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Does your dog qualify as a service animal?

by | Mar 19, 2021 | Americans With Disabilities Act |

People rely on animals in many ways, especially dogs. For a long time, dogs have served as companion animals and working animals. You will see K9s working for law enforcement, sheepdogs working in the fields and service dogs, who help people with disabilities.

If you want to use your dog as a service animal, it is helpful to know the legal requirements. According to, you have the right to use a service animal anywhere you go, including public areas that usually prohibit dogs.


To be a service animal, your dog should have the training to perform specific tasks for you that assist you due to disability. For example, if you have seizures, your dog’s training would be to alert you to an oncoming seizure, or if you have limited sight, the dog may serve as your sight dog.

A dog you use for comfort or therapy is not a service animal. It must perform a specific task for which it had training. Do note professional training or certification is not a requirement.

Any breed of dog can be a service animal and entities cannot ban specific dog breeds from acting as a service animal.


It is essential that you are responsible for your service dog. You must keep it under your control at all times when in public. You also must supervise it and its activities. The dog must behave properly in public, especially indoors and when around other people.

You can turn your dog into a service dog as long as you meet these requirements under the ADA.