Do I need to identify my dog as an ESA by getting it to wear an identification vest?
No, you do not need a vest to identify your dog. Usually, ESA owners think that they will need a vest to identify their animal as an emotional support animal, which is nothing more than a misconception.
However, it is advisable to get your dog a vest. Since many people do not know that an ESA is different from a pet, they do not know that they must not pet them. This vest will help them know that your dog is not a pet.
Emotional Support Dog Vests: Requirement or Optional?
Since emotional support animals offer invaluable help and support to the people who are in need of it, it is important that they must be identifiable.
Even though there are emotional support animal federal laws such as the Fair Housing Act and the Air Carrier Access Act that help people with emotional and physical disabilities keep an emotional support animal. There is no official state or deferral law that necessitates the ESA owner to get a vest for his animal.
Having these vests is something that they can do for their own ease and could be quite helpful in many circumstances, especially when traveling with your dog.
Best Emotional Support Dog Vests in 2022
Since the trend of having emotional support animals is rising and more people are applying to own them, companies are working towards manufacturing and providing ESA and service dog products, including vests and harnesses.
Below are some of the best dog vest choices for 2022:
Voyager Step-In Air Dog Harness
This dog vest harness is one of the best for your emotional support animal. This is made of soft and breathable mesh to help your dog stay comfortable. It is perfect for use all year long. This design can also include extra small to small emotional support dog vests.
Emotional Support Pet Vest Harness by VOOPET
It is made of oxford fabric and is abrasion and scratch-resistant. This ESA dog vest is lightweight, soft, and durable that can be worn all year long.
Emotional Support Dog Vest Harness from Industrial Puppy
It comes in bright red and hot pink color. This dog vest is made from the strongest materials and is great for large and small dog breeds. It has an adjustable, quick-release belly strap for comfort and proper fit.
Quest No-Pull Dog Vest Harness from Dogline
It provides a custom-fit dog vest harness for the comfort of your dog. It can easily be adjusted at the neck and chest of your dog. A top handle helps you pull or grasp your dog easily.
Premium Small Dog Emotional Support Dog ESA Mesh Vest from Working Service Dog
This dog vest is perfect for emotional support dogs as it is available in all sizes, from small to large-sized dogs. This vest’s mesh sides and lightweight material is perfect for use throughout the year.
Emotional Support Dog Vest Nylon no-Pull ESA Dog Vest from Doggie Stylz
This dog vest can fit small to large-sized emotional support dogs. The material is weather-resistant, breathable, and lightweight for everyday use.
Dog Vest Harness by Cymiler
This dog vest is available from extra small to XX-large (2X large) sizes. It is available in multiple colors. The material is made of breathable mesh, along with soft padding that keeps your dog comfortable.
Emotional Support Dog Vest by PLUTUS PET
This ESA dog vest makes travel easier for you and your dog. The mesh lining is breathable to keep your dog comfortable in summer.
Emotional Support Dog Vest by ALBCORP
This is loaded with 2 removal patches and reflective features. This is a lightweight vest to keep your dog comfortable while walking or traveling. It is available from XXS to XL sizes.
Emotional Support Dog Vest Harness by KITTYWOO
The shiny exterior makes your pet prominent in public. In addition, the sturdy material of this dog vest will prevent chewing and tearing by your pet.
Other than these, there are a number of other emotional support and service dog vests that also work as harnesses. These vests make an interesting addition to your dog’s look and will give it a more formal and ‘working’ type of look.
Benefits of Emotional Support Dog Vests
Emotional support dog vests are designed to communicate the position of an animal and whether it is a pet or a working dog. Having a vest is an easy way of identifying your animal and avoiding any unlikely situation.
Here are some of the key benefits of having an emotional support dog vest:
It Helps to Categorize Your Animal as an ESA
Wearing distinguishable vests allows landlords and others to know that this animal is more than just a pet. In addition, with the vest, you will save time in explaining why the animal is necessary for you.
It Helps in Finding Your Lost Dog
Each year, families lose their animals when they are on holiday. If you lose your dog, you can use the vest as an identification mark. To make it easier, we recommend that you write or print your complete contact details on the dog’s ID card so that anyone who finds him may contact you easily.
You can Put ‘Do Not Pet’ or ‘Working Dog’ Labels
You can put labels such as “do-not-pet” or a “working dog” tag on their support animals. This ensures that people won’t come up to your dog wanting to pet it and helps in minimizing distractions.
They are Helpful for Service Dogs As Well
Besides ESAs, these vests are also helpful for service dogs. Similar to ESAs, service dogs also help people with disabilities. People having sight and hearing impairment and physical limitations have dogs and miniature horses to help them. These vests help identify them as service animals and not pets.
Even though animal vests are not a legal requirement, they are highly recommended to differentiate your animal and classify it as a working dog or horse.
How to Measure Your Dog?
After you have made up your mind to get a vest for your dog the next thing you need to do is to measure your dog. Follow the below steps to measure your dog properly:
- make your dog stand and get a flexible measuring tape
- wrap the tape around his girth (around its body and behind the front legs)
- go underneath the widest part of its rib cage
These vests are usually brightly colored with big, prominent, distinguishing letters that classify the animal as an ESA or a service dog.
What Fabric Should You Choose for the Vest?
When choosing the fabric, make sure that it matches your preference and the climate of the place where you live. Getting a mesh vest in a cold place is useless, and similarly, getting a padded vest when you live in a hot place will do no good to your dog.
What Kind of Vest Should You Get?
Dog vests come in different styles; the four most popular ones are:
- 1. Padded Vests: They weigh the same as the weight of your lightweight winter jacket. These are harness vests that come with a handle for outdoor walks
- 2. Backpack Vests: These vests are useful for people who have a lot of stuff to carry around, like a student with books.
- 3. Mesh Vests: They are made up of mesh and is beneficial in hot places
- 4. Lightweight Cotton Vests: They are ideal for wearing throughout the entire year, and they have pockets incorporated to hold id cards
These vests are heavy-duty and usually have adjustable straps so that your four-legged friend is comfortable.
Besides, you can also get a custom emotional support dog vest to match your needs. Search online and you will come across several websites that offer this service.
How much does an Emotional Support Dog Vest Cost?
The price of your vest depends on a number of factors like the fabric, style, and design. A simple design will cost less than an intricate one. On average, a good quality vest will cost anything between $40 to $80.
Is a Dog Vest Enough to Travel with Your Support Dog?
Unfortunately, no, in addition to an identification vest, you are legally required to obtain an ESA letter from a licensed mental health therapist in order to keep your pet with you at all times.
An ESA letter is proof that you need a companion by your side for your emotional assistance. It enables you to live and travel with your companion without spending extra money.
If you are looking for a legitimate place to get your ESA Letter, then look no further and please contact one of our licensed mental health professionals to help you bring your favorite animal home.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does a pink vest on a dog mean?
The bright colors such as purple, neon pink, and neon yellow help identify small dogs in public gatherings or crowded places.