Do Service Dogs have to wear a vest?

"Full Access Service Dog Vest

You may be surprised to learn that according to the Americans with Disabilities Act Service Dogs are not required to wear a vest at all, in fact they are not required to have any identification at all.

Does my Service Dog need to wear a vest when out in public?

No, according to the ADA your Service Dog is not required to be outfitted with a vest or any type of identifying gear. 

service dog identification cards 

It is also a fact that the Department of Transportationlists Service Dog identification cards and a Service Dog Vest at the top of their list and only verbal assurance at the bottom. Service Animal guidance for airlines states the following:

  • Carriers shall accept as evidence that an animal is a service animal. Identifiers are classified as identification cards, other written documentation, and presence of harnesses, ID tags or the credible verbal assurances of a qualified individual with a disability using the animal.

Should my dog wear a Service Dog vest?

Yes, it is highly advisable your dog be identified as a Service Dog when out in public. If you bring your Service Dog into a hotel or restaurant without the dog wearing a vest you will be immediately asked to leave because dogs are not welcome in most of those establishments. When a Service Dog is wearing a vest or other Service Dog identifiers you will most likely enter these types of places without being questioned or harassed.

Can’t anyone buy a vest for their dog and call it a Service Dog?

Yes, because using a Service Dog is currently based on the honor system many people will buy a Service Dog vest and call their pet a Service Animal. As the Service Dog industry grows so do the use of fake service dogs. These fakers basically go unchecked due to the loopholes in the Americans with Disabilities Act. Fake Service Dogs gain the same equal access rights as real Service Dogs and because of this it is making it more difficult for those with legitimate Service Dogs.

Full Access Service Dog Vest