What must be considered, first of all, is that an emotional support animal (ESA) is in a different category than what the service animal is. There are very few laws in place for the ESA in Canada and what laws there are will vary among the different provinces. There will be more specific laws when it comes to traveling with an ESA animal such as when flying, for example. It is important that every individual who wants to rely on an ESA animal is aware of the regulations that pertain to them according to the province they are in.

The Laws

The laws are sketchy in many of the provinces in Canada and even more so when it comes to emotional support animals. Some individuals have had arguments in court over these types of animals and have lost the right to claim their dependence on them.


Here is where an individual relying on an ESA animal has to be careful. Each province in Canada may have its own rules about this type of animal. In most cases, there is no specific certification of the support animal itself. What may be required is a certification that the owner of the animal requires an ESA animal. This comes in the form of a support letter from a qualified professional. Such as a psychiatrist or other health care provider that specializes in mental health. On occasion, people may see ads to get an animal ESA certified. It is important to understand that there is no formal certification requirement.

Obtaining an ESA

In a lot of cases, individuals who require an ESA already have an animal that fits their needs. There may be some who class themselves as experts for training an animal for this purpose. In most cases, the individual who has the animal has to be able to meet the standards of what is placed on a service dog. There can be a lot of conflicts that arise when an individual wants to take an ESA into a public setting. There are specific rules when it comes to traveling with an ESA such as when flying, for example. The important aspect here is that the individual relying on the ESA can prove that they have qualified for the use of the ESA.


There really is no formal training for emotional support animals. However, if they are going to be used in public settings, then they will have to comply with the safety issues that pertain to animals in this type of environment. For example, they have to be well behaved, follow commands and cannot put the public at risk.


There can be some issues that arise with ESA and housing. Some landlords stipulate no animals allowed or only dogs of a certain size. The laws concerning the use of ESA in housing situations will vary greatly from one province to another. For this reason, those who are relying on ESAs have to know what the laws are for their province. They also need to read the contract for the living accommodation carefully.

ESAs can play an essential role in the health of those who rely on them. This is becoming more widely recognized in Canada. As such, they are becoming more recognized in public settings and in rental accommodations. Again though there are no specific laws to be relied upon in most cases.