Overcoming the symptoms of mental health conditions is not something you can do alone. Sometimes it takes a village and sometimes that village includes an emotional support animal (ESA). There’s nothing like the emotional support and comfort you receive from emotional support animals. They don’t even need to speak the same language as you to understand you completely. They pick up on your moods, they show up on your lap at the perfect time, they offer warmth and cuddles, and their breathing feels like a lullaby as you descend into sleep (even during your most anxious nights). That’s why emotional support animals can be prescribed specifically as part of a mental health treatment plan.
The process for getting an emotional support animal letter has been simplified by heart-centered services that understand the importance of having access to licensed mental health professionals in your state seven days a week via an online service. It may be that you need an ESA letter the same day, and your usual therapist is nowhere to be found. Whatever the reason, you can use an online service to obtain a legitimate ESA letter that clearly outlines the license information of the mental health professional, the fact that you have been diagnosed with a specific mental or emotional condition, and that you have been prescribed your animal for emotional support. Below, we share the top three services that make this process simple and easy. They each care about your peace of mind and your emotional wellness.
Top 3 Services for Emotional Support Animal Letters
- CertaPet – Best Overall Provider
- Pettable – Money-Back Guarantee
- Emotional Pet Support – Honorable Mention
Reviews of Our 3 Recommendations
CertaPet – Best Overall Provider
- Over 7,000 five-star reviews
- Simple and secure process
- Over 65,000 clients helped
- 100% compliant with federal and state laws
- Consultation fee is non-refundable
How It Works
Getting an emotional support letter from CertaPet is a fast and simple process. First, you take a free screening test that, on average, takes about five minutes to complete. This initial screening test helps you discover if you’re a good candidate for receiving an ESA letter. In just five minutes, you’ll know if you’re a candidate and the answers you submit are completely confidential.
Once you have been identified as a good candidate for receiving an emotional support letter, you are matched with a licensed mental health professional. This licensed mental health professional is in your state and is contacted so that you can set up a telehealth appointment.
So long as you qualify, the final step is receiving the actual emotional support animal letter. Along with your legitimate ESA letter, you are also provided with a customized treatment plan directly from your licensed mental health professional. As soon as your letter is complete, you’ll be able to print it directly from home (or you can request to have your letter shipped to your home).
About the Company
CertaPet is an online telehealth platform that received the Gold Star Certificate Award from the Better Business Bureau in 2020. Their approach to mental health care is revolutionary, improving access to mental health professionals throughout the United States and Canada. Their specialty is in providing clinical services to those who are looking for animal-assisted interventions in conjunction with regular treatment planning for their mental or emotional disability.
CertaPet has one primary goal: to improve the quality of life for the millions of people who have no other options for their mental health care. With their deep commitment to supporting individuals with mental health conditions, they ensure that access is made simple. CertaPet is available for use by people residing in all 50 US states and their services are also available in several Canadian provinces, including Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, Alberta, and British Columbia.
To simplify access, CertaPet created a very user-friendly three-step process. After the online pre-screening test, a consultation is set up with a licensed mental health professional who can recommend an emotional support animal for your specific condition. So long as you are approved, you can get a copy of your ESA letter via email, or you can request a physical copy that’s mailed to you within five business days.
What Clients Say
Clients are excited about their results after entrusting their mental care to CertaPet. One client, Elizabeth, has a personal doctor with a policy that restricts them from writing emotional support animal letters. However, she came across CertaPet and felt very supported throughout the process. She feels that her mental and emotional issues have been taken seriously, which is a very validating feeling for her. She calls this online service a blessing.
Another client, Rob, comments on how fast and easy this service is. Once he was approved, he had his letter in just a couple of days. The designation of his pet as an emotional support animal means that he doesn’t have to worry about being separated from him again.
Susan, another real customer, notes that CertaPet has world-class customer service. Not only were they considerate and thorough with her evaluation, but they were also very timely in getting her the paperwork required. She can’t thank them enough.
Overall, CertaPet makes the process of acquiring a legitimate ESA letter convenient and headache-free. Their licensed professionals include licensed marriage and family therapists, licensed clinical social workers, licensed clinical professional counselors, and licensed mental health counselors. Their team is full of mental health professionals who are fully qualified and have passed all board exams.
Aside from very clearly spelling out their three-step process, they also have a very user-friendly website. As soon as you get to the homepage, you can select to get started right away with your free pre-screening test. If you have more questions, you can visit their blog, which covers topics like breed-specific information, the impact of the internet on emotional wellness during the pandemic, and airline-specific guides.
The service is highly reputable with over 65,000 happy clients and well over 7,000 5-star reviews. They have been featured in publications including Forbes, Inc., FOX, and Entrepreneur Magazine. Every step of their process provides you with plenty of information to keep you at ease as you go through their straightforward process. This service makes the top of our list for all these reasons.
Pettable – Money-Back Guarantee
- Free pre-screening
- Full refund if the letter doesn’t work
- Receive your ESA letter 24 hours after approval
- Federal and state compliant
- 100% money-back guarantee, no fees excluded
- California residents require two consultations before qualification
How It Works
To start, Pettable requires you to complete a three-minute assessment. After answering a few questions about your specific needs, you are then able to consult with a therapist. They take care of matching you with a professional located in your state.
The initial assessment consists of just a few questions that cover basic information like if you already have a pet, your age, and if this is your first time getting an ESA letter. Depending on your answers, they let you know what the next steps in the process are. Be prepared to have a phone consultation with the licensed professional in your state and get ready to receive your letter within 24 hours.
After your assessment and your consultation are completed, your therapist will then determine your eligibility and provide you with your completed ESA letter. Once your therapist completes their consultation with you and you are approved for the letter, you can expect to receive it within 24 hours.
About the Company
Pettable prioritizes legitimacy, transparency, and world-class service. They have partnered with mental care professionals with extensive experience in emotional support animals. Not only do they focus on providing you with a letter you can use for any reason, but they also win your confidence by providing a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If for some reason, your letter doesn’t work, they offer a 100% refund.
Their customer service team is available to answer all your questions and provide you with a memorable experience. Your consultation is live with a therapist, Pettable offers a transparent team, and they also provide legal support should you require it.
For Pettable, pets are family. They know firsthand the healing benefits of having an emotional support animal and it’s why they launched the service. They wanted to be able to connect individuals like you with licensed mental health professionals who are not just qualified, but experienced in prescribing ESA letters for housing and travel. Their services are compliant with federal and state laws and they’re always up-to-date with the newest regulations to make sure that you have all the information you need.
Life with your furry friend is always better and everyone at Pettable is a pet owner themselves. Separation from your pet when you need them for your mental and emotional stability can make your life feel like it’s flipped upside down. With Pettable ESA letters, you won’t have to worry about that anymore.
What Clients Say
Pettable has tons of five-star reviews from grateful animal parents. Maddee From Utah used Pettable after a recent move. She was looking for a new therapist and she knew that an emotional support animal would alleviate the stress of her transition. She quickly got the documentation she needed without having to wait for months to get approval and she was able to bring a pet into her new home without issue. The process was straightforward, timely, and made her feel valid in her journey. Now she’s raising a sweet puppy and she’s never been happier or healthier.
Sage, a dog parent, found that every time she had a question or a concern, she was answered immediately. Not only were they fast getting into contact with her, but she received her letter within just a week. She felt guided through the process and notes that their customer service is amazing.
Austin is a dog parent located in New York who calls Pettable an amazing resource. He was connected with a therapist who listened with compassion and provided expert advice that went above and beyond his expectations. He got what he needed, and he remains grateful for the service.
Pettable is run by people who know exactly the difference a pet makes for those dealing with difficult mental and emotional disabilities. Although some websites are bare-bones, Pettable really takes the time to provide you with all the information you need upfront, answering many of their frequently asked questions, sharing some of their selected therapists with you, and explaining what an emotional support animal is and who qualifies for one.
Although sometimes you may need a quick turnaround and want to just go through the process to get your official ESA letter, there are times when your anxiety kicks up and you want to get to know the service before committing to using them for your official ESA letter. When that’s the case, Pettable makes sure to comfort you by providing you with a wealth of information that helps you feel understood and confident about your decision to choose them for your letter.
Emotional Pet Support – Honorable Mention
- 100% customer satisfaction guarantee
- Same day approval options
- Three plans available
- Licensed in all 50 US states
- Exam fees cannot be paid through medical insurance
How It Works
With Emotional Pet Support, you can get your emotional support animal letter today. First, you start by submitting an online exam. The online exam consists of a brief questionnaire that only takes a couple of minutes to complete. If you’re not satisfied after you submit your online exam, you can request a refund right away and get 100% of your money back.
Once you complete the brief questionnaire, a licensed doctor will review your exam. So long as you qualify, you will then be connected with a therapist who reviews all your answers and provides you with the emotional support animal letter.
The final step is when a secure link is emailed to you along with access for you to download your emotional support animal documentation in PDF format. Once you receive it, you can print it from home for your convenience.
About the Company
Emotional Pet Support is all about helping you have a sense of security with your emotional support pet during even the most uncertain of times. They have a passion for animals who perform tasks for those with mental or emotional disabilities and they know that your beloved animal not only helps you go to sleep at night but also helps you keep going through the day.
No matter where you live, be it a condominium, apartment, or townhome, you can have your emotional support animal alongside you. Emotional pet support wants you to have the proper documentation that demonstrates your knowledge about the Fair Housing Act and can help you with even the toughest landlord. When you point to the Fair Housing Act, it shows your education about your rights as someone with a mental or emotional disability.
When you reach the Emotional Pet Support homepage, you can start your exam right away. They have a helpful video that can get you acquainted with your service on the spot, and when you scroll down, you’ll find their online questionnaire.
You can request to purchase an emotional support animal housing letter alongside a PSD air travel letter, you can just request an emotional support animal housing letter, or you can just request a PSD air travel letter. They also offer an emotional support animal certificate emailed alongside a mailed copy specifically recommended for apartment/housing use. This is an add-on service that could make your housing process much simpler.
What Clients Say
Emotional Pet Support has well over 17,000 reviews with an average rating of 4.9 out of five stars. They’ve been seen on publications like Oprah, FOX, CNN, ABC, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.
Their customers are happy to recommend the service not just because of the simple process, but also because of their extremely fast response time. Jasmine, a recent customer, mentioned that the questions asked even helped her find a fantastic therapist.
Another client, Rachel, mentioned that the process is both reliable and trustworthy and hassle and stress-free. For someone dealing with pressing mental and emotional issues, the simplicity of the process is most attractive.
Overall, the service makes our runner-up position because of how easily they expedite this process. If you’re looking for an ESA letter and you are hitting up against a deadline, you can count on Emotional Pet Support to get you taken care of with same-day approval. They have doctors available seven days per week, and you can have an electronic PDF provided to you via their HIPAA-compliant server for easy access.
They keep their brief questionnaire easily accessible directly on their homepage but if you need any more information, they also offer a blog that can help you understand not just how to better care for your animal but also help you understand regulations on animal transport.
Check out the pricing tab for an easy-to-understand explanation of their three main plan options. Beneath each plan, they list exactly what you get, and they explain their three-step process on the same page. If for any reason you’re not satisfied with their service, they offer a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee (so long as you request a full refund within 30 days of purchase).
What is an Emotional Support Animal Letter?
An ESA letter asks for a prescription; except what you’re being prescribed is not a medication, rather a beloved companion animal. This type of letter must be written by a licensed mental health professional which includes counselors, therapists, and social workers. An ESA letter must also be written by a professional who is licensed in the state you live in. An ESA letter acts as an official document that relates your animal to your mental or emotional disabilities.
ESA letters allow you to keep your animal with you when you travel and can also help facilitate the process of getting housing. Many apartment complexes and even private landlords have very specific clauses in their lease agreements that either prohibit pets or that charge you extra for having a pet. However, an emotional support animal is not considered a pet, rather it’s a support animal that improves your well-being and is a direct part of your wellness treatment plan.
Ultimately, your ESA letter contains the information required for you to provide to your landlord and to specific airlines to ensure you will not be separated from your companion. ESA letters should always be printed on the licensed professional’s official letterhead and should also detail their license number along with their contact information.
You can expect the ESA letter to include the mental health professional’s information, your information, and your pet’s information. The ESA letter will clearly identify that your animal has been prescribed to you as part of your treatment plan and that it follows any federal and state laws and requirements.
Keep in mind that an ESA letter is written specifically for emotional support animals, not for service dogs. Service dogs, unlike ESA’s, are trained to perform a specific set of tasks for people with disabilities. Emotional support animals don’t require any type of specific training to be provided with this designation. Rather, their existence alone is what provides those with mental or emotional disabilities the comfort they need to function in their day-to-day lives.
How to Get an Emotional Support Animal Letter?
The process of obtaining an emotional support animal letter has been made simple through the online services outlined above. So long as you qualify, you can obtain your ESA letter the same day on some occasions.
It’s important to understand that you must first be diagnosed with a specific mental disability or an emotional disability that requires the support of an animal. The person who diagnoses you must be licensed in your state. Once you have received a specific diagnosis, your mental health professional can prescribe you an animal to support you with your disability.
Several diagnoses can be prescribed to emotional support animals, including depression disorders, anxiety disorders, PTSD, learning disabilities, autism, and even chronic stress conditions. To receive a diagnosis, you must consult with a therapist or other licensed clinician so they can assess your symptoms and ensure that an animal would be a helpful companion for your specific set of issues.
Once you have had the consultation with the licensed mental health professional, they can go ahead and prescribe you the ESA letter you need to present to airlines or landlords. Typically, the process is simple. You hop online after you select the service you’d like to use, you complete an initial questionnaire that takes only a few minutes, and then you are matched with a licensed clinician in your state. After getting matched, you consult with the mental health professional either online or by phone.
During the consultation, the licensed clinician will assess your symptoms and provide their feedback, including whether you qualify for an ESA letter. They will typically also offer other pieces of advice that can help you cope with your symptoms, and they move forward with sending over your ESA letter. You can receive your letter online to be printed at home or in some cases, they offer to mail it directly to your residence.
Benefits of Emotional Support Animal Letter
ESA letters have a variety of different benefits. Primarily, they help you handle real-world tasks without the headaches of legal requirements you may not have considered. Particularly when you are dealing with the severe symptoms of mental and emotional turmoil, you may overlook some practical aspects of situations like moving to a new home or traveling for business or even pleasure.
An ESA letter solidifies a specific aspect of your mental health treatment plan and legitimizes your condition. Even though there is a lot more mental health awareness, there are still people who may overlook a mental health condition simply because they cannot physically perceive it. An ESA letter gives you concrete evidence that your mental health condition is real and that you were prescribed your emotional support animal to stay with you wherever you go.
Should you face a landlord who has a pet exclusion policy or who attempts to charge a pet deposit or pet rent, you can simply submit your ESA letter signed by your licensed mental health professional, and they must waive any pet deposits or pet rent usually associated with that specific lease agreement. Additionally, if you are traveling by plane, the Air Carrier Access Act allows for emotional support animals to board inside the cabin instead of in the cargo area provided certain rules are adhered to.
The simple act of having your pet close, stroking their head, and looking into their eyes can completely change your experience of travel and moving. Whether you’re in an apartment complex or even in a student dorm, an ESA letter allows you to keep your animal with you to keep your symptoms at a minimum. You won’t have to deal with the paralyzing anxiety of being separated from your pet in these situations when you have an ESA letter.
Plus, you know how much your stress is reduced and how your central nervous system is comforted when you have your ESA with you. Your loneliness is alleviated, you can maximize social engagement, and you can even increase your pleasure in life, even through the most mundane tasks.
How Long Does an ESA Letter Last?
ESA letters are valid for one year after their initial prescription date. When your ESA letter is close to its expiration date, simply go through the same process to acquire a new letter. You can use the same service you selected the first time, or you can select a new service. You will need to go through the same initial process, including the brief online questionnaire, the consultation with a licensed therapist, and the brief waiting period to receive your ESA letter. To make sure that there is no gap, especially if you’re traveling or in the middle of a move, make sure you take care of this process before your original letter expires. So long as a licensed clinician approves you for the use of an animal as part of your mental health treatment plan, you will be able to receive as many letters over the years as you need.
Licensed Mental Health Professionals & Other Factors to Look For in the Best ESA Letter Service
We’ve done most of the work for you by researching the many available companies online today and dwindling them down to this list. You won’t have to worry about services that overcharge or that offer unofficial letters. However, even if you venture beyond this list, you should know what to look for to make sure that you only do business with a qualified service. Make sure to always consider the following:
If you’re in a pinch, make sure to select a service that offers the fastest turnaround time. You’ll find that most services just require a couple of minutes upfront to qualify you to speak with a licensed clinician and the process from the consultation to receiving your letter can be as little as 24 hours.
Always make sure that you are speaking with a licensed professional. Your ESA letter is not official unless it has the qualified professional’s information, including their license number and their contact information. Without this information, all you have is a piece of paper with text on it.
Just as with any other service, make sure that you’re reading through the customer reviews. You can usually find important details in those reviews that can help you make the best decision when selecting the service for your needs.
Also, be sure to check the availability of their customer service teams. If you have a question or a concern at an odd hour, you want to be sure that you can connect with someone right away. You’re dealing with your mental and emotional health and these types of service providers should always operate with the compassion you need to get through any stressful event.
Should you be dissatisfied with the service, you should look for services that backup their claims with customer satisfaction guarantees. Reputable services usually advertise this piece upfront because they have full confidence that they will provide you with a fantastic customer experience.
Emotional support animals change your ability to cope with everything life brings your way. Sometimes, waking up is difficult but emotional support animals are there to nuzzle against you and remind you to take the time for self-care. Even the Fair Housing Act and Air Carrier Access Act protect you, allowing you to keep your ESA close no matter what. Make connecting with a licensed mental or emotional health professional simple with any of the services above and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with having official documentation that your beloved buddy is part of your treatment plan.