Emotional Support Dogs

Understanding the Role of Emotional Support Dogs for Veterans

An Emotional Support Dog (ESD) is a companion dedicated to providing veterans with comfort, easing symptoms related to their psychological and emotional well-being. While all dogs naturally form emotional bonds with their owners, for legal recognition as an ESD, a licensed mental health professional, such as a therapist or psychologist, must prescribe the need for the animal. This prescription often targets symptoms like stress, anxiety, and depression, offering relief to veterans experiencing emotional pain or suffering.

How Licensed Professionals Legitimize Emotional Support Dogs

To be considered a legitimate Emotional Support Dog, the canine companion must be prescribed by a licensed mental health professional. Therapists, psychologists, or psychiatrists assess the mental health needs of the veteran, determining if the presence of an ESD is crucial for their well-being. It's important to note that, despite their therapeutic benefits, ESDs do not have the same legal accommodations as service dogs.

Emotional Support Dogs in Various Ages and Breeds

Emotional Support Dogs come in various ages and breeds, focusing on the unique bond formed with the veteran rather than conforming to specific standards. Regardless of age or breed, an ESD serves a crucial purpose in helping veterans live more in the present, providing them with a sense of purpose beyond their past experiences.
View ADA Classification of dogs

To start the process, please fill out our Emotional Support Dog Application:

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