If you are reading this, chances are you have a good reason for looking into buying a service dog vest. Service dogs are an invaluable resource to many different people in need, for various reasons. How is a service dog different from an ordinary dog? They are working animals who are specially trained to help the disabled. Service dogs need a way to be immediately identifiable in public, which is why a service dog vest is absolutely necessary.
Reasons for a Service Dog
As defined by the American Disabilities Act, a service dog is defined as a canine that has been selected because of their special training, who performs tasks for people with disabilities. Here are some of the situations where a service dog can be of assistance to a disabled person.
- Being a guide for the blind
- Alerting the deaf
- Helping to pull a wheelchair
- Helping to alert and protect people who have seizures
- Alerting people who have a mental illness to take their medication
- Calming someone who has anxiety or PTSD
How to Become Eligible for a Service Dog
To begin, you must be classified as disabled, under the American Disability Act. For this to be official, this must be determined by a doctor and put in writing. Next, you need to identify what type of task you need for the service dog to provide. Then, the dog must be trained to perform these tasks for you. You can find a service dog through an accredited agency that specializes in the training of service dogs. However, keep in mind that a trained and certified service dog can cost up to $25,000 according to Servicedogcertifications.org.
Service Dog Laws
Let’s talk about where service animals are allowed. Any business, nonprofit organization, government building, or anywhere that serves the public must allow access to an individual with their service dog. This includes restaurants and hospitals. The only exception is an area of a hospital that requires a sterile environment, such as a burn unit.
The ADA instructs that all service animals mush be harnessed, leashed or tethered. The only exception is if the individual’s disability restricts him or her from doing so. In a case like that, the owner must maintain control of the dog with their voice or hand signals.
People are only allowed to ask limited questions regarding your situation. Staff may ask if the service animal is required because of a disability. Or, they may ask what task the service dog performs. However, if it is not obvious what the person’s disability is, staff may not ask them what their disability is. They cannot ask for medical documentation, nor can they ask for training documentation for the dog.
A person with a service dog cannot be denied access or refused service, just because someone is afraid of dogs or has a dog allergy. The business should try to find a solution, such as putting the two parties in opposite corners of the room. With that being said, people with service dogs may not be isolated from others, treated less favorably, or charged a fee.
If the dog is out of control, and the handler cannot control it, the business can legally ask them to leave. If the dog is not housebroken, the service dog and their owner may also be asked to leave. The staff of the establishment is not required to provide food or care to the service animal. If a service dog does damage to property, such as a hotel room, the owner is responsible for the cost of repairing the damage.
How to Get a Service Dog Vest
To begin with, your service dog must be registered with the US Animal Registry for the entire life of the dog. Getting a service dog vest is relatively easy. You can purchase them through the US Animal Registry or Amazon.com.