Emotional support animals provide desperately needed assistance for those with mental disabilities. If you’ve been diagnosed by a medical professional and it’s been determined that you could benefit from having an ESA, then you are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act. While this means that you cannot be discriminated against when finding housing or when traveling, it doesn’t mean that you’re free from repercussions if your pet misbehaves. As with any other kind of pet, there are certain standards of behavior that are required whenever you’re out in public. Once your pet has the required emotional support dog certification, here are some tips on managing their behavior.

Some Exceptions to the Rule

The requirement that landlords must accept you and your ESA is not without its limits. While the law protects the tenant from being discriminated against because of a disability, it isn’t intended to put an undue burden on the landlord either. There are some instances in which a landlord can reject an emotional support animal. One clear example is if an animal is too large for the accommodation. You can’t take your ESA with you into an apartment if your ESA is a horse, for instance. Another reason you can be rejected is if your pet harms someone else in the building or damages the property. If you are a responsible pet owner, this shouldn’t be an obstacle, but again, there are limits to the ways in which your pet can behave before you face repercussions.

Appropriate Public Behavior

When going out in public with your ESA, the standards are far higher than when you’re at home alone. A dog, for instance, doesn’t have to be aggressive to get you kicked out of a restaurant. Even if your ESA is wearing their emotional support dog vest, a restaurant manager doesn’t have to tolerate a pet that’s disruptive. That’s why it’s extremely important that you find some simple ways to distract your dog when you’re out and about. Keep a steady supply of chew toys and treats on hand so that they have something to occupy their attention will keep them from barking and lunging towards every other pet or squirrel in the vicinity.

The Benefits of Behavioral Training

While airlines cannot reject documentation from a licensed mental health professional, they can ask for additional information regarding your ESA. In addition to requiring that your pet is up to date on shots, some airlines will ask that you show them proof that they will be well behaved on the flight. They may ask for you to fill out a written statement verifying that they can take direction, and/or that they’ve completed behavioral school. Regardless of whether you’re traveling or not, it’s always recommended that you take your pet to behavioral school. ESAs are intended to provide emotional support to their owners. A lot of patients find that by enrolling their pet in a training course, not only do they gain the benefits of having a well behaved emotional support animal, but the process of the education serves to bring the pet and the owner closer together, enhancing the support that ESAs are able to provide.

If you’re in need of anything for your ESA, contact the National Service Animal Registry. We can provide them with ESA registration, service vests, and anything else you need to outfit your pet. Give us a call today at (866) 737-3930.