An emotional support animal (ESA) is a special canine companion or any other animal with a calm temperament that helps you manage symptoms of anxiety, depression, stress, and other mental health problems. These animals can be paired with medications and therapy for a comprehensive and holistic approach to treating these mental health disorders. That said, you might be wondering if there are any restrictions on what animals can become an ESA.
Thankfully, there aren’t many, but exclusions do apply based on the animal’s behavior. So, can a pitbull be an emotional support animal? Let’s find out. Read on to learn more.
What Is an Emotional Support Animal?
Emotional support animals are dogs, or any other type of animal, that provide relief for people struggling with mental health disorders or psychiatric conditions. These animals are protected by several laws, and usually, they can live with you, even if your landlord has a no-pet policy. That said, they’re not the same as service dogs, so it’s important to keep that in mind when registering your pitbull as an ESA.
What’s the Difference Between an Emotional Support Animal and a Service Dog?
The primary difference between an emotional support animal and a service dog is how they’re defined by the law. ESAs are only protected under the Fair Housing Act (FHA), which requires landlords to allow your dog to stay on the premises as long as you have an ESA letter and they’re well-behaved.
On the other hand, service dogs have more accommodations and protections outlined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Laws within the ADA allow service dogs to stay in your home, accompany you in public, and visit private businesses or spaces.
It’s also important to note that the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) allows service dogs to fly on planes – they just have to meet the proper size and carrier requirements. Some airlines might allow an ESA in the cabin if they’re small enough and fit in a carrier. Always call ahead if you’re worried.
Can a Pitbull Be an Emotional Support Animal?
Yes, a pitbull can be an emotional support animal (ESA). In fact, any animal can be an ESA as long as they have a friendly temperament and don’t damage property. All you need for a pitbull to become an ESA is a friendly dog, the necessary training, and a consultation with a licensed mental health professional. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about the breed of your dog when applying, even if it makes other people uncomfortable.
Can a Pitbull Be a Service Dog?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) doesn’t have any rules about the breed of dog that can be a service dog; it comes down to whether or not the dog can perform a specific task. So yes, a pitbull can be a service dog. They’re a good fit as physical or psychiatric service dogs because they’re strong enough to open doors, pull wheelchairs, and much more. Plus, they’re an emotionally intelligent breed.
Overall, there are no rules that don’t allow pitbulls to become service dogs or ESAs. If you want to be sure, check with your state’s guidelines.
How to Register Your Pitbull as an Emotional Support Animal
Pitbulls have every right to be an emotional support animal. Plus, it’s not hard to register an emotional support animal if you follow the steps we provide below.
To register an emotional support animal, follow the steps below.
- Visit US Service Animals and navigate to their emotional support animal registration page.
- Provide information about yourself. This includes your email address, phone number, name, and other personal details.
- Provide information about your dog. This includes their weight, height, breed, and other details.
- Schedule a call with a licensed mental health professional and go over your symptoms or other health problems.
- Wait for your ESA letter to arrive in the mail – it can take a few days.
Following these steps will help you register your pitbull as an ESA. Once they’re registered, you can present the ESA letter to your landlord for housing accommodations under the Fair Housing Act (FHA).
Register Your Pitbull as an Emotional Support Animal Today!
Pitbulls may have a bad reputation, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be an emotional support animal. Plus, most pitbulls are friendly, and their aggression comes with bad training and poor treatment. Therefore, you never have to worry about being unable to register your pitbull companion as long as they’re well-trained, friendly, and, of course, able to keep you comfortable.