What is the difference between a Service Dog, an Emotional Support Dog and a Therapy Dog?
Service Dogs have no official “registration.” This dog has trained skill to assist with a person’s disability. A Service Dog is allowed to go everywhere and the person cannot be discriminated against.
- Because there are so many fake service dogs, states are cracking down on rules. Over 19 states currently have laws or are actively in the process of enacting them. In most of those states it is a misdemeanor in some parts of the country to lie and say your pet dog is a service dog.
Emotional Support Dogs are dogs that are given limited access (planes and housing not restaurants/grocery stores/etc.) because the mere presence of the dog calms the person. The dog doesn’t have a special skill or the disability the person has doesn’t severely impact their life as defined by the Americans Disabilities Act. For this dog, a person needs a doctor’s note.
- Airlines are also cracking down on emotional support dogs after serious incidents. As of March 1, Delta Airlines is now requiring proof of vaccinations for Emotional Support Dogs and having customers sign a statement saying their dog is well-behaved.
Therapy Dogs are dogs that have been trained and given permission to go into specific facilities to assist with pet related therapy. Examples are hospitals, nursing homes and schools. These dogs have zero public access rights except in that specific facility when they are invited.