Travelling With an Emotional Support Animal

Written by Faisal | Last modified on:

In life, people have different ways of handling stress and mental health. Whereas some are given medication, some are as well advised to have emotional support animals (ESA) to help them in their recovery journey. The new companion makes one stronger and ready to conquer the world with their newly acquired friend.

Loving Animal
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If you have traveled with a pet before, it always sounds to be such a big deal due to the anxieties that come with the idea. Yes, it is indeed a big deal, but it all depends on how well prepared you are. If you are already nervous about what to do before traveling with that pup of yours, this article is for you!

1. Preparation and Packing List

As soon as you have learned all the laws pertaining to travel with an ESA. You should get ready by having your packing bag set. Ensure that you have prepared him on how to cope with strangers and loud noises. In addition to this, ensure that you have packed your pet’s travel kit to include collar and leash, paper towel, harness, treats, and water. Moreover, smelling dog shampoo, water bowls, poop bags, emergency first aid kit, and anything else you consider important.

2. Laws on ESA

If you live in the USA and are planning to make travel with your animal, here are two laws you need to know. The first one is the Fair Housing Act, and the other one is the Air Carrier Access Act (ACA). These laws have been implemented for you if you are to live with your pet or decide to travel with him.

3. Traveling with ESA by plane

While traveling with pets by plane, the Air Carrier Access Act comes in handy to ensure that the ESA is in good shape. The owner is therefore required to have a prescription letter as guided by the Act. This letter is quite vital and thus, has to be given by qualified medical or mental professionals. This letter indicates that you are the legal owner of the animal. Therefore ensures the safety of your pets during traveling.

There is a need to remember that different airlines have a problem with you traveling with animals on board. For this reason, you should get in touch with them and find out if at all they are ok with having your ESA on board.

The ACA Act has fortunately been supportive in such instances. Since it requires all airlines to allow you to travel with your ESA. Getting in touch with them before your travel day only comes in to help lessen the nightmares that might occur at the airport if the management gives restrictions on your travel.

4. Traveling with ESA by car

If you are planning to have a long trip with your emotional support animal. There is a need to map out the whole journey. This will help you in getting to find out if there are rest animal-friendly shops, restaurants, or hotels around your destination. In addition to that, it will help you in finding out if indeed that area has an animal policy.

Prior search is quite essential because as much as we have Acts such as Fair Housing and ACA. They do not legally require hotels or restaurants to allow ESA inside. It will, therefore, be chaotic if you are forced by the hotel management to leave your animal outside the premises.

5. Traveling by Train

It is important to note that some train operators do not recognize emotional support animals on board. Some of the only animals allowed are the service and therapy dogs. Since they are believed to have gone through specialized training, something that is not offered on ESA. The good news is that other train operators allow them as long as you pay a prescribed fee to have them caged in a kennel. This shows that you need to conduct extensive research before booking your train ticket with any operator.

6. Traveling by Bus

Just like trains, some of the bus service providers do not allow emotional support animals in their buses. Like most other operators, only the service and therapy animals are allowed to travel with their owners. The main reason behind this is because they are under no legal obligation to enable the travel of emotional support animals.

Traveling with pets can be very easy as long as you have prepared well by accessing the prescription letter. Moreover, ensure that you conduct prior research on the laws on ESA travel before choosing your destination or mode of travel.

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