Does My Pit Bull Qualify as an Emotional Support Animal?

People have different emotional and physical health needs. One way to aid these needs is the companionship of an emotional support animal (ESA). Dogs, as they are man’s best friend, are the most preferred ESAs. However, there are many considerations in the choice of ESA, namely the dog’s breed. The question of many remains to be, is a pit bull allowed to be registered as an ESA?

Given that pit bulls are thought of as aggressive dogs, some regulations hesitate to make them ESAs. However, therapists and doctors have found that pit bulls make great companions and support systems for many patients. Therefore, registering pit bulls as ESAs is allowed and encouraged. It is just to be remembered that the registration must abide by the housing guidelines and other local laws.

Emotional Support Animal (ESA)

Many studies have proven that pets, whatever animal it is, help in a person’s growth and well-being. It is therapeutic for some to have the constant companionship of these animals. Taking care of pets is like taking care of your child. In turn, they will also care and comfort you in times of emotional burden. This is the gist of an emotional support animal.

One must note that ESAs are not technically pets. Emotional support animals are those that help disabled people or those with special needs to recover fully. It is a form of therapy to help them cope with their disability, stress, or anxiety.

Many people diagnosed with anxiety disorders and mental illnesses find owning an emotional support animal helpful and very comforting. Since you have to take care of this dog, cat, bird, or even rabbit, there comes a sense of purpose in life, a light in the darkness. The research on the psychological effects of ESAs on the patients is continuous and needs further studies to conclude.

ESA’s impact the lives of their companions continuously and eventually help them overcome their disorders and disabilities. The animals are there just for the sake of being there for those who suffer PTSD, anxieties, and other disabilities, which is more than enough. These people with health needs need all kinds of remedies to aid in their recovery to jumpstart their good health and regular pacing of life.

Benefits of Having an ESA

As mentioned above, emotional support animals prove therapeutic and comforting for people diagnosed with different illnesses. The significant but straightforward connection of an animal to a human has its benefits. Read them below.

Relieves stress and anxiety

ESAs can provide the person with an outlet to relieve the thoughts inside his/her mind. One can play and roam around with the animal in tow. Sometimes, hugging and petting the animal can provide relief and comfort to the person. Animals love attention and love; therefore, the person can show and receive genuine care and respect from an emotional support animal.

Balances out one’s feelings and emotions

There are times that one can feel overwhelmed and can express too many emotions. One can feel too excited, too sad, or too anxious; this can be regulated by the calm and steady mood of an ESA. The animal can provide balance to the person. His or her energy can be refocused on the ESA instead of his/her too high of emotions.

Improves physical and overall health

Physical, emotional, and mental health are aligned and affect each other’s condition. The improvement of one’s emotional state with the presence of an ESA provides room for the betterment of one’s mental capacity and leads to physical well-being.

Factors to Consider on Choosing an ESA

Here are three of the essential things to take note of in choosing your emotional support animal.


One has to feed and provide the adequate needs of the animal while in your care. Treating it like your own child or sibling will give you the mindset to ensure the proper care for the ESA. Ask yourself, can I afford the amount of food it has to eat daily? Can I provide the appropriate shelter or habitat for the animal? If this all answers, yes, then go pick out your ESA.


You will need to choose an emotional support animal that matches your preferences and lifestyle. You have to connect and relate to the animal truly; therefore, it must suit your needs and current life status. The size of your house should also be considered to provide proper shelter for the animal. Match yourself with an animal that speaks out your personality to improve your well-being.         

Doctor’s Recommendations

Consult with your doctor before getting an ESA. His or her prescriptions may be helpful while making that furry choice. The doctor will be the one to direct if you need one. It is also up to the doctor to provide your letter so that you can acquire an emotional support animal, as stated in the guidelines of having one.

Traits of a Pitbull 

One of the most misjudged breeds of dogs is the pit bull. This dog breed is known for its strong and aggressive nature, as painted by the history of illegal dogfight clubs. However, through the years, people realized the wrong treatment and judgment that pit bulls incur. In reality, most families prove that pit bulls are very gentle and caring, especially with children, making them suitable as ESA’s.

Before we discuss the personality of a pit bull, let us tackle its breed name. “Pitbull” is not a recognized official dog breed name. This breed officially falls under the name bulldogs and descends from bulls and terriers. However, pit bulls are the famously accepted breed name. Below are the attributes of this lovable dog breed.

Physical Appearance of a Pitbull

When one sees a pit bull, he will immediately see a strong-built and firm structure on the body weighing around 35-60 pounds. Their muscles are noticeable with a shiny gray, brown, black, or white coat. The shape of the face is somewhat round, flat. Shoulders and hind legs are broad and firm. Overall, the physical appearance of a pit bull can come very strong and intimidating.

Pit bulls usually follow an active and outdoor type of lifestyle. They do run around like any dog and enjoy physical activities with their companions. This is a vital part of their daily routine to maintain the dog’s health as well.

Personality and Characteristics

Playful, stubborn, gentle, caring, loving – that summarizes the personality of a pit bull. Like any dog, they tend to disobey some commands and rules. When one shows constant care and love to a pit bull, you will see the results with him giving off the same loving vibe.

Despite their intimidating physical face, they can be as gentle as a flower. To little kids and children, they become more cautious and gentle. They guard and secure their territory and their owners at the most. Pit bulls can become attention seekers at some time. Well, one just has to pet them and make them feel loved and appreciated. These traits make them a great man’s best friend.

Training a Pitbull

Being attention seekers, pit bulls want to please their owners always. This is why training them is quite easy. They are responsive and obedient. To ensure that they are trained well, you can bring them to training centers for them to be with other dogs in the natural environment.

In general, pit bulls are very affectionate. They will show this in every way they can. If they sense danger and hostility, they will act to protect and prove their physical strength. This is why they are feared despite being loved. They are great pets but hazardous enemies. Despite all these, many people prefer pit bulls to be companions and emotional support to be there for them any time they need.

Pitbull as ESA 

Emotional support animals are meant to give support, comfort, and relief to people with emotional anxiety or other disabilities. ESA’s don’t necessarily need rigorous training. Unlike service or therapy dogs, ESA’s naturally bring out the vibe required by the people. Their mere presence is the essence of their task or responsibility.

As pit bulls are naturally loving and caring, they do make excellent emotional support animals. Their craving for human attention and affection gives off that feeling of appreciation to the person who has emotional anxieties. The energy of the pit bull refocuses the outlet of the person’s emotions.

The calm and gentle nature of pit bulls also helps them make great emotional support animals. A simple gesture of their gentleness is perfect if there is a child in the household. Pit bulls will do what you want them to do. It is not hard to teach them to do simple tricks. They can actively do things with you, or they can also simply lie down by your side when you need it.

Before taking a pit bull in as your emotional support animal, remember to have him checked as well. He also needs to be well and healthy. You can both help each other to improve and maintain your well-being more like lean-on support. They are still animals who have feelings so remember to consider those. Care for them as they also care for you.

Guidelines and Issues on ESA Registration of a Pitbull

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), any type of animal can be registered as an emotional support animal. There are no restrictions whatsoever on the breed or species of the animal. The difficult registration of a pit bull as an emotional support animal lies in the guidelines of the Breed-Specific Legislation (BSL).

Most states in the US abide strictly by BSL regulations. This is the main reason why pitbull ESA registration is difficult. Many property owners or even neighbors hesitate to have homeowners own pit bulls for safety reasons.

Under the BSL regulations, dogs deemed vicious or dangerous are banned in the state or community. This is the dilemma of people who want pit bulls as ESA’s. The impact of this law is seen as unfair to the bull-terrier dog breed because of the wrong assumption of many. Because of this specific restriction, people think twice about registering a pit bull as their emotional support animal.

Another issue is the regulation of the travel of pit bulls as ESA’s. There are some airlines that restrict passengers from tagging along with their animals on the airplane for the safety of the other passengers. However, the Air Carrier Access Act allows people with proper documentation to carry along their support animals with them.

Registering your animal for emotional support only needs a consultation with your physician and a letter stating that you need an emotional support animal. In the case that you own a pit bull as an ESA, to protect him and prevent any discriminatory acts, you may have him officially recognized and certified . The certificate is something to prove to other people that your dog is your emotional support.


What is the difference between an emotional support animal and a service animal?

Service animals are those specific animals that are trained to assist those people with disabilities. They give service to aid that person to achieve daily tasks and activities. Whether it is for physical, psychiatric, mental disabilities, these animals are taught how to do their part in the improvement of a person’s well-being.

Emotional support animals, on the other hand, are there for support and comfort to those with emotional needs or even those who just need someone there beside them. They do not necessarily need to perform specific tasks; their presence is all that is required by the person. They are companions to stand by and give emotional assurance to a person in need of it.

What other animals can be registered as ESA?

Under the ADA, emotional support animals are not limited to dogs or cats. Other domesticated home animals like rabbits, hamsters, fishes, even little horses can be registered as emotional support animals. These animals need to be well-conditioned and well-mannered in and out of the house to qualify as ESA’s.

How does a dog undergo training to become an ESA?

A dog registered as an ESA does not necessarily need proper training programs. But, it is a great way to connect with them if you will be able to teach simple tricks and hacks to help you aid your anxieties and emotional tensions. Your one-on-one training with the dog can also help you establish a great relationship and support system for each other.

Pitbull Service Dog for Anxiety

A Pitbull can be just a sweet and loving as a Lab or Golden Retriever, making them wonderful emotional support animals. Sadly many states don’t allow them at all, so before opting to get a Pitbull as a service dog for anxiety or for emotional support, double check that the breed is allowed in your city, state, or country. Here is a great resource for checking your local area. Pitbull Banned list.


In Conclusion

There is a reason why dogs are considered as man’s best friend. They easily connect and appeal to human emotions. Affection and care come naturally to them. Most importantly, they can sense when something is bothering you in any way. Dogs can be playful and stubborn at times, but they will stay by your side when you need them most.

Pit bulls, despite their intimidating exterior, feel the most calming feelings that people can relate and connect to. Emotional support animals can be beneficial to you to stabilize your emotions and thoughts. Rather than moping in one corner, many people with emotional anxieties resort to venting their energy on someone that will care for them like how support animals will do.

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