What is the difference between a PSD and an ESA?

An emotional support animal (ESA) enjoys federal protections from Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Due to these protections, landlords & homeowners associations must allow an ESA to live with its owner at any house, condo, or apartment, and they may not charge additional pet deposits or fees. ESAs do not need specialized training.

A psychiatric service dog (PSD) enjoys additional federal protections, such as the ability to accompany its owner anywhere, including at airports and on flights. A PSD must also have specialized training. There are two training requirements PSDs must meet:

  1. Must be able to pass a general public access test
  2. Must have specialized training to perform a specific task directly related to the person’s psychiatric disability

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