Emotional Support Animals

An Emotional Support Animal (ESA) is an animal that provides emotional and therapeutic benefit to those who experience mental and/or emotional disability. They are not formally trained but provide immense support and comfort to the owner through affection and companionship.

Students who wish to bring an ESA into university housing must make a formal request through both the Residence Office as well as the Student Accessibility Centre.

How to request permission to bring an ESA into university housing for medical or disability-related reasons:

  1. Apply for on-campus residence through Dal Online (you will be provided opportunity to indicate your needs on the application form) 
  2. Submit your request for accommodation through the Student Accessibility Centre 
  3. Book an appointment to discuss your request with a Student Access Advisor

The Student Accessibility Centre will review your request alongside your supporting documentation and liaise with the Residence team as appropriate. If you are approved to bring an ESA into residence, the Residence Office staff will notify you directly.

Please note the following:

  • It can take time to secure an appointment with a Student Access Advisor to have your request reviewed. Please be sure to start this process as early as possible.
  • For incoming students who are eligible for the first-year residence guarantee, requests for bringing an ESA into university housing should also be made by the guarantee housing deadline.
  • The type of animal may be restricted, particularly if its care compromises the safety of the owner and other residents.
  • Supporting documentation from a health care provider should address the following:
    • What barriers will be reduced by having the ESA?
    • Is there evidence that an ESA has helped this student in the past or currently?
    • How important is it for the student’s well-being that the ESA be in residence?
    • What consequences may result if the accommodation is not approved?
    • There are various contractual obligations the student will have to agree to in terms of properly caring for the animal. Do you believe those responsibilities might exacerbate the student’s health in any way?