Does Texas Allow Emotional Support Animals?

Does Texas Allow Emotional Support Animals

Yes, Texas allows an emotional support animal (ESA).

There are no specific emotional support animal Texas laws. However, there are federal laws in place that the state of Texas must follow that provide some protection for them in housing, public places, and employment.

What are the Emotional Support Animal Laws in Texas?

Texas does not have its own laws regarding emotional support animals.

It must, however, follow federal laws like the Fair Housing Act ad the Americans with Disabilities Act that guarantee protections for ESAs in specific scenarios. Below we go into more detail about what those specific scenarios are.


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What are Texas ESA Housing Laws?

There are no specific emotional support animal Texas laws, but ESA owners are protected under the Fair Housing Act (FHA).

Regarding emotional support animals, this states that someone who has been granted an ESA letter is entitled to protections under federal law that prohibit discrimination due to the individual’s disability.

It also states that housing providers are to make reasonable housing accommodations as defined by the law to allow someone to rent from them, even in no-pet housing, university housing, and campus housing.

A reasonable accommodation is defined by the FHA as “a change, exception, or adjustment to a rule, policy, practice, or service that may be necessary for a person with disabilities to have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling.”

Protections extend further into the required waiver of pet deposits and breed restrictions as well as the type of animal the ESA can be.

What are Texas ESA Housing Laws?

What are Texas ESA Employment Laws?

Just as there are no laws addressing emotional support animal Texas housing, there are no state laws addressing them in employment.

Texas follows the laws set forth in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which does not grant protections for ESAs in the workplace.

This means that it allows an ESA to enter the workplace is purely up to the employer and they are not legally required to accommodate an ESA owner regardless of a person’s disability.

What are Texas ESA Travel Laws?

There is no specific Texas law regarding travel. Instead, they are to abide by the federal laws for traveling with an emotional support animal found in the Air Carrier Access Act (ADAA).

This act states that airlines are allowed to choose whether or not to enable emotional support animals and all major US airlines have opted to no longer allow ESAs. Instead, they require ESA owners to travel with their ESA as regular pets, follow the rules and pay the fees associated with pet travels.

They are still required to allow service animals and psychiatric service dogs, however, as they have received specific training to be an assistance animal in a very specific way such as being a guide dog or a signal dog.

What are Texas ESA Public Transportation Laws?

Again, the state of Texas has no law regarding ESAs on public accommodations and instead follows the laws laid out in the ADA.

Emotional support dogs are not generally allowed in public places like stores or restaurants as it is up to the business to choose whether or not to allow them. Most businesses do not.

They are required to permit service dogs, though. The ADA prohibits discrimination against service dogs as they provide a specific function for people with particular impairments.

How do I Get an ESA Letter in Texas?

How do I Get an ESA Letter in Texas

Wondering how to get an emotional support animal in Texas? Star with the ESA letter – emotional support animal letter.

To get an emotional support animal letter, you must be diagnosed with a qualifying mental disability such as post-traumatic stress disorder, autism, or panic attacks. The diagnosis must come from a licensed mental health professional (LMHP) who is able to diagnose health conditions that would qualify a person for an ESA.

It can be a therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist, or, in some cases, a medical health care professional. However, they are not likely to have an in-depth knowledge of your mental health history and may not be qualified to make a diagnosis. Doctors can refer you to an LMHP if you do not already have one.

The easiest way to get in touch with an LMHP is through an online ESA service. These sites charge fees to connect you with an LMHP in your state knowledgeable in ESAs and how and when to write an emotional support animal letter.

Do Landlords Have to Accept Emotional Support Animals in Texas?

Yes, although Texas does not have state laws requiring landlords to allow ESAs, the Fair Housing Act requires them to permit ESAs and their owners equal access to housing.

They shall not deny or restrict a tenant based on the breed, size, or weight of the animal unless the animal poses a direct threat to the well-being of those around it.

Can a Landlord Deny an Emotional Support Animal in Texas?

No, a landlord in Texas cannot dent someone with an ESA as long that person has an ESA letter written by a licensed mental health professional addressing the disability-related need for the ESA.

However, they can evict or restrict an ESA owner if the emotional support animal threatens the safety or health of others around it.

Can You Have Multiple Emotional Support Animals in Texas?

Yes, a person can have more than one emotional support animal (for example, two dogs or a dog and a miniature horse). However, this comes with the stipulation that each animal is there to assist with a specific disability-related need or health issue.