Nervous about asking your doctor or therapist for an ESA letter? We’ll share some tips for how to ask for an ESA recommendation so you can approach your healthcare provider with confidence.

First, some basics:

Owners of emotional support animals are protected by federal and state housing laws, but only if they can provide their landlord with an ESA letter. An ESA letter is a documented recommendation from a licensed healthcare professional confirming a person’s need for an emotional support animal.

How to approach your healthcare provider:

Many people are understandably nervous about requesting an ESA letter. It’s difficult to speak openly about one’s mental and emotional health struggles. Many people are also afraid of being judged or ridiculed for their desire to have an emotional support animal.

It’s also possible your provider isn’t familiar with how ESAs can help. That puts an added burden on you to educate your doctor, therapist, or counselor about what you’re requesting.

Having some apprehension is perfectly normal. It takes courage to ask for help, and you should be encouraged to know that countless people depend on an emotional support animal to get through the day. For many, an ESA is their best friend and a lifeline.

Here are some talking points you can use to broach the subject:

  • I have been struggling with depression / anxiety / panic attacks, and I think having an emotional support animal would make a difference. Could you help me with that?
  • My pet dog/cat/bird always makes me feel better when I’m down or ridden with anxiety. I was wondering if you could help me qualify for an emotional support animal.
  • My new landlord won’t allow my dog into the apartment unless it is an emotional support animal. I desperately need my dog to manage my mental health issues. Can we explore the possibility of an ESA letter?
  • In the last session, we discussed my depression/anxiety/PTSD, and I thought a potential solution could be having an emotional support animal.
  • My pet is my best friend and the only thing keeping me afloat. Could you help me protect him/her with an ESA letter?

An alternate solution: If you’re afraid to speak to your doctor or therapist about an ESA, or you don’t have access to a provider, there is a simple and safe way to get an ESA letter online.

ESA Doctors can connect you to a healthcare professional licensed for your state. These professionals specialize in ESA letters and won’t judge you or be taken off-guard by your desire for an emotional support animal. ESA Doctors works with healthcare professionals who recognize the value of ESAs on mental health and are pros at writing ESA letters.

What Do I Say When Asking For An ESA Letter? - Prepare talking points.

Start your ESA assessment online here