Beka M asked in PetsDogs · 1 decade ago

Emotional Support Animals in Ontario, Canada?

I have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and depression. I have panic attacks and depressed spells and during those times the only thing that can calm me down or get me out of bed is my dog. My psychologist has suggested I register my dog as an ESA. She is going to look into how to do it, whether we need to get my psychiatrist involved as well, etc. but I was wondering if there was an easy way to register.

I know a lot of people abuse the priviledges of having an ESA, but I assure you I am not doing it to be able to take my dog on an airplane or to live where no other dogs are allowed, etc. I am doing it to be sure that if the need SHOULD arise that I need her with me in a situation, she would be allowed to be there.

Can anyone please tell me where I should be looking for this information or where to register her? Thanks!!


I do know that ESA's aren't service dogs. I would never bring her into a store (that annoys me when people bring nonservice animals into stores, don't know why, but it just does) or work or anything like that. I just want to get my dog registered just in case I need to move to somewhere that doesn't welcome pets (but chances of me moving there would be slim - I love animals too much), etc so should I find myself in a situation like that, there is no worries about not having my dog for support

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    In the U.S., a person with an emotional support animal would have no particular right to take the animal into stores over what rights any pet owner has. I believe the same is true in most if not all of Canada. However, my area of expertise is the U.S., and my knowledge of Canadian law is very limited in comparison. Here's what I do know:

    Ontario law doesn't mention emotional support animals so far as I can tell.

    ----- In the U.S.: -----

    To qualify for public access in the U.S. the animal would have to receive specialized training to do things for his owner that the owner cannot do for himself.

    "Animals whose sole function is to provide emotional support, comfort, therapy, companionship, therapeutic benefits, or to promote emotional well-being are not service animals." -- U.S. Department of Justice (again, applies in the U.S., not Canada, but my experience is that the laws are very similar between both countries in this respect, ie that to be considered a service animal the animal must be specially trained)

    --- edited to add ---

    A therapy dog is not the same thing as an emotional support animal. A therapy dog is taken to hospitals and nursing homes to visit patients and cheer them up. An emotional support animal is a pet belonging to a person with disabling mental illness. An animal is considered an emotional support animal when the person's doctor has diagnosed them being disabled by mental illness and that in the doctor's professional opinion the presence of the animal is necessary for the person's health. (Note: this does not generally apply to public access situations, at least I am aware of no country in which it would apply to public access)

    Source(s): I'm a U.S. disability advocate.
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  • averyl
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Emotional Support Animal Canada

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Your Dr, both medical and psychologist are the best places to start and see what the say.

    If this is legit as you said, I am sure you will have no problem solving this issue with their help.

    Hope I helped!!

    Source(s): Realist
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  • 1 decade ago

    Try Saint John's Ambulance. They have therapy dogs. Check it out and check through the hospitals, as I know in the Queensway hospital, they have therapy dogs at my Mom's nursing home in front of it. Call Trillium and ask how it is done. Someone on the volunteer committee would be the best person to ask. I wish you success.

    Source(s): I have 3 dogs. It takes quite a bit of work I understand for a dog to become a therapy dog.
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