Emotional support dog: how they differ from a service dog Emotional support dog: how they differ from a service dog - SitStay

Emotional support dog: how they differ from a service dog

October 29, 2018 0 Comments

Emotional Support Dog Different from a Service Dog

Dogs have this amazing ability where they can cheer most people up in the worst of times, and this is why they are great Emotional Support Animals. An emotional support dog is a legitimate and important part of our society and have some great cases of improving lives every day. This being said, Emotional support dogs are not service dogs and follow a different set of guidelines as well as different tasks. In this article i will cover some of the things you should know when differentiating the two and some of the things ESA can do.


What is an Emotional Support Dog?

Emotional Support Dog Different from a Service Dog

An Emotional Support Dog is a companion for people who face moments in their life where they need comfort or a calming presence. These dogs know how to prevent their owners from having a meltdown or episode and can get them through some tense situations.

Emotional support dogs must be acquired via a prescription from a licensed health practitioner. They are also allowed towear a vest if this is preferred to allow others to know of the responsibilities of the pet.

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Emotional Support Dogs are not considered service dogs according to the ADA and therefore are not allowed some benefits that service dogs are. This does not mean that they are not just as important but rather that they do not meet the requirements met by service dogs to be allocated this public clearance.


ESA vs Service dogs

Emotional Support Dog Different from a Service Dog

Emotional support dogs or other animals lack the requirements to become service dogs and this is due to a few key reasons.

One of these reasons is the training required of service dogs from the time they are puppies. Service dogs of all kinds are required to pass certain checkpoints that allow them the access to the public in the eyes of the ADA. Though an Emotional Support Dog may have the same qualifications if it is not done correctly through these tests they will not be a legal Service Dog allowed anywhere.

Service dogs also perform many tasks required to keep the owner safe especially in an unfamiliar public setting. Things like being guided out of a building or notified of an alarm are just a small amount of the tasks performed by different service dogs. Though there is a Psychiatric Service dog for cases like PTSD and Anxiety that are similar to a Emotional Support dog these dogs still have additional training to know how to prevent crowding or notify their owner to leave if they sense an outburst rather than just helping cope with these emotions.

Like i've said multiple times now according to the ADA Service Dogs are allowed anywhere the public is in order to maintain safety. This includes things like restaurants and airplanes due to the necessity the companion has for them. Though Emotional Support Dogs do not have this amount of freedom they are allowed in both air travel and in their homes even if the place of living states no animals. They must be prescribed though as some people have been known to lie about these matters.


The Importance of Emotional Support Animals

Emotional Support Dog Different from a Service Dog

Emotional support dogs are amazing creatures and are incredibly important to the people they work with. Though society has not granted them the same aspects of public access as service dogs they can be just as helpful.  

The small amount of access they gain is great for anyone who needs these benefits. This is why it is important for people to be legitimate about their pets as an increase in false Emotional Support Dogs could cause a stricter sanction that would not allow the current benefits to the people who need them.


If you think you could benefit from an Emotional Support Dog talk to your healthcare provider to see if the believe this is the right step. And if you know of anyone who could benefit from this article share it with them!

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Emotional Support Dog Different from a Service Dog