If you have a service animal, one decision you must make is whether or not to get a vest for your pet. These vests usually say "ESA" or "service dog" on them to let passersby know that your pet is working and should not be bothered. But do you need a vest for your dog? How do you pick out the right service pet vest? Where can you buy one of them? Read on below to learn the answers to these questions and everything else you need to know about buying the best service dog vest for your pet.
Do You Need to Purchase a Service Dog Vest?
At the moment, service dogs are not legally required to wear special vests, tags, ID, or any other form of identification. When a dog enters a private building like a store, restaurant, or airport, staff members are only allowed to ask if your pet is a service animal and what tasks they are trained to complete. They are not allowed to question you about your disability, and they cannot prevent you from accessing the property with your service pet.
Many people with service animals choose to purchase vests or other types of identification for them to limit any confusion. When people on the street or on private properties see the clearly marked service dog vest, they become aware that your pet is a working dog. They then know not to bother you or your dog. Having a vest also cuts down on a lot of questioning and conflict that could otherwise arise when going about your business with a service animal.
On the other hand, many people who rely on service animals choose not to identify their dog as a service animal because they do not want to be labeled as "disabled." This label could potentially open them up to discrimination. Ultimately, however, the choice is yours; it is all about what makes you the most comfortable when you are walking around with your dog.
What to Consider When Choosing a Vest
There are a few crucial things to consider when looking for a vest for your dog. First, measure your dog's waist and neck to determine what size vest you should purchase. Then, consider the style and functionality of the vest. You want something that will be comfortable for your pup and easy to put on when you go out together. The vest should also make it clear that your dog is a service animal by prominently featuring the acronym "ESA" or a synonym of it. Lastly, consider the extra features you are looking for like added pockets, padded straps, and waterproofing.
Where to Buy a Service Dog Vest
Now that you know what to look for, you can begin shopping for a vest. But where should you start? Nowadays, the best place to shop for anything is online. Before selecting a store, be sure to read reviews from past customers to ensure you are buying a high-quality product from a reputable seller. If you are looking for a vest for your service dog, contact us at the National Service Animal Registry!