Therapy Pet Certification

How to get a Pet Therapy Certification, or formally known as an ESA letter

If you suffer from a mental disability – such as depression, anxiety, or one of the many other psychological disorders – you may qualify for an emotional support animal. Emotional support animals, also referred to as therapy pets, can provide a positive benefit to their handlers.

People often confuse Therapy Dogs and Emotional Support Animals. Emotional Support Animals are not specially trained to perform a task and do not have specific social adjustment training. This is why you are not required to obtain a therapy pet license. Their job is to provide comfort and love to their handlers and help them with their mental or emotional disability. A therapy dog actually refers to dogs that are trained to provide calming comfort to patients in hospitals, hospice care, rehabs, or schools where people may benefit from a therapy animal’s calming presence.


To understand better if you may qualify for a “Therapy Pet Certification”, or an ESA Letter, consider the following below:

Your disability must substantially limit at least one major life activity such as:

  • Caring for oneself
  • Working
  • Communicating
  • Concentrating
  • Standing
  • Walking
  • Sleeping
  • Eating
  • Learning

It is important to note that although federal law does not require emotional support animals to have any specific training, your pet must have proper social skills toward people and other animals. If your animal causes a disturbance or harm to others in your apartment complex or in the airport/airplane, you may be requested to leave. However, if your therapy pet or emotional support animal behaves well in public; airlines and apartment complexes are not allowed to apply regulations on the type of animal or limit access to your pet.

Benefits of emotional support animal certification for your pet

  • Unfettered access to apartment housing even if they have a no-pet policy
  • Live in the apartment of your dreams even if they a specific no cat or dog policy
  • Waive any dog or pet deposits for apartments
  • Waive any additional monthly pet fees
  • Free airline travel for your pet (domestic travel) – fly with your pet in cabin