Can a Snake Be An Emotional Support Animal? Everything You Need to Know

People tend to confuse emotional support animals and service animals when they talk about what kinds of pets you can register. Maybe you’re here because you’ve heard that only miniature ponies and dogs qualify. Or maybe, you have no prior information, and you’re looking to find out more specifics. You’ve landed in the right place. 

Unfortunately, a plethora of the information out there is vague at best. First things first, the dog/pony limitation only applies to service animals. Second, any household pet with an ESA letter can qualify as an emotional support animal. 

But what’s the process behind getting the certificate? Well, let’s dive in and find out what you need to do.

What is an Emotional Support Animal?

An emotional support animal is a companion that supports individuals who struggle with mental health. Some people find ESAs more helpful than traditional medicine or therapy. Others see the pets as useful in tandem with other methods. Together with a doctor, patients will determine whether ESA therapy suits them. 

Usually, individuals will register pets that they already own. If you don’t have a pet, you can choose any kind you’d like. Emotional support animals require no specific training to qualify for the ESA letter. While most people register their dogs or cats, snakes are a viable option. 

Do Snakes Qualify?

Upon hearing that snakes are an ESA option, most people recoil or express confusion. The public perception of reptiles is mixed at best, downright awful in some cases. Many people believe that all reptiles are venomous and shouldn’t be kept as pets at all. Others could not imagine bringing a snake in public places such as airplanes. 

Fortunately, enough people stood firmly beside their reptile companions and pushed for their qualification. If their reputation carried any weight, then reptiles would not qualify as an ESA. If you are considering having a snake as a pet and emotional support animal, you’ll reap many benefits. 

Do Snakes Help with Anxiety? 

Yes, snakes help with anxiety. When owners have the creature to focus on, their conditions could become more manageable. The responsibility of owning an animal that’s entirely dependent on the owner for care helps people get out of their heads. 

Plus, depending on the size, the weight of a snake around the shoulders, or the comfort of one around your arm is soothing for many individuals. Because of this, the reptiles make wonderful ESAs. 

The Benefits of Emotional Support Snakes 

Other than providing release from anxiety, snakes also provide a plethora of other benefits. With an ESA letter and the necessary supplies, you can enjoy your time spent with the snake of your choice. While the list could go on, let’s go over the top reasons, snakes make wonderful ESAs. 

1.      Hypoallergenic 

Unlike other common ESAs, snakes are mostly hypoallergenic. Most of the breeds commonly kept as pets won’t bother anyone. A snake is a perfect alternative for those who can’t be near dogs/cats. 

2.      Odorless 

Because they have scales rather than fur, snakes are odorless. If you’re highly susceptible to odors, a snake can be a great option. 

3.      Easy to Care For 

If you are looking for a companion that remains independent while also giving you attention, a snake is the best of both worlds. You don’t need to spend hours playing nor cleaning the snake’s cages. 

Getting Your Snake Registered 

While you don’t technically need paperwork to get your snake registered as an ESA, the correct paperwork and tags are essential, so you don’t face issues. With a letter and the proper documentation, you can take your ESA snake out in public, on airplanes, and won’t face any housing restrictions. 

Fortunately, the process to get your pet registered is simple. 

Note: At this time, the ESA Registration site can only offer letters/certificates to cats and dogs. 

Step One: Meet with a Physician or Therapist 

If you want your snake to qualify as an emotional support animal legally, you need to make an appointment with a mental health professional. The therapist will determine whether you are eligible for an ESA. Those who regularly see a therapist should talk with them; otherwise, consider starting regular therapy sessions in tandem with registering your snake. 

Step Two: Get Your ESA Letter

There is no guarantee that you will qualify for an emotional support animal. Every case is unique. If you do qualify, your therapist will give you an ESA letter. The letter is your physical proof of registration. With the letter in hand, you have permission to register your snake as an ESA legally. 

Step Three: Register Online 

If you don’t already have a snake, you’ll have to purchase one and the necessary supplies before completing the registration. ESA animals are not provided. 

Here’s where you need to do additional research and exercise caution. The letter from your healthcare provider is legitimate, but that doesn’t mean the registration website is. Unfortunately, some sites only claim to register your snake as an ESA legally. Make sure you’re going through a reputable source. 


You can get your pet registered as an emotional support animal. Ensure that you contact a real professional such as ESA Registration to ensure that you follow the steps correctly. Unfortunately, individuals and companies out there sign fake letters and scam people out of money. While it seems daunting, there are organizations out there who want to help. 

Before getting started, do your research and reach out to the company you want to work with. If they are legitimate, they’ll help you register your snake without issues. While seemingly unusual, if your snake enables you to relax, don’t let anyone stop you from turning them into a licensed ESA.