The Difference Between Therapy Dogs, Service Dogs And Emotional Support Animals


There are a number of people who rely on dogs for daily assistance in their lives, and while there are some who are not aware of the official classifications of these animals, there are a wide range of differences between the dogs that are used. Emotional support dogs, therapy dogs and service dogs all serve vastly different purposes and while some are already faithful pets, others need years of training.

So what are the major differences between each of these animals? Our pal Finnegan here is a service animal and he helps his father by letting him know about the important noises that he cannot hear because he is deaf. He offers timely physical alerts and pushes his nose into his daddy’s hands when these noises take place in public spaces.

There are a number of disabilities that dogs like Finnegan are able to assist with and they will help their owners in a variety of different ways. One of the most crucial distinctions between a service dog and the other dogs mentioned is that the law does not require them to wear a special vest. Meanwhile, emotional support animals focus more on patients who are experiencing anxiety and other mental disorders.


When a person is suffering from a disorder of this nature, the emotional support provides the comfort that they sorely need. They are not given the same access to public spaces as other service dogs, but with a note from a therapist, some of these conditions can be relaxed. Therapy dogs are different from the other two types of service dog listed, as their job is not considered to be as taxing.

While their job is not necessarily as crucial as the jobs that are performed by other dogs, their calm and kind nature makes them very important to their owners. Therapy dogs are able to be trained at any age and since they are merely pets in the eyes of the law, they need to receive approval before they are brought into public institutions.

All of these dogs are uniquely skilled and they all play a crucial role in their owner’s lives. If you find yourself wondering about the role that a service dog can play in your life and you cannot locate the type of dog that is best for your needs, be sure to schedule a consultation with a trusted medical professional so that you can find out more.



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