Emotional Support Animals

How to Prepare for Taking Your Emotional Support Animal to College

Fall has rolled around once more, which means for many students, its time to return to dorms, classrooms, and long days filled with assignments and stress. One thing that can ease the intense anxiety and depression inducing stress of the school year is an emotional support animal. If you are a college student with an emotional support animal, here are some tips for taking it with you to college.

Check Your College’s Policies

Every college and university’s emotional support animal policy is different. Some allow them on campus, others do not. Some may allow them just in the dorms, but not classrooms. It may depend on the type of dorm you are living in. Technically, under the Fair Housing Act you must be allowed to live with your emotional support animal without pet fees, but every college may handle them differently on campus.

Get An Emotional Support Animal Letter of Certification

In order to live with your emotional support animal in the dorm, you must have an emotional support animal letter of certification. A mental health professional must write this letter for you stating that you need your support animal for your mental well-being. You can also get an emotional support animal letter of certification quickly and conveniently online at United Support Animal.

Register It As A Psychiatric Service Dog

If you want to also be able to take your animal to classes with you and other locations around campus, then you will likely have to register it as a service animal. One way you can potentially do this is by seeing if your emotional support animal qualifies to be a psychiatric service dog. To qualify, your animal must perform a specific task in relation to a mental illness you have officially been diagnosed with. For example, tasks can include laying on top of you when you have panic attacks, interrupting a PTSD episode, or reminding you to take your medication on time. Once your dog is registered as psychiatric service dog, you will be able to take it with you virtually any where you go. This is because service dogs are protected under the ADA and considered necessary medical equipment.

As you gear up for a productive year at college, remember to speak with your school about their emotional support and service animal policies. Additionally, make sure to have your emotional support animal letter of certification ready so that you can live with you animal hassle free. While you are at it, check and see if your emotional support animal might qualify as a psychiatric service dog, making it even easier for you to take them wherever you need them. To get a letter of certification for your college, visit United Support Animal today!