Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) serve to provide owners with emotional companionship, reduce symptoms of disorders and provide relief. The ESA may be chosen to meet specific needs of the patient. If you are suffering from anxiety disorders, chronic stress, depression, phobias, trauma or post-traumatic stress disorder, you qualify for an ESA. You would be issued a letter by your healthcare provider, which would be required to show in public places, such as airplanes or when you want to shift houses. You would need to follow the rules and regulations of taking care of an AS and training it to not cause disruption to other people. Here’s what you need to take care of.

What your ESA requires


This involves looking after the needs of your animal and conditioning it to be calm, gentle and disciplined. Your emotional support animal should not display any threatening behaviors to other people, especially passengers on plane. These threatening behaviors include barking, biting, defecating or others.


Your ESA would be required to wear vests or patches for identification as an ESA, the leash or collar must have a photo ID that identifies the animal as an ESA. It shows that you are diagnosed with an emotional disorder and need an animal for support.

When you are traveling, the vest can help save you time, money and embarrassment. You need to make sure that your animal is distinguishable, not just a pet. Solid-color vests can indicate to housing and airline representatives that your ESA is more than just a pet.

Moreover, you could use a vest that says ‘service animal’ or ‘do not pet’ because random people would be tempted to pet your animal, which could disturb it and prevent it from performing its tasks effectively. This could prevent the animal from aiding you towards recovery or reducing the symptoms of diseases. It would sound rude of you to tell people to back off because people may not know it’s an ESA.

To get the right vest for your animal, measure its size with tape. Have a healthcare provider assist you in getting a vest of the right size. Select fabric that fits the weather conditions; for instance, go for mesh vests in humid weather. Avoid synthetic fabric as it makes the animal uncomfortable. For other climates, the vest should be made out of cotton and be breathable to make the animal comfortable.

  • Light-weight cotton vests are suitable to wear throughout the year.
  • Mesh vests help to keep animal comfortable in hot, warm or humid weather.
  • Padded vests come with handles for outdoor activities.

Letter of approval

This is especially important when you are traveling or renting a new house. Airlines would want to see the letter, approved by a licensed mental healthcare professional, in advance to your flight schedule. Airlines have certain rule that you need to comply with if you want a smooth flight.

Housing representatives also need to see that your animal is a certified ESA and that you would look after it. You would be provided with protection if you look after the animal well. You would not be charged fees or refused housing.