Wellness Shot: Comfort Dog VS Therapy Dog VS Emotional Support Animal

You may have heard that the San Francisco Red & Gold have a new recruit- a French bulldog named Zoë, a therapy dog tasked with providing comfort and emotional support to players during a strenuous season. However, CertaPet wants to emphasize the use of the term, therapy dog, as some outlets as well as the organization themselves are labeling Zoë an "Emotional Support Animal."

"We love what San Francisco's team are doing in bringing awareness to mental health by bringing Zoe into their program. However, Zoe cannot be considered an emotional support animal. Emotional Support Animals, by clinical definition, are prescribed by a doctor or therapist for an individual person for their individual symptoms. Zoe would be considered a therapy dog as she provides comfort and emotional support to the team. Because of the confusion and controversy surrounding ESAs, it think it is important to correctly identify the role the animal plays as many who have an emotional support animal as part of their treatment plan are getting scrutinized. This is a result of the public not knowing or understanding the difference between an emotional support animal, therapy animal, or service animal when all three are very different." -Prairie Conlon, LMHP & Clinical Director of CertaPet

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