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How to Register a Service Dog in Canada Instantly

Service Dog in Canada

What is a Service Dog in Canada?

Service dogs in Canada are dogs that have been trained to perform a specific task to help their handlers with a disability. Service dogs are intended to improve the quality of life of their handlers, and allow them to function independently. We all know the classic example of a seeing-eye dog that helps visually impaired individuals navigate the world, but service dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and can be trained to aid countless disabilities, including many anxiety related issues.

Disabilities can be visible, or non-visible.  Visible disabilities include Hemiplegia, Paraplegia, Quadriplegia, MS, Cerebral Palsy. Non-visible disabilities include hearing impairment, stress, depression, intellectual impairments and neurological disease. Service dogs can be trained to help with many types of visible and non-visible disabilities. For example:

  • Dogs can be trained to detect oncoming seizures in epileptic patients.
  • Dogs can be trained to sense low blood sugar for diabetics.
  • Dogs can be attuned to mental states and physically relieve stress for a variety of conditions, including anxiety, PTSD and ADHD.

Do I qualify for a support dog?

Take the support dog certification quiz now and you'll gain a better understanding of the type of assistance you require and the potential benefits of having a service dog registration or an emotional support animal registration.

How do I train my dog to perform such a complex task?

There are multiple ways to get a trained service dog.

  • Buy a trained service dog in Canada.

There are professional organizations that will sell you a fully trained service dog. This is a great way to guarantee you will end up with a fully trained dog, but it will come at a high cost. Trained service dogs are extremely expensive and can go for tens of thousands of dollars.

  • Take your dog to training.

There are many training services and programs that will work with you to train your service dog in Canada. They have tons of experience and you can be confident you will end up with a high performing service dog.

  • Self-training a Service Dog in Canada

There are no rules or regulations on who can train a service dog in Canada and in North America and you are permitted to train your own service dog. While this will save you money, it will require dedication, patience and consistency.

Once your dog is trained, you will want to register your dog to obtain a certificate, but more on that below. Please ensure to consult with local laws to ensure you meet applicable training requirements.

In Ontario, Canada, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) promotes standards that organizations, including government and private sectors are required to follow with the goal of creating a more accessible community. A requirement under the AODA is that service providers operating in the public MUST welcome service dogs that are trained to assist their handlers.

This includes access to hotels, restaurants, airplanes and pretty much any other area open to the public. Companies with over a certain number of employees are even required to provide training to their works on accessibility, which includes service dogs.

service dog in ontario, Service Dog in Canada
service dog in ontario

How do I register a service dog in Canada?

In Ontario, and many other jurisdictions, service dogs are not required to be certified or legally registered. However, the unfortunate truth is that many individuals and their service dogs are turned away from public establishments unless they have “proof” that their dog is in fact a service dog. This is particularly true for non-visible disabilities.  Business owners and service providers ARE PERMITTED to ask if your dog is a service dog and if they are trained to assist you with a disability, and they may want documentation which evidences that the dog is a service dog as well. Common documentation that can be provided includes:

  • A doctor’s note or letter from another medical professional.
  • A service dog certificate containing relevant information on the dog and handler. As there is no official department that records this information, we recommend you certify your trained service dog with a reputable and trustworthy organization that maintains their own internal and searchable registry, which provide a high level of accountability.
  • A graduation certificate from a reputable trainer or training school.

To Wrap things up, registering a service dog may not be legally required, but it is often necessary to be able to confirm to business and service providers that your dog is in fact a service dog.

Register your support dog online now to receive your instant Service Dog Registration, Service Dog certificate and Service Dog Certification Documents or Register your Emotional Support Animal for ESA Registration, ESA  Certification and Emotional Support Animal Certificate Documents

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Why do I Need an Emotional Support Dog Certificate and ID?

family support dog

The Importance of Obtaining an Emotional Support Dog Certificate and ID

Many individuals who struggle with mental health issues find solace and support in the presence of an emotional support dog. These loyal companions can offer comfort, emotional stability, and a sense of security. However, in order to fully benefit from the privileges that come with having an emotional support dog, it is essential to obtain an emotional support dog certificate and ID. In this blog post, we will delve into the reasons why these documents hold significant value for individuals and their beloved canine companions.

Demonstrating Legitimacy and Credibility of your Emotional Support Dog

One of the primary reasons to obtain an emotional support dog certificate and ID is to demonstrate the legitimacy of your dog’s role as an emotional support animal (ESA). While there is no legal requirement for registering an ESA, having the proper documentation and identification adds credibility to your claim. By presenting a valid emotional support dog certificate and ID, you provide third parties with concrete evidence that your dog is registered as an ESA, which can help prevent misunderstandings and ensure a smoother experience when accessing certain rights and accommodations.

Accessibility to Housing and Travel Benefits for an Emotional Support Dog

The Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) provide certain rights and accommodations for individuals with emotional support animals. However, these protections are often contingent upon having proper documentation. With an emotional support dog certificate and ID, you can more easily navigate the process of finding suitable housing that accommodates emotional support animals. Similarly, when traveling by air, presenting your dog’s identification can streamline the procedures and help you and your companion access the necessary accommodations.

Enhanced Public Acceptance of Your Emotional Support Dog

Unfortunately, not everyone understands or recognizes the importance of emotional support animals in the lives of individuals with mental health conditions. By displaying your emotional support dog certificate and ID, you help educate others about the legitimacy and significance of your dog’s role. This can lead to increased public acceptance and understanding, reducing the potential for confrontation or discrimination while out in public places or engaging in daily activities with your support dog.

Mental Health Professional Support

While obtaining an emotional support dog certificate and ID is beneficial, it is crucial to recognize that these documents alone do not provide comprehensive assistance. It is strongly recommended to consult with a qualified mental health professional to determine whether an emotional support dog is suitable for your specific needs. A mental health professional can provide guidance, support, and appropriate treatment options, ensuring that you receive the necessary help and that your emotional support dog complements your overall mental well-being.

Conclusion on Emotional Support Dog Registration

Obtaining an emotional support dog certificate and ID is a valuable step for individuals seeking support from their canine companions. These documents help establish the legitimacy of an emotional support animal and facilitate access to housing and travel benefits. Additionally, they contribute to increased public acceptance and understanding of the important role that emotional support dogs play in the lives of those struggling with mental health conditions. However, it is important to remember that the certificate and ID should be accompanied by guidance from a mental health professional who can provide comprehensive support and ensure that the emotional support dog is part of a holistic treatment plan.

Register your support dog online now to receive your instant Service Dog Registration, Service Dog certificate and Service Dog Certification Documents or Register your Emotional Support Animal for ESA Registration, ESA  Certification and ESA Certificate Documents


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National Service Dog Month

September is National Service Dog Month, a special time of the year devoted to the appreciation of service dogs, and the incredible work they do for countless people around the world on daily basis.

For many, dogs are a best friend, a shoulder to cry on, or a pal to play with, but for others, dogs are a literal lifeline, and provide essential support to those in need. National Service Dog Month is all about raising awareness for these furry heroes, better known as a service dogs.

Service dogs are dogs that have been specifically trained to perform a task or several tasks in order to assist individuals with disabilities. There is no specific breed that a dog must be in order to be a service dog, rather it is the behavioural characteristics that qualify a dog as a service dog. Some service dogs are trained to sniff out low blood sugar levels, some guide their visually impaired owners through busy intersections and public transit, while other are trained to retrieve and carry heavy objects. No matter the task, all service dogs play an important role in society.
As business owners, employees and members of the public, we have to remember to respect service dogs and their handlers. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, there are only two questions that business may ask a service dog’s handler, and those questions are:

  1. Is the service dog required because of a disability;
  2. What task has the service dog been performed to train.

They may not ask any other questions, including specifics of your disability or the details of your dog’s training. At the end of the day, if your dog has been trained to perform a specific task, remains calm, and is properly trained to behave as a service dog in public, your dog is a service dog. In addition, service dogs are not required to be “professionally” trained. Any trainers stating that ONLY professionally trained service dogs have public access rights are making false claims. Service dogs are not required to wear vests, or any formal identifiers either so it is not always obvious which dogs are truly service dogs.

Many individuals who utilize service dogs choose to voluntarily register their dogs as service dogs in order to demonstrate to third parties that their dog is in fact a service dog. It has been proven to help, and often provides comfort to handlers to have in case they are questioned.

Register your support dog online now to receive your instant Service Dog Registration, Service Dog certificate and Service Dog Certification Documents or Register your Emotional Support Animal for ESA Registration, ESA  Certification and ESA Certificate Documents

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The Top 10 Noted Breeds for Service Dogs

What are the best Breeds for Service Dogs?

When you think of a service dog, you probably think of a Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever or a German Shepherd, but did you know that any breed can qualify as a service dog? A good service dog will be smart, well-tempered, easy to train and calm. Service dogs must be attentive, responsive to their handler’s needs and un-phased by traffic, loud noises, crowds and other dogs. These are the key qualities that make a great service dog.

We’ve rounded up the top 10 breeds for service dogs based on a number of different qualities. No matter what the breed, proper training, and a great relationship between the dog and handler are key in order for a breed to become a successful service dog.

breeds for service sogs

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers are highly intelligent, easy-going, friendly, devoted and eager to please, making them one of the most ideal service dogs for all types of disabilities and impairments.

Golden Retriever

Similar to Labrador Retriever’s Golden Retriever’s are extremely well tempered and eager to please. Golden Retriever’s are quite active, making them an ideal breed for individuals on the go.

Breeds for Service Dogs

German Shepherd

German Shepherds are one of the most loyal breeds around. In addition to being the K9 unit of choice for police forces and militaries across the globe, Shepherds are well suited as service dogs and are eager to assist their handlers with a variety of disabilities.


Known for their intelligence and signature style, Poodles have a keen sense for detecting allergens, which can be life saving for those dealing with anaphylactic allergies. This goes for miniature and toy poodles weighing as little as 4 pounds to large standard poodles coming in at 70 pounds.

best breed for service dog
breeds for service dogs

Great Dane

This larger than life breed has more bark than bite. Great Danes are known for their gentle and affectionate nature, making them perfect for psychiatric support services.


Another hyper intelligent breed, Collies are often trained as service dogs to sense impending seizures, making them the ideal dog to assist epileptic patients. Collies are calm and cheerful but do require regular grooming which may be a drawback for handlers who suffer from physical disabilities.


One doesn’t often think of Pomeranian’s when they think of service dogs, but they happen to be well suited at identifying symptoms and complications associated with diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.  Since they are so small, they may be well suited for individuals who are tight on space.

Bernese Mountain Dog

This working breed is known for its cool, calm and laid-back attitude. Their strength makes them ideal for those in wheelchairs, who may need assistance getting out of a tight spot, or who need a nudge up a hill. Bernese Mountain Dogs were bread to carry, and are the ideal breed for carrying heavy loads and fetching items.

American Staffordshire Terrier

AmStaffs are well natured and possesses a ton of confidence. With their trainability and good temperament, AmStaffs are jacks-of-all trades in the service dog world.


Bloodhounds are loving, calm and loyal, making them perfect service dog companions for those who need extra company. Bloodhounds are also known for their incredible sense of smell, allowing them to detect blood sugar deficiencies in diabetic patients.

Register your support dog online now to receive your instant Service Dog Registration, Service Dog certificate and Service Dog Certification Documents or Register your Emotional Support Animal for ESA Registration, ESA  Certification and ESA Certificate Documents

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Rules on How to Fly With Your Dog or Service Dog

fly with dog

Ways to Fly With Your Dog

As if travelling wasn’t stressful enough, bringing your dog on a flight can bring on a whole new level of complication to your vacation or travel plans. If your dog is NOT A SERVICE DOG, you can either bring your dog into the cabin with you as pet, or check it away in the cargo section. Rules vary from airline to airline, but typically, a dog can only fly in the cabin as a pet if it is small enough to fit in a carrier and be safely stowed under the seat.  If your dog is too big, airlines will require you to fly with your dog in the cargo section of the plane.

To Fly or Not to Fly With Your Dog, that is the Question

While no airline will openly admit to this, travelling in cargo is sure to be an unpleasant way to fly with your dog, or even deadly experience.  Over the last 10 years, there have been over 250 animal “passengers” that died either during or immediately after airline travel.  Another 170 sustained injuries, and 20 were actually lost by airlines. Although it may be tempting to bring your dog with you on vacation, we do not recommend flying cargo unless absolutely necessary.

fly with your dog
Fly with your service dog or dog

Emotional Support Dogs vs. Service Dogs

Prior to January 2021, it was commonplace to fly with your dog as an Emotional Support Animal, however, the Air Carrier Act was unfortunately amended and this is no longer permitted. Now, only Service Dogs are permitted to fly in the cabin unrestricted to a carrier. Service Dog Handlers are required to fill out paperwork with their airline in advance of flying in order to provide the airline with the required information.

Remember, Service Dogs are trained to perform a specific task, and know not to bark, or react to external stimuli. Only experienced and properly trained Service Dogs should be considered when it comes to flying on commercial airlines.

Register your support dog online now to receive your instant Service Dog Registration, Service Dog certificate and Service Dog Certification Documents or Register your Emotional Support Animal for ESA Registration, ESA  Certification and ESA Certificate Documents

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Service Dogs and PTSD

While service dogs are typically known for aiding individuals with physical disabilities and impairments, a recent study has shown the unexpected benefits that service dogs may have on aiding veterans suffering from PTSD. The studies were conducted at Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine in West Lafayette, Ind, and found that better mental health was associated with a number of factors, including a the perception of the dog’s care being easy, and the closeness of the veteran-dog relationship.

While further research is needed to expand on the study, the researcher noted “this study provides new information about how and why service dogs may improve mental health for some veterans with PTSD. We are especially grateful to the military veterans who made this possible by sharing their time and experiences with us.”

Link to article:

Journal Reference:

Clare L. Jensen, Kerri E. Rodriguez, Evan L. MacLean, Ahmad Hakeem Abdul Wahab, Arman Sabbaghi, Marguerite E. O’Haire. Characterizing veteran and PTSD service dog teams: Exploring potential mechanisms of symptom change and canine predictors of efficacy. PLOS ONE, 2022; 17 (7): e0269186 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0269186