Moving through this world is a difficult thing when you have a disability or chronic illness. Some people need assistance performing tasks that many of us take for granted. Others live with medical conditions that could seriously impact their well-being at the drop of a hat.
For that reason, many people who live with a disability or chronic illness choose to have a service animal assist them in their daily routines. We all know the benefits of a service animal, but many people find themselves asked for proof that their animal is indeed a service animal. Read on to learn about the registration process!
1. Service Animal vs. Emotional Support Animal
The first thing you should know is that there’s a difference between a service animal and an emotional support animal. Service animals go through a rigorous training process to make sure that they can effectively assist their owners with daily tasks.
Emotional support animals, on the other hand, have no training requirements. As the name implies, they provide emotional support to their owners. If you think an emotional support animal could benefit you, then you can get certification via a place like American Service Pets.
2. Meet Eligibility Requirements
In order to qualify for a service animal, you must have some form of disability. This can include everything from blindness to mobility impairment. Service animals can even help people who have diabetes or seizure disorders.
You will need written documentation from your physician stating that you have a condition that requires the help of a service animal.
3. Train Your Dog
This is probably the trickiest part of getting a service animal. Many animals spend years in training to be service animals. If you’re thinking of adopting a puppy and training it up yourself, you might want to take some time to consider your options.
There are agencies that train service animals so that they’re ready when you need them. It will cost more upfront, but you won’t have to worry about waiting for your service dog to be ready to help.
4. Fill Out the Application for Registration
Once you have a service dog, you’re going to want to make sure it has everything it needs to do its job. This includes an official service animal vest and a registration.
It is not required for you to register your service dog, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth the extra step. There are a number of services online that allow you to register your dog and give you identification for them. This will help prevent hiccups when a business owner questions the legitimacy of your animal.
A Service Animal Will Change Your World!
Purchasing a service animal is one of the best things people living with disabilities or illness can do for themselves. While the ADA does not require that you register your animal, many people find that registering their animal makes their life much easier. Before you know it, you’ll be out and about living your best life with your new service animal.
Many people with service dogs develop a deep and loving bond with the dog. You’re bound to have questions about keeping him safe and healthy. Check out the rest of our blog for everything you need to know!