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ESA: Can A Chihuahua Save Life?

Did you know that chihuahuas can be ESA dogs? They are energetic, dog-friendly, and have tons of personality. But that’s not very useful information, is it? You are looking for a concrete answer if chihuahuas are a GREAT emotional support animal. The debate about whether a chihuahua can be a certified ESA (Emotional Support Animal) is very controversial. Furthermore, there are cases where either a chihuahua or another animal might be able to qualify as an ESA. But only if it, in fact, relieves the anxiety of its owner.

So to answer some questions stamped on your mind, read this article to support your willingness to have an ESA, specifically a chihuahua ESA.


Emotional support animals, or ESAs, are animals that provide therapeutic benefits to the owner’s mental health. These pets can be of any species and size so long as they behave and have trained not to cause a disturbance. The American Psychiatric Association has a rule that having an ESA qualifies as a disability. So, you can bring these animals into public places such as restaurants, movie theaters, and airplanes without an additional fee.

ESA chihuahua

πŸŸͺ What does it do?

An Emotional Support Animal (ESA) is a pet that provides therapeutic benefits to its owner through companionship, affection, or comfort. In other words, it helps alleviate a person’s emotional stress by providing comfort and support for those who suffer from various mental disorders.

To be eligible to have your chihuahua recognized as an ESA, you must meet certain requirements. If you meet these requirements, then your chihuahua can live in most housing situations with you, along with any other pets that may already be residing there. You must also provide documentation proving that your doctor has diagnosed you mentally ill with at least one qualifying condition listed below:

  • Anxiety disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Depression
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

So let’s first discuss these conditions to answer why an ESA is beneficial to these patients.


What if you need an emotional support animal for more than just companionship? Maybe your doctor has diagnosed you with an anxiety disorder, depression, or a similar condition. If that’s the case, then read on to find out how getting an ESA (Emotional Support Animal) could help your health.

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PTSD is a mental-related disorder that can develop after you’ve experienced or witnessed a life-threatening event. It is characterized by flashbacks, nightmares, and severe anxiety. It’s typical to feel stressed out and upset after a traumatic event. But if your symptoms persist for more than a month, it’s possible that you have PTSD.

If you have PTSD, your doctor may recommend an ESA to help with the symptoms of your condition. As mentioned, an ESA is a companion animal that provides comfort and support for people with certain mental health conditions. A person does not need a diagnosis with a condition in order to get an ESA. They simply need to have a letter from their doctor stating that they are seeking treatment for their mental health condition and would benefit from an ESA.

πŸŸͺ Autism

There are many health conditions that can qualify for an ESA. One of the more common ones is an autism spectrum disorder, which affects about one in every 68 children in the United States.

Autism causes people to have trouble with social interaction, communication, and play activities. They may also have repetitive behaviors or extreme sensitivity to sensory stimuli such as sounds or lights. In some circumstances, these symptoms are extreme enough to result in cognitive impairment or the inability to learn.

πŸŸͺ Depression

Depression is a real illness. It’s not a character flaw, and it is treatable. It affects every aspect of your life, from your relationships to your career to your ability to appreciate the things and events you used to enjoy. Depression is treatable, preventable, manageable, and even fatal. While everyone feels sad or blue at times, people with depression experience these feelings every day for weeks or months at a time. If these emotions last longer than 14 days, it could be a sign of depression.

πŸŸͺ Anxiety

Anxiety is a sensation of fear or apprehension that can occur due to many different things, including stress, trauma, and mental disorders. So if you’re experiencing anxiety because of an environmental condition, for instance, your apartment building is full of bedbugs, you still might be able to qualify for an ESA.

If your anxiety is caused by a physical condition like multiple sclerosis or diabetes, it may be possible to get an ESA based on this. If you have other symptoms besides just being anxious, like fainting or seizures, you can also be qualified for ESA.

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πŸŸͺ Bipolar or manic disorder

Bipolar or manic disorder is a mental illness that can cause you to experience extreme mood swings. You may experience periods of intense happiness, which are punctuated by periods of severe depression. It’s common for people with bipolar disorder to have a mix of manic and depressive episodes throughout their lives.

If you have a bipolar or manic disorder, a doctor’s note is needed to prove the need for an ESA. The note should include the diagnosis and state that service animals are an important part of managing the condition. It should also be written on letterhead and signed by your doctor, dated within one year of your application.

πŸŸͺ Chronic stress or postpartum depression

If you’re suffering from chronic stress or postpartum depression, an emotional support animal can be a great way to help you cope.

It’s not strange for new parents to encounter symptoms of depression and anxiety, even if they don’t have a diagnosed mental health disorder. In fact, it’s calculated that one in seven new moms will encounter postpartum depression. If you’re struggling with chronic stress or postpartum depression, there are ways you can manage your symptoms so that they don’t get in the way of your life. In this case, an ESA may be helpful for you.


Chihuahuas are small, energetic dogs that make wonderful companions. They’re known for being extremely devoted and loyal to their owners, so yes, a chihuahua can be a great emotional support dog. With the proper training, you can teach your pup some simple commands and train them to stay calm in stressful situations or around other animals or people who might stress them out. Plus, their small dimension makes them effortless to transport if you need your dog with you at all times for any reason. Here are the following reasons for their qualifications.

ESA chihuahua
Photo credits: Mark Timberlake

πŸŸͺ Devoted and loyal

As mentioned, chihuahuas are known for being extremely loyal. Chihuahuas are also popular for being extremely protective of their owners and alerting them of any potential danger in the home. The noise from barking can actually help to alert you that something is wrong or unusual in your house while you’re away.

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Lastly, chihuahuas love to play! They’re very energetic and playful, which makes them the perfect companions for children or adults who want an active dog at home or travel with them on long car rides or walks outside.

πŸŸͺ Training

If you are inquisitive about adopting a chihuahua as an emotional support animal, it is important to understand that there are specific qualifications for this type of pet. In order for your chihuahua to qualify as an emotional support dog, it must be trained and socialized properly by someone who has experience with these types of animals.

The training program focuses on building trust between you and your chihuahua while teaching basic obedience commands like come when called and stay. These skills will help ensure that your chihuahua will be able to follow directions both at home and in public situations where distractions abound!


As a chihuahua owner, you may be wondering how you can register your Chi for an Emotional Support Animal certificate. You can consider these steps to obtain the registration for your chihuahua:

πŸŸͺ Who may register it?

You must be at least 18 years old and the owner of the dog. If you need an ESA, you must provide a letter from a licensed mental health professional verifying that you have been diagnosed with a qualifying disability. The letter must also state that, based on your disability and the severity of your symptoms, you are unable to care for yourself, much less an animal or pet. You must have a valid driver’s license or state ID card, and you cannot own more than four chihuahuas at any given time without prior approval.

πŸŸͺ Chihuahua < 1-year-old

If your chihuahua is still under one year of age, he or she can be registered as a service dog. However, the state will require registration and official documentation from a licensed mental health professional that shows why you need the service animal. This information must be provided before we issue your certificate of registration.

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Chihuahuas make great emotional support animals because they are very loyal and love their people vigilantly. They are also small enough to trek with you wherever you go, which makes them ideal for those who need a companion animal for work or school.

πŸŸͺ Basic command

You can start training a chihuahua as an emotional support animal by teaching basic obedience commands like sit, stay, and heel. This will help your chihuahua be more obedient and better at detecting when you need to go for a walk.

A good example of an obedience command is “come.” This command is used to get the attention of your chihuahua, who can then come to you when called by this word. In addition to this command being useful for getting their attention, it’s also helpful because it teaches them that they need to obey you when asked or else there will be consequences.

πŸŸͺ Positive training

Positive rewards are key to training. Rewards should be given immediately after the chihuahua does what you want. A reward that tastes good, but is unhealthy for your chihuahua, will not teach them anything and can cause health problems over time. Healthy treats include cheese, carrots, and applesauce, as well as freeze-dried liver treats (from a reputable source). You can also use small pieces of cooked hamburger meat or hot dogs cut into bite-size pieces if your chihuahua does not have any food allergies (make sure these are cooked well).

The easiest way to give a treat is in a treat pouch that hangs on the leash at all times, so it’s always available when needed. This allows you to keep your hand free while still rewarding your chihuahua every time they do something right!

You can click here for the list of foods you can give to your small chihuahua.

πŸŸͺ Training sessions

Training sessions should be short and positive. Don’t keep training sessions going long enough for the chihuahua to get bored or frustrated. If your training session is longer than 20 minutes, you’ll probably want to split it up into multiple shorter sessions over the course of a day. For example: if you’re teaching your chihuahua how to play “fetch” with you, try having them practice fetching for five minutes at a time throughout the day rather than doing it all at once. 

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The end of every training session should always end on a positive note. Whether that means giving them lots of petting and praise or rewarding them with their favorite treat or toy if they did something correctly during practice.

The best thing that anyone can do when they’re learning something new is to take breaks between lessons. This is to prevent fatigue or boredom before moving on to new material! If you have an older chihuahua who has trouble focusing on tasks due to low energy levels, try making sure that both owner and chihuahua are well rested before starting again after any break periods.


You’ve heard it before: dogs are good for the soul. But did you know that they can also help heal your mind and body? Here are five ways a chihuahua can save your life!

πŸŸͺ Lower your blood pressure

Did you know that a chihuahua is a great source of companionship? They can make you feel comfortable in your own skin and lower your blood pressure. A chihuahua can help you relax, sleep better, and reduce stress.

πŸŸͺ Reduce stress

In the event of an emergency, a chihuahua can save your life. They are known to be stress relievers and a great way to relax. They are also very affectionate and easy to take care of. Chihuahuas love their owners so much that they will never leave them alone in a time of need!

πŸŸͺ Prevent disease

Chihuahuas are a great companion for people with diabetes. As they can detect when their owner’s blood sugar is too elevated or low and alert them. They also have a sharp sense of smell. This means they are able to detect when their owners suffer from high blood pressure and other health problems.

πŸŸͺ Help you get more active

Because chihuahuas are so energetic, they are perfect for people who have a hard time getting active. When you adopt a chihuahua, you can train them to walk on a leash and walk with you through the park or around your neighborhood. You can also train them to do tricks like rolling over or barking like a seal. What’s more? They can be trained to perform tasks like fetching your slippers or turning off lights in other rooms of the house when their owners get home after dark.

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When you are thinking of getting a chihuahua as an ESA, please make sure that you do your research. It will presumably be best if you go to a shelter or rescue group and get a chihuahua that has already been tested and is trained. This way, the chihuahua is used to being around people and many different smells. 

Also, if you are looking to train the chihuahua yourself, please remember they are tiny dogs. So, they can only be trained in small amounts at a time, or they may become overstimulated and bite. If they are overstimulated, they may crap or pee in the house, which is not what anyone wants!

So why chihuahuas? They make perfectly good, calm companions. So even though it’s a bit of a stretch to say that a chihuahua would match up perfectly as an ESA, there are still reasons why it could work out in the end and be a smooth transition for both parties.


If you are considering an ESA, you are not alone! With the many benefits provided by these wonderful creatures, their popularity amongst pet owners is rising. Though chihuahuas are not the best choice for an ESA for some owners because of their high-strung nature and the likelihood of experiencing fear. However, some owners believe that a chihuahua is a better fit for them since they may be more receptive to the owner’s emotional state.

So, whether you’re a person looking for emotional support or just an animal lover who wants a challenge, consider becoming an emotional support animal owner and make a difference in an animal’s life today!