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Can Family Doctors Give ESA Letters?

Depending on the doctor, your family doctor may be able to give you an ESA letter. Any licensed mental health professional can write an ESA letter. If you need to find a clinician for an ESA letter, consider using an online service that can connect you with one.

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Kristi Carignan
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February 8, 2024
June 26, 2023
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5 minutes
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June 26, 2023
August 18, 2021
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Any mental health professional licensed in your state is qualified to write an ESA letter, which may include your family doctor. Get an ESA letter from a qualified professional in your state with Pettable.

Emotional Support Animal (ESA) letters are written by licensed medical professionals. Much like a medical prescription, they detail that an emotional support animal is needed for a specific mental health condition. If you’re wondering ‘can family doctors give ESA letters?’, this guide is for you. We’ll cover the basics of ESA letters, look at who can write them and detail their many benefits. We’ll also talk you through the quick and easy process with Pettable.

What is an Emotional Support Animal (ESA)?

Emotional Support Animals are animals who provide therapeutic benefits to their owners. Their physical presence offers huge levels of comfort and is beneficial for a range of mental health conditions including anxiety, depression, OCD, post-traumatic stress disorder and so much more. ESAs can be any legal domesticated breed of animal and popular species include dogs, cats, rabbits, pigs, guinea pigs, and parrots.

What is an ESA Letter?

An ESA letter is an official medical letter by a medical professional or licensed mental health practitioner operating in your state. These letters verify that your animal is necessary for your well-being and are vital when it comes to housing. Under the Fair Housing Act, landlords must make reasonable accommodations for ESAs and cannot unfairly discriminate against them living in the home with their owner. This is necessary for those wanting to move into apartment complexes that have a ‘no pets’ rule. Under the law, ESAs are seen as medical aids rather than pets.

An example graphic of an ESA letter.

Can Family Doctors Write ESA Letters?

Yes, family doctors can write ESA letters provided that they understand the process. While licensed mental health professionals are usually more familiar with the ESA process, some family doctors will happily write them. If you want to ask your family doctor for an ESA letter, book an appointment and tell them how your ESA supports your condition.

If for some reason they’re unable to write one, however, don’t feel discouraged. Sometimes the best course is to work with a mental health professional in your state, and that’s where Pettable can help. Simply fill in our quick assessment and we’ll link you with a licensed practitioner in your state. 

Who Can Write an ESA Letter?

Any legal and licensed mental health professional (located within your state) can write your ESA letter. This includes:

  • Licensed mental health therapists
  • Licensed, clinical psychologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Family doctors and physicians
  • Licensed, clinical social workers

Who Qualifies for an Emotional Support Animal?

Anyone who has a mental or emotional health disability (that has been verified by a licensed health professional in their state) qualifies for an emotional support animal. While pet animals are often needed for companionship, ESAs offer therapeutic support. They are seen as medical assistance animals since they can significantly improve mental health conditions by offering support, motivation, and routine.

Many studies have shown their therapeutic benefits and can significantly improve daily functioning, counteract loneliness, and alleviate mental health symptoms. 

Get Your ESA Letter Online with Pettable

If you’ve struggled to get an ESA letter from your family doctor, don’t despair. While rejection can feel tough, we can help you through it. The process is quick, easy, and hassle-free with Pettable. Just follow a few simple steps, and your letter will be ready in no time.

Take Our Assessment

Answer a few simple questions so that we can determine your unique needs and connect you with a therapist in your state. 

Attend a Brief Consultation

Meet with a licensed mental health professional in your state and get your ESA letter within 24-48 hours. The once-off fee covers the consultation and your ESA letter which details why you need your ESA.  If for some reason they don’t write one, you’ll get your money back. It’s therefore a stress-free solution with zero financial risk. 

Present Your ESA Letter to Your Landlord

Once you’ve got your letter, present it to your landlord. The letter is proof that your ESA is necessary for your well-being. It’s often dubbed as an ‘ESA prescription’ and as such, landlords cannot discriminate against you or your ESA.

The Bottom Line

ESAs are hugely beneficial to anyone struggling with mental and emotional health conditions. Their physical presence offers huge therapeutic support and helps handlers manage a wide range of mental and emotional health struggles.

If you need some help, we’ve got you covered. We’ll connect you to a licensed practitioner in your state and kickstart the ESA letter process.

You don’t have to handle the admin alone when you work with Pettable.

Meet the author:
Kristi Carignan
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Kristi Carignan is a seasoned freelance writer with over 20 years of experience crafting copy for global agencies and brands. When she's not writing, she enjoys spending time with her furry companions, Sugar the PomChi and Rudy the Shiba Inu, and indulging in hobbies like crafting and home renovation.

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