Top 3 ESA Letter Services of 2023 – Fast & Easy Emotional Support Animal Letters

Pets of all types are good for the soul. They are the always-there friend when you need them and the loving companion that we sometimes wonder if we truly deserve. Some are even adept at helping us with our own needs, such as those who serve as emotional support animals. An emotional support animal, or ESA, is one that provides relief to a person from symptoms of a mental or emotional disability. 

Emotional support animals are recognized and delineated separately from regular pets by the issuing of an emotional support animal letter. An ESA letter can only be issued by a licensed mental health professional. A consultation is required in order to assert the need for an ESA and, if the need is determined, a licensed professional will issue the letter. This article outlines the best ESA letter services that are your go-to source for a legitimate ESA letter at a great price.

Top 3 ESA Letter Providers

1. Pettable – Best Overall Emotional Support Animal Letter Service

2. Certapet – “Certa”-fiably Excellent Service

3. Emotional Pet Support – The Easy Online Option

Best ESA Letter Providers: In-Depth Reviews

1. Pettable – Best Overall Emotional Support Animal Letter Service


  • Speedy turn-around time for ESA letter approval, often within 24 hours
  • 100 percent money-back guarantee
  • Legal team to support letters 


  • An online exam and personal information is needed prior to knowing the total cost

ESA Letter Service Features

Feeling stressed or overwhelmed about finding and getting approved for a legitimate ESA letter is something that the Pettable team strives to eliminate for their clients. Pettable is compliant with state and federal laws and guarantees their letters are accepted in all 50 states as well as in Puerto Rico. 

Receiving your ESA letter in a timely fashion is very important, which is why Pettable provides a quick turnaround from the beginning of the process to the final step during which you receive your actual letter. They also provide express purchasing options if you need your letter in as little as 24 hours. 

Working with Pettable means working with not only mental health specialists that are experienced and licensed but also a panel of legal experts providing consultation and even making phone calls on your behalf to your landlord or other entities if needed. This sort of scenario comes up from time to time because some people (like landlords) will demand a valid ESA letter to prove that your pet is, in fact, an emotional support animal, and then question the validity of such documentation. 

Discounts and Guarantees

Pettable cares for their customers and understands the importance of affordability by offering a 20% claim letter discount. They also offer a complete 100% money-back guarantee within 30 days of purchase (unlike most in this industry), which our review team found entirely favorable. There is no additional cost or charge for multiple emotional support animal letters.

Our review team finds it noteworthy to mention that being a client of Pettable allows you access to their legal team in the event you encounter issues and are in need of legal advice or assistance. Pettable also provides a discount bundle option if you need multiple ESA letters, for example for traveling and housing, both. 

The Bottom Line 

Our review team put Pettable at the top of our list because it checks all the boxes to fill your needs as a customer. It is a reputable company, having been featured and endorsed by USA Today, Fox, NBC, and CBS. Being so well-known helps put customers at ease about the legitimacy of their company and gives customers peace of mind knowing that they have a legally valid ESA letter. 

Learn more at

2. Certapet – “Certa”-fiably Excellent Service


  • Consultations provided for ESAs and psychiatric service dogs (PSDs)
  • Featured in Entrepreneur Magazine and Forbes
  • Over 65,000 clients


  • Not 100% refundable even if you do not qualify for a letter

ESA Letter Service Features

Working with a company that provides great services is a relief for customers. Certapet offers a wide option of licensed mental health professionals (LMHPs) to consult and evaluate your emotional support animal status. 

Providing customers with support after the purchase of your ESA letter is also a great perk to this company because it shows their dedication to ensuring you as a customer get the best help and reliable support when needed. 

A Certapet ESA letter is also ACAA, HIPAA, and FHA compliant with regulations which offers their customers ease, knowing their emotional support animal letter is up to legal and current legal standards. 

Discounts and Guarantees

Certapet has bundling options if there is a need for purchasing ESA letters and psychiatric dog service (PSD) letters. As a company, they also guarantee unparalleled customer service and legal advice. Clients of Certapet can also expect a guaranteed support system after the purchase of an ESA letter. 

The Bottom Line 

With a deep team of qualified experts to choose from, each one an experienced, licensed mental health professional, Certapet makes a top-notch effort to ensure their customers receive great customer service but also a less-stressed experience when applying for an ESA letter. 

Certapet also offers a free prescreen quiz, so you can get an idea about whether or not you meet the basic guidelines and criteria for a legitimate ESA letter. As a customer, it’s great to know that they also provide consultations for psychiatric support dogs as well as ESA letters. 

Learn more at

3. Emotional Pet Support – The Easy Online Option


  • Same-day approval options for emotional support letters 
  • Simple three-step process
  • Full refunds available within 30 days of purchase
  • 24/7 support and ESA letter approvals


  • Personal info required before you are presented with pricing options 

ESA Letter Service Features

Emotional Pet Support provides ESA letters, ESA ID cards, and psychiatric service dog guidance for US Department of Travel needs. The main highlight for our list, of course, is the brand’s ESA letter service, and it’s easy to see why we included them on our list. Emotional Pet Support has an excellently streamlined three-step process in order to engage the service. 

First, applicants review and fill out an online questionnaire. This questionnaire is simple, straightforward, and is easily accessible on the company’s website. The process requires multiple pages of questions, however, in essence you are doing part of the consultation process by filling it all out. As lengthy as the questionnaire is, it’s still part of the streamlining of the process. 

  • Editor’s Note: If you’d prefer not to go through the entire questionnaire process, there is a free one-minute “exam” that helps you understand if you are likely to qualify for an ESA letter. While the exam isn’t any sort of guarantee of whether you will actually qualify, the questions are similar to those asked in the full questionnaire, so we’re fairly certain they are a good test run option. 

Next, a doctor, therapist or other qualified mental health specialist reviews your questionnaire. This review is pivotal to the process and happens behind the scenes. You do not hold a “live” consultation with this service. Instead, the professional issues their ruling on your application’s qualification (or not) via email. 

Finally, if you qualify, you receive an email with a PDF package containing all of your emotional support animal letter information for immediate use (if needed), before your paper copy is mailed to you separately. It’s that easy!

Discounts and Guarantees

Emotional Pet Support offers refunds within 30 days of purchase. 

The Bottom Line 

Emotional Pet Support checks all the required boxes. It is a reliable service that provides legitimate ESA letters for qualified pets and their owners via an online process.

How We Selected Our Top ESA Letter Services

We made this list of the best ESA letter services based on the recommendations of a panel of experts. This panel led a research initiative to outline parameters by which various ESA letter providers could be evaluated and compared. 

Emotional support animal letter services were evaluated against a stringent set of review parameters, using a proprietary point-rating system to determine categorical rankings across a variety of data points. These categories were then weighted and combined into an overall ranking for the service. What remains in this article are the best ESA letter services that made the cut by ranking highest in all categories and in terms of each brand’s overall score. Our panel did the research so you could feel good about choosing a starting point for your ESA letter needs. 

What is an ESA Letter?

An ESA letter is a document that is required for emotional support animals. The letter should be written by the diagnosing mental health specialist who has been treating the patient. It should contain the following information:

  • The diagnosis of the mental health condition
  • The need for an ESA to help with symptoms of the mental health condition
  • How an emotional support animal alleviates symptoms or improves function
  • Any side effects from medication or treatment that may impact the ability to care for an emotional support animal
  • The length of time that an individual requires an ESA, and any conditions or restrictions on access to public spaces and transportation 
  • The name, contact information, and signature of the medical professional that prepared the letter
  • An ESA letter is generally issued on the official letterhead of the certifying medical group

The ESA letter is typically issued by a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other mental health professional. This letter grants permission for qualified individuals to have a cat, dog, or any domesticated animal as an ESA. 

An ESA letter is not the same as a certificate of training. A person with an emotional support animal that has been properly trained in work and social skills and has earned a training certificate typically has a psychiatric service dog document.

How To Get an ESA Letter

A lot of individuals are unsure of where to turn or where to even start when it comes to obtaining a legitimate ESA letter. Have no fear, our review team is here to help. One of the basic and first steps to getting an emotional support animal is first and foremost ensuring the professional you are requesting an ESA letter from is a professional, licensed mental health professional and has the ability to prescribe a valid ESA letter.

Next, if using the companies from this article, most have easy step-by-step guidelines in order to get your ESA letter approved. 

  • Find a company that has a good reputation, pricing point, and licensed mental health professionals.
  • Most services offer a pre-screening evaluation to make sure you have some of the basic criteria to get your ESA letter approved. 
  • Complete online assessments and submit
  • Have an assessment telehealth consultation with a licensed mental health professional from the company you chose.
  • Pay costs for services and consultation fees (not every company has those fees) 
  • Await approval, which can occur in as little as 24 hours. 

Benefits of an Emotional Support Animal Letter

The benefits of an ESA letter are in abundance. Once you receive your letter you no longer have to be brokenhearted about leaving your beloved pets at home as often. That means fewer hard goodbyes. Being able to take your dog anywhere, especially when the bond between handler and dog is so close that it helps ease the emotional or mental health issues of the pet owner is a win-win scenario. 

Unfortunately, some pet owners experience breed regulations that stipulate certain breeds of dogs are not allowed to be in housing/stores/places of business due to their bad reputation. With an ESA letter, there cannot be any breed discrimination regardless of policy. Not only can your landlord not deny you access to the premises but educational areas like schools or libraries also have to be compliant with emotional support animal rights. 

It does not matter how many pupcakes were devoured at your dog’s last birthday, an ESA letter does not discriminate on the age of your dog.

Applying for and getting approved for an ESA letter also has the benefit of being able to save money on various expenses. With your ESA letter, you can avoid monthly pet application fees, pet deposits, and any other pet-related costs. In addition to that, some housing facilities bar pets entirely. Even in that case, you benefit from having an ESA letter for your friend, as an ESA letter allows you to live anywhere, regardless if they allow pets or not. 

Who Can Write an ESA Letter?

It is safe to say we don’t deserve dogs. Having a loyal companion that loves you wholeheartedly can feel like your dog emotionally supports you on a daily basis. Just be happy they can’t talk about watching you have a midlife crisis while singing into your hairbrush. 

Being reliant on your pooch is one thing but not having the proper paperwork means that your animal is not legitimately your emotional support animal. There are several different types of professionals with mental health expertise that have the ability to issue an ESA letter. 

  • Licensed General Physician 
  • Licensed Therapist
  • Primary Care Physician
  • Licensed Mental Health Professionals (therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist) 

Advocating for yourself is of the utmost importance so when trying to find a company to work with to apply for your ESA letter, make sure that research is done. An individual, like a counselor or another non-licensed mental health professional, cannot issue or prescribe ESA letters. Double-check with your vet by asking if they have the authority and licensing to issue an ESA letter.

How Long Does it Take to Get an ESA Letter?

The answer to this question depends largely upon how much you are willing to pay for the service. In some cases, you can have an ESA letter in your hands within the same day and within 24 hours if you’re willing to pay for expedited services. This is, of course, if you qualify. 

That is the one caveat that matters: these services provide ESA letters if, and only if, you and your pet actually qualify. These are not “pay to play” services that hand out ESA letters to just anyone, after all. 

If you are not necessarily seeking expedited services, expect anywhere from a few business days to a couple of weeks, at maximum. 


What are Emotional Support Animals?

Emotional support animals (ESAs) provide therapeutic benefits for their owners and can be prescribed by mental health professionals such as therapists and psychiatrists. ESAs are not considered “service animals” under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). 

ESAs can provide comfort by simply being present, or they may offer calming physical contact through petting or the physical presence of sitting in a lap—even simply the touch of skin to fur, scales, or feathers, is enough. They do not perform tasks that assist a person, such as how a service animal might open a door for their human. Instead, ESAs provide comfort with their presence, but without fulfilling active, specific tasks.  

Emotional support animals offer companionship and emotional support, helping people with emotional or psychiatric disabilities by providing love, comfort, and protection. In a wide variety of situations, people benefit from having an animal as a companion, especially in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) settings where dogs have been proven to be one of the most effective forms of therapy.

What is the Difference Between an ESA and a Service Animal?

Emotional support animals differ from service animals in the following ways: 

  • A support animal provides companionship, whereas a service animal performs tasks and services.
  • A support animal is defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act as an animal that provides emotional support to an individual living with a disability. 
  • A service animal is defined in the ADA as any guide dog, signal dog, or a dog with another role that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. 

That said, there are exceptions and areas that cross over into both categories. For instance, ESAs trained to perform specific tasks for their owners may also meet the definition of service animal under the ADA. Emotional support and service animals are not necessarily mutually exclusive and working dogs may provide emotional support just as companion animals provide companionship. 

How Do ESAs Improve Your Health?

There is much discussion about the emotional benefits of having animals. There are many people who believe that having a pet can improve the emotional soundness of a person’s life. Pets are thought to provide emotional, cognitive and physical benefits that people may not get from humans – with some studies showing pets actually improve your health.

Provide emotional benefits

Being a pet owner provides one particular advantage over not owning one: the sense of companionship. Pets provide a constant presence that allows for a more positive day-to-day attitude and outlook on life, as well as providing emotional benefits such as stimulating conversation, their company and support. 

The idea of owning an animal also helps people to connect with nature and develop empathy for animals. Emotional benefits of animals can include:

  • Companionship
  • Establishing empathy for animals
  • Stimulating imagination
  • Greater sense of self-worth or purpose 

Instill an empathy for animals and a connection to nature

Pets can teach us about the emotional lives of other living things. They provide a connection to nature and help us care for the environment. One study found that pet owners are more likely to show greater concern for animal welfare and have a stronger commitment to conservation.

Give us physical benefits

Pets are not just animals that can provide emotional support to their owners, they can also help people in a physical sense. Research has shown that the presence of a pet can lower blood pressure and heart rate, as well as reduce anxiety and stress hormones. Pets can also improve social interaction, which is important because studies have shown that loneliness can cause heart problems.

Medical Benefits of Having a Therapy Dog in Nursing Homes & Hospitals 

Everyone deserves a peaceful and pleasant experience when they are hospitalized. Therapy animals can help improve the health and well-being of hospital patients by providing companionship, reducing anxiety, promoting communication, improving moods, increasing satisfaction with care received, decreasing pain and stress levels, supporting patient mobility and promoting socialization. 

In nursing homes, therapy animals improve the well-being and quality of life for residents.  In a study of nursing homes in the United States, researchers found that when there is one therapy dog per 200 residents, it increases quality of life by 31%. 

Elderly people with dogs were much more likely to develop social interactions with other people in their communities. In addition, elderly people with dogs were less likely to be depressed and had less need for antidepressant medications.

Benefits of Pets in Homes, Workplaces, and Outdoor Environments

Research shows that pet ownership is beneficial to children’s health and well-being. For example, a study found that dog owners are 54% less likely to be obese than non-owners. With so many benefits of having a pet, it is important for parents to consider the benefits of bringing an animal companion into their home.

Workplace Benefits of Therapy Pets  

Pets have also been shown to be beneficial in the workplace. For example, a study found that employees working with a therapy animal seemed to feel less lonely and more productive. A simple means of alleviating stress has the potential to be very beneficial for employers.

Safer Outdoor Environments With Pets 

More people are considering bringing their pets outside with them for extra protection and keeping their family safe by improving the quality of outdoor environments such as parks, beaches, playgrounds, etc. In addition, having pets around helps people to remain active, which is promising for the health of humans and their pets.

Pets have been proven by research to relieve stress, reduce loneliness, improve productivity in the workplace, increase physical activity levels and make outdoor environments safer.

What Exactly Do ESAs Do? 

Emotional support animals are not just pets; they are trained to provide emotional support to people with mental or emotional disabilities. People who have severe anxiety and depression can benefit from the company of an animal. The animal can help them focus on the present, reduce their stress levels and make them feel less isolated.    

The time you spend with your ESA will be an important part of your healing journey. If you are considering getting an emotional support animal, it is a good idea to meet them in person.   

What Are the Qualifications of an Emotional Support Animal?  

To qualify for an ESA in public places like hotels or airlines, there must be a letter from a mental health professional stating that you have a disability and the animal provides necessary therapy for your condition. The letter must also include specific details about how you would benefit from the presence of the animal.  

What are the Costs of an Emotional Support Animal?  

Cost can differ based on the documentation provided. For documentation, please check with your doctor or mental health professional for more information about what documentation is needed for this service. 

Emotional Support Animals and the Education System

Emotional support animals are animals that provide therapeutic benefits to their owners. Pets that help alleviate the symptoms of a mental or emotional disability. These benefits can include emotional, psychological, and mental health. The use of these animals has been found to be beneficial in the treatment of anxiety, depression, and PTSD in some cases, which can be very helpful to kids suffering and trying to learn to cope in an educational scenario.

The use of these animals is not limited to people with mental health disorders; they have also been used for people with physical disabilities or chronic pain. People who have had a traumatic event or who need help coping with the death of a loved one may also benefit from an emotional support animal.

There are many benefits of having an ESA in a school setting, such as reducing the incidence of bullying and improving the general mood of students. There is also evidence that they can help with academic performance by increasing concentration, focus, and productivity. 

In recent years there has been an increase in the number of schools that allow students to bring their emotional support animals into the classroom or on school trips. These pets are often dogs but there are other types as well such as cats, rabbits, birds and turtles–any type of animal that has been trained to alleviate symptoms of an emotional or mental health issue. 

Since emotional support animals are an increasingly common way for people to cope with a disorder, the person seeking support often uses the animal to help them with their day-to-day life, including at school. These animals often act as a nonjudgmental companion that can offer attention, affection, and love without making judgments about the person’s illness or mental state. 

Emotional Support Animals and the Law  

In some places, emotional support animals are not allowed. Some businesses, schools, airlines and other types of venues will not permit them inside – this is often true of some limited areas into which only official service dogs are allowed. 

It is important to know what you are and are not allowed to do with your ESA in public. If you want to take your ESA with you when visiting a public place or traveling abroad, it is usually possible, however once in a while some special arrangements may need to be made. These might be as simple as calling ahead or as complicated as getting special permissions. 

You should also be aware that the Federal Air Carrier Access Act has recently changed. Under the revised Act, airlines have much more latitude when it comes to denying the need of those with an emotional or mental health disability to travel with a pet that has been designated as an ESA. In fact, many airlines have changed their ESA policies so you should always check your preferred airline’s policies on pet travel to be sure.

If your preferred airline has revised their policies and will not allow your ESA on the plane, you still have the option to have your dog designated as a psychiatric service dog (PSD). The current federal Air Carrier Access Act does allow PSDs to fly with their owners. Some ESA service providers (including a couple on our list) also offer a process to obtain legal documentation designating a pet dog as a PSD. Although the requirements specified in the Air Carrier law to obtain a legal PSD document are different than ESA documents, it may be worth spending time on.

What is the Fair Housing Act? 

The Fair Housing Act is one of a group of laws that provide a framework of rights, including those that ensure people with disabilities can have emotional support animals. Because of the Fair Housing Act, this is true even if a landlord has a policy disallowing pets. This is due to the Act’s function to classify an ESA as a right of a disabled person, rather than as a pet in the traditional sense. 

The portion of the Fair Housing Act that establishes and maintains the right of a person with a mental or emotional disability to have and keep an emotional support animal is the notion of “reasonable accommodation”. In essence, in the case of a landlord with a “no pets allowed” policy, the landlord is required to provide “reasonable accommodation” to a tenant with a disability whose treatment includes the presence of an ESA. 

In this case, a person’s ability to fully use their rented dwelling is contingent upon the mutual cohabitation of their ESA. Therefore, due to the Fair Housing Act, it is incumbent upon the landlord to accept the ESA’s presence on the premises. 


Our review team compared and contrasted ESA letter services with a critical eye. We hope you will use this list of the best ESA letter services as your guide and starting point for decision-making when looking for the solution that works best for your needs and for you and your pet.

This article has been supplied by Originated Media, a paid advertiser. The editorial staff of Chicago magazine had no role in this post’s preparation.