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emotional support dog vests are an option for handlers who want a lightweight, breathable vest for their animal. These vests offer the same benefits of standard ESA vests but with the added advantage of its light yet sturdy mesh material. Read on to learn more about the specific features of mesh emotional service dog vests, as well as which breeds of dogs would benefit the best from them.
Why Mesh Materials?
Standard emotional support dog vests are made from padded materials such as high-denier cotton. Although these materials create a strong, weather-resistant vest, a padded vest may not be ideal for all types of dog breeds. Dogs with thick coats such as golden retrievers and collies may get too warm while wearing a fully padded ESA vest. Similarly, standard vests may not be ideal for many types of dogs if they are worn in warmer climates, regardless of the dog's coat length. In either of these instances, a vest made from lighter materials, such as mesh, is needed.
Mesh Vest Features
ESA mesh vests come with a sewn-on patch that indicates the dog is an emotional support dog. Additional patches that indicate the dog is “in training” or other helpful information for the public may be attached to these vests as well. The vests also come with an adjustable chest and girth strap, as well as a leash attachment. Other optional features include laminated ID badge holder, a reflective strip, and even a zipper pocket for storing belongings.
Different Types of Mesh Emotional Support Animal Vests
Mesh emotional support dog vests fill the need for a lighter vest option. By providing the animal with a lightweight mesh material, the vest is breathable and more comfortable. Premium mesh vests fit medium, large, and extra large dog breeds up to 41”.
A light mesh vest version is also available. This emotional support dog vest resembles a standard cotton vest with padded material on the back. However, this vest has mesh sides to allow for better airflow. This vest supports XXS to XXL dogs up to 42”.
Keep in mind that most mesh vests are built to fit medium to large dogs. For small dogs, be sure to order small mesh emotional support dog vests, which are specially designed to provide a comfortable fit for smaller ESA dog breeds such as chihuahuas and Pomeranians.
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Traveling by air can be a stressful event. It’s a time when you would certainly want the comfort provided by your emotional support dog. However, bringing your animal on board the plane with you -- even if he provides you with critical emotional support -- is not a simple process. Many airlines have certain regulations in place that require you to take necessary steps before your emotional support dog can accommodate you in the cabin.
If you have questions such as, “are emotional support dog vests required on flights?” and “do I need a note from my doctor?” we will answer them here.
Emotional Support Dog Vests: Are They Needed to Fly?
Emotional support dog vests operate similarly to the way that service dog vests do -- they show other passengers that your dog is helping you and is not a pet. However, due to the important federal laws stating that emotional support dogs are distinctly different from service dogs, you may encounter some difficulty when trying to board a plane with one, vest or no vest.
Currently, the Air Carrier Access Act allows major airlines to regulate who can bring an animal on an airplane. They must determine if an animal is eligible via 5 steps:
● Get verbal assurance
● Look for an emotional support dog vest or other physical indicator
● Get documentation (if verbal assurance is not enough)
● Request documentation (for emotional support and psychiatric dogs specifically)
● Watch the animal’s behavior
As with ADA law, staff may not inquire about a passenger’s disability. Therefore, emotional support dog vests are not required, but having one can be helpful in distinguishing your animal from a pet someone might try to fraudulently bring on board.
Is Documentation Required to Fly with an Emotional Support Dog?
Under normal circumstances, documentation is not required to travel in public with an emotional support dog. However, many major airlines may ask for verified documentation from a licensed physician. The document is usually dated within one year of your flight and details the following:
● Your mental or physical disorder
● Your need for an emotional or psychiatric animal to accommodate you while you fly
● That you are under the care of a licensed mental health professional or medical doctor
● The date and type of health professional/medical license, as well as the state it was obtained
Please note: some airlines require your documentation to be verified 48 hours before your flight. Be sure to give yourself and your physician enough time to get your documents in order.
Flying with an emotional support dog is possible for anyone, provided they follow the airlines’ rules. Airlines put strict regulations in place to ensure that only the passengers who truly need their service or emotional support animals can have them close by while traveling. So before you embark on your flight, be sure to outfit your dog with an emotional support dog vest and have the right documentation in order to support your legitimate claim.
Monday, August 28, 2017
How to Customize Your Service Dog Vest
There's a service dog vest for every type of service dog, whatever its size or breed. Although each vest serves as a visual indication that the dog is a service dog, not every handler has the same needs, and not every service dog provides the same function. However, with thoughtful customization, a service dog vest can meet the handler’s needs.
Finding the Perfect Fit
Service dogs come in all shapes and sizes, meaning they must accommodate a wide range of service dog vest sizes. Most vests can be divided into large or small sizes with the following requirements:
● Large - Over 30 lbs. and over 30” girth
● Small - Under 30 lbs. and under 30” girth
Each service dog vest has an adjustable girth and chest strap that secures the vest to the dog. Girth strap extenders can be added for growing service dogs to avoid causing the animal discomfort due to a too-tight vest.
The material of the vest itself may be chosen by the handler. A padded service dog vest is made with soft yet high quality woven cotton fabric for comfort, while a mesh vest offers breath-ability for warmer weather. Colors may vary as well from red, blue, orange, raspberry, or a camouflage pattern.
Conveying the Right Message
You can also customize what you want a service dog vest to say. Messages can explicitly state “Service Dog” on the vest, as well as help identify what the service dog is trained to do. This is accomplished with sewn-on patches that say:
● Service Dog
● Medical Alert Dog
● Seizure Alert Dog
● Guide Dog
● Hearing Dog
● Diabetic Alert Dog
Service dog vests can have multiple patches to provide the public with a more complete understanding of the dog’s presence in a public place.
A service dog vest can also have additional helpful features. For example, a zipper pocket provides the handler with a protected, enclosed space to place small belongings such as keys, a phone, or a wallet. An ID badge holder attached onto the vest provides a convenient area for additional identification. Reflective strip service dog vests provide safety for both animal and handler during nighttime or evening outings. Handlers may incorporate these features to create the ideal custom service dog vest for their needs.
Choosing the right combination of materials, messaging, and features for your vest is an important step in traveling in public with a service dog. Make sure to know what your service dog vest needs to help you have an easy outing.
Monday, August 21, 2017
How to Use Emotional Support Animal Vests and Other Identification for Dealing with the Public
Apart from the Fair Housing Amendment Act (FHAA) and Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA), the protection offered to emotional support animals (ESAs) varies from state to state. Some states allow ESAs more freedom in public places, while others have stricter policies. Lately, many policies have become more stringent because of the increasing number of pet owners claiming their pets are service animals when they are not.
If you have a legitimate need to bring your ESA in public, you should consider taking steps to provide proof of your claim.
Wear Emotional Support Animal Vests
Many among the public see an animal with a vest and assume it is a service animal. However, you must make sure the public knows your animal is an ESA to ensure you don’t break any laws. Avoid sending a misleading message by fitting your animal with an emotional support animal vest. An ESA vest will clearly state “Emotional Service Animal” or “Emotional Support Dog” to help clear up any confusion.
Provide Documentation When Asked
An emotional support animal vest all on its own may not provide enough “proof.” For example, airlines often have rigid policies to ensure a passenger absolutely needs to bring an animal on board. If an authority figure continues asking about your animal even after acknowledging its emotional support animal vest, you may want to provide additional documentation to support your claim.
Emotional support animal certification can help satisfy a questioning authority. Certificates have both your name and your animal’s name on them, as well as an official-looking registration date. If they would rather see a doctor’s note, you may want to print up an ESA sample doctor’s letter for your physician to fill out.
Reinforce Your Claim
Although they work to improve the well-being of their handlers, ESAs do not have the same rights service dogs have. They are not protected in most public places. However, some establishments have begun welcoming emotional support animals under certain criteria, requiring behavioral standards or a visual indication such as emotional support dog vests. These places prove that people who need their ESA should feel comfortable while visiting, provided they are not being dishonest.
To ensure you aren’t abusing their laws, the following items can help when out in public with your ESA:
- Emotional support animal vests
- Certification with both your name and your ESA’s name
- A doctor’s letter signed by your doctor