Emotional Support dogs can change a person’s life. According to the National Center for PTSD, an Emotional Support dog is defined as:
…a pet that helps an owner with a mental health condition. Emotional support dogs help owners feel better by giving friendship and companionship. These dogs are also called comfort dogs or support dogs.
An emotional support dog does not need special training. Generally, a regular pet can be an emotional support dog if a mental health provider writes a letter saying that the owner has a mental health condition or disability and needs the dog’s help for his or her health or treatment.
In most states, emotional support dogs do not have special permission to go to all public places like service dogs do. But, emotional support dogs are sometimes allowed special consideration. For example, the owner may be able to get permission to have an emotional support pet in a house or apartment that does not normally allow dogs. Or, the owner may be able to get permission to fly on a plane together with the dog.
If you suffer from depression, anxiety, OCD, bipolar disorder or any mental health challenge that lessens when in the company of your dog, consider asking your mental health provider for Emotional Support Dog Documentation. You may be able to receive special permission when traveling, dining, staying in hotels, or renting apartments. Find the state level regulations on Emotional Support Dogs, then follow up with your airline, hotel, restaurant or landlord.
This article provides more information on dogs and their affect on mental health.