Where Are ESA Dogs Allowed? What You Need to Know 

Emotional support dogs are great companions that can help people manage mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and much more.

These dogs aren’t the same as service dogs, which must have specific training, but they’re still welcome in most places where service dogs can go.

Where Are ESA Dogs Allowed

Plus, you can keep them in your home even if there is a non-pet policy thanks to protections in the Fair Housing Act (FHA).

If you want to learn more about where emotional support dogs are allowed, you’re in the right place.

This article covers what an emotional support dog is, where they can go, and how you can apply for one today. Read on to learn more below.

What Is an Emotional Support Animal (ESA)?

Emotional support animals (ESAs) are companion animals that provide relief for people who have mental health disorders.

An emotional support dog (ESD) falls under this designation. These dogs have protections under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) but not the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which protects service dogs.

For this reason, ESDs are not classified as service dogs, which can influence where they can and can’t go.

It’s also important to note that emotional support dogs aren’t the same as therapy dogs.

While they have similar roles, the key difference between an ESA and a therapy dog is that a therapy dog must be able to interact with large groups of people.

Ultimately, therapy dogs are supposed to help many people with a condition as opposed to helping just one.

Some training is required, and they can usually go to schools, nursing homes, hospitals, and other public locations.

Where Are ESA Dogs Allowed

Where Are ESA Dogs Allowed?

Emotional support dogs aren’t allowed in public spaces like service dogs. This means you can’t bring them into private businesses, public parks, or other state-owned locations.

That said, you can bring them to any place where pets are allowed, such as dog parks.

You’ll have to follow some common rules, like the rule in most states and national parks where dogs must remain on a leash that’s less than six feet long.

Thanks to the Fair Housing Act, emotional support dogs are also allowed to live with you in otherwise non-pet-friendly housing.

This means your landlord can’t evict you just because you have an ESA. However, landlords and other tenants still have some rights, and you can be removed if your ESD bothers people, attacks people, or damages a landlord’s property.

Are ESA Dogs Allowed on Airlines?

Emotional support animals used to be allowed on airlines thanks to the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA).

This allowed them to travel on most flights inside the United States and sometimes to US territories.

That said, the law has since changed. As of 2021, ESAs are no longer allowed on public airlines. If you want to bring your emotional support animal on a plane, you’ll have to fly privately or get approval from the airline.

Thankfully, some airlines can accommodate your emotional support animal if you call ahead. Some airlines have policies that allow pets to remain in the cabin if they’re in carriers, which applies to ESDs.

Where Are ESA Dogs Allowed

Register Your ESA Dog Today

Whether you want to live in a non-pet-friendly apartment or take your ESA on an airline, it’s important to register your ESA dog.

The registration process is simple. You can do it online by providing some information about yourself, the dog, and your condition.

Then, you can schedule a call with a licensed mental health professional to receive an evaluation.

Once you’re approved, you can pay the ESA registration fee, which is about $99, and then wait for your ESA letter to arrive in the mail. You’ll need to show this letter to landlords if you plan on living on their property with your ESA dog.

The good news is that when you apply online, this letter is usually available online as a PDF, and you can always expedite the process for faster results.

Once you register your ESD you can start enjoying the benefits once your letter arrives, so it’s important to get started today if you need an ESA for housing.