Dogs are at risk from thieves who see them as easy targets. Service dogs are especially at risk, even though they don’t leave your side.
ID tags are a simple and effective way to signal your dog’s status as a service animal. But which type of dog tag is best for your service pet?
ID tags are a must for every pet, but especially service dogs. They tell others that your dog is not just a pet but a working animal trained to help you perform a task and assist you with your disability. They also make it clear that your dog shouldn’t be approached or interacted with unless permitted by you, which helps prevent unwanted attention and interactions that could distract your dog from performing their tasks or cause them stress.
Service dog tags and a vest or harness help distinguish your dog from other pets and make them feel safe and secure while out and about with you. Adding an ID card that includes your contact information can also be helpful.
Legitimate service animals are protected under the ADA, meaning businesses and state/local governments cannot discriminate against people with disabilities who use them, even when their establishments have “no pets allowed” policies. However, some people use fraud and misrepresentation to exploit these laws. It is important to mark your service dog as such so that they can be returned quickly and easily if they should ever get lost or separated from you.
Many people who order service dog ID tags also purchase valuable training products on our website, like leashes, collars, harnesses, vest patches, and dog information cards. Having these tools with you may help avoid awkward or uncomfortable encounters if someone does not respect your rights as a disabled person and your service dog's job. While they are not supposed to ask you, some businesses will request proof that your pet is a service animal, which you can provide quickly and easily with your service dog’s ID tag.
If your pet gets lost, an identification tag with all your contact information will help bring them home safely. Every year, millions of dogs and cats are lost on the streets or taken to shelters, often dying because they can’t find their way back home.
A properly engraved service dog ID tag displays your dog’s specific training and registration as an official working service dog. These tags will be visible on your dog’s collar or harness so that anyone who interacts with your dog knows that they are not a regular pet and have been trained to assist you with a disability. This will prevent people from abusing the Americans with Disabilities Act and its protections. It will also let your dog’s handler know that they are not required to divulge the nature of their disability or the specific tasks their dog is trained to perform.
Aside from the obvious ADA requirements, these identification tags can also help signal to others that your dog is working and that it is not a pet. This can help reduce questions and suspicions from strangers and allow you to focus on your work.
Even with the ADA requirements, it is still not uncommon for people to try and take advantage of service dog owners. There are many incidents of Uber and Lyft drivers refusing to let people with service dogs ride in their vehicles or simply requesting proof that the animal is a service dog (which is a crime).
To combat these misunderstandings and misbehaviors, handlers need to have products that help prove their dog’s status as a legitimate assistance animal. These products include vests, ID tags, and harnesses that help to distinguish the dog from a pet.
It is important to note that the rate of registrations for service animals slowed after 2009, possibly due to clarifying regulations from the DOJ and concerns about fraud by individuals who register their pets as emotional support or seizure alert dogs (the ADA does not permit these types of dogs to be considered as assistive). The survey also found that many participants exhibited a lack of understanding regarding overlapping laws that govern access to public areas for both assistance animals and support and therapy animals.
Peace of Mind
Many people invest a lot of time and money into training their service dogs, so it can be heartbreaking to lose one. Thankfully, tags ensure that your dog will be returned to you if it should ever be separated. This is particularly important in an accident or natural disaster, as your dog will have a much better chance of being reunited with you if it has ID.
Furthermore, identification tags can also help to prevent fraudulent psychiatric service dogs from entering public spaces. Because Emotional Support Animals and psychiatric service dogs serve the same function, they are often confused with each other. This can cause problems for legitimate PSD handlers because ESAs are not legally granted the same rights as psychiatric service dogs. ID cards can help to differentiate psychiatric service dogs from ESAs, as they communicate that the animal is on duty and should not be petted.
Having a dog can be a wonderful thing for anyone, but people must understand the pet's role in its owner's life and respect the boundaries set between them. Having the proper identification tags will make this process smoother for everyone involved. It can even reduce the stress of dealing with a misunderstanding, as the appropriate documentation will clarify that your dog is an essential part of your daily routine.