traveling with esa dog

Emotional support animals bring their owners love, affection, companionship, happiness, and a massive increase in quality of life. An ESA best friend can be a genuine lifesaver for a person who struggles with mental health issues. People who suffer from conditions such as depression, PTSD, anxiety, and various phobias tend to experience significant symptom relief when they begin ESA treatment.

Lots of emotional support pet owners are now thinking of traveling. Since COVID restrictions have been lifted across most of the US, society has opened up and travel has become possible again. ESA owners are now able to take vacations and travel to visit family and friends.

Most emotional support animal owners want to take their emotional pets with them when they travel in 2021. While traveling with your emotional support animal is entirely possible, however, it is not as straightforward as it once was. Changes have been made to existing laws that deal with ESAs and travel, and new restrictions have been put in place that may limit your options when traveling with your ESA.

esa dog traveling with owner
Image by Egor Gordeev on Unsplash: There are so many benefits to traveling with your emotional support pet in 2021.

What Are The Benefits Of Traveling With Your Emotional Support Pet In 2021?

Traveling with your emotional support animal can be an enjoyable and life-enriching experience. Taking a trip with your ESA allows you to share new experiences and build an even stronger emotional bond.

Traveling can be a challenging experience for people who suffer from mental health conditions. The companionship of an emotional support pet can alleviate the symptoms of several mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, PTSD, phobias, insomnia, and OCD.

Are ESA Laws Changing?

ESA laws have changed in 2021. The Air Carrier Access Act has been amended. The amendments came into effect in early 2021 and deal with emotional support animals and their travel rights.

New ESA Rules 2021

As of early 2021, the Air Carriers Access Act no longer considers an emotional support animal to be a service animal. This means that ESAs no longer have the automatic right to travel in the cabin of a commercial airline with their owner. Whether or not an ESA can travel in the cabin with its owner is now at the discretion of each individual airline.

Traveling With An ESA In 2021

Since these new rules have come into effect, traveling with an emotional support animal has become a slightly more complex undertaking. It is now essential to contact any airline you intend to travel with beforehand to check if they will allow your ESA to travel with you in the cabin.

Can You Fly With An Emotional Support Dog In 2021?

“Can I fly with my ESA dog?” This is a very commonly asked question. Before 2021 the answer was a resounding yes, provided the flight was taking off and landing inside the United States.

In 2021, the answer is no longer so straightforward. Several airlines have said they will no longer accept emotional support pets in cabins at all, but several other major airlines are still allowing certain types of ESAs to travel with their owners.

Your ESA’s Species Matters A Lot When Traveling

To maximize your chances of being able to take your ESA with you into the cabin of an airline, or onto a ship, train, bus, or taxi, you should get an ESA that is of a common pet breed. Dogs of a modest size who are clean, quiet, calm, and well-trained have the highest chance of being allowed to travel along with their own on the various forms of public transport.

What Are The Rules And Regulations When Traveling With An ESA In 2021?

There is no longer a legal obligation for transport companies to accept emotional support animals on their services. But despite this, many private and public transportation companies chose to still allow ESAs to travel.

When Traveling By Air…

The Air Carrier Access Act no longer recognizes ESAs as service animals. This means that airlines are no longer legally obliged to allow ESAs to travel in the cabin along with their owner. If you are traveling by air with your ESA in 2021, you will need to contact airlines to find out which ones will still allow your ESA to accompany you.

small pug dog esa
Image by Free-Photos on Pixabay: Can you fly with an emotional support dog in 2021?

When Traveling By Sea…

Several cruises and ferries allow ESAs to accompany their owners. The iconic Queen Mary II that sails from New York to Southampton allows ESAs to travel, but Royal Caribbean has decided to no longer allow ESAs on board. Before you plan to travel by sea, check with the transport company to make sure your ESA will be welcome on board.

When Traveling By Train Or Bus…

Amtrak, the country’s largest train operator, allows ESAs to travel and requires that they have a pet ticket that costs around $26. Some other train operators and most subway operators allow ESAs to travel for free. Greyhound, the bus company, does not recognize ESAs as service animals and typically will not allow them to travel. Most metropolitan bus companies allow ESAs to travel.

How Do You Get An Emotional Support Letter In 2021?

The quickest, easiest, and most straightforward way to get an ESA letter in 2021 is to visit the Moosh online clinic. Moosh will set up an online video consultation between you and a state-licensed mental professional who will access your suitability for emotional support animal treatment.

Once the mental health professional has verified that you will benefit from ESA treatment, they will email you an official ESA letter that is valid for one year. It is a simple process that will add enormous value to your life. So what are you waiting for? Get started today!

Featured image by Andrew Shiau on Unsplash