Friday, March 18, 2016

Can You Tell the Difference Between Emotional Support Dogs and Service Dogs?

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

Should You Get Emotional Support Dog Certification?

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 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, 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.

Here is the emotional support dog certification from Emotional support ID cards are also available as an easily portable form of certification. Emotional support dog certification may not be required, but it can be a good idea to have just in case.