Emotional Support Animals - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-03-2013, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
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Emotional Support Animals

This question is for anyone who has a GSD as a ESA. Do you take it on an airplane with you? Where do you usually sit? I'm taking Southwest and want to take my GSD who is a ESA with me (have the letters). I'm bipolar with a history of panic attacks. My dog has helped me through a lot.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-03-2013, 12:54 AM
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ESA dogs do not have the same privileges as service dogs. I'd contact Southwest directly.

I've had panic attacks on airplanes and many other places, its awful but you get through it. Panic attacks cannot kill you!
I had very unsympathetic doctors, they'd never give me a valium or ativan.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-03-2013, 03:39 AM Thread Starter
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Yes I know that ESA aren't the same as service animals. That wasn't my question.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-03-2013, 05:02 AM
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Where do you usually sit?
Call the airline and let them know which flight you will be on. They can look up the model and let you know on that particular style of aircraft where the best seats would be for you and your larger size dog.

Different planes (size etc.) make a difference in leg space.

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-04-2013, 10:16 PM
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I don't have an ESA but I know a lot of people with service dogs try to get bulkhead seating. It depends on the plane though as to whether this actually has more space.


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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-04-2013, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by GAFFY View Post
This question is for anyone who has a GSD as a ESA. Do you take it on an airplane with you? Where do you usually sit? I'm taking Southwest and want to take my GSD who is a ESA with me (have the letters). I'm bipolar with a history of panic attacks. My dog has helped me through a lot.
Ideally, in the very front or the very back to avoid your ESA disrupting anyone or upsetting anyone, plus people with allergies could be bothered (considering the cabin has mostly circulated air). I have yet to hear of an ESA being allowed to board a plane and ride in the cabin, so wish you the best of luck working this out. My Hunter helps me with my anxiety attacks, I know how valuable a dog can be.

Anxiety attacks may not kill you, but it sure feels like you're dying.

SG S-Hunter vom Geistwasser CA CGN TT ATD (Service Dog, Retired Airport Wildlife Control K9)
Zenna vom Geistwasser NTD


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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-05-2013, 12:05 AM
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Ideally, in the very front or the very back to avoid your ESA disrupting anyone or upsetting anyone, plus people with allergies could be bothered (considering the cabin has mostly circulated air). I have yet to hear of an ESA being allowed to board a plane and ride in the cabin, so wish you the best of luck working this out. My Hunter helps me with my anxiety attacks, I know how valuable a dog can be.

Anxiety attacks may not kill you, but it sure feels like you're dying.
I don't know about in Canada, but I know several that always fly in the cabin in the US.....
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-05-2013, 02:50 AM
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I have yet to hear of an ESA being allowed to board a plane and ride in the cabin, so wish you the best of luck working this out.
Emotional Support Dogs traveling in cabin are not that uncommon on U.S. flights.

In the U.S. there are only two reasons to go through the steps of designating a dog as an Emotional Service Animal.
  • 1) Housing in no-pet rental
  • 2) Flying dog in cabin on commercial flight

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
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Family Companion, Non-Profit Mascot, In-Home Service Dog


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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-05-2013, 03:01 AM
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This question is for anyone who has a GSD as a ESA. Do you take it on an airplane with you? Where do you usually sit? I'm taking Southwest and want to take my GSD who is a ESA with me (have the letters). I'm bipolar with a history of panic attacks. My dog has helped me through a lot.
Please note that besides a letter dated less than one year old from your mental health professional, the airline may also require additional documentation on information about their license. Ask the airline you are going to be traveling on if they will need this.

The airline can also require 48 hours advanced notice that an Emotional Support Dog will be on flight. They are allowed during this time to call your medical care office to verify any information included in the letter.

It is always best to give the airline notice of the ESA when making reservations because they can limit the number allowed for each flight.

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
Pyro vom Wildhaus aka Kaleb ~S.T.A.R.~
Family Companion, Non-Profit Mascot, In-Home Service Dog


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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-05-2013, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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Please note that besides a letter dated less than one year old from your mental health professional, the airline may also require additional documentation on information about their license. Ask the airline you are going to be traveling on if they will need this.

The airline can also require 48 hours advanced notice that an Emotional Support Dog will be on flight. They are allowed during this time to call your medical care office to verify any information included in the letter.

It is always best to give the airline notice of the ESA when making reservations because they can limit the number allowed for each flight.
It's Southwest. They just require my note and my note hasn't expired.
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