Health issues and illness are huge stressors. However, having a furry face looking up at you and having a pet to keep you warm while you are sick provides some much-needed comfort. In fact, 74% of pet owners say their mental health improved because of their animals, proving how valuable having an animal by your side can be. Many US hospitals allow therapy dogs to visit with patients and help bring them some joy. Can you bring your service dog or emotional support animal to the hospital? Here are the official rules and guidelines.
Service Animal vs Emotional Support Animal
Generally, service animals are allowed to go into hospitals and are permitted to follow wherever the patient goes. Service animals are basically considered necessary medical equipment, and they can be taken virtually anywhere with you. Emotional support animals have a lot more restrictions, however. Emotional support animals are protected under the Fair Housing Act, meaning you can live with your emotional support animal even if your place has a no pet policy. However, you can’t take your emotional support animal out in public places, including hospitals.
Service Dog Restrictions
The only time you may not be able to take your service dog with you in the hospital is if you are going to a location in the hospital where there might be patients who are allergic or at risk, or if you are going to have a test done where your service dog might impede the equipment.
Another potential issue is the dog’s care. The handler must be responsible for caring for their service animal, and medical staff cannot be expected to do it. If the handler is extremely ill and unable to care for the dog, then they cannot have it in the hospital with them.
Before taking your service dog to the hospital with you, it is important to consider all the risk factors and understand that it will be likely difficult to care for your service dog. It will also be hard to maneuver around the hospital and keep track of your dog. It is also important to consider whether or not your service dog can handle such a stressful environment and whether or not the presence of your service dog is completely necessary.
Service dogs are generally allowed in ambulances as well. However, in an emergency, they can get in the way or impede essential medical equipment. Your dog must also be calm and controlled at all times, which may be difficult in an emergency. Keep this in mind before taking your service dog into an ambulance with you.
In conclusion, you can take your service dog to the hospital with you, but not your emotional support animal. Before taking your service dog to the hospital, it is important to consider the challenges of having a dog in the hospital with you and who is going to take care of the dog if you are unable.
Having proper service dog certification will also be necessary in order to bring your service dog into the hospital with you. You can get a service dog letter of certification from our experts here at United Support Animal. Contact us today!