100 thoughts on “Emotional Support Animal or Service Animal?

  1. Thank you for making this video Kati! Since I recently got an emotional support dog in the last two months I have become very familiar with this process. I agree with what you say about people abusing the ESA system. My therapist was the one that brought up the idea of me possibly getting an ESA and since then we have integrated it into my treatment. But, getting approved from my housing was so stressful and exhausting because too many people have abused the system to the point where those of us that truly need it still have to wonder if it will go through for them or not. Thankfully, I got approved with no problem because I was more than qualified to be legally protected to have an ESA.

  2. After a massive relationship breakdown resulting in me losing my home and having to relocate away from my job, my new housemate bought me a dog. He's really helped me, he gets me out of bed in the morning and gives me purpose. With my dog I feel super safe, which is a big thing for me. Right now he's asleep on my lap (although he is far too big to be a lap dog!) and everything feels just perfect.

  3. I can't have my dog with my at university because my flat doesn't allow pets, and I notice a huge difference in my mental state. I'm more depressed, anxious and withdrawn when I'm not around her. I'm very shy and I find it really difficult to talk to people, but when I'm out with my dog I'm so much more confident because I love talking about her and other dogs! She also gets me out of bed in the morning to walk her, and at uni I rarely leave my room. I genuinely don't think I'd be here if I hadn't got my dog 7 years ago, and I'm grateful to her every day.

  4. In Australia ESA is not recognized as a form if service dog so we are unable to take them to public places. I'm prone to have alot of anxiety attacks when in a mall because of the amount of people so sometimes i need my dog to put a barrier between me and everyone else with my back against the wall and sometimes it is so bad i need Deep Pressure Therapy where she lays on my chest to keep me in one place and stop me from freaking out. I need her in these public places. She calms me and lets me know i am on the verge of a complete attack wanting me to sit and relax.

  5. I don't have my Great Dane registered as an ESA, but nothing has ever helped my depression and anxiety like Dexter has. When I am anxious he will lay on me and put his face against mine (his weight is calming – 115lbs), and when I'm depressed he encourages me to play or go outside with him. We share a very close bond, so we know how to read each other and help. I would highly recommend a dog to anyone with depression or anxiety… Not every dog is good at reading you though, my other dog is actually bad for me and feeds off of my bad days so do some research on breeds. I literally have a reason to function and look forward to every day because of my wonderful and huge dog. Thank you so much for this awesome video.

  6. Hello Kati,

    My beautiful beloved emotional support dog Jack needed to be relieved of his suffering from osteoarthritis March 8th. We were together for 12 years. In February he started to decline so I had to make the hardest decision of my life.

    I am relieved that Jack is no longer suffering. It is not possible to prepare yourself for the grief and void. I picked up his ashes March 15th and barely leave the house. Have seen a new psychiatric meds specialist and she began the process of seeing if I qualify for transcranial magnetic stimulation as I am in a deep depression. I am on a mental health disability. Medicaid will not pay for transcranial magnetic stimulation. The same center has an 8 week waiting list to see a therapist. I am really struggling and the fact that getting proper treatment and such a depressant & agoraphobic state sometimes leaves me hopeless.

    Everyday I spent hours in nature with Jack even in the Heart of the City. He went everywhere with me. There's no way to prepare yourself for life without your emotional support animal. They give us love, help us to forget about our depression, anxiety or whatever else we are dealing with. Then they are there in our darkest hours.💫


  7. that is why they amped up the regulations on getting an emotional support animal to get the ribbons

    CTFxC had to jump through so many hoops because of peoples like travis clark who did abuse the system and get the ribbons

    charmanders dog is very close to a service dog she just trained herself and can turn off and on the lights but legally she is only an emotional support animal

    thx for this ha bisky vid and i am dying soon unless i can find a place to get my stomach pumped i have 19 days left and my mom gaslighted me when i told her i felt like i needed my stomach pumped i couldnt go into the details why because she would gaslight me more

  8. I've always found it helpful to hold or pet an animal when I feel sad or stressed. I've lived with animals since I was 4 (bunnies when I still lived at home and cats when I was in student housing)
    When I moved out of student housing to live with my significant other I really missed having an animal around and the support it gave me. Since "fixing" this by getting myself 2 lovely and caring mice I've got this support back and it really helps 🙂 (They are adorable and love hanging out in my hair :P)

  9. Im on medication for severe anxiety it helps but i still get panic attacks daily. I have depression as well which my medication has improved drastically but if something heart breaking happens to me i go into a depressive coma. Would a service dog be right for me and if so how can i get one?

  10. I'm my cat's emotionally support human 😁 my black cat acts like a feral towards most people but loves the crap out of me. I often wonder what would happen to him if I weren't around.

  11. This video was helpful as I've been looking into some type of animal support/therapy. I think I'm on my 3rd or 4th relapse of major depression (I'm starting to lose track) and it wasn't until my cat passed away that I realized just how much having a pet has helped keep me from being suicidal. I'm just not sure what to do now because I can't afford a new pet.

  12. THANK you!!! this topic is needed to be spread more. there's so much ignorance and lack of knowledge about ESA's vs SD's.

  13. Thanks for explaining the difference between the two categories. My uncle has had several guide through his life, sincehe is blind. I may have, too, if I didn't have allergies to dogs, since I was legally blind most of my life. I unaware of the term "psychiatric service animal;" I thought the term "emotional support animals" means the same thing. Since I know persons with smaller sized service animals that stores are now trying to exclude from their businesses by calling them "emotional support animals", I have been upset about this. These smaller animals make wonderful "service animals" , since they can sense if blood sugar is low, an anxiety attacks , etc. Since I have depression, I recognize psychiatric service animals as very important things.

  14. I have horrible anxiety and i was always told that if you have anxiety you can only have the pet registerd as a emitional support animal or just not at all but when you where talking about service animals and they could help with anxiety i was cunfused but also releived for some reason i want to talk about it with my mom but i dont want her to feel im saying it just to have a pass for out cats to walk with us places as an esa what do you think i should do? I dont feel like i cleared up that im not ganna try to turn my cats to survice dogs

  15. I’m getting a Doberman puppy and want to take him to training to be a PSD for my schizoeffective disorder

  16. What do service dogs do for people with depression? How do they help? I’m lucky to have 3 dogs and 2 guinea pigs so I have plenty of animals to pet. 😊

  17. I have a service dog. I have two problems PTSD and and hearing issue. Goober my service dog has been with me 2 years now. My psychiatrist and I tried medications and monthly Therapies. It just didn't work effectively like it should. I said should we try a service dog because I know I have hearing problems. After 3 months my anxiety issues went down. We figure it was my my hearing issue was affecting with my PTSD. My hearing issue is that I'm tone deaf in my left ear. I did served in the U.S. army as an mechanic. Now I'm able to walk around the city I live in with out getting hit or get an panic attack because someone walks up from behind me.

  18. I grew up on a farm. There was always animals around, A dog, and a 15ish chickens. Which I used to pick up and hold them in front of the plastic window where different bugs would gather and move the chicken around so it could snap and eat the bugs. I though it was really fun! After a chicken had gotten a few I would put it down and pick up a other!
    The Sheepdog I grew up with my dad got 3 years before I was born. And he was a very close friend, when he died it didn't take us kids to feel like something was missing, home wasn't home anymore. And we got a Leonberger. Giant, sweet and gentle Leo.

    To wrap this up, I have never felt a home really is a home if there's not a animal there. When I moved out I got two cats, since I lived alone and had to work I didn't feel it was right to leave a dog home alone for so long.

    I for one, prefer animals over most humans.

  19. So… I have a panic attack disorder and social anxiety would I qualify for both technically speaking? And for an emotional support animal can you bring them anywhere, including school or a mall?

  20. so if you have Depression be afraid of everything afraid of talking to people and not even be able to go alone to a Store and buy something and being afraid to go to school to talk to the teacher's and the other students is there a reason to get a service dog ?

  21. I've been reading lately and think I need to get a psychiatric service dog once I have my own place because of my struggles with my mental health.

  22. I can’t Bring my cat to see other cats because she wouldn’t like that and would hide she doesn’t like groups of people and she is scared of almost anything so I’m her emotional support animal and she’s mine not legally but I’m gonna change that we really help each other

  23. I have anxiety a bit and I dont know if I can have a service dog cause it happens mostly at school but esa are not allowed to be at school

  24. My dog is my best friend in the world and helps me immensely with my depression. It's so hard to explain how she makes me feel so okay and happy. She gives me a purpose in life and her unconditional love and goofiness is so uplifting. There's those people who are like "omg I love dogs" but then there's people that me that love them for a whole other reason, deeper than just dog videos and memes

  25. Therapy animals, ESA’s and SD’s are all completely different. I’m glad there’s a vid being made tho 😊 ESA’s and therapy dogs of course have no public access. ESA’s are allowed in no pet housing and airplanes. Therapy dogs I believe are for groups of people, say like in a hospital :). Service dogs go to one person. They are task trained for their handlers disability. They have public access 🤗 also there is no registration or certification for a service dog. Anything online are scams and illegal. So please spread awareness on that as so many fakes are out there 😕 faking an SD can be fined up to $1,000 or up to 6 months in jail. Besides that, I just found your channel and I’m loving it lol

  26. I’m getting another service dog, well prospect in the spring! I have a medical response SD right now but I’m looking for alerting not just responding, I would get her trained to alert but she’s getting on the older side of things

  27. I have two holland lops (floppy eared rabbits). My therapist was fully supportive of me getting them because regardless of how bad I feel, I HAVE to take care of them. It's not an option. They need to be fed, given water, time to run, clean their litterbox, etc. Sometimes it's hard to take care of them because I have no energy, but if I dont, who will? They don't demand the same levels of attention as a dog but they'll definitely nudge you until you pet them! I know I have some sort of purpose in this world, but sometimes they're the only purpose I need. Just holding them and petting them is so soothing.

  28. Animals are so great for people. My dad and I took in a shi chi puppy a few months ago. She really helps with my anxiety, and my dad's depression. She's the cutest little thing and she makes us both feel a lot better.

  29. My animals make me more sad honestly 🙁 the cat ignores me and the dog only likes my mom… my mental health has been getting to an all time low and I don’t know what to do. I wish I had a pet that looked at me like I was their everything but I guess that’s just not realistic 🙁

  30. Thanks for sharing the valuable information about emotional support animals and service animals. I am the owner of a pet whom I receive emotional support to deal with anxiety (but I didn’t know about this before getting an ESA letter). After my airline refused me to fly with my pet two times, I realized how hard it is to live without my pet. So, I searched for the solution to avoid pet restrictions – ESA letter. When I contacted My ESA Doctor, they provided me with a two in one letter – for housing and travel. I have availed no pet travel fee facility in many airlines. Planning to move to a new rented house next year, and will avail the housing facility.

  31. I been seeing I'm therapist for a long time I been having panic attack and I get nervous alot but I ask my therapist for a letter to get a severe dog and he said it will cost $200 for a letter I went to my PC and I got the letter for nothing

  32. Great video! Everybody loves puppies and kittens right!! It seems common sense that they support us and bolster our mood. Just wondering can anyone point me to scientific studies that show what is actually happening here? Say for depression or anxiety, which many people have these days, I'm wondering how ESA animals stack up to other forms of treatment?

    I understand many people will say they are to be used in addition, but I'm sure some will stop other forms of treatment, or not even go to traditional counseling once they get the animal because its hard to get to, expensive, and counseling itself can be anxiety inducing! (whearas cuddling / petting your animal that is already right there in the moment of difficulty is easier to follow through with). So then, if we can agree that these various service animals are actually replacing treatment for some folks, I'm wondering from a psychology standpoint what is the actual science behind it? I looked and I can't find much.

    I did find information from some therapists who have had experiences with individuals with PTSD who have said once their client got a therapy animal there was both good and bad from the standpoint of what the therapist was trying to accomplish. The client would actually be less inclined to make positive steps and use the animal as a crutch rather than making deep longer term improvements. This was fairly shocking for me to see and thus why I'm wondering what are peoples experiences here and what does the actual scientific data say? And if there isn't really much scientific data yet, then are we truly doing the right thing by embracing this prematurely? Remember in the 90's our own medical profession embraced opiates for wider use to treat general pain, just as is happening now with many of these animals. So many unintended consequences and distasters came from that. Not that this is apples to apples by any means , but just an example of my question as to whether this is truly the best thing for patients on a wide scale? (and as a side point yes animals replacing medication could be a good thing in some cases but medication is not "wrong" in way too many cases we've seen how extremely bad things can happen for the patient, their children, and family when people who need medication go off of it).

    Anyways, of course I'm an animal lover and our animals certainly bring much joy, but as a medical community, if we are going down the route of supplementing traditional formal therapy with ESA's and other support animals, I am very curious on what all this means moving forward. The point of therapy is not to change society but to allow the individual to be able to have a better life. If this is actually inhibiting growth, how unfortunate!!

  33. Kati! I love your videos but please fix the misinformation in this video. Service animals can be dogs AND miniature horses. You showed a picture of a service horse when talking about people scamming the ADA, which is not okay. This spreads the false idea to the public that service horses are always fake when they are perfectly legitimate and legal. Also, ESA do NOT have public access, they only have rights under the fair housing act and air carrier act, so only housing and planes. If you bring a legitimate Emotional support animal into no-pet establishments, you are breaking the law. So many ESA's have attacked my service dogs in restaurants, shopping centers, and even in a college classroom, all because their owners thought they had the right to bring untrained animals anywhere because they could call them ESA's. Only Service Animals have public access rights through the ADA. So you only have the right to bring an animal with you into public no-pet establishments if and only if you have a dog or miniature horse that is trained to perform tasks that mitigate your disablity/disabilities.

  34. I don’t know what will be best for me service animal or emotions support animal
    I have panic attack, depression,
    Anxiety ,mood disorder
    And dizziness

  35. Hey Kati,
    I have a question:
    I have tried countless medications and years of intensive therapy and I feel nothing is really working for me so I’ve been considering the idea of a psychiatric service dog. However, I am TERRIFIED to bring it up to my support team of fear that my suggestion will be denied or put down… any tips for how to open up the conversation?

  36. I don’t know if I qualify for a service dog because my kind of physical disability isn’t commonly talked about? I have moderate S curve scoliosis and have had corrective intervention and am in physical therapy to lessen my sometimes severe back pain. I was also wondering if a service dog could carry objects like textbooks like my rolling backpack?

  37. One thing I just want to add is that in certain cases miniature ponies can be used as service animals. I dont know under what circumstances that can happen but that's what I know

  38. I get these animals help people, i really do. But as someone with a dog allergy please be more respectful of my own disability. I've literally been bitched out at restaurants and at work by people who need their dogs 24/7. So the business banned all animals except outside, even in rain extreme heat or cold. So don't be a dick people.

  39. I was starting thinking about this because I was offered a service dog to accompany me during my tribunal.
    I though how animals help me in general and how, when I feel overwhelmed and in an instable mood, my pets help me a lot.
    I remember one time I was stuck with unbearable suicide thoughts, I just took my hamsters in my hands, and almost immediately I felt much much better.

    It’s almost magical 🙂

  40. I'm new to your channel.
    I really enjoy your video it's very helpful. I have a Yorkie and he's helped me with my anxiety and my confidence in going about my everyday routine. 🤷‍♀️🐕💕

  41. Esa don't have public access rights and I benfit from having my emotional support anmails she helps me relive my anxitey disorder and she does do light pressure theraphy to help during an anxiety attack and she really does help my dog is in training to interact with other people so she knows I'm also training her to foucus on me and ignore other people when I walk her unless they come up to us so she's working to help my disablity she really does help me

  42. You should make another video on this subject to teach people the difference between service animal and ESA, customers claim they are service dogs, and when asked they say its for emotional support. They should not be telling people that their animal is a service animal. They should always address their animal as what it correctly is: either service or emotional support, they are not the same. They don't perform a service. This is why we have to ask to make that distinction, and yes we have the legal right to ask what service the dog performs, and they cry NO YOU DONT HAVE THE RIGHT TO ASK, sorry we do.

  43. What happens if you are not disabled but also not high functioning, and you get an ESA and train it, even if it’s an ESA it’s trained to have manners and do some tasks , could it go out?

  44. I work at winco and we get alot of people bringing their pets' into our stores. When I aproach them I get met with "It's a service animal" (as it's eating off the floor) I ask what service it provides, one of the few questions I am legally allowed to ask and get met with "you aren't allowed to ask me that it's illegal." Please someone help me, I don't know how to deal with these people anymore.

  45. Under the ADA federal law miniature horses are protected as service animals. ESA’s are not allowed in public, unlike service animals. ESA’s are allowed on lanes under the air carriers act and in no pet housing under the fair housing act.

  46. If you're an advocate for service animals you should know that theirs DIFFRENT laws other then the ADA and USA because of people that talk about service animals and don't educate that theirs DIFFRENT laws in DIFFRENT country pepole come at me whit my TASK TRAINED SERVICE ANIMAL and call me a fraud and a liar

  47. 4:16 For those of you who don't know, you're not meant to see the sclera (the white bit) of dogs' eyes, especially if a dog is non-brachycephalic like the one in the video. If you can see your dog's sclera, that is a sign of high levels of stress/anxiety in your dog. Also, look at the body language. If an owned dog is cowering or backing itself up into a corner around their owner, there's clearly a problem. When this happens, back off and give your dog some space instead of shoving a camera in its face look the dude in the video.

  48. Bruh this made me feel a lot better bc people kept telling me psychiatric SERVICE DOG, is emotional support animal like omg🤦🏻‍♂️

  49. Well I'm about to about another dog for emotional support needs. A dog that is more focused on me and the family as a whole. I love my fat dog now but I just need something that likes to stay and cuddle by my side.

  50. Hi Kati! What do I do if my therapist doesn’t think I need a SD but I really feel like I could benefit from one?

  51. I have been trying to get a service dog for my ptsd anxiety and depression but have no luck finding a agency that'll help me obtain one

  52. i have an emotional support animal, he is my 16 year old tabby cat called Harvey, he's my esa because i have been and still get bullied at first it was not that bad but now it has started to get physical, Harvey helps me to gain the confidence i need to go to school and prepare myself for the day, i have has those small suicidal thoughts in the back of my head once or twice but Harvey helped me see that thats not the way to think, i want to register Harvey so i can get him an esa tag to go on his collar but im not sure how to do it, for example is it free, do you have to pay to register an esa, is there an age limit on the animal, those are just a few questions i have, if you could reply to this comment it would really help me out, it would be even better if you could answer my questions.

  53. I’d like for my fat cat to be my emotional support pet, he doesn’t bite or scratch and he’s very comforting and sweet. Usually when im feeling like pulling my hair out or playing with my scalp (I’ve got trichotillomania) I go up to him and start stroking his hair. I don’t pull any of his hair out of course 😂 but the soft hair he has really relieves my trichotillomania. Plus he’s a great cuddle buddy. I’m trying to train him to alert me when I grab my hair (I trained my younger cat to do that but he’s not very nice) I’m just scared of being one of those people who cheat the system, I’m not sure if I really need an emotional support animal, it’d just help me relieve the urge to pull my hair out. When I play with it I end up damaging it. I’ve never flew on a plane and I’m not planning to since it’s not very eco friendly in the first place, I also don’t go to restaurants a lot since most don’t have a vegan options menu or sustainable cutlery. Anyways, any advice? Thanks! 💛

  54. So I might have very bad anxiety. Like if I get scared I hide and cover me ears or I run and hide and start to sweat and tremble and I get even more scared when someone just comes into my room …. so u think I can get a service dog 🐕 for this ???? Bc there is like 4 task that I really liked and I heard that a service dog can help with that

  55. I really need a emotional support dog it’s just I’m scared to tell my parents that I need one I’m basically only 9 and I want to kill myself so I really don’t know what to do 🙁

  56. 4:15 that’s totally the look I would give people if I had one. That’s really the only reason I haven’t looked into. Im certain I’d qualify. But I’d rather not have to deal with other people than to leave the safety of my home.

  57. I’ve been thinking of asking my doctor for a note for my dog but the thing is, I have a hard time out in public. But emotional support animals aren’t allowed in public places. So am I able to ask for a letter saying that I can bring him to public places? He has had his fair share of training and is good at ignoring people. But he has a confidence issue so going to public places would help that. Weeell I can’t go to public places without a letter saying I can do that😂

  58. I do have a bit of anxiety, and my therapist has been really helping me. So much so that we were able to go from weekly sessions to every other week. I still struggle on certain days but other days I’m ok. I haven’t brought my dog over to LA with me bc I’m worried about pet rent costs since I’m already struggling. But if I got the dog registered under ESA that could help.
    Idk if I should talk to my therapist about it.. the anxiety is getting a little better and I don’t want to claim it in my life. However I do know that my dog for sure 100% helped me relax when I was living with her. Should I just ask my therapist?

  59. I KNEW I SEEN YOU BEFORE! I was like, “ I really have a very strong feeling I HAVE seen her from somewhereeee”

    thinks REALLY hard


  60. I suffer from depression so I have a question. So I have a dog and he is a resque dog so could he possibly help me with my depression by comforting me?

  61. I need some advice: I have been living at my current place for 3 years and will be living here till May. A potential new tenant has a current place of residence till May and is bounded by a contract there. However, she wants to break that contract to move into the place I am currently at in January. I have life-threatening cat allergies and don't have anywhere to go. I can get documentation that I state my allergies and notes from doctors, but I am unsure of what the legal action is. I have been googling it and looking at the EAS laws but it is still unclear what the end result would be since it is not possible to have both of us living there (Shared central air). I just want to make sure I do things in the correct manner. Thanks!

  62. 0:51
    I have three out of all of the other illnesses she listed
    I have depression PTSD and anxiety. I also struggle with suisidal thoughts every now and then. I’m in need of one

  63. I have a two year old bernedoodle. She’s my psychiatric service dog in training. I am training her myself, and she is amazing me everyday! The AODA law recognizes service miniature horses, cats, and dogs! Emotional support animals can be anything really, but can’t be taken everywhere with you. Now, if your emotional support dog isn’t allowed somewhere don’t go and say it’s a service dog, and don’t register a dog to be a service dog. (Registrations are scams) i’d also like to point out that emotional support is not a service dog task.

  64. Me and my mom know I suffer with a lot of anxiety, I have had it since I was young, and we were thinking about getting a Emotinal support animal!

  65. I remember requesting this video on YouNow a couple of years and you did it!! I'm so glad you made this video! 🥰

  66. Hi, I have a emotional suport cat, but the place I live do not allow cats and the landlord want me and my parents to leave. Do you know if there are any law about this? Or he can just make us leave?

  67. What if you have a cat that breaks all the rules, for ten years my cat has acted as if he was trained to deal with me. This cat get s me up like clockwork to do rituals observed for 10 years. Walks on a leash, fetches and seems to have a vast amount of abilities I ve not had in the 61 years of life I ve lived with 15 cats and 3 dogs over the years. Not even my brilliant 5 abbysinians came close, well, maybe one. I don t seek to take my cat into a resto unless we re traveling and that s the only way to eat, but air travel, train travel etc are essential, and, housing is a no brainer

  68. I have no motivation, the only reason that I “care” of stuff is because I’m here, and feels really sad whenever I’m ignored, which happened a few times per day… should I get a pet?

  69. I do not know about a lot of this, but I feel I strongly need something to be with me. I feel like I need a dog to be with me all the time, I am very unstable mentally, I suffer from depression, anxiety, very bad social anxiety, self-harm, and gender + sexuality identity disorder. Can I ever qualify for a service dog? can I deserve one? An ESA would be great! but I think I need a dog with me everywhere since I have very severe social anxiety. ESA's are not allowed in certain stores, hotels, and restaurants. I think a Service Dog would be better for me to grow and stay safe. Can I have feedback so I can notify my therapist and parents on new ideas? Again, I have been doing research, but my parents do not think research online is of any use, they want me to go to groups, but I am terrified to, I can't do it. Can I ever have a service dog? which will be best for me?

    Edit: I also do know of any coast of things. I have done some "research" but most websites are different. Any recommended websites would help :).

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