3 Differences Between Service Dogs and Emotional Support Dogs


People often confuse service dogs and emotional support dogs. While they might seem similar, there are some key differences. It’s important to know these differences so that you know which type of registration you need and what services your dog will provide. Here are some of the key differences between service dogs and emotional support dogs so you know if you need to register an ESA dog.

What the Dogs Do

Service dogs and emotional support dogs are important for their owners but help them in different ways. Service dogs usually help with physical disabilities while emotional support dogs assist with emotional issues. If a person has a sight or mobility issue, they’ll need a service dog that will help to guide them around and complete certain tasks. Emotional support dogs help people by providing emotional support and companionship. This helps those people deal with conditions like anxiety and depression. You need to know what each of these dogs does in order to obtain the right one.

Where They Can Go

The primary reason to register your dog as a service or emotional support animal is to be able to take them places where other pets are not allowed. The establishments that are required to accept these dogs differ. A service dog is a necessity for people with certain disabilities so they can go pretty much anywhere their owner does. An emotional support dog has more restrictions as they are not considered necessary. The primary place that you can take an emotional support animal is on airplanes. This allows them to help people in what is often one of their most stressful circumstances. Sometimes they are allowed in restaurants or housing but that depends on the place rather than a law.

How They’re Trained

Given their purposes, service dogs and emotional support dogs have different requirements when it comes to training. A service dog is meant to help disabled people with specific tasks. For this reason, they have to be specially trained. This training includes ensuring that they are not distracted from their job by people approaching them. An emotional support dog is strictly a companion that provides emotional support. They don’t need as much training as their primary purpose is to provide support to increase the neurotransmitters that create positive feelings and calmness in people.

People commonly confuse service dogs and emotional support dogs. These two types of dogs are quite different and serve separate purposes. These are the main differences that you need to know if you’re looking to register esa dog.