Two hands are holding an ESA letter.

Do Veterinarians Issue ESA Letters?

4 min read

In brief, vet doctors do not have the legal right to provide the ESA caretakers with the emotional support animal certificates as they are not qualified in the sphere of mental health to make such a decision. Only a certified psychiatrist such as the psychologist or the psychiatric specialist has such a right.

In fact, veterinarians focus specifically on the health and wellbeing of animals and pets but they cannot write ESA letters. However, there are some fields where veterinarians still have the right to take some action regarding the pet itself. Want to know more? Read on to find out how to legally obtain the ESA certificate and register your ESA according to the existing laws.

What should you do to get the ESA certificate?

A doctor is standing.
A vet doctor cannot help you with the receiving of an ESA letter.

To get the ESA certified, the client should ask the mental health specialist for the legal document after passing the specific procedure in the needed facility. The vet doctor, however, doesn’t have such a right and he/she has no permission to issue ESA letters. It is suggested that it’s only the licensed psychiatric doctor can issue the ESA certificate under the existing jurisdiction.

That’s because ESAs are regarded as special assistants for people with emotional disabilities and such types of pets should be advised exclusively by the mental health professional. This is done in order to help the person with his/her mental health disorder, so the focus is on a disabled person, not on the pet.

Under the existing laws, the ESA certificate can help you to travel with no limits with your pet according to the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and rent the no-pet apartment in line with the Air Access Act (ACAA). The emotional support animals only have access to the travel benefits granted by airlines and housing where no pets are permitted. However, they are still out of bounds in public places such as restaurants and hotels.

The role of veterinarians in getting the ESA letter: How can they help?

When it comes to getting the ESA letter, veterinarians can still help in certain situations. Thus, some airline companies require vet doctors to monitor the ESA’s behavior before getting on board.

The Air Carrier Access Act protects passengers from animals that display bad behavior. The veterinarian`s role is to provide the passenger with the completed ESA letter. It usually consists of such details as the pet’s name, breed, type, and weight among others. If the vet doctor proves that the pet normally behaves well enough to be left on board the plane, you’ll be given the right to travel by plane with your ESA.

If your veterinarian doesn’t want to evaluate your ESA’s behavior, they are not obliged to do so. Vet doctors are not supposed to write ESA certificates even though airline companies may require them to prepare such forms.

Who can legally provide the ESA letter?

A doctor is making notes on paper.
To get an ESA certificate, you should visit a licensed therapist.

For your pet to be certified as an emotional support animal, you must be given the ESA letter from the certified specialist in your state. The first thing you must do is to undergo the screening test in order to find out if you can qualify for the ESA. After getting the ESA certificate, you’ll be able to rent no-pet housing and will be granted the right to travel with your pet without any limits.

If you want to find out the needed information, contact the qualified therapist in your state of living or simply send the application to to save time and effort.

What health conditions can be treated with the ESA?

A picture with brains and their damages.
There's a typical list of symptoms with which you can rely on ESA help.

It is recommended to contact the psychiatrist to find out more details about your health condition and explain why the ESA can help you to get relief from your health problem. There is a number of health disorders that can be treated with the help of emotional support animals. They include (but are not limited to):

  • Eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia;
  • Social anxiety;
  • Mood swings and bipolar disorder;
  • Depressive episodes and stress;
  • Sleeping problems;
  • Suicidal thoughts, etc.

It is advisable to get in touch with the therapist in order to get more details about what kind of disorders the ESA can help you with. 

Key Takeaways

Vet doctors do not have the right to issue the ESA certificate but they do have a say when it comes to getting the benefits from the ESA therapy. After the therapist determines that you are eligible for the ESA, you’ll be able to get the letter without problems.

by GetESA

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