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How to Register an Assistance Dog: An Informative Guide

It’s incredible how much easier life can be with your dog by your side! We’re lucky to be able to build such loving relationships with such amazing animals. Unfortunately, we can’t bring them everywhere we’d like to go. That’s why it’s important to take the proper steps to register your dog as an Assistance Dog (service or ESA) or a therapy dog if you feel your pup adds to your quality of life. Dogs can reduce our anxiety, help us physically get around, provide emotional support when we need it the most, or help others in hospitals and/or hospices. If your dog provides this kind of comfort, then you can follow these steps to register your dog as a service animal, emotional support animal, or therapy animal.

Types of Assistance Animals

First, it’s important to understand what type of assistance category your dog falls into. Each category provides a different kind of support and function to their owner/handler or to others. Each category offers different legal rights as well. Basically, there are three types of assistance animals. Service animals, emotional support animals, and therapy animals. Service dogs are trained to help with various disabilities and can assist their handlers in many different ways. Service dogs are allowed in all public places. An Emotional Support Dog is a dog that doesn’t need any kind of special training but does provide the care and comfort their owners need. A Therapy Dog is a special kind of pup that provides comfort to other people.

Where Can They Go?

When you register your dog, it’s important to understand where they can and cannot go in public. Service Dogs can go anywhere and everywhere. They’re actually considered to be medical devices that are essential to their handlers. They’re not exactly considered to be pets. Emotional Support Dogs can live with you even if you live in a place with no-pet housing rules. Emotional Support Dogs can also fly with you and sit right next to you on a plane. Airlines, housing, and other establishments cannot charge fees for Emotional Support Dogs. Therapy Dogs don’t necessarily have special access to public places. They must be invited in before they can enter a hospital, home, restaurant, or any other public space.

Follow Registration Directions

Once you understand what kind of training your dog needs and what kind of assistance they provide, you can move forward to register an emotional support animal, therapy animal, or service animal. Registrations through the National Service Animal Registry are quick, easy, and very affordable. Simply click on the appropriate category for registration and follow their easy instructions. You’ll be given options to purchase different products to make sure your dog is good to go. For instance, you’ll receive certificates, ID cards and leash clips, and the option of receiving electronic copies of your registration documents. Depending on your dog’s type of registration and your assistance animal needs, you can choose what kind of registration kit you and your pup require. If you move around a lot and travel is a big part of your life, you may want to opt for the premium kits to keep you and your assistance dog protected. Check out their website today for more information!

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The Importance of Getting a Service Animal Registration Kit

Dogs are often called man’s best friend. They love unconditionally and they’re happy to tag along on car rides and walks around the neighborhood. For people with disabilities, dogs are more than a companion. When a dog is trained as a service dog, it means independence for a person who otherwise might need to rely on other people for help with daily living. In the United States, registering a service dog isn’t a legal requirement. However, when you register your dog, you help ensure your rights as a service dog owner are respected. If you decide to register your service dog, consider buying a registration kit. Learn more here about why these kits are important for service dog owners.

Documentation and Service Dog Status

Seeing a service dog at work is common today as a growing number of people use them for help with activities of daily living. It’s also common for restaurant staff, retail store management, and those in charge of other public establishments to question whether a person’s service dog is legitimate. When you purchase a registration kit, you’ll receive a certificate and an ID for your service dog. These two items provide proof of your dog’s status as a service dog. Keep both handy to show when you encounter people who don’t understand ADA laws for service dog owners. The documentation and identification you’ll receive make your service dog visibly official.

Registration Kits Help Reduce Discrimination

When you rent a home or apartment, of course, you’ll want your canine companion to live with you. Landlords and property managers don’t always know about protections offered to service animals and their owners. Sometimes they won’t rent to a person if they have a dog. If you have a disability or medical condition, you have a right to keep your service dog with you in your residence. The documentation in a service animal registration kit can be shown to prospective landlords. Since service dogs are not only medically necessary but protected by law, your documentation and pet ID cards should make discussions with prospective landlords easier.

Helps Your Service Dog Concentrate on Work

When people see you with your service dog, many want to pet or play with the animal. Their intentions are good, but they don’t realize how distracting they can be to your dog. Your safety and well-being depend on your dog remaining focused. One way you can help people not distract your dog is to use the patches in your kit. Patches are sewn on the dog’s service vest where people can easily see them. The patch identifies your dog as a registered service animal. You can also order patches that caution people not to pet your dog without your permission.

Keep Your Dog Safe During Emergencies

Registration kits for service animals help protect them. Imagine if you were in a situation where you needed to be evacuated. What would you do if you and your pet were separated? When your dog wears a vest with the patches included in the kit, emergency responders can be alerted to keep an eye out for your dog. They’ll understand the importance of your dog and your safety and will work hard to find your pet and put the two of you back together.

Whether you’re just starting out using a service dog or you’re a seasoned owner, consider buying a registration kit. It’s a logical step you can take to protect your right to have your service animal by your side when you go out in public. To see our selection of registration kits for service animals, contact us at the National Service Animal Registry today!

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Everything You Need to Know about Emotional Support Cats

If you’d like your emotional support animal to accompany you on planes or live with you in otherwise restrictive housing, ESA registration is key. With the appropriate documentation, your rights can be protected. Lacking these essential documents, you’ll have a much more difficult time and could be rejected outright. Emotional support animals can be tremendously helpful, especially if you deal with stress, anxiety, or depression. While ESA and service dogs get a lot of attention and are quite popular, emotional support cats make excellent companions as well. The process is easier than most people think.

Emotional Support Animals

If you have a mental illness and feel that an emotional support animal could be helpful, the first thing you should do is speak with a psychologist, psychiatrist, or therapist. They can discuss the benefits with you, and they should be able to determine if an emotional support cat may be the right choice for you.

Your ESA cat doesn’t have to undergo any specialized or formal training course. This is a common misconception. The primary purpose of an emotional support animal is to give their owner comfort, companionship, and emotional support. An ESA cat could help reduce anxiety, alleviate stress, and could even help you get better sleep. To qualify as an ESA, your cat does have to be well behaved and toilet trained.

Registration

The registration process isn’t overly difficult or complicated. A licensed mental health professional, such as your therapist, can provide you with a prescription letter verifying your need for an emotional support animal. You may visit the National Service Animal Registry website to register your animal. After registration, you’ll receive an Animal ID Card. It should have a picture of your cat on it, as well as additional information. This includes information about your legal rights. It’s important that you keep track of these documents, so you have proof of registration. Airlines and landlords are well within their rights to request proof that your ESA cat is a registered service animal.

Legal Rights

Legally speaking, an ESA cat has several benefits compared to an unregistered animal. The Fair Housing Act allows emotional support cats to be considered as assistance animals. What does this mean for you? Your ESA cat can’t be discriminated against when it comes to housing. Apartments, condos, and other housing that would otherwise have size restrictions or not allow animals at all can’t prevent you from keeping and living with your ESA cat. Additionally, you shouldn’t have to pay a deposit for your ESA cat.

Thanks to the Air Carrier Access Act, your ESA cat can accompany you in the cabin. As you know, animals often have to fly separately. However, your registered animal should be allowed to stay with you in the cabin instead. Remember that almost all airlines require documentation to be provided before boarding. Be sure to have it ready to hand. The airline will need to verify it beforehand.

As you can see, registering your ESA cat shouldn’t be a big challenge. Yet, there are many great perks that come with registration. If you think you could use the assistance of an emotional support animal, be sure to speak with a mental health professional. Your therapist should be happy to help you determine if an ESA cat would be right for you. Contact National Service Animal Registry at (866) 737-3930 to learn more about emotional support animals and the many ways they could assist you.

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How to Properly Train Your Service Dog

A service dog can be a major asset to your life if you suffer from a disability. This could be anxiety, physical ailment, or emotional disability. While some people reach out to an organization to provide the animal, others would prefer to use their own dog. Many feel the process will be easier with their own dog as they already feel comfortable with them. For many people, hiring a professional to train your dog with you is the best way of making them a support animal. Others would rather attempt the training on their own. Here are some tips for properly training your dog to be a support animal.

Find Your Dog

If you don’t already have the dog you want to make your support animal, you will have to find one. It’s widely believed that the breed of the dog is an important factor. It’s actually the temperament that is most important rather than the breed. When choosing a dog to be trained as a support animal, you want one that is intelligent and trainable. For this reason, it’s best to choose a dog between six months and a year in age. Ideally, you’ll want to choose a dog that will approach you without hesitation and doesn’t show aggression, such as growling. A dog that desires contact with you is also good as this shows it’s more docile.

Basic Training

The first part of training a service dog is making sure that they understand basic commands and obedience. These basic commands, such as “sit” and “down,” are useful for any dog but are more important for service dogs. An important aspect of a service dog that separates them from others is their obedience. A service animal must have excellent obedience skills in order to help you. An important aspect of training is to ensure that they don’t get distracted by sniffing other animals or people. This training is often done by having someone walk up to you while the dog is looking at you. If the dog looks at the other person, they should look right back to you. This is because they need to know to pay attention to you and not become distracted. During these early stages of training, the dog is often rewarded with treats.

Special Skills

When training your dog to be a service animal, you’ll teach them specific skills. These skills will depend on your disability because those with different disabilities will need their service dog to perform different tasks. While dogs are smart and can learn many skills, they can only take in so much information in a short period of time. To avoid overwhelming your dog, the skills should be taught slowly, step by step. For example, if you’re teaching your dog to retrieve keys, you first need them to respond to the word “keys.” Then you need to teach them to pick the keys up and bring them to you. It’s best to teach these skills in five to ten minute intervals.

Living with a disability can be made easier with the assistance of a support dog. Properly training the dog is essential to ensuring that they are qualified to help you when needed.

Contact the National Service Animal Registry for more information on registering your dog as a support animal or receiving a service dog certification online.

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Tips to Qualify for an ESA Dog

Nearly one in four people in the United States experiences some kind of emotional or mental condition. Getting treatment for mental health conditions is not always easy. Sometimes, however, the solution may be found in your very own home. Emotional support animals can make a huge difference for so many people. But how do you qualify to get one? Keep reading to learn a few essential tips for getting an emotional support dog.

Obtain an Emotional Support Animal Letter

To qualify for an emotional support animal, you will need to obtain an ESA letter from a certified mental health professional. You can get one of the letters from your therapist, psychiatrist, licensed counselor, or any other mental health doctor. If you are interested in getting an ESA, talk to your doctor to first decide if it is the right choice for you. They will evaluate your needs and determine if you would benefit from having a support dog. Following their assessment, they will write a letter stating that you have an emotional or mental condition and testify that an ESA is vital to your overall wellbeing.

The letter should be written on the doctor’s official letterhead. It should also include the date, their signature, their medical license number, and the date and place where their license was first issued. The letter remains valid for a year. Your landlord or airline carrier will usually request that the ESA letter is updated every year, so be sure to set yourself a reminder to renew it.

Know the Conditions for Which an ESA May Be Suggested

Mental health professionals only approve emotional support dogs if they believe they will be helpful. According to the DSM, there are a few different types of conditions where an emotional support animal can be beneficial as a treatment method. Some of these include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • PTSD
  • Learning disabilities
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Mood disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Fear and phobias

Watch Out for Scams

Unfortunately, emotional support animal scams are all too common. Some websites promise to provide instant approval for an emotional support animal for a price. In the end, you wind up paying for documents that don’t mean anything. The only way to get approved for an ESA is by obtaining a letter from your mental health professional. If you come across a website that asks you to fill out an application or questionnaire, it’s likely a scam. There are also websites that claim to certify your pet. Emotional support registration is an excellent extra step to add to the process in order to further legitimize your emotional support pet. However, registration or certification does not mean anything without first getting approved by a doctor.

Don’t Lie to Your Therapist to Get an ESA

This goes without saying, but still, there are many people who take advantage of the emotional support pet system. ESAs are not traditional pets. By lying to obtain one, you are only hurting the real support pet owners who rely on their pets to make it through everyday life. Talk to a mental health professional to determine if getting an ESA is the right choice for you. If they conclude that it’s not, just adopt a traditional pet.

For more information about qualifying for an ESA or registering your pet, contact us at the National Service Animal Registry today.

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How can you make your dog a service animal?

First things first! According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), someone is considered disabled when he or she has “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment.” If you qualify, then you may have a service dog to help you.

If you experience any of the following, you may qualify:

  • Limited physical mobility
  • Anxiety
  • Autism
  • Blindness
  • Depression
  • Epilepsy
  • Diabetes
  • PTSD
  • Seizures

What Exactly Is a Service Dog?

A “Service Dog” means any dog that is trained to perform tasks for an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. The tasks performed must be directly related to the handler’s disability.

Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to:

  • Assisting a person who is blind or has poor vision with navigation and other tasks
  • Alerting a person who is deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds
  • Pulling a wheelchair
  • Assisting a person during a seizure
  • Alerting individuals to the presence of allergens
  • Retrieving items, such as medicine or the telephone
  • Providing physical support and assistance to individuals with mobility/balance issues
  • Helping persons with psychiatric issues by preventing or interrupting impulsive/destructive behaviors.

What Are Your Rights with a Service Dog?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), prohibits discrimination of disabled persons. That means you are entitled to be accompanied by your service dog anywhere a non-disabled person could go, even when pets are NOT allowed.

Flying with a Service Dog

If you are disabled and have a trained service dog, you have the right to be accompanied by your service dog in the cabin of an aircraft and not be charged a fee.

Qualify for No Pet (Including Limited Size/Species/Breed) Housing

The Fair Housing Amendments Act requires property managers and landlords to make a reasonable accommodation to permit a disabled person to have a service dog and not be charged a pet fee.

How Do You Make Your Dog Qualify as a Service Dog?

Since your dog must perform a task for you that you have great difficulty doing yourself, if your dog already knows how to do it and is obedience trained, you’re all set. Many people train or have someone help them their dog for the sometimes-simple tasks, necessary to qualify. Many dogs can perform tasks naturally, and it takes just a bit extra to add a task to what they already know to do. Register your pet as a service animal.

Is a Physician’s Prescription Necessary?

It isn’t necessary to have a letter from a doctor that states you are disabled, but if someone legally challenges you, proof of the disability will be necessary. When in public, you should be prepared to confirm you are disabled and provide credible verbal evidence of what your service dog is trained to do.

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Tampa, FL: A Great Place to Visit with Your Service Dog

If you’re craving a warm place with sparkling waters to rest and relax in, Florida is the perfect vacation spot. Tampa has a great mix of everything when it comes down to a city. It is a busy metropolis with lots of things to do and see, a hub of business for those who want to work as well as play, and yet is also home to some of the best beaches and recreation the United States has.

It’s also a dog friendly place that welcomes service dogs and emotional support animals in many of its venues. Here are just a few of the places you can take your dog, even if he isn’t a working animal.

Hungry? Here’s where you can get a bite to eat

While service dogs are welcome in every restaurant, things get trickier when you have an emotional support animal. Most emotional support animals are treated like ordinary pets, with laws protecting only their right to housing. Luckily, there are lots of places you can being your dog and still enjoy a bite to eat. Here are two of them.

Sail Pavilion on the Riverwalk

Whether you boat up or walk up, there is space available for you at this river front location. The Sail Pavilion has great views, a full bar, and a selection of salads, sandwiches, and a few appetizers too. Your service dog won’t be neglected either. There’s a place for him to go potty, stainless steel dog bowls, and even a treat or two. Visit them at 333 S Franklin St, Tampa, FL, US, 33602.

Jasmine Thai

If you want authentic Thai food, Jasmine Thai welcomes your dog at their outdoor table, even if they are an emotional support animal and not a service dog. Enjoy Tom Yum, Egg Rolls, and Pad Thai at this wonderful restaurant.

You can visit at 13248 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL, US, 33618.

Great place to stay

When you are traveling with a service dog, you can safely choose any hotel you want and know that they must accept your service dog. There are perks however, to choosing a dog friendly hotel. This includes knowing there will be green space available for your dog to do his business on, the rooms are likely to be on the lower floors for ease of getting your dog outside, and sometimes even treats and other goods for your dog.

If you’re traveling with an emotional support animal or a pet along with your service dog, it’s more important than ever to choose a dog friendly hotel. Westin Tampa Bay at 7627 Courtney Campbell Cswy, Tampa, FL 33607 is a very pet friendly hotel that provides your dog with amenities such as treats and bowls, and also has an on-site potty area. The pet rooms are all on lower floors, making this the perfect place to bring your pet.

Moving? Here’s a dog friendly apartment

If you need to bring along a pet who is not a service dog, or you want your emotional support animal to be comfortable in the apartments you choose, the Westwood Reserve is an amenity packed hotel that feels as if it is designed for dogs. It has its own private dog park, “The Bark Park” for your dogs to relax in, as well as lots of ordinary green space and pet friendly apartments.

Your service dog will feel right at home in this apartment, and you’ll love the easy beach access and other amenities.

Take your pet to the dog park

Dogs love to run and play together. If you have a service dog craving a little off duty fun, or you want to better socialize your emotional support animal, taking them to a dog park is an excellent way to give them the exercise and play time they need.

Tampa has many dog parks available, a local favorite being the West Park Dog Park at 6402 N Occident St, Tampa, FL, US, 33614. The park has water fountains, shelters, picnic tables, and even a dog wash in case he gets a little too muddy. It’s a wonderful place to take your service dog for a little fun, and visitors report the place is usually clean, a big plus.

Visit a trendy dog boutique

Your service dog or emotional support animal needs a number of items to maintain his level of comfort as he works for you. Whether you’re searching for high quality food or perhaps a new chew toy, chances are you’ll need a thing or two for your dog while he is out and about with you.

Wag Natural Pet Market at 304 E Davis Blvd, Tampa, FL 33606 has everything you need for your dog, plus grooming and other services. If you’re in Tampa and need to resupply, this is a great store to visit.

Take your service dog for a hike

One of the most popular hiking trails in Tampa is the Flatwood loop trail. This 7-mile-long loop located at 14302 Morris Bridge Rd. Thonotosassa, FL 33592 is paved, and leashed pets are permitted on the loop. This trail is paved and has restrooms and other amenities. There is a $2 fee for entering, but as many as 8 people can be in each vehicle without having to pay more.

Visit a Saturday Market with your dog

The Ybor City Saturday market, located at 1901 19th Street Tampa, FL 33605 is a unique market filled with handmade goods, fresh produce, and vendors who love to form long term relationships with their customers. They also welcome pets, which is rare in a farmer’s market.

They have everything from jewelry to farm fresh eggs and is a perfect way to spend the day with your beloved friend.

Tampa is the perfect place for service dogs, and a wonderful way to relax and enjoy the beach. No matter why you are headed to Tampa, there’s no doubt you will love visiting with your dog.

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Colorado Springs, CO: A Great Place to Visit with Your Dog

If you love spending time in the great outdoors with your service dog) or emotional support animal (ESA), you’ll love Colorado Springs, CO. Colorado Springs is known for its rugged, outdoor adventures and the dozens of activities available for both you and your ESA.

If you’re planning a visit or even a move to Colorado Springs, here are the top dog-friendly locations you need to know about.

Great places to eat

If you have a service dog, you probably don’t have a problem getting into a restaurant with your assistant. An ESA however is a different story. Emotional support animals (ESA) are not exempt from rules about animals in restaurants, and the only legal protection they get involves housing. Luckily if you have an emotional support animal (ESA) instead of a service dog, there are still plenty of dog-friendly eateries you can take your animal to.

Pub Dog Colorado

This pub is unique because not only can you dine with your dog, but you can even take your ESA or pet indoors with you. Most dog friendly restaurants prefer animals that are not service dogs to sit on an outdoor patio, and only service dogs are permitted inside. This is great news for dog lovers of all kinds and makes Pub Dog Colorado our top choice. You can check them out at 2207 Bott Ave.

Pizzeria Rustica

If you like eating sustainably, the Pizzeria Rustica is the right choice for you. This restaurant welcomes dogs on its outdoor patio. Pizzeria Rustica is a certified Green restaurant and has top tier service. If you love pizza and want to bring your ESA along for the ride, this is a great place to get quality pizza. You can find them at 2527 W Colorado Ave when you’re ready to visit.

Take your pet to a museum

Although your service dog is allowed in many places, an ESA is usually very restricted. If you want to experience a museum with your ESA, there actually is one in Colorado Springs that allows your dog to visit every nook and corner.

The Manitou Cliff Dwellings Museum is a dog friendly outdoor museum, that allows you to see the homes carved into the cliffs by civilizations long ago. These dwellings are over 800 years old, located at the foot of Pike’s Peak. You can visit with your furry friend at 10 Cliff Dwellings Rd, US Hwy 24 West, Manitou Springs.

Moving to Colorado Springs?

If you’re planning to make your stay in Colorado Springs a permanent one, you may be hoping to find dog friendly apartments for your stay. Service dogs and ESA cannot be refused as far as housing is concerned, but that doesn’t mean the apartments you are in will be comfortable for your service dog or ESA.

Pet friendly apartments usually have green spaces where you can take your dog potty, and sometimes even amenities specifically for your dog. Ridgeview Place, for example, has its own “Bark Park” specifically for their dog loving renters, making it one of the most pet friendly apartments available. You can visit yourself at 3310 Knoll Lane in Colorado Springs.

Bond with your dog at Bear Creek Dog Park

This huge 10-acre dog park has a number of amenities that make it stand out from other dog parks. Apart from the usual fenced in play areas, benches, and trails to walk on, Bear Creek also has an agility course for you and your dog to practice on. Located at S 21st St, this is a fun place for dogs of all shapes and sizes.

Enjoy Palmer Park with your service dog

One of the best parts about visiting or living in Colorado Springs is the huge number of outdoor activities readily at your fingertips. If you’d like to visit a beautiful park filled with excellent hiking opportunities, you’ll want to make Palmer Park a regular part of your stay.

Palmer Park is a 296-acre park that has over 25 miles of hiking trails on it, as well as a scenic overlook, a dog park, sports areas, and more. Elevation Outdoors Magazine named it Best Urban Park in its Best of Rockies 2017 list. You can visit it at 3650 Maizeland Rd. The hiking trails are leash free, so be aware of other animals approaching while visiting with your service dog.

Take a hike at The Garden of the Gods

If you’re going to hike, what better place to do so than Colorado Spring’s very own National Natural Landmark. The Garden of the Gods is a huge park full of hiking trails, rock climbing, and breathtaking views.

There is a location you can let your dog off leash, but otherwise all dogs must be kept on a six foot leash. If you’re worried about untrained dogs mobbing your service dog as you try to enjoy a hike, this is one of the best hiking locations you can try. See for yourself at 1805 N. 30th St.

Top Tier Veterinary Care

If you have a service dog to help you in your daily life, keeping him in the best possible condition is also essential to your quality of life. Even if you’re just planning to stay for a few days, knowing where a great veterinary hospital is should something happen to your service dog during your stay is of the utmost importance.

Animal Hospital of Colorado Springs

Animal Hospital of Colorado Springs is accredited with the American Animal Hospital Association, and the vets that work there have a number of important certificates that go above and beyond basic veterinary training. If you need veterinary treatment for your service dog, they can help you whether it is a complex case or a simple vaccine. You can take your dog to 1015 Cheyenne Meadows Road if you need care.

Get resupplied at Bon Pet Supply

If you need toys, treats, or food for your service dog, you probably want the best quality to keep him healthy and happy. Bon Pet Supply carries a wide range of products, including many different brands of high-quality dog food, and everything else your service dog might need or want. Pets of all types are welcome in the store. They are also open 7 days a week, so you won’t have to worry about running out of food on a Sunday and having to wait. You can visit them at 2312 N Wahsatch Ave.

Colorado Springs has a wealth of dog friendly opportunities. If you’re planning to visit there or even move and want to see what fun things you can do with your beloved canine, these are our top picks.

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Understanding the Positive Effects of Emotional Support Animals

The average person who deals with depression, anxiety, or other health conditions does it on their own. Sure, they have health care providers and maybe a therapist, but for the most part, they have limited support. Friends and family get busy. Doctors and therapists are only available during regular office hours. An animal, on the other hand, doesn’t have a schedule and is always at your side. If you already have a cuddly pet, you know how important they are to your well-being. An emotional support animal (ESA) can change your life! Today’s post covers the impact ESAs have on their owner’s lives. Learn about the positive things you could experience with an ESA support dog by your side.

A New Look on Life

If you suffer from depression, you know it’s more than feeling tired or not up to par a few days a week. Depression takes over and moves in for the long-haul. Most people who deal with depression experience a range of symptoms, but one common thread is a loss of hope. It’s difficult to plod through daily life without hope for the future. People without hope often have trouble caring for themselves and others. Spending time with a pet, especially one with a wagging tail and soulful eyes, can alleviate the symptoms of depression. As your mood lifts, you’ll feel hopeful again. While not a substitute for medication prescribed by your doctor, you could think of an ESA as a component of your treatment program.

Help for Anxiety

There’s a reason why so many people bring their ESA when they travel, especially on airplanes. It’s not uncommon for people to get anxious when they fly. For some, the anxiety is paralyzing and, in extreme cases, prevents the person from traveling by plane, which can put a damper on seeing the world. Traveling with an ESA may help alleviate some of the anxiety. While taking anti-anxiety medication may work, an ESA offers a different kind of relief. When you focus on your dog, instead of the fear of airplanes, you’ll usually relax and even enjoy your travel experience. By the way, simply petting your ESA can relieve anxiety, whether you’re on a plane, or sitting in your living room.

They Love You Back

The joy of owning a pet is the unconditional love they give, no matter what. An ESA doesn’t care if you’re feeling out of sorts. They love you anyway! There’s nothing like the unconditional love of an animal, but it’s especially helpful to a person with emotional health issues. It’s not uncommon for a person who has a mental health condition to feel unlovable. At the least, they may not feel like being around people. Your ESA will stay by your side, loving you right through the dark moments.

An Integral Part of Treatment

While they’re not a substitute for medical or mental health care, ESAs work as part of your overall treatment. Whether you exercise or practice mindfulness, you can incorporate time with your ESA into your treatment methods. When you need to ground yourself, you can focus on your animal. If you use exercise, your ESA can help motivate you to walk or run every day. Since they’re an essential part of treatment, you should consider ESA dog registration. Registering your ESA opens up a world of benefits, including the ability to show people that your animal is a legitimate support animal. For help with registration, contact National Service Animal Registry at (866) 737-3930 today!

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A Beginner’s Guide to Service Dogs

Service dogs can represent the path to increased mobility and enhanced quality of life for those who live with a disability. Service dogs are animals who are specially trained to perform tasks that make everyday life easier for those who deal with disabilities. While they can be of great benefit to those who require them, owning a service dog is not as simple as picking out a pet. Service dog ownership and the rights of those who own them are part of a complex environment, which can be confusing to first-time service dog owners.

If you’ve recently elected to acquire a service dog to help you live with your disability, you may have many questions about how you should proceed. For example, you may wonder if it’s necessary to enroll your pet with a service dog registry. Likewise, you may want to know whether service dog vests are required to protect your rights and gain you and your dog equal access to public accommodations. While in some others, service dog registration may be beneficial in helping to navigate the legal environment surrounding service animals, in other locations that may not be the case. Therefore, it’s important that you absorb some basic information about service dogs, your rights as a service dog owner, and how you can navigate the regulations surrounding them. Keep reading to learn about service dog ownership.

Service Dogs Aren’t Emotional Support or Therapy Animals

While the labels are sometimes erroneously used interchangeably, service dogs are distinct from emotional support animals and pet therapy animals. Service dogs are individually trained to perform tasks for individuals that pertain to their specific disabilities. They and their owners are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which means that the dog and owner are afforded accessibility in housing, pet-free establishments, mass transit, educational institutions, and the workplace. ESA dogs and therapy dogs are not specially trained to perform specific tasks related to their owners’ disabilities. They are not protected to the same extent by the ADA, and accessibility is more limited as a result.

Registration Isn’t Required, but It’s Beneficial

The ADA doesn’t require that a service animal be registered by any registering body. The rights afforded to service dogs and their owners are not contingent upon registration so long as the owner meets the definition of a person living with a disability. The ADA also requires that the dog is specially trained to perform a specific task that mitigates the disability, is fully housebroken, and is under full control of the owner at all times. However, registration and accompanying documentation can help service dog owners navigate the world with greater ease. The presence of registration documentation, service animal cards, and service animal vests can help communicate your service animal’s purpose and reduce resistance to accommodation.

Public Accommodation Rights Are Protected

The ADA specifies that there are several areas in which the rights of owners of service dogs must be respected. Those include housing, public accommodations, air travel, work, and education. Under the ADA, an employee of an organization or institution can only ask two questions of service dog owners. As a service dog owner, you can be asked whether your dog is required because of a disability and what work task the dog is trained to perform. If you can answer those two questions in the affirmative, admittance must be allowed.

If you are entering the complex world of service dogs, you may be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information that is available. However, by learning the basics, you can more easily navigate life with a service dog and reap the full benefits that they offer.