Business owners and their customers are perfectly used to service dogs who assist people with disabilities in getting around and performing daily tasks. But newer on the animal assistance front are emotional support animals. These animals are not required to go through special training or gain any certificationsâ€”they only need be prescribed by a doctor. So how should small businesses treat/deal with ESAâ€™s? They need to strike a balance between accommodating those who have emotional needs or other disabilities, on one hand, and the safety and cleanliness of their environments, on the other. They also need to sniff out fraudulent claims of emotional need, especially in cases where the human in question has a financial incentive to do so, such as moving into an apartment building that charges extra fees for pets. Bottom line, first keep in mind that many of those with emotional support animals have legitimate reasons (ESAUK issues id cards only with if a Doctorâ€™s has prescribed the animal for ESA work), such as reducing paralyzing levels of anxiety, Autism, PTSD, etc. Even some business owners who have particularly legitimate reasons for concern, such as grocery store owners concerned the health department might shut them down if they allow such animals, have decided to maintain an open-door policy for ESAâ€™s. There might not be a precise right or wrong answer, but your businessâ€™ policy on this emerging issue does need thoughtful deliberation based on the goods and services you provide, your overall environment, and your customer base.