings! With your companion by your side, you can travel, meet new people, see new places and enjoy your life with the unconditional support from your ESA.
ESAs Open A Whole New World!
Traveling with ESAs can be a very rewarding experience – you just have the plan carefully!
Airlines can be very accommodating when you contact them well in advance to plan your travels. Most will allow your pet cat or dog to sit on your lap for the duration of the flight.
As for hotels, there are plenty of pet-friendly places to stay in US and abroad.
Restaurants too! Always ensure that your destination accepts pets and has the facilities you need to both comfortably enjoy your stay.
Whether you’re planning an exciting vacation or just venturing out of the house to the nearest dog park, an ESA can really help you get involved with the community and feel connected with the world again.