Though they may have a similar function, not all dog leashes are created equally. Leashes are meant to keep your pup safe and under control while in public. However, if your leash is not suited for your dog's breed and temperament, the leash won't be able to do what it is meant to do. Having the right, high-quality leash is even more important when you have a service animal, since they will be spending a lot of time in public areas with other people and pets. To learn more about selecting the best leash for your emotional support animal, keep reading below!
First, consider the style of leash you want to purchase. You will need to choose between standard leashes and retractable ones. Retractable leashes may seem like a good choice at first, but most pet owners quickly realize their downfalls. They offer limited control over your pet and can break easily if you do not purchase the right size. For most dogs, a standard leash is the best choice. This is especially true if you are shopping for a service dog leash. These are the leashes that likely come to mind first when you picture a dog leash. They're made of a single piece of material and can range from four to ten feet long.
Dog leashes are available in a range of materials including nylon, polyester, rubber, cotton, leather, and chain. For most service animals, you will want to choose a leash that is made of polyester or nylon. These two materials are among the most popular, mainly because they are both durable and inexpensive. These leashes are built to withstand all sorts of weather and environments, too.
Since these fibers are human-made, they are available in a wide selection of colors and patterns. There are even some that say "ESA" right on them (more on that later), which helps to immediately identify your pet as a service animal. Nylon and polyester leashes can be purchased at most pet stores and online retailers, which means you can easily find one when you are ready to buy your new leash.
Once you have chosen the material and style of the leash, you can settle on a length. Most leashes are either four or six feet long, while some measure up to ten feet long -- though these are mainly used for training purposes. For your everyday leash, look for something that is either six or four feet in length.
Six-foot leashes are the most common. They offer your dog some space to roam and explore without leaving too much slack to drag on the ground or get wrapped around their feet. Shorter, four-foot leashes are ideal for busy city streets and other high-traffic areas. They prevent your service pup from wandering too far from you and lower the chances of getting tangled around poles and other dogs' leashes.
Leashes are also available in a few different widths. Thicker leashes are better for strong pullers, chewers, and larger dogs. These leashes offer more strength and are less likely to break when put under pressure. Thinner leashes, on the other hand, are good for small dogs and puppies since they are less restrictive and a lot lighter. If you have a puppy that you're training to be a service pet, you may need to switch to a thicker one when they get older depending on their breed and personality.
You may also want to consider purchasing a dog leash that is explicitly made for service animals. These polyester leashes come in a range of lengths and are marked "ESA" along the length of the leash. This helps to let everyone know that you have a service animal so you can avoid confusion when you bring your pet into public places.
Be sure to visit us at the National Service Animal Registry to view our whole selection of emotional support animal leashes!