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Can You Have More Than One Emotional Support Animal in 2023? Everything You Need to Know

Can You Have More Than One Emotional Support Animal

Can You Have More Than One Emotional Support Animal? Emotional support animals (ESAs) are quickly becoming popular as a source of support for people with mental health conditions. If you’re thinking of getting an ESA, you may have questions about the rules and limitations around them, like can you have more than one emotional support animal?

There are no hard and fast rules about how many ESAs you can get, but there are still a few things to consider, like the practicalities of taking care of many animals.

We’ll talk all about that here. We’ll also cover the basics of ESAs, the laws surrounding them, and what you need to know about ESA letters. So, whether you’re looking to add a furry friend to your household or just want to learn more about ESAs, keep reading!

Can You Have More Than One Emotional Support Animal?

Yes, you can have as many ESAs as you need. There are no laws or rules that state a person can’t have more than one emotional support animal. But for every ESA, you need a corresponding ESA letter.

The letters should show that you have a disability that each ESA helps you with in specific ways. This is true for most states in the US, including states like Florida and California.

If you’re planning on having more than one ESA, there are a few things to keep in mind. You should make sure you have all the resources that you need to take proper care of multiple animals. Having more animals equals additional costs for food, veterinary care, and other supplies.

You should also consider how having more animals can affect your mental health. While having many ESAs may provide extra support, it may also be stressful to care for multiple animals. Make sure you’re prepared to handle the additional responsibility.

Emotional Support Animal vs. Service Animal: What’s the Difference?

You may have heard of service animals, which the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines as specially trained dogs that perform tasks for individuals with disabilities. These tasks may be leading a blind person through traffic or fetching objects for someone with a mobility impairment.

Mental health professionals are starting to see how having a pet can also help people with mental health issues. This is where emotional support animals, or ESAs, come in.

Licensed healthcare professionals may recommend ESAs to people with mental health conditions. ESAs support them by giving companionship and comfort and improving the signs of depression, anxiety, and some phobias, to name a few.

Unlike service animals, emotional support animals don’t have any special training. Instead, the companionship ESAs offer is usually enough to help a person with a mental health condition feel better.

What Kind of Animals Can Serve as an ESA and a Service Animal?

Can You Have More Than One Emotional Support Animal

According to the ADA’s definition, only dogs can be service animals. But when it comes to dog breeds, there are no restrictions. Even small dogs can serve well as service dogs!

Since there are various types of tasks that service animals are trained to do, different dog breeds, ranging in size and traits, can be a good fit depending on the task.

Take Labradors and German Shepherds, for example, they’re perfect for providing stability for people with mobility impairments. But smaller dogs like Terriers and Poodles can be good as hearing dogs, seizure-alert dogs, and diabetic-alert dogs.

For ESAs, there are no restrictions on what kind of animal you can have. Birds, rabbits, hedgehogs, hamsters, lizards… you name it! Even small pigs have been known to board planes as ESAs.

However, the most common ESAs are cats and dogs because they are easy to care for, and transporting them is less of a hassle.

What are the laws around emotional support animals?

Unlike regular house pets, there are certain laws that protect a person’s right to have their ESA nearby. Under the Fair Housing Act (FHA), individuals with disabilities who have an ESA have the right to request reasonable accommodation from housing providers.

Even if the building has a no-pets policy, landlords are required to make exceptions to their usual rules and allow tenants to keep an ESA in their homes if it’s necessary for their well-being.

Limitations of ESAs

Can You Have More Than One Emotional Support Animal

Even with these legal protections, ESAs have some limitations compared to service animals. The ADA allows service animals to accompany their owners into all areas of public accommodation, including restaurants, stores, hotels, and other public areas.

ESAs don’t have those same broad access rights. Instead, they can only go to places under the Fair Housing Act, which mostly includes people’s homes or apartments.

ESAs are also no longer allowed into an airplane cabin for free under the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA). Since 2021, they are not considered service animals under this law.

Some airlines may still allow ESAs on their flights, with certain conditions. You should have an ESA letter from a licensed mental health professional, provide advance notice to the airline, and other limitations depending on the airline.

ESAs don’t have to undergo any specific training like service animals. But, they must be well-behaved and under the control of their owner at all times.

Airlines may kick ESAs off flights, or landlords may evict them from their homes along with their owners, if they misbehave, damage others’ properties, or harm others.


What Disabilities Qualify You for an ESA?

A range of mental health conditions can qualify you for an ESA, with some of the most common being anxiety, depression, ADHD, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

ESAs can help people with mental health conditions by providing a sense of security and comfort to their owners. This can help ease feelings of anxiety and stress. Many people find that spending time with an ESA helps them feel more relaxed and reduces anxiety symptoms.

If you have anxiety, and your pet helps relieve your symptoms, your pet can qualify for ESA status.

Can ESA Letters Expire?

Can You Have More Than One Emotional Support Animal

ESA letters are documents prepared by a licensed healthcare professional confirming that you have a mental issue and that your animal helps you cope with the effects of your condition. The letter usually talks about your mental health condition and how the animal alleviates symptoms.

This letter also includes a date of issue, and while ESA letters don’t technically expire under current laws, it’s still best to keep them up-to-date. At a minimum, make sure your ESA letter is a year old or less.

Can a cat be an emotional support animal?

Cats can, in fact, be emotional support animals (ESAs). An emotional support cat can help someone who is suffering from anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues. It is important to note, however, that as of today, dogs are the only animals that can be considered service animals.

How many emotional support animals can you have in Florida?

There is no limit to the number of emotional support animals (ESAs) that a person may have in Florida. However, landlords or associations may request information about each ESA’s specific need.

What is the best site to get an ESA letter?

There are a few sites out there that offer legitimate ESA certifications, but in my opinion, the best one out there is Service Paws USA. Let me tell you why.

First of all, Service Paws USA offers excellent customer service. They truly care about their clients and make sure that they get the support they need. Their team of professionals is always ready to answer any questions and concerns you may have throughout the process.
Secondly, Service Paws USA offers numerous advantages. With their ESA certification, you’ll be able to fly with your pet without any additional fees or hassle. You’ll also be able to keep your pet in any accommodation, even if the establishment has a no-pet policy. And the best part is that you won’t have to pay any deposit for your pet.

Thirdly, Service Paws USA is compliant with both the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA). This means that you’ll have the legal protection you need when it comes to housing and air travel.

Finally, Service Paws USA provides you with an ESA letter from a licensed therapist. This ensures that your certification is legitimate and recognized by housing providers and airlines.

Can I have 2 emotional support cats?

Yes, you can have two or more emotional support cats as long as they do not violate any state or local laws and your therapist agrees that they are there to help you.

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Elisa Steffes

Elisa Steffes

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An emotional support animal, or ESA, is an animal companion that provides comfort and support to someone suffering from a mental or emotional disability such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder or a phobia. Emotional support animals and their owners have certain protections under federal and state laws. Landlords, Co-Ops, HOAs, and other housing providers must allow tenants to live with their ESAs free of charge, even if the building has a policy banning pets.

To have a valid emotional support animal, you must be in possession of a recommendation letter from a licensed health care professional (sometimes also referred to as a “licensed mental health professional” or “LMHP”). The ESA letter will establish that you have a disability and that an emotional support animal alleviates symptoms of that disability. Under federal law, this is the only legitimate way to qualify an animal companion as an emotional support animal.

A valid ESA letter is the only documentation you need in order to qualify an emotional support animal. Landlords cannot ask for a certificate, registration, license or ID, or insist that your ESA wear a vest. These items do not confer any legal status on emotional support animals. Some ESA owners use such items as tools to signal that their animal companion is an ESA, but they are not mandatory and do not function in lieu of an ESA letter as valid forms of proof for an ESA. There is also no need to register your ESA in a database or registry.

No, ESAs do not have an automatic legal right to be in grocery stores, restaurants, and hotels that prohibit animals. ESA owners have the legal right to be accompanied by their animal companion in their home pursuant to the Fair Housing Act. Only ADA service animals trained to perform tasks (such as seeing-eye dogs for the blind) have public access rights in places like grocery stores and restaurants. Some establishments such as hotels are not obligated by law to accommodate ESAs but will do so anyway as a courtesy. It is best to check with the hotel or other businesses to see if they have a policy regarding emotional support animals.

No, ESAs are not a scam. Regrettably, there is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding on the internet when it comes to emotional support animals that puts an undeserved cloud over legitimate ESA owners and service companies. Contrary to some myths, there is a developed regulatory framework surrounding emotional support animals in the United States. ESAs are protected by federal laws and government agencies which enforce those laws. There are specific legal requirements that ESA owners must adhere to in order to obtain accommodation under law for their animal companion. Legitimate owners of emotional support animals must have documentation in the form of a recommendation letter from a licensed healthcare provider. Housing providers have the right to demand an ESA letter from the tenant before accommodating an ESA request.

There are also many legitimate emotional support animal services online such as You should proceed with caution with any website that promises that their certification, registration, license or ID will immediately qualify your pet as an emotional support animal. Websites that are not scams will instead connect you to a healthcare professional who is licensed for your state. That professional will conduct an independent assessment of whether an ESA is right for you and issue an ESA letter only if they determine that you qualify. Legitimate ESA companies online cannot guarantee to instantly qualify an emotional support animal, since that determination must come from an independent licensed professional after evaluating the client.


A psychiatric service dog (or PSD) is a type of service dog that has been individually trained to perform tasks relating to a handler’s mental, emotional or learning disability. Psychiatric service dogs have the same rights as other types of service dogs which assist handlers with physical disabilities. Service dogs have special access rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Fair Housing Act and Air Carrier Access Act. They are allowed to accompany their owners in the home, on-flights and in places where members of the public are generally allowed to go.

A psychiatric service dog is not the same thing as an ESA. The primary difference between a psychiatric service dog and an emotional support animal is that a PSD must be fully trained to perform tasks relating to a disability. A PSD in training does not yet qualify as a service dog. In contrast, ESAs are not required to have any specialized training. ESAs primarily provide comfort to their owners just through their presence and companionship. An ESA also requires a letter of recommendation from a licensed healthcare professional.

PSDs and ESAs also differ in terms of their access rights. ESAs have the right to live with their owners free of charge (even in buildings that prohibit pets) under federal Fair Housing laws and various state laws. PSDs have greater access rights under the ADA and ACAA – they can board flights as well as places generally open to the public like stores.

The other major difference between ESAs and PSDs is that an ESA can be a wide range of animals but a psychiatric service animal can only be a dog.

In order to qualify for a PSD, the handler must have a mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. That can include things like depression, anxiety, PTSD, phobias, learning disorders and autism. A licensed healthcare professional is best suited to determine whether you have a qualifying condition.

Under new rules that went into effect in January of 2021, PSDs can board the cabin free of charge as long as the handler submits the Department of Transportation’s Service Animal Transportation Form prior to boarding the flight. The form requires the handler to self-certify that their animal is a trained psychiatric service dog. It also requires information regarding the dog’s trainer (which can be the handler) and veterinarian. Only the handler is required to sign the form.

The ADA allows for service animals to be trained by the handler or through a professional. If the handler is confident and capable of training their psychiatric service dog, they are allowed to do so. It is not necessary to use any organization or professional trainer, although those alternatives may be useful for owners who are not experienced in training dogs.