Can you take a companion dog anywhere? Tips and Tricks

Get your Psychiatric Service Dog Letter Now

Hotels are not required to allow emotional support animals as they are not covered by ESA Fair Housing rules. Airbnb stays are also not required to allow emotional support animals, but you can always contact them and ask politely. Some hosts allow you to bring an emotional support animal, but you should always check before booking a reservation.

While hotels do not have to accommodate ESAs, they are required to allow psychiatric service dogs.

Emotional Support Dogs Are Not Psychiatric Service Dogs

There are service dogs, known as psychiatric service dogs that require extensive training to work specifically with people whose disability is due to mental illness. These dogs detect the beginning of psychiatric episodes and help ease their effects. Although this sounds similar to the role of an ESA, the difference between a psychiatric service dog and an ESA is again in the tasks performed by the dog and the training received to perform these tasks.

Psychiatric service dogs (recognized by the ADA as service dogs) have been trained to do certain jobs that help the handler cope with a mental illness. For example, the dog might remind a person to take prescribed medications, keep a disoriented person in a dissociative episode from wandering into a hazardous situation such as traffic or perform room searches for a person with post-traumatic stress disorder. If it is simply the dog’s presence that helps the person cope, then the dog does not qualify as a psychiatric service dog.

Can My Dog Be a Therapy Dog?

If you’re interested in volunteering and think your dog may be a great candidate to be a therapy dog, organizations like the Alliance of Therapy Dogs test dog for their suitability and, if accepted, have guidelines that must be followed.

While it doesn’t certify therapy dogs, the AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) program offers their training program to organizations, and the CGC test is often a prerequisite required by therapy dog organizations.

Taking your dog everywhere vs anywhere | dog owner mistakes #2

Many people who see our Therapy Dogs dressed in their blue vests think that they are service dogs. We get a lot of questions from people in the community about the difference between a Service Dog and a Therapy Dog.

A Service Dog is specially trained for a specific person’s needs. There are guide dogs for the blind, seizure alert dogs for epileptics, allergen sniffing dogs for people who are deathly allergic to certain things, like peanuts. Service dogs can go anywhere that their handler goes – into stores, on public transportation, etc., as long as the dog is clean and well-behaved. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines service dogs and their access to public spaces.

Therapy Dogs are invited into a facility or event to provide therapy to people other than their handler. They go into nursing homes, hospitals, pediatric facilities and schools to provide therapy and education to the patients and students.

Emotional Support Dogs are not trained to perform specific tasks related to their owner’s diability. They are not Service Animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA),

It is important to note that a Therapy Dog has no rights to enter an animal restricted area (grocery store, public transportation, etc), and are only allowed where they are invited to visit. Therapy Dogs are not protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Furry Friends Therapy Dogs visit health care facilities and schools. They do not wear their vests for the personal needs of their owner. Advertisement