Unlike service animals, which can include dogs, miniature horses, pigs, and monkeys, according to the ADA, emotional support animals can be any species and require no special training or certifications, according to the American Psychological Association.
Although there isn’t loads of research on the benefits of animals besides dogs and horses, anecdotally, any animal that tickles its owner’s fancy can be of service — even a peacock or a hamster. That said, if you choose a less common animal, like a snake, reptile, ferret, rodent, or spider, and want to fly with it, you may be SOL: The Air Carrier Access Act, which requires airlines to permit service and emotional support animals to ride in aircraft cabins, may not cover it. (And foreign carriers aren’t required to transport any emotional support species besides dogs, according to the ADA.)
If you don’t adopt from a local shelter, and opt to visit a pet store instead, prepare to dip into your own pockets, since standard insurance providers generally do not cover emotional support animals.
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