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ESA Dog Vests – There Are The “Must Have” Indicators

July 5th, 2018
ESA Dog Vests – There Are The “Must Have” Indicators

Anyone dealing with anxiety or depression requires an emotional support dog. The animal is trained to give comfort, emotional support, and companionship to its handler.

The work of an emotional support dog is to provide emotional stability and unconditional love. The dog needs to have a vest for identification. 

Once the dog wears the vest in public places, people will understand that you are not accompanied by a mere pet but an emotional support animal. Luckily, the Fair Housing Amendments Act gives you the mandate to live with the supportive pet no matter where you are and you don’t need a pet policy for that. Therefore, the building managers or landlords must not deny you the right to live with it.

Shopping For A Support Dog Vest

When shopping for an emotional support animal (ESA) vest, get the measurements correct so that your canine friend may feel comfortable in it. There is a specific chart which can aid you when getting the correct size of a vest.

To get the accurate measurements, use a flexible tape measure around the dog’s girth, i.e., around the body and behind the forelimbs. Go underneath at the broadest section of the rib cage. Repeat the same thing to be certain especially if you have a small dog.

You also need to choose the correct type of material, e.g., cotton if you live in a hot region. Avoid synthetic fabrics because they tend to irritate dogs. Also, the vest must have the right type of patches to be easily identified in public.

The patch should indicate that your dog is an ESA. While some people may not be aware of such kind of support, they will stop perceiving your dog as a pet. The idea is to keep the public from petting your animal which might distract the dog.

There are 4 general types of ESA vests namely:

  • 1
    Lightweight cotton vests: They are designed to be worn by your dog throughout the 4 seasons of the year. Some have ID holders and others with pockets.
  • 2
    Backpack vests: They are perfect for people like students who need to carry other stuff like books.
  • 3
    Padded vests: They usually come with handles for outdoor hikes. They are also lightweight in nature an resemble a winter jacket.
  • 4
    Mesh vests: You should get these if you live in warmer climates.

The vest design should be an important decision, and that is why you must put into consideration a number of factors. Here are some models to consider.

1

Regular Cape Vest

This type of vest is specially designed for dogs with 26 to 34-inch chest girth. You can choose from two sizes which are very affordable. The vest is made of lightweight and quality reflective material which is mesh-trimmed.

2

Tiny Cape Vest

It can be worn by all the smallest dogs whose chest circumference is 11 to 24 inches. The mesh vest is suitable for all service dogs as well as the ESA. The reflective material enhances the visibility of your dog, and it’s very durable.

3

Alpha Harness Vest

This is the premium emotional support dog vest that comes at a relatively higher price. For optimal comfort, the vest is padded and has a poly-coated material moving away from the mesh to make it water resistant. For identification and leashes, it features three welded rings and two patches. The size ranges from 20 to 42 inches. It also has a handle, but there is no reflective edging so you might want to consider another vest when going out.

4

Reflective Harness Vest

Made out of two layers of high-end denier cross-link mesh, the reflective harness vest is a more heavy duty design. The reflective edging increases the visibility while the three welded rings facilitate the attachment of the service ID and leaches. Also, the vest patches may be used to denote the type of service dog. Reflective harness vest is best suited for chest circumferences ranging from 24 to 42 inches. Thanks to the cross-linked mesh, the jacket is breathable, making it an excellent material for warm climates.

Are Emotional Support Dog Vests Mandatory?

Dog with a Support Dog Vest

No, support dog vests are not required by law but are very helpful (More information: Therapypet.org/emotional-support-animal-information/). It is vital for your assistance animal to be easily distinguishable when traveling and accessing various buildings. Remember that not everyone understands this type of assistance.

Even though the vests are not legally needed, some establishments do not allow the animals to get in. For instance, the vests are highly recommended in the airport to avoid too much questioning by the airline workers. They might become a mandatory requirement by the airlines in the near future, so it’s good to have your dog wear the vest all the time. Moreover, it is recommended to add tags such as “no petting” because we still have people who wouldn’t understand the ESA ID.

Keep in mind that if you have a furry friend who supports you emotionally, you need a recommendation letter from a recognized mental health practitioner. An emotional support letter should indicate that you have a mental disability and that your dog helps to control particular symptoms of your illness. You can take an online screening to find out if you are legible to an ESA.

Conclusion

If you are diagnosed with a mental illness like depression, panic disorder, anxiety, or postpartum, you qualify to have an emotional support animal. Getting an ESA is relatively easy, and you will be able to live a normal life without fear or progression of the symptoms. It is important to learn all the requirements for obtaining an ESA.

First, you should talk to your doctor and have a psychiatrist to diagnose you. Make sure to get tests from a qualified psychiatrist. Once you get a certification, you may choose the type of emotional support animal you like. When you are ready to be accompanied by the animal 24/7, have the right kind of emotional support dog vest for identification.

Ensuring that people know you have a support dog is a great benefit to you and your dog as well. A dig vest is the easiest way to communicate with those you come across during your routine job and travels. The vest does this work in style without compromising the comfort of your furry friend.