Can A Rabbit Be An Emotional Support Animal?

Rabbits are by no means anyone’s first thought when you think of emotional support animals. Dogs or even cats are always at the forefront of everyone’s mind when you think of emotional support animals, and who can blame them.

Dogs are extremely famous as service or working dogs, while rabbits are…cute and cuddly pets or, in some countries…food. 

But rabbits actually make fantastic emotional support animals. But why? Let’s explore that thought. 

Can A Rabbit Be An Emotional Support Animal?

Why Rabbits Make Excellent Emotional Support Animals?

Rabbits are known to be cute and cuddly, but why are they considered great emotional support animals? Below are several reasons why: 

  • Inexpensive – Rabbits are generally not super expensive. You can even adopt one at your local shelter. On top of being readily available, rabbits are squirt small which means that the adoption fee is generally smaller than you would pay for a dog. So, if you need an emotional support animal and you are on a budget, you should consider getting a rabbit. 
  • Quiet – Dogs bark. Cats meow. But rabbits…squeak…rarely. So, if you live in a small apartment and you need an emotional support animal that is quiet and will not disturb your neighbors, a rabbit might just be ideal. 
  • Minimal Space – Regardless of how big or small your rabbit is, they do not generally need a lot of space. Even a small home can easily fit a rabbit without any trouble. It is not recommended to cage a rabbit, so you need to rabbit-proof your home so that they can wander around without harming themselves. So, make sure that wires and other things are inaccessible to your rabbit so that they are safe in their new home. 
  • Easily Trainable – You do not really think about rabbits and think that they are actually the kind of animal that you can train. But, we are here to tell you that they are in fact quite easy to train to do tricks or even use a litter box. All you need is a little positive reinforcement training and you will be well on your way to having a perfectly behaved emotional support rabbit. 
  • Longevity – Wild rabbits typically live for about two years, but pet rabbits are likely to live for ten or more years because they are in an environment that is safe, and free of predators, they have a reliable source of food and a generally optimal environment. All of which makes it so that rabbits can live for a long time. 
  • Adorable and Funny – Rabbits are known for being super cute and that remains true. There are a ton of different rabbit breeds, all of which are unique and fun-looking. On top of having adorable floppy ears and cute faces, rabbits have fantastic personalities which vary from animal to animal. 
  • No Need for Walks – While rabbits like to be outside every so often they do not necessarily need frequent walks. They are more than happy to stay indoors where it is safe and they can get more than enough exercise by hopping around the house. 

Are There Any Criteria For Emotional Support Rabbits?

Rabbits do not need to go through any special training in order to become emotional support animals. They do not even need to pass a certification test.

This is because an emotional support animal has certain requirements that should be met. This goes for any emotional support animal, whether that is a dog or a rabbit. The main thing that you need to look out for is aggression. 

An ESA should be non-aggressive in public and not cause trouble in the home of its owner. Rabbits are not generally aggressive.

But they should not lash out at people in public. Luckily rabbits are not really aggressive animals and any aggression is actually quite rare. 

Emotional support animals should also not cause issues in the home. This is so that they are able to do their job and support their owner emotionally instead of distressing them.

If your rabbit is continuously chewing things or they are not taking to their training and peeing all over your house this can cause you to become more upset and this, in turn, would cause owners to become upset.

If this is the case an ESA is not doing its job and not giving tier owners the support that they need. 

One thing that you will need for your emotional support rabbit will be a letter from a licensed therapist or psychologist. The letter should contain verification that your disability or mental health condition will require an emotional support animal.

There are a few conditions that are usually prescribed to get an emotional support animal. Below are a few of the most common ones: 

Are there any Criteria for Emotional Support Rabbits?
  • PTSD
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Autism

This is not an extensive list, so make sure to do more research into the topic if you are curious to find out more about which conditions are prescribed for ESAs. 

What Is The Law Surrounding Emotional Support Rabbits? 

We tend to think that emotional support animals are protected by the law and are able to accompany their owner no matter where they go.

This is sadly not the case. In fact, emotional support rabbits in particular are actually given very limited legal protection. These animals are not typically recognized as service animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA.

This means that rabbits that are emotional support animals are not given the same rights as a dog for example.

There are two main areas where any kind of emotional support animal is given legal protection when they are accompanying their owners in public.

This includes air travel and permanent housing. So, make sure to research the law in your area concerning emotional support rabbits so that you can be better prepared for when your ESA accompanies you out in public. 

Final Thoughts 

We hope that you enjoyed reading our article on whether rabbits can be emotional support animals. Have a fantastic day and if you want an emotional support rabbit, just know that you can have one if that is the animal of your choice. 

Anna Granger
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