Service Dog | Emotional Support Dog | Therapy Dog
What’s the Difference?
Studies have shown that dogs provide health benefits, and can increase fitness, lower stress, and improve happiness. Service dogs encompass all of these abilities and training to perform specific tasks for individuals with disabilities. Service dogs perform an amazing variety of tasks to assist disabled individuals.
Regardless of breed or mix, the best service dogs are handler-focused, desensitized to distractions, and highly trained to reliably perform specific tasks. They are not easily diverted from their tasks at home or in public and remain attentive and responsive to their owners while working.
- Are covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and afforded rights to enter public establishments.
- Are trained to assist a single person.
- May live with owners regardless of pet policies under the Fair Housing Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
- May fly with their disabled owner in the cabin of an aircraft as part of the federal Air Carrier Access Act.
Emotional Support Dogs
- Provide emotional support through companionship.
- May live with owners regardless of pet policies under the Fair Housing Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
- As of January 11, 2021, under new regulations passed by the U.S. Department of Transportation regarding the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA), an emotional support animal is no longer considered to be a service animal. The allowance of Emotional Support Animals onboard flights is at the airline’s discretion. Most major airlines have banned ESAs.
- Are not considered a service animal under the law and is not covered by or afforded rights through the ADA.
- Provide comfort to a number of different people in various settings (e.g., visiting hospital patients, comforting witnesses during court testimony, or offering support to trauma survivors).
- Are not considered a service animal under the law and are not covered by or afforded rights through the ADA.