An Emotional Support Animal (ESA) is a pet that offers comfort and support to those who struggle with mental health issues during situations where they desperately need it. Five things to do and know if you want to go Traveling With An ESA and not have trouble.Look at this list of traveling with an ESA.
Sometimes people may confuse an ESA with a service animal, but a service animal is specifically trained to help those who have some form of physical disability, whereas ESAs don’t get any training.
ESAs are merely there for their owners to offer them support during their times of need. A lot of the time, pet owners who suffer from anxiety while traveling need their ESA to accompany them. If you are planning on traveling with your ESA, regardless of their breed, then there are a few essentials that you should be familiar with before your trip.
5 Things to Know if you are Traveling With An ESA
Preparing The Proper Paperwork
Traveling with your ESA on any means of transportation is usually allowed as long as you follow the rules. If you are planning on taking your furry companion on a plane, for example, there is some paperwork that you would need to prepare in advance of the trip.
The first thing you should know is what paperwork the airline or destination you are headed to requires for your service animal to be able to fly along. You would need an ESA letter that you can apply for beforehand online through a website where you’ll find that the needed paperwork is easy to obtain and does not take too long to get the ESA letter ready. It is required to prove that the person is indeed in need of an ESA and that the pet is fit to go on that trip.
Getting In Touch With The Traveling Company
Before going on a trip with your ESA, it might be particularly essential to notify your airline or any other transportation carrier that you will be doing so. You could have all the paperwork you need and think you are set to go, but the fact is, some airlines would not allow your ESA on board unless they have been given prior notice, even if everything else is set. This is why you should always call the airline in advance of your trip and let them know that you will be accompanied by an ESA. They might ask a few questions but it should be a fairly easy process.
Collecting All The Pet’s Needs For The Trip
When you are traveling with an ESA, you should always remember that the pet, like any other pet, would need care on this trip the same as on any other occasion. You should be prepared with anything your ESA needs during the duration of your travel, including food and water to ensure they are comfortable. When the pet is comfortable they can, in turn, offer you the comfort and support you need on your travels.
Training Your Pet In Advance
Unlike a service dog, an Emotional Support Animal is not specifically trained to serve you, but that does not mean that you cannot train your ESA a little bit to ensure they are calm and prepare them for travel. This can be basic training to teach your pet to eat on schedule or to remain calm when surrounded by large crowds of people. Basically, think of all the scenarios that you and your ESA are likely to go through during your trip and make sure that they are well-equipped for them.
Understanding Your Rights
Traveling with your ESA should be a piece of cake, as long as you know your rights and your obligations. You should not allow anyone to intimidate you or make you feel bad for taking your ESA with you on your travels, and you should report any harassment that you may face. As long as you have the correct paperwork needed for your companion to travel with you, and the approval of the airline company, you can ignore any judgment that may come your way.
Emotional support animals are not just pets that we have in our homes, they are reliable companions that offer us comfort and support when we need it the most. Many people need their ESA more than anything when they are traveling. That is why it is important to be fully prepared in advance when traveling with your furry companion. So make sure you do some research beforehand and consult the airline or travel company for any tips and recommendations to ease your journey, and remember to take good care of your ESA on your travels so that they can take good care of you in return.
Take a look at this other article to learn more about traveling with a pet.