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Want To Make Your Dog A Service Dog? Read This Before You Get Yourself In Trouble

Want To Make Your Dog A Service Dog? Read This Before You Get Yourself In Trouble

Written By Amica Graber

Jul 7, 2016

It’s increasingly common to see owners and pups together everywhere. From planes to fancy restaurants, “no pets allowed” doesn’t hold the same weight as it did before. Most of these dogs are emotional support animals, which are different from service dogs.

Emotional Support Animal Vs. Service Animal

A service animal is defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as “any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability.”

A service dog is fully trained to provide assistance to an owner who has a disability. They can go anywhere with their owner, and that right is protected by the ADA.

An emotional support animal is an animal that provides emotional assistance for those who suffer from any psychological condition, such as anxiety, depression, stress, or PTSD. They do not need the training of a service dog. An emotional support dog allows the owner to bring their animal into pet-free housing or airplanes.

Do You Need A Service Animal?

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If you have a physical or severe psychological impairment, you can get a service dog. For the following conditions, an emotional support dog may be more suitable:

  • Age-related cognitive decline
  • Any psychiatric condition
  • Autism
  • Depression
  • Dyslexia
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Panic attacks
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Separation anxiety
  • Social phobia
  • Stress

 How To Make Your Dog A Service Dog

You can’t. A service dog can only be acquired through an organization like Paws For A Cause. Beware of any online company offering to register your current pet as a service animal, because fraudulently calling your dog a service animal can result in a large fine and even jail time.

How To Make Your Dog An Emotional Support Animal

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Emotional service dogs are not regulated by any governmental body, so you can easily register your pet as an emotional service animal online. Here are some websites where you can register your emotional support animal:

You may be required to get a written letter from a psychiatrist to verify that you require an emotional service animal.