Service Dogs and Emotional Support Dogs at LAX
As one of the busiest airports in the world, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) welcomes millions of travelers every year with their dogs. For those who need a service dog or an emotional support dog, navigating the airport can be stressful. To help make your journey smoother with your dog at LAX, here’s what you need to know about bringing your furry companion to the airport.
What is the difference between a service dog and an emotional support dog?
A service dog is a dog that has been trained to perform specific tasks for a person with a disability. These tasks can include guiding the person, alerting them to sounds or changes in their environment, or performing other specialized tasks. Service dogs are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and are allowed in public places where pets are not, such as restaurants, stores, and airports.
An emotional support dog, on the other hand, is a dog that provides comfort and support to a person with a mental or emotional disability. Emotional support dogs do not have to be trained to perform specific tasks, and are not protected under the ADA. However, they are protected under the Fair Housing Act (FHA), which allows them to live with their owners in housing that does not allow pets.
What are the policies for service dogs and emotional support dogs at LAX?
Both service dogs and emotional support dogs at LAX are allowed in all areas of the airport, including terminals, parking lots, and shuttles. However, owners must comply with all local and federal regulations.
To have your service dog or emotional support dogs at LAX, you will need to provide documentation of your dog’s status. For service dogs, this typically includes a certification from a recognized service dog training program, as well as a letter from a licensed healthcare professional stating that you have a disability and your dog is trained to help you with specific tasks related to your disability.
For emotional support dogs at LAX, you will need a letter from a licensed healthcare professional stating that you have a mental or emotional disability and your dog provides support for that disability.
In addition, all dogs must be on a leash or in a carrier while in the airport, and owners are responsible for cleaning up after their dogs.
What are the benefits of having a service dog or an emotional support dog at LAX?
Having a service dog or an emotional support dog at LAX can provide a number of benefits for travelers with disabilities or mental health conditions. Here are just a few:
- Improved mobility: Service dogs can help guide people with visual impairments or mobility issues through the airport, making it easier to navigate crowds and find your way to your gate.
- Reduced anxiety: For those with anxiety or other mental health conditions, having an emotional support dog can provide comfort and help reduce stress
- Access to more areas: Service dogs are allowed in areas where pets are not, such as restaurants and stores, so you can bring your dog with you while you wait for your flight or grab a bite to eat.
- Emotional support: Both service dogs and emotional support dogs can provide comfort and support during what can be a stressful and overwhelming experience.
If you’re traveling through LAX with a service dog or an emotional support dog, know that you have the right to bring your furry companion with you. By following the policies and regulations in place, you can help ensure a smooth and stress-free journey for both you and your dog. For more information about traveling with service dogs and emotional support dogs at LAX, visit the LAX website or contact the airport directly.