Benefits of Registering Your Service Dog | Official SDRA
Most service dog owners in the United States understand that registering their pets through an agency is not required by law. Businesses are not legally allowed to ask for in depth information about your service animal, Vests, leashes, or ID tags, while not required, can save time and headache.
Service dog owners have no obligation to disclose any information outside the realm of "Is this a service dog?" and "What duties does he/she perform?" With this being said, there are several benefits to registering your service dog even though it's not required.
For instance, it can be beneficial to have identifying products to avoid emotionally exhausting or awkward encounters. Legitimate service dogs that have been trained to provide a task have access rights with or without a registration.
That said, let's delve a little deeper into the many benefits of registering your service dog.
What are the Benefits of Service Dog Registration?
Traveling is a hassle, with or without a service dog. Unfortunately, those with service dogs go through much more trouble than those without. Traveling with identification and emergency contact ID’s. A proper ID may help someone avoid any legal issues from being pursued should something go wrong.
Traveling on planes with service animals should be simple. Different airlines have different requirements for service animals. For obvious reasons, animals must be up-to-date on vaccinations and be well-behaved.
Beyond these requirements, the airline cannot ask you to provide papers for your animal. It can still be helpful to have documents showing the dog's health status along with its medical history. Someone airlines are contemplating requiring additional info and we urge you to check in on service dog info requirements before heading to the airport.
Moreover, Uber and Lyft have policies that punish and even fire drivers for prejudice against those with service animals. Taxi drivers and other public transport services are also subject to these rules. Even with this penalty, there are several documented cases of Uber and Lyft drivers refusing to serve people with service animals. Having identifying harnesses and products showing your dog's status will prove to drivers (and if necessary, the company itself) that your dog serves a legitimate medical purpose, and prejudice against you is illegal and punishable by law.
Other methods of travel, such as by train and ship, do not require your animal to be show proof of its status, but it's clear to see that having it as a backup is a good idea. Cruise ships require prior notice of service animals before embarking while trains also do not require documents, but it's good to have them for the same reason.
Providing paperwork showing your dog is a trained service dog can benefit you in more ways than just traveling. The IRS allows service animal owners to deduct the cost of buying, training and maintaining a service dog from their taxes. The IRS is one of the few "businesses" that require proof the animal is a service animal, which is why it's beneficial to register your dog as one.
Proof accepted by the IRS includes medical diagnosis, a note from a doctor for treatment, and anything else that can show your dog is being used for medicinal purposes. In return, the IRS will reimburse you for the cost of the dog and its care. This ensures that you aren't paying thousands of dollars for something you use for medical care. Of course, nobody should do this purely for the tax benefits, but it is an unexpected plus.
As said before, businesses cannot legally refuse service dogs in their venue. They aren't supposed to request proof, but you will likely run into someone who either doesn't know the law or doesn't care about it. Sometimes it isn't worth the hassle to fight it, and it's much easier to answer their questions and provide proof via the trainer or organization where the dog was purchased.
Who Can Qualify to Register Their Service Dog?
There are no fancy conditions for owners and their dogs to register. If you have a dog to register because they serve a medical purpose for you, you can apply. To put it in plain terms, pretty much everyone is eligible to register their service dog. The registration process is quite simple. By registering you will be kept up to date on laws that impact service dogs and receive news on products that can help your day to day life.
When Should I Consider Reaping the Benefits of Registering?
There are so many benefits to registering your dog with the Service Dog Registration of America. One nice perk is you are added to the email database to receive updates on legal changes to service dog laws, as well as offers and updates for dog training programs and shopping deals. This allows you to be well-informed of the rules regarding service dogs and any new service dog learning experiences happening near you.
So, when is it advised to take advantage of the benefits of registering? Service dog owners can start reaping benefits right away, which means there's no reason to wait! You should consider obtaining the benefits of registration if:
- You're planning on traveling with your service dog soon and want to avoid any hiccups while abroad and want to learn your rights.
- You get questions about whether your service dog is "real" and want to discover how to properly handle this situation.
- Your disability may prevent you from talking to others in an emergency (e.g., while fainting or having a seizure).
- You want to ensure that businesses and landlords will respect your rights as a person who uses a service dog.
- You want a safety net in case you are asked to show proof that your dog is a service animal.
Registration also allows you to purchase valuable service dog products on the site such as leashes, collars, harnesses, vest patches, dog information cards, and other products. Putting more gear on your dog makes it easier for others to identify that they're serving a medical purpose, which can reduce the number of questions you'll get later.
Ready to Register Your Dog? Here's What To Do Next!
If you are ready to register your dog, you are exactly where you need to be. You can easily register your service dog here on the Service Dog Registration of America's site. It only takes a few minutes and will ensure you have proof that your dog is providing a medical service. Once registered, you'll be able to purchase all the items your service dog will need, such as harnesses, leashes, collars, ID tags, and many other items. Register your service dog with the Service Dog Registration of America today!