Difference Between Service, Emotional Support Animals And Pets In Denver, CO

Difference Between Service, Emotional Support Animals And Pets In Denver, CO

Dogs have been loyal companions to humans since the first wolves were domesticated 15,000 years ago. Ever since, people have relied on these animals not only for affection but also for help with everyday life.

As a property manager in Denver, Colorado, understanding the difference between a pet and support animals can be confusing. Here, we'll simplify the distinctions between service animals, emotional support animals, and pets, along with the requirements needed for each type.

Service Animals

A person who has a service animal has a pet that someone has trained to do a job or movement the owner can't do themselves. This limitation could be due to an intellectual, physical, or emotional disability.

For example, some service dogs can help pick up objects for people who can't do that function on their own. Other service dogs can help guide a person if they have limited sight.

Service dogs need to complete intensive training before they get their certification. Many service dogs wear vests outlining their service dog designation.

Emotional Support Animals

An emotional support animal supports people with intellectual, physical, or mental disabilities therapeutically. To have an emotional support animal, the owner must have a documented medical diagnosis. The owner will also need an emotional support animal letter that states the benefits the support animal has for the owner.

Although emotional support animals have fewer protections than service dogs, there are emotional support animal laws surrounding travel and housing. People with documented emotional support animals are allowed to have them in their place of residence, even if it is deemed pet-free.

Owners can complete an emotional support animal registration online. Completing the registration shows the animal is legitimately a support animal. This letter is good documentation if you need to prove the emotional support title.

Therapy Animal

A therapy animal is usually a dog that provides comfort or support to different groups of people. You can find therapy animals in places like schools, rehab centers, hospitals, and nursing homes.

A therapy dog needs to get a veterinarian evaluation and has to go through a special training course. This type of dog isn't recognized under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). A therapy dog doesn't qualify for unlimited access to housing and travel like emotional support animals do.


Finally, a pet is that snuggly companion that doesn't have any of the above training or distinctions. Even if they support you emotionally, animals in this category don't count as anything more than a beloved pet without going through the proper steps.

Support Animals Brighten Lives

Pets, service animals, and emotional support animals all play a key role in Denver's community. Whether providing friendship, service, or comfort, these animals all bring happiness to their owners. Knowing the difference between these animals can help you best support the residents at your properties.

Navigating the rules and laws around support animals is easier when you hire a property management company like PMI Foothills. Our professional team prides itself on its communication and dedication to our clients and their tenants. Schedule a consultation to get your questions answered today.