What type of equipment do you use on your service dog?

by Sue on October 14, 2011

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Vest? Tags? Doctor’s note? Nothing?

What has worked best for you and your dog? Any recommendations? Pros? Cons?

The ADA states that a service dog does not need to be identified as a service dog. However they suggest it as it reduces conflicts.

I for one use both a vest and a tag on Gunny and Rainy.

Sussie, Gunny and Rainy.

{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anna Burhus 10.14.11 at 10:13 am

I use just a tag on my corgi Pistol and I wear a lanyard with a tag on it. I have only had one incident where a resturant worker gave me trouble but her manager set her straight.

2 fridawrites 10.14.11 at 9:03 pm

A vest and his id tag says “service dog” engraved, though it’s just the usual round tag. Thinking about getting a red raincoat with patches for him too–no wet fur! Or a mesh one for extremely hot weather if we’re outside much–or out swimming and then in a changing room. There may be rare times where it’s too difficult for me to dress him and he may have to go without a vest–though this shouldn’t generally be the case.

I can’t usually comment (have to choose carefully what I type and who I get to email each day) but really like reading this blog.

3 Suzanne Peters 10.17.11 at 6:49 am

My service dog is a little Pekingese . Due to his thick fur he gets hot easily so I hesitate to put a vest on him. I bought a bright red kerchief and have a big service dog tag that is sewn so it sits center on is his back for everyone to see. I also use a leash with large printed words “service dog” and at the loop that I hold I have attached a service tag to present quickly if needed. So far no problems and just one nasty comment.

4 Kat Bright 10.17.11 at 7:34 am

My SD’s are for mobility/balance so I use a harness with a tag. When first training I use a vest to get them used to wearing something till we graduate to the harness when they are 18 months old. Usually have no problems other than most see the harness and mistake us as a Guide dog team lol

5 Georgina williams 10.17.11 at 7:48 am

Where can I get a mesh or light material vest to identify my Maltese as a service dog. She is my heler with my mitochondrial s
Disease?

6 Georgina williams 10.17.11 at 7:51 am

Where can I order a small light vest for my Maltese to identify her as a service dog. She helps me with my mitochondria Disease.

7 Rocketmare 10.17.11 at 7:52 am

I read that people are not allowed to ask what the medical condition is for which one has a service dog. But, people keep asking me that question. How do you politely tell them it is none of their business?

8 Carolyn 10.17.11 at 8:35 am

I use a vest with two pockets on the side, in which I carry copies of two doctor’s notes, copies of all of her vaccination records, and her latest health certificate. I have had so many problems! I know I am not required to carry all this but it is great “ammunition” to have when confronted. She also carries tags from two national service dog registries, has both an LA and a Santa Barbara dog license, an ID tag, a microchip, and a poop bag just it case! Her vest has service dog patches and a “do not pet me” patch on it. This might be a little over the top but I went to college with a friend and still am friends with a lady who has a Guide Dog and we have had so many problems, and I have had so many problems, and both of our dogs are impeccably trained and well behaved, that we have learned to have all the “ammunition” available withing reach!

9 james mcelroy 10.17.11 at 9:28 am

“Toby” wears an orange safety vest with reflective tape, a harness, and the “Seizure Alert Service Dog” identification tag that you folks made for me with his picture. He is a Golden Retriever which is readily recognizable to the public as a Service Dog as compared with lap dogs. I think not having identification on a service dog is a mistake because people think its just your pet dog. My sister takes her Pomeranian into restaurants and other public places without any identification and then gets all huffy when she’s questioned.

10 Charles Vandergriff 10.17.11 at 9:50 am

I had a CIVIL AIR PATROL Search and Rescue ID for my last Charpai
But did not have to use it and onl Chalallanged a couple time’s in CA.
My new dog is a minature Dobermin Pincher and beagle mix they think. I bought the Tags fro Spot and the small one he wore on his colar till it broke off. It helped some. I have tow vest made from road workers vest two sizes and they worked.
I got a leash for service dog used it some but made a larger one and use it when we go out. It stops a lot of ??? but if they ask I pint to the writing and they accept that. Only place I realy have trouble is in ther retirment center where we live. Gave them copy of the Law’s and they still choose to refuse to accept it, But a little better. Said there attorney told them they did not have too.
Meet with the board of directors but no support.
We are restricted, But still fighting them. Even though on three occasions the nurses documented. Told them last month there is a $50,ooo.00 fine Dof J. we will see as winter comes on and I try to use equipment

11 J. Rushlow 10.17.11 at 9:58 am

I have a Pomeranian SD, she wears tags. I have one on her collar and a big one on the handle of her leash. I also have a prescription, but leave it at home.

12 Pat Sanchez 10.17.11 at 10:53 am

I use a vest and the medical tags from spot. I also have a doctors note in her vest. I have only been asked a few times to show tags and we take her everywhere with use. Last weekend we went to Reno, Nv. We were in all the casino’s and eating areas with no problems. Love you tags. Thanks

13 Anonymous 10.17.11 at 11:27 am

I have a 100 pound Akita who is a big sweetheart.. Most people don’t give us any guff because their afraid of us, (I’m 6’1, 250 lb), plus the SD ID helps.. I also carry an ADA + DOJ printout that is about SD’s for those wonderful people who want to challenge any part of our legal activities.. With a smaller dog (and a female), I can see them being jerks, + wanting to challenge your rights.. Please be prepared for these people and stand your ground.. Offer to call the local Police to resolve it if necessary, then contact an ADA or DOJ coordinator to enforce your rights.. Don’t let bullies or power stupid people ruin your day.. =)
Also contact an attorney; a letter from them usually squashes any objections they can come up with, + might cost them their jobs..

14 Dennis Walker 10.17.11 at 11:28 am

I have a 100 pound Akita who is a big sweetheart.. Most people don’t give us any guff because their afraid of us, (I’m 6’1, 250 lb), plus the SD ID helps.. I also carry an ADA + DOJ printout that is about SD’s for those wonderful people who want to challenge any part of our legal activities.. With a smaller dog (and a female), I can see them being jerks, + wanting to challenge your rights.. Please be prepared for these people and stand your ground.. Offer to call the local Police to resolve it if necessary, then contact an ADA or DOJ coordinator to enforce your rights.. Don’t let bullies or power stupid people ruin your day.. =)
Also contact an attorney; a letter from them usually squashes any objections they can come up with, + might cost them their jobs..

15 Lyn Fafard 10.17.11 at 3:32 pm

we use tags, and the poodle uses a head halter and a vest. My doxies just have tags on them it definitely helps when the dg has something to identify it
Lyn

16 Jerry 10.17.11 at 4:26 pm

[IMG]http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg56/jerrynv/Peanut/004-4.jpg[/IMG]

17 Jerry 10.17.11 at 4:27 pm

18 Jerry 10.17.11 at 4:32 pm

I tried to leave a photo but was unable to do so. Peanut wears a very light weight orange vest with Service Dog patches on both sides. He also wears a Service Dog id with photo snapped to his collar. Peanut is used to wearing them both and gets the vest out when we leave the house (now and again he will drag out one of his vests if we have company, as he knows it makes him important and kids will leave him alone). Sorry about the photo thing. It just would not work.

Jerry

19 Anonymous 10.17.11 at 5:25 pm

I have a 55 pound Husky I just use a tag on his leash. I have no problem with his access anywhere including the hospital. This is from Southern California.

20 Eden Cross 10.17.11 at 5:25 pm

I use a red mesh vest with “Service Dog” written on it. I also have a tag that I can wear on a lanyard ’round my neck, depending on where we’re going. Since he is only 7 lbs. I do carry him in a bag if it’s a place with a lot of people, since it’s easier for me …safer for him, and on that bag is a tag with his photo, etc… says “Service Dog” and there is an embroidered patch on it too. Some people have tried to give me a hard time, but I stand my ground firmly and politely. I also carry a card with the ADA info on it, but haven’t needed to use it. Am considering a leash maybe with: “Working Animal/dog” on it… But, the vest usually keeps people from trying to pet him. When they ask what he helps me with, I tell them that it’s a private matter and they leave me alone. I do get a lot of people saying that they thought that a Service Dog/Animal was just for people who are blind. It’s amazying how little most Americans know about people with disabilities and how rude or nosy they can be! I do sometimes get nasty looks or comments, but I’ve learned to let them roll off my back, so to speak. There will always be people who are jerks — they just can’t help themselves!

21 Karl Gotsch 10.17.11 at 5:31 pm

My service dog is a large Pyrenees, 150 lbs. He weres either a vest with his ID on it, or sometimes he just weres his ID tag. Having a tag does help with some people. I prefer to educate people than to argue with them. I have had very few problems with people.

22 Zeek05 10.17.11 at 6:11 pm

I presently use tags and a Doctors note. I have ran into issues where I was walking my dog and was not allowed to enter an outdoor establishment even when i explained they were therepy dogs and i didn’t have their tags with me. I have ran into many issues where peope have argued with me that a bogus therapy tag can be bought on line for an untrained dog. My dogs have been through the proper AKC training and have their certificates also. My dogs are # 15 Min Pins and better behaved than most people’s children.

23 Anomynous 10.17.11 at 7:05 pm

I to have a small Medical Alert Service Dog. I have your tags and Medical alert patches that are displayed on the carrier I put her in and on her vest. Although I carry Dr’s letter ect. I hve never been asked for any of it other than at one time share we stayed in in TX.
Many people are curious about her and I welcome the chance to educate people about service dogs with other duties than “seeing eye” dogs. Much of what I find is ignorance about the many different services these dogs preform. It becomes a bit troublesome at times w/all the questions, BUT educating the uninformed is SO important. So I take the time to “teach” for the benefit of us all.
She has a vest, your tags and medical alert patches. Your tags are all I have ever been asked to show to establish her as a “Service Dog” I highly recommend all to have your tags!

24 Poppee and Susan 10.17.11 at 8:32 pm

Traveling as we do, my husband is a long haul trucker and my service dog and I travel with him, I have only had trouble a couple of times. My dog, a Deer Chihuahua, wears a harness with his id tags we got from you. He wears a harness because one day we can be in cold weather and he needs his coat or sweater and the next we can be in very hot weather. The harness just is easier with our limited space. We love educating people on service dogs.

25 Sparky 10.17.11 at 9:14 pm

I am a 7lb Morkie. I am a Hearing Dog. I have been to Las Vegas 3 times, Hoover Dam twice, 5 Rock Concerts, 4 Fireworks Conventions, 1 Wedding, eaten at the finest restaurants, stayed at the finest resort hotels and seen more of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks than most humans. I have 60,000 Frequent Flyer Miles with Delta Air Lines. When traveling I wear a Service Dog Vest with Patch and Photo ID Tags (all plastic to pass easily through metal detection), pocket with Doctor’s Form, Large Service Dog ID Card, several copies of the United States Government ADA Service Animal Regulations >>> <<<
to hand out to rude and uninformed establishment owners. I also wear a spiked collar with very long and needle sharp stainless steel puncture spikes, to protect myself from serious injury by aggressive large dogs.
Happy Traveling

26 Sharito 10.17.11 at 10:14 pm

I use my SD for mobility, assist, medical alert, an PTSD. Damien wears a leather harness with a handle on it to stabalize me.On the harness he wears a back pack that has “Service Dog” on one side, and a pocket window on the otherside with an ID that says Veterans Service Dog, please ask to pet. Inside the pocket I carry a Dr. Perscription, his current vaccination history and Veteranarian contact info,his rabies certificate, and an ADA info card. If I’m traveling in the States, I carry an inter state travel certificate. If I’m traveling internationally I carry the USD Agriculture Travel Voucher ($210.00) He also wears his tag that says he should never be separated from his handler. I carry an ID with both our pictures on it complete with our names and address and on the back ADA regs. I use a hands free leash which allows him to stay close but still lay down if I am standing. I know it sounds like overkill, but I want all my bases covered. My dog weighs 110 lbs……he is a Douge De Bordeau, (French Mastiff) and it is unbelievable how many people say “thats a Pit Bull! Oh yeh, he also wears his K9 Good Citizen patch. I believe in being prepared for all contingencies and EDUCATE….EDUCATE….EDUCATE!!! Sometimes when the questions get to personal,I don’t get offended, I simply say, that information is personal. All General questions are paitently answered because it makes an easier road for those that follow. I don’t want to be the team that leaves a bad impression. I ALWAYS carry xtra “full acess” cards to hand out too. We look and act legitamate. We conduct ourselves as if we belong. We never back down, but also do not “engage” in arguing. If after my PRACTICED response fails, I offer to contact the manager, then the police. In previous posts I told how the bad experience went. The security gaurd was fired and eventually got 3 years for putting his hands on me. It sometimes is a challenge not to get angry with really mean, beligerant, ignorant people but if you can take a deep breath and not be reactive you will come out the victor and know you made a great stride for all of us, making access easier. I really find most people are just curious and really appreciate learning the facts. Because my dog is so large and scary looking I personally would never go public without our uniform. Sharito

27 Linda 10.17.11 at 11:00 pm

I have a vest, but somehow even on a malamute it is not seen. Go figure. I also have a bandana I made and it is much better, it hangs in front, so they see it coming as we approach. I also have a tag on his collar, but he broke and I need to replace it. I carry a back up tag in my wallet with ID cards for both of us and printed copy of the law.

I have needed the ID cards twice.

Just the other day I had a store manager get in my dogs face and start putting her hands all over his head as she asked he was a service dog (all others near me had asked if they could pet and I declined). Then she told me had to be marked (not true, but I didn’t fight that battle right then). I reached down for his bandana, and told her that if she wasn’t so close she could probably see his tag. With an oh she backed up and quickly said, she hadn’t seen it.

I think she was “testing” him. That was my guess she wanted to she how he reacted. Other than a bit of slobber she left with all her fingers, lol.

I also don’t go without our bandana or vest, his size is a worry to many and he is high energy (still young for his breed) and so it is just easier.

28 Linda 10.17.11 at 11:01 pm

I have a physical therapist’s note also.

29 Linda 10.17.11 at 11:52 pm

There are three questions that can be asked Bassein my research 1) are you disabled (answer has to be yes) 2) is that a service dog? 3) what service does he/ she provide. Those are the legal questions and you need to answer them, after that you can say more or not. I share I have a balance issue from a stroke, I look “health” otherwise and they can’t see why I have a dog. Piece of education that some conditions are not able to be seen, but I don’t have to tell more than the 3 questions.
Also a therapy dog is not a service dog and does not have legal access like a service dog. If your dog is a service dog, helps you with a daily activity due to you having a disability then you need to say service dog. If your dog is trained to go in to hospitals, nursing home, schools to help others or give comfort then it is a theatpy dog and can not go in stores and other public places.
I have a retired therapy dig who has to wait outside and can’t come in even though his behavior is as good as a service dogs.

30 Marguerite Maddox & Jello 10.18.11 at 6:40 am

I FEEL VERY TO HAVE AN ORGANIZATION’S VEST AND ID TAG BUT, THERE WAS STILL SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT PAWS WITH A CAUSE VEST AND WE HAVE BEEN DENIED ACCESS TO PUBLIC PLACES STILL GOING ON IN BIG CITIES; BUT WE DO NOT PULL OUT THE ID AT ALL WHICH IS IN VIOLATION OF ADA LAW.
JELLO HAS AN VEST WITH TWO ZIP POCKETS ON THE SIDE OF THE VEST,
AND THE PUBLIC NEED TO BE EDUCATES ON THE LAWS ESPECIALLY BUSINESSES ESTABLISHMENT AND CHURCHES.

SOME OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC WILL RAISE EYEBROWS WHEN THEY SEE SERVICE DOGS TEAMS NOT RELATED THE GUIDE DOGS. THEY WANT TO KNOW HOW THAT IS POSSIBLE.

AND WHEN WE TRIED OUR BEST TO EXPLAIN THE DIFFERENCE IN SERVICE DOGS THEN THEY LEAVES US ALONE…
WHEN I SAY UNDER THE LAW THEY WILL STEP BACK, BECAUSE THEY DON’T WANT TO MESS WITH THE ADA PUBLIC ACCESS LAWS FOR SDT.

M&J

31 Malcolm Riggs M.D. 10.18.11 at 7:14 am

I have found that the most likely trouble for service dogs seems to be at universities. Presumably because universities are mostly leftist and consequently ridged and self absorbed.
These people are invariably bullies, and will back down if you stand your ground.

M.R.

32 Allice Allen 10.18.11 at 10:06 am

Hi I love reading all the comments. But I have done both and now my dog is getting ready to die and I am not ready to purchase new tags, until I get a new dog etc. So I am not using her tags anymore or vest it is to uncomfortable for her. So since I have not been using them I have had less problems, it seems like the more I tried to let people know by tags, ID cards, vests the more trouble I had. I am for what ever makes the owner comfortable, but for me until the Federal Law requires it I am not going to, they can ask 2 questions that is all. Plus I did have problems with store managers asking for personal I.D. cards for her and I. Remember what happens with discrimination do we want to prove to the world we are disabled by be required to ID our medical/mental conditions? I believe that is why some states, city and counties are being sued because they required release of private medical information and required ID cards. Like S. Carolina. I think HIPAA is a good federal law. Anyway I am going it without any ID’s for now, thanks everyone.

33 Wendy Parent 10.18.11 at 2:11 pm

i have a tag that reads ” Diabetic Alert Service Dog and carry a card that says I’m a service dog” it has helped out alot. I mke her outfits to wear that also say ” Medical Alert Service Dog” because I can not afford to buy one for her. They have helped also. Its just some people cant see you are disabled and get rude with you. Them I would love to have call a cop. They would be made a fool of. I hope this helps some..

34 Eva Haberlova 10.18.11 at 4:28 pm

I have JRT 10 months. I have tag service dog. I took her and flight. I sit on seat with her in airplane . JRT was good girl and queit and no barking at all. No one complaints my dog. People loves my puppy and said cuttie. Thanks many ADA federal law ILY.

35 Greg 10.18.11 at 8:48 pm

I use your ID when stayinging at hotels and the questions end. He wears a vest a service ID in public. He also has an international pet passport that notes his service dog status for EU countries but Europe is very dog friendly so they never ask.

36 Jill Kessler Miller 10.19.11 at 3:32 pm

I have my doctor’s letter, a vest, and a tag. The letter takes care of any issues.
I very much like the vest from http://www.activedogs.com

37 Tara 10.19.11 at 3:59 pm

I use a tag with his picture that clips to his collar and when I flew with him I used one of the bigger tags on the bag he slept in. No one questioned me and it was so nice not to have the hassle. He’s my angel and helps me so much, his first time flying and he didn’t miss a beat.

38 Anonymous 10.19.11 at 7:11 pm

Malcolm Riggs, M.D. said: “I have found that the most likely trouble for service dogs seems to be at universities. Presumably because universities are mostly leftist and consequently ridged [sic] and self absorbed.”

How sad that you felt you had to make a political statement to show your bias against academics who have liberal beliefs. As anyone knows, “leftists” are hardly rigid, and are the ones most likely to keep an open mind. I find it unbelievable that you would postulate otherwise.

As for my PTSD dog, Mimi is a 15 pound Shih-Tzu/Maltese mix and extremely well-trained, as all service dogs should be. She has flown many times with me and regularly goes into restaurants and shops. She wears a vest with pockets (for ADA cards) and patches that say she is a service dog. I also carry cards identifying her as such. We still have trouble from time to time, but I try to stay calm and stand my ground. With my PTSD that can sometimes be difficult, but Mimi helps with that, too. My biggest difficulty, though, is people rushing up to pet her without asking, including people who should know better like airline personnel.

39 Steven 10.19.11 at 8:38 pm

My standard Poodle, Sabaca, wears a large service dog tag. Although not required by law, my problems have become almost none existant since she started wearing her tag. I often spend time informing the general public about service dogs when asked.
My disability (PTSD) cannot be seen, so many question why I bring my “pet” with me.Most all the time, a calm response to questions and information about the ADA, etc. stops most cold. Yes I answer the 3 allowed questions, but if it gets too personal I just tell them so. As a “Nam” vet Sabaca has given me the ability to have a real life again.
Well trained and friendly SD, knowledge of my rights under the law, We go everywhere together. And yes the SD tag with picture has made life for both of us so much easier.

40 Dan 10.19.11 at 11:41 pm

As a dog trainer and one that works with service dogs, and with law enforcement background here’s a couple things I tell my clients;
1. Look at your state, county, and local laws, even though the ADA says you only need a doctors note. Some states requires you to reg. your dog, as a service dog they can not charge you any reg. fees.
2. I recommend not using the service vest. It marks you as a target for criminals. As little distriction as possible–until you are required to prove it.
3. If you dont use a vest understand that the store manager or security may question you as they have a right too. Just be patient and work with them. If they what to be jerks well exercise your right to contact the DOJ
I have had clients have issues even with credentials. One was today and when she called me I advised her to stay calm and contact walmart management and the DOJ. Give a statement with the discriptions of the employees. As it has been the 2nd issue in 6 months I know of accure at this one location there will be some issues.

41 Kathryn 10.21.11 at 1:28 pm

My SD has a large, bright red vest marked “Service Dog” in plain sight. She also has a “Service Dog” sleeve that slips over her leash. I carry a card with the ADA rulings printed on it. And still I have trouble once in a while. I have had people accuse me of having a “fake” service dog because my dog is a very large Malamute (breed is irrelevant for SD’s but in balance/mobility, I’m a big girl and need a big, strong dog). I have had people demand “papers” from a doctor (highly illegal and morally reprehensive). I have had people ask me who I am training the dog for (she is fully trained for me). I have had people accuse me of buying her vest from Pet Smart (the Pet Smarts in my area DO NOT carry vests for service animals). And so on . . .

Most of the time, I give people the benefit of the doubt. I don’t think they are intentionally trying to insult or offend me but I have to admit, on some days, it’s hard to be civil. But I have had to learn since using a service dog to stand up for myself. Do Not allow people to try and cower or embarrass you because you need a service dog.

I am still trying to figure out how to respond politely and coolly to the question “What’s wrong with you” and all it’s various wordings. Any suggestions?

42 Linda 10.24.11 at 11:14 pm

I to have a malamute. Mine is still young and a bit ADHD. Drives me a bit crazy. Doesn’t really hurt any thing but frustrates me at times. I am hoping a year more age will help him.

I too have people assume I am training him for some one else.
I just answer honestly, that I have a balance issue. Some times I add more just depending.
I try not to take offense, they just don’t get hidden handicaps. I figure it is just a piece of their education about service dogs.

43 sussie 10.27.11 at 3:35 pm

Keep in mind however that the DOJ states that Federal Laws over-ride state and local laws. For example. Our state passed a law stating that Service Dogs were not allowed around shopping carts. They did this to try and detour people from taking their service dogs into markets. But it has never been forced into effect because ADA states that dogs are allowed into grocery stores.

ADA states this…

“ADA will not impose any type of formal training requirements, registration or certification process. While some groups have urged the Department to modify this position, the Department has determined that such a modification would not serve the full array of individuals with disabilities who use service animals, since individuals with disabilities may be capable of training, and some have trained, their service animal to perform tasks or do work to accommodate their disability. A training, registration or certification requirement would increase the expense of acquiring a service animal and might limit access to service animals for individuals with limited financial resources”

So even though there may be a local law stating that the dog has to be certified. They cannot force an individual to do it.

44 richard f chiocco 11.02.11 at 5:03 pm

I lived in st aug fl for 4 yrs and belong to the elks. and that was the only place my service dog wasn’t allowed. being a private org. they have the right w/one exception, if there is a public funtion going on like a dinner or dance you are allowed to attend.

45 Phil 11.04.11 at 12:42 pm

It isn’t really relevant to this post, so I apologize for that, but I wanted to draw your attention to this article in The Saturday Evening Post about service and therapy dogs, since I thought it’d be of specific interest to you.

Sorry to spam this particular post but not sure how else to contact you!

http://www.saturdayeveningpost.com/2011/11/04/lifestyle/features/rescue-dogs.html

46 trish 11.18.11 at 5:46 pm

My service dog is a chi/doxie named Suby (think Subaru :) she wears a vest with service dog patch. The vest has a d ring on it that I attach her leash to. It also has a stop sign tag that says stop! Working dog do not pet. I allow her to be petted by children if they ask. She is trained for ptsd alerts and she blocks me or creates a barrier by doing the “watch my back” command. If adults try to pet her she will back away but I have a major pro blem w adults baby talking and petting her or trying to while she is in watch my back position. I still get asked if she is a service dog even with her vest. We also have her dog license from our County on her collar. It reads Sonoma County State of CA Assistance Animal. I used to use just that collar tag but I had more trouble with that so I bought the vest. It seems to help but we are still questioned often

47 Lifebunny 11.26.11 at 4:16 pm

Unless it’s a situation where it’s going to make things infinitely easier (such as when we had our recent vacation to Hawaii), I don’t use anything special for Beth, my Chihuahua. For the trip to Hawaii, I had her wear her vest and because it’s required to bring a service dog to Hawaii, I had a Doctor’s Note, Health Certificate from the vet, Rabies shot documentation, her microchip (ISO compliant), and my itinerary. I’d also gotten her Rabies Titre Test taken care of.

FYI, if you have a service dog and are planning a trip to the Hawaiian Islands, make sure you have your vet put that your animal is a service dog and that you send a copy of your Doctor’ Note to the Kansas State University Rabies Lab (who do the testing) so they know you have a service dog and they will automatically put a rush on it at no extra cost. KSU will send the results to the Quarantine folks on Honolulu.

Not all vets know this, so be proactive about it. It’s the difference between a couple weeks’ time and four to six weeks’ time. The only reason I found out was that I did some follow up on my own.

48 Lifebunny 11.26.11 at 5:10 pm

@Dan, the ADA doesn’t say that a disabled person has to have a Doctor’s note. If you plan to fly with your service dog, the airlines are allowed to require one, but they don’t necessarily push it unless the passenger isn’t credible when asked about the tasks the service dog performs.

As for State Laws, unless it’s a SDiT, Federal Law trumps State Law as to legal requirements if Federal Law makes it easier for the disabled individual than State Laws would.

So, no, States may NOT require that service dogs have certification of training, nor require that you register your service dog with the state. At all.

49 khills 12.19.11 at 4:46 pm

I use a Julius K9 harness or a Bold Lead Designs mobility harness depends on where we are going. Shai always has a large stainless dog tag from dogids.com that includes his microchip number. He also wears a securus GPS.

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