As spring blooms and the sunshine peaks out, you may find yourself with more energy and motivation. Especially after the last year of being cooped up in the house, it’s time to get out and have some fun.
However, you may be wondering where you can and can’t take your emotional support animal or service animal with you this spring. If you have a registered service dog, you will be able to take it basically anywhere with you. However, the rules surrounding emotional support animals are a little more complex. For a more in-depth look at the difference between the two, read our other blog here.
Here is a quick guide to help you this spring as you and ESA venture out.
Stores & Restaurants
Surprisingly, ESAs are not allowed in stores, restaurants, and other businesses. While service dogs have the right to go into a store or restaurant with you, emotional support animals do not. The owner or employees of the store or restaurant have the right to ask you to remove your ESA, especially if it is misbehaving in some way. However, some business owners and stores are very accepting of ESAs. Every business is different, and it is important to ask about individual policy on this issue.
With spring break rolling around, it’s time to travel and hit the beach. However, airline rules about emotional support animals are rapidly changing, so make sure to double-check with your specific airline before you fly. Currently, PSDs are allowed on air flights at no cost, and in the cabin, please contact United Support Animals for your PSD consultation.
While under the Fair Housing Act, you are allowed to live with your ESA for no extra charge, you may not be allowed to take it to a hotel with you. At the very least, you may be obligated to pay the pet fees at a hotel. But talk to the hotel ahead of time and ask what their policy is, and they may allow you to bring your animal with you. Check out our other blog post for more detailed information on these rules here.
Contrary to common belief, employers are not required to allow emotional support animals in the workplace. Once again, trained service dogs can go to work with you, so your PSD can, but not ESAs many times. However, you can ask your employer if it is okay to bring your ESA to work. If your emotional support animal is well behaved, they may let you bring it in as long as it does not disrupt the work environment too much.
“No Dog” Beaches & Outdoor Locations
Once again, service animals would be allowed on “No Pet” beaches, but not emotional support animals. As with all of these other situations, you can always contact whoever is in charge of the beach or area and ask about their policy. They may decide to let you bring your ESA with you.
In conclusion, if you have a service dog, PSD, you can take it literally anywhere with you. Always make sure to have your certification with you if anyone asks. However, with emotional support animals, the situation is much different. ESAs are protected by the Fair Housing Act, which means you can live with your ESA without paying any fees. Beyond that, taking your ESA with you out in public is okay, but you often need permission from the owners of the establishments you are visiting to enter.
It never hurts to reach out and ask questions. People are generally understanding and will try to work with you. One thing that may allow you to take your ESA with you more easily is an emotional support animal letter of certification. You can quickly get one or renew your current one at United Support Animals. Contact us today, and we can walk you through the process.