Service dogs offer a lot of support to their owners. These special pups are there to provide guidance and emotional assistance to those who suffer from physical disabilities or severe psychiatric challenges. You've probably noticed service dogs wearing a vest when they're out in public with their owners. While some believe that these vests are required by law, they're actually not mandatory. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), states that service animals aren't required by law to wear them in order to avoid acts of discrimination. Any discrimination towards disabled individuals should never be tolerated. It's clear why these service animals aren't required to wear these vests at all times. However, there are certain benefits to displaying the service dog vest when out in public settings. Here are a few reasons why it's important for service dogs to wear their vests when they're out hitting the town.
Shows They Have a Right to Be There
The public is becoming more aware of the benefits of service animals. Many business owners have become more "dog-friendly" or show their support for service dogs through signs on windows or entrances. However, others aren't as thrilled to have animals entering their store, restaurant, or bank. Service animals wearing a noticeable vest aren't normally hassled by business owners or other patrons. When the general public sees your service dog wearing a vest, they know that they have a right to be there. Even though it's not required by law, it's nice to show the public that this is a dog with a purpose. Both the service dog and their owner have the same rights as any person.
A Visible Form of Trust
Most people are quite surprised when they realize all of the different ways a service dog can help their owners. They can predict and prevent anxiety attacks, assist with seizures, and even keep track of a diabetic's blood sugar. When a dog acts as a form of protection and assistance at this level, it's important for the public to trust the animal. In the case of an emergency, if a service dog is not wearing a vest, the public may not be able to recognize that the animal is trying to help in certain circumstances. The service dog vest can act as a visible form of trust between the dog, the owner, and the community.
Avoid Dangerous Distractions
A service dog wearing a vest lets the community know they are trained and prepared to act in the event of an emergency. A service dog wearing a vest also signals to the public that they aren't there to play. Dogs are loveable and engaging animals. It's very common for people passing by to want to pet or play with your dog. It's socially acceptable in most situations. However, a service dog shouldn't be distracted or played with when they're out with their owners. When they're wearing their service dog vest, the public knows that this dog is working and needs to stay focused. If you have a service dog that could benefit from having a vest on in public, you should contact the National Service Animal Registry for more information on purchasing the right vest for your dog. Check out their service dog vest selection online today!