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Living in the Lone Star State and hoping to get yourself an emotional support pet? Below we’ll outline the process of getting an emotional support animal in Texas and answer the most important questions about living with an ESA.

Does Texas Recognize Emotional Support Animals?

Yes, the state of Texas recognizes emotional support animals. ESAs help people in Texas to alleviate the symptoms of a wide range of mental health conditions and to live better, more fulfilled lives.

What Laws Deal With ESAs In Texas?

The laws that deal with emotional support animals in Texas are all federal laws. These are:

  • The Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA)
  • The Fair Housing Act (FHA)
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

How Do I Get An Emotional Support Animal In Texas?

The best way to get an emotional support animal in Texas is to have an online telemedicine consultation with a local mental health practitioner. This can be done through the Moosh online clinic. You will have a video consultation with an ESA doctor who will verify your suitability for ESA treatment and write you an official emotional support animal letter.

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Image by Andre Ouellet on Unsplash: Does Texas recognize emotional support animals?

How Much Does It Cost To Get An ESA Letter In Texas?

Getting an emotional support animal letter in Texas through the Moosh online clinic costs between $159 and $219. There are two packages available. Each includes:

  • Online consultation
  • ESA letter certification
  • Unlimited housing forms (by request)

The $219 package also includes an ESA vest.

What Qualifies For An Emotional Support Dog In Texas?

There is no official list of conditions that qualify a person for an emotional support dog in Texas. The most common conditions that people use ESA treatment for include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • PTSD
  • Phobias
  • Loneliness
  • Insomnia
  • OCD

What Type Of Professional Can Sign An Emotional Support Animal Letter In Texas?

In Texas, the following types of mental health professionals can write a legitimate certified ESA letter:

  • Clinical psychologist
  • Licensed professional clinical counselor
  • Licensed marriage and family therapist
  • Licensed clinical social worker
  • Licensed physician

How Often Do You Need To Renew Your Emotional Support Animal Letter In Texas?

You’ll need to renew your emotional support animal letter in Texas every year.

How Do I Register An Emotional Support Animal In Texas?

If you have a pet already and you want to register it as an official emotional support pet, the process is the same as if you are getting a new pet. ESAs need no specific training, so all you need to do is visit the Moosh clinic and get your ESA letter, and it will apply to the pet you already own.

What Is The Difference Between An ESA Dog And A Service Dog In Texas?

In Texas, ESA dogs and service dogs have different rights under the law. Service dogs are allowed to accompany their owners into any public area, while emotional support dogs are not. This is because service dogs receive special training and ESA dogs do not.

The most popular types of emotional support animals in Texas include:

  • Dogs
  • Cats
  • Miniature horses
  • Pot-bellied pigs
  • Hamsters
  • Domesticated rats

In more rural parts of the states, you may even find emotional support goats, snakes, and various other more exotic ESAs.

Emotional Support Animal Rental Laws In Texas

Can my emotional support animal live with me in Texas? Under the FHA, “reasonable accommodations” must be made by a landlord to enable a person with a mental health condition to live in their property. Emotional support animals count as reasonable accommodations.

However, ESAs can be denied under some circumstances. In the FHA, an ESA is defined as a “small, domesticated animal that is typically kept in a home as a pet”. This means that dogs and cats qualify, but more exotic species of ESA may be legally refused. Also, if an ESA is dirty, vicious, or intimidating to other residents, it can be refused.

person with esa dog in texas
Image by Victoria_Borodinova on Pixabay: What qualifies for an emotional support dog in Texas?

What Can You Do If Your Landlord Refuses Your ESA In Texas?

If your landlord refuses your ESA in Texas, you can:

Can Hotels Refuse An Emotional Support Animal In Texas?

Texas hotels are within their rights to refuse an ESA. This is because they are private businesses and are not covered by the FHA. However, there are plenty of great, ESA-friendly hotels in Texas.

Can You Travel With Your Emotional Support Animal In Texas?

Most airlines will allow you to travel with an emotional support animal in Texas. However, you must contact the specific airline ahead of time. Some airlines are reluctant to allow ESAs on board and some only allow certain species of ESA. Airlines that do allow ESAs will require prior notice by email or online form.

Suburban trains and buses in Texas usually allow pets, but interstate trains and buses often do not and are not obligated to do so under the law.

Do Emotional Support Animals Need To Wear A Vest In Texas?

It is not necessary for an ESA to wear a vest in Texas. However, if your ESA wears a vest, it can avoid hassle and alert people to the important role your pet is carrying out.

Featured image by Caleb Fisher on Unsplash