Do You Need a Vest for an Anxiety Service Dog?
The Real Answer: Vests for anxiety service dogs are not mandatory but are a good idea for many reasons. Owners of anxiety service dogs (also known as psychiatric service dogs) find vests practical for showing they have a highly trained service animal to assist with their invisible disability.
Why buy a vest for an anxiety service dog?
There are several good reasons why someone who owns a psychiatric service dog may want to buy a vest for their canine companion. Here are a few:
- Identification: A vest can identify your service dog as such, which can be particularly helpful in situations where your dog needs to be recognized as a working animal, such as in public spaces or on public transportation.
- Access: Many businesses and public spaces have policies that ban pets. A vest can help demonstrate that your dog is a service animal and should be allowed access.
- Training: Wearing a vest can also help signal to your service dog that it is “on duty” and should be focused on its tasks. Many service dogs are trained to associate the vest with working, which can help them stay alert and focused.
- Safety: A vest with reflective materials can help make your service dog more visible at night or in low-light conditions, which can help keep you and your dog safe.
- Convenience: A vest with pockets or pouches can conveniently carry items such as treats, medications, or cleanup supplies.
Overall, a vest can be a valuable tool for anyone who owns a service dog, helping to identify the animal as a working animal and providing additional benefits such as increased safety and convenience.
What does the ADA say?
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), service dogs do not have to wear vests, patches, or special harnesses. Staff cannot insist that a service dog have these items in order to be granted access to an area.
A service dog vest serves a wide range of useful functions which is why so many service dog owners have them. Service dog owners choose to use vests because they make their lives easier.