Thursday, October 27, 2016
Service Dog Gear for Your First Public Outing
Going into a public place with your service dog for the first time can be stressful, especially if you are new to it. However, with the right type of service dog gear, you can make your outing more comfortable. This includes equipment such as leashes, ID cards, and more. Although these items are not required, you may find your time with your service dog more comfortable if you bring them.
Useful Service Dog Gear
If you have never taken your service dog out in public before, you may encounter members of the public who are not aware of ADA law. These individuals may object to your dog being in a public place. Although ADA law makes it illegal for them to bar your dog entry if he is a service dog, you may make these situations easier if you have the following service dog gear.
A service dog vest can help the public visually identify your dog as a service dog. Patches sewn onto the vest that read “Service Dog – Full Access,” “Registered Service Dog,” or “Service Dog – Access Required” help the public understand your dog must be allowed to go wherever you go.
Service dog ID cards go the extra mile in informing the public about your service dog. These are customized, high quality PVC plastic cards that consist of your name, your dog’s name, as well as the Federal Laws, including the phone number for the United States Department of Justice. If at any time you find the public is not receptive to your service dog, or if you simply want to help them understand the laws regarding service dogs, you may produce one of these official-looking ID cards.
Service dog vests and ID cards can offer up essential information to the public that can help you during your first public outing.
Convenient Service Dog Gear
Certain service dog gear can make your outings more comfortable and convenient.
A service dog collar functions like a regular dog collar, and allows you to attach a leash and dog tags to it. A service dog collar also allows you to attach a service dog clip-on patch tag. These tags offer additional information to help the public understand your dog is a service dog by clearly stating your dog is a “Registered Service Dog.”
A service dog leash helps keep your dog close so he can provide you with sufficient aid. A leash also acts as a visual signifier that shows you have your dog under control, which offers the public peace of mind.
Remember that you are not required to have any specific kind of service dog gear to take your dog in public. Even a service dog vest is not required. However, to ensure your first public outing with your service dog goes smoothly, the right service dog gear can make all the difference.
Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Reflective, Padded, or Mesh: Which Emotional Support Dog Vest is Best?There are three main kinds of emotional support dog vest: reflective, padded, and mesh. When choosing the one that’s right for your ESA dog, you must consider your options. Do you prefer the added safety of a reflective vest, or would a mesh vest be more comfortable for your dog? Although any kind of emotional support dog vest will work, it’s important to choose one that fits both your and your dog’s specific needs.
Reflective Emotional Support Dog VestA reflective ESA dog vest is useful for running errands at night or under dimly lit conditions. Reflective strips are attached to each side of the vest, offering increased visibility at night. Many reflective vests come with features like Velcro enclosures and zipper pockets for convenient storage of ID cards, wallets, or other small items. Comfort is also a priority with these vests, and they are made from medium-weight fabric for breathability and durability.
Padded Emotional Support Dog VestPadded emotional support dog vests are made to last. Each padded vest features two layers of 1000 denier nylon/urethane fabric for durability and safety. They are also weather resistant, and all seams are bound and reinforced for long-lasting use. These features ensure the vest will enable your dog to provide you with comfort and support for years. The extra padding also provides comfort and safety for your dog.
Mesh Emotional Support Dog VestA mesh ESA dog vest is ideal for hot or humid weather conditions. If you’re worried about your dog’s comfort while he supports you, a mesh vest adds all-important breathability. These are a good choice for long-haired dogs, who may already run a bit warmer during hot weather. Unlike our other types of ESA vests, the mesh vests do not have ID badge holders; however, they do have the typical ESA patch attached, as well as space for an additional patch if needed. All ESA dog vests have adjustable girth and chest straps that provide a perfect fit and are available for both small (under 30 lbs.) and large dogs (30 lbs. and up). Whichever type of emotional support dog vest you choose, your dog will feel comfortable and safe enough to provide you with comfort and support. Make sure that when you go out in public that you are prepared with the right ESA dog vest.
How much does the public really know about a therapy dog? The first thing they should know is that therapy dogs are trained to provide comfort to help elders in nursing homes, victims of disaster areas, visit schools and other visitation areas helping others manage their stress. However, the second and equally important thing they need to know is that a therapy dog does not have the same rights as a service dog.
Although service dogs are protected by government laws, a therapy dog is not. He may not be able to access the same areas a service dog could. Therefore, identification may be used to help the public understand how he helps others in a public setting.
We have listed several means of therapy dog identification that you can use to show that the animal is clearly a therapy dog. This will help avoid any possibility of misrepresentation in public, while allowing others to see the benefits of how a therapy dog can help them.Therapy Dog Vests
A vest is a clear signifier that a dog in a public place is not just a pet but is helping their handler or helping others as a Therapy Dog. Many people who see a dog wearing a vest associate them with service dogs, so it is of the utmost importance to ensure the therapy dog wears a therapy dog vest. This is a vest that has patches attached to it that clearly say in bold letters: “Therapy Dog.” These vests may also store an ID card for further identification.
Therapy Dog ID Cards
When it comes to providing professional-looking identification upon request, a therapy dog ID card can be very useful. When asked about the therapy dog, you may provide an ID card that clearly states your name, your dog’s name, or your organization, and the words “Therapy Dog.” These cards can help clear up any misconceptions about whether your dog is a therapy dog or service dog.
As we mentioned before, patches attached to therapy dog vests are a good way to identify a dog as a therapy dog. You may use additional patches that say valuable information like “Disabled Veteran,” “U.S. Army,” and U.S. Marines” to provide more context to your dog’s function in a public setting. Additional patches may be added to your dog’s vest or may be attached via clip-on patch tags.
You can find other accessories to help you identify a dog as a therapy dog, including window decals and keepsake cards. These can be helpful, but their use will depend on where you are going with the therapy dog. Wherever you choose to go with a therapy dog, just be sure to have several methods of identification such as therapy dog patches and ID Cards.
Friday, April 8, 2016
Not everyone knows the difference between an emotional support dog and a service dog. At a glance, the animals look similar; they both wear vests and help their handlers get through their day. However, an emotional support dog uses different forms of identification than a service dog because they, unlike service dogs, are not covered by the ADA.
To distinguish your emotional support dog from a service dog, it may be helpful for you to provide the right kind of identification, which is available in the form of vests, patches, certificates, and ID cards.
Basic Emotional Support Dog Identification
Emotional support dog vests are typically used by handlers to show that their dog is helping them feel comfortable while out in public. When outfitted with ESA patches that specifically state the dog is an “Emotional Support Dog,” vests help the public understand the dog is not a pet but is also not a service dog. This helps to avoid any confusion when authorities are considering whether the dog is covered by the ADA, the Fair Housing Amendments Act, or the Air Carrier Access Act. Emotional support dogs will be supported by the latter two acts, but not by the ADA.
Together, vests and patches help identify that the dog is providing aid for its handler.
Additional Identification for Emotional Support Dogs
Sometimes, it won’t be enough to just have a vest that states a dog is an emotional support dog. There may be times when more identification may be helpful to defuse an uncomfortable situation, and this can be done with the following ESA identification.
Emotional support dog certificates are official documents that state a dog is an emotional support dog. It also provides information such as the handler’s name, the dog’s name, and when the certificate was registered. Certification is not required; however, presenting an official certificate can help avoid uncomfortable situations.
ESA ID cards fulfill the same function that certificates do. A handler may carry an ID card in their pocket or wallet and produce it easily upon request. Like certification, ID cards are not required, but can help when explaining the dog’s important role.
Not everyone will be observant enough to know an emotional support dog just by a vest alone. To be truly prepared, these forms of ESA identification can help the public understand exactly what kind of dog they’re looking at.
Friday, March 18, 2016
Both emotional support dogs and working service dogs can often be identified by the vests they wear. However, telling the difference between them may require you to take a closer look. Can you tell the difference? Try to spot the difference between these two dogs:
Although both dogs are wearing vests, the one on the left is clearly labelled as a “Service Dog,” while the one on the right is identified as an “Emotional Support Dog.”
Service dogs and emotional support dogs can come in any size and any breed. As indicated in the pictures, their vests can even be the same color. Therefore, it is vitally important to know how to tell the difference between emotional support dogs and service dogs. You must carefully read the words on the dog’s vest; that is the best way to know whether the dog is a service animal or an emotional support animal.
Can’t You Ask Someone To Prove Their Animal is a Service Dog?
No. Under no circumstance are you allowed to ask someone to prove their animal is a service dog. That is considered discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). You are also not allowed to ask for documentation for the dog, nor can you ask the handler have the dog perform its task.
The ADA states you may only ask two questions: “(1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability? and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform?”
Remember, it is against the law to misrepresent a service animal as such if it is not one. Because of this rule, you must assume that a dog wearing a vest labelled “Service Dog” is a legitimate service dog, and is providing vital assistance for the handler.
You could find yourself in an uncomfortable situation if you are trying to figure out if the dog is an emotional support animal or a service animal. You must make sure the vest clearly states what kind of dog they have.
Emotional support dogs and service dogs are not the same. They do not provide the same kind of assistance to their handlers, and many people do not know the difference between the two. We hope you now understand how it can be easy to tell if you are looking at an emotional support dog or service dog. All you have to do is look.
Friday, March 11, 2016
Emotional support dogs act as companion animals to thousands of Americans. However, emotional support dogs are not covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as service dogs are. Since they are not recognized in any official capacity, why then do you see so many offers for emotional support dog certification? What exactly is emotional support dog certification, and is it required to bring your emotional support dog with you?
We at WorkingServiceDog.com are here to tell you that no, emotional support dog certification is not required, however, you may want it anyway.
Is Emotional Support Dog Certification Required?
As we said, no—certification for emotional support dogs is not required for you to take your dog with you. Although the Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA) and the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) recognizes your emotional support dog provides you with much-needed companionship, other areas may not be so accepting. However, having a certificate can make these outings easier for you, no matter where you are. Carrying an official-looking emotional support dog certificate can help you avoid uncomfortable situations and will enable you to travel more freely with your companion.
Remember that your emotional support dog is not recognized by the ADA, which means that you must take steps to maintain your own well-being. A certificate can help you achieve that by ensuring your emotional support dog stays by your side.
What Is Included With An Emotional Support Dog Certificate?
If you choose to purchase emotional support dog certification from WorkingServiceDog.com, you will receive a custom-made certificate featuring your name, your dog's name, the date registered, and your certificate number. The certificate is embossed with a colored seal that says, “Registered Emotional Support Animal.” You’ll also receive a professional “Registered Animal Documents” folder to conveniently carry and identify your paperwork. This purchase also includes a duplicate copy of your certificate.
You also have the option to buy an electronic version of your certificate as an added convenience. You can download this version straight to your smartphone so you always have it accessible. Other purchase options include an ESA round collar tag, patch, lanyard, and a 4’ leash.