What you need to have to travel with your Emotional Support Service Dog
What you need to have to travel with your
Emotional Support Service Dog
Flying and entering various establishments with your Emotional Support Service Dog can be tricky mostly because it is unclear to many what exactly the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) mandates in this area. From my personal experience, I can tell you that some store and restaurant employees want to see some kind of “paperwork” before allowing you to stay with your dog. Let’s be clear here. By law there are only two questions that they can ask you, and technically, there is no paperwork you must give.
But before I enter into some complicated, drawn out conversation about ADA rules and whatnot, I simply hand them my dogs ID with Registry number. If that’s not enough, they get a card with the descriptive ADA laws surrounding this subject to end the conversation. It’s that simple. This along with a few other items I purchased in a Service Dog bundle on amazon for $85. With that bundle you also get a link to the national service dog registry where you register your dog and get a membership number. This number will be included on your dog’s ID from that bundle bought on amazon. Read the tip below before ordering!
TIP:**It is important to know that there are differences between an Emotional Support Service Dog and a Working Service Dog. Emotional Support Service Dogs do have limitations on where they can go, where a Working Service Dog does not. More on this is found on the ADA website. If you are wondering which type of service you should select, you can find that by clicking here. If you are looking for ID cards and documentation, this step should be decided first so that you get the correct ID bundle.
Flying with your Emotional Support Service Dog
When it comes to flying with your dog, you are no longer covered under the ADA, and instead are covered under the ACAA or Air Carrier Access Act. It is noted however that most airlines will require for you to have an ESA (Emotional Support) letter from a doctor if you are traveling with a support dog and not a working service dog. If you are unable to get an ESA letter from your family doctor for whatever reason, it is possible to purchase one online at various rates (usually ranging from $120-$140). Remember that these letters must be renewed annually! Also as you are now entering ACAA territory, even a simple Service Dog ID makes your life easier by easing the minds of those who feel they need to approach you for proof.
TIP**Also each airline has different rules, so its best to check with your specific airline for their requirements! You can be required to give situation-specific letters for flying depending on your airline, so procrastination would work against you here!
I hope this helps you on your way to being able to comfortably and confidently travel with your emotional support/working service dog, and invite you to share your feelings and experiences in the comments section below!