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French Bulldogs as Service Dogs

So you’re wondering if your French Bulldog can be a Service Dog?

First, let’s differentiate two commonly confused things: service dogs and emotional support dogs (ESA).

A service dog and an emotional support animal (ESA) serve different roles and have different legal rights and protections.

What is a service dog?

A service dog is trained to perform specific tasks to assist individuals with disabilities. They have legal rights to access public places.

Service dogs require specialized training, while emotional support animals typically require documentation from a mental health professional.

What is an emotional support dog?

Emotional support animals provide comfort and support to individuals with mental health conditions but do not have public access rights.

They must be prescribed by a licensed mental health professional such as a therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist.

ESA Registration
US Service Animals | Emotional Support & Service Animal Registration
$89.98

Register your Frenchie as an Emotional Support Animal or apply for a letter from a Licensed Mental Health Professional for housing.

A simple online process that will take just a few minutes and you'll receive an ESA or Service Animal Registration Certificate and Photo ID by mail and in digital format

Pros:
  • Lifetime registration
  • Can get a doctor's letter for housing
  • Placement in the Official US Service & Support Animal Registry Database
Register your Frenchie as an Emotional Support Animal Learn More

ESAs can be almost any species of animal; dog, cat, or reptile.

Unlike service dogs, emotional support animals do not require any specific training to become an ESA, just simply a recommendation from a physician.

Emotional support animals are protected against housing discrimination, meaning that a landlord cannot prohibit you from living in their rental property, even if they have a “no pets policy”.

Emotional Support Dog Vest Harness with Reflective Straps and Matching ESA Leash Set - ESA Dog Vest in 7 Adjustable Sizes - Vests for Working Dogs
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Makes traveling a breeze

Handle on top that is easily grabbable

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2 removable "Emotional Support" patches that can be swapped out for "Do Not Pet" patches (sold separately)

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ESAs are not required to wear an identifying vest or tag like service dogs, but you might want to have one for times that you are in public or businesses like an airline to avoid having to constantly explain yourself. If you are looking for a vest for your ESA, check this one out on Amazon.

Why would someone want a French Bulldog as a therapy dog?

  1. Feeling Less Lonely: French Bulldogs are known for their friendly, outgoing nature and deep sense of loyalty to their human companions. Their companionship can help to alleviate feelings of loneliness and isolation.
  2. Reducing Anxiety: Spending time with a French Bulldog can help reduce anxiety and stress. Their calm and comforting presence can provide reassurance and emotional support, especially during challenging times. They are great listeners and have a knack for sensing when their humans are feeling down or anxious. Their love and affection can make people feel safe and secure.
  3. Physical Benefits: Interaction with a therapy dog such as a French Bulldog can have several physical health benefits. These can include lower blood pressure, reduced heart rate, and stimulation of the release of endorphins (feel-good hormones). They also encourage physical activity through play and walks, which can further contribute to overall well-being.
  4. Various Other Benefits: French Bulldogs, like other therapy dogs, can bring a range of other benefits. They can help individuals develop social skills, aid in the development of empathy, and provide a sense of purpose and responsibility. They can also bring joy, laughter, and a sense of comfort and normalcy to environments that might otherwise be stressful, such as hospitals, nursing homes, and schools.

We all know there’s nothing better seeing your dog after a long, stressful day!

They always seem to be able to cheer us up even when things aren’t going so well.

Did you know that there are actually many other proven health benefits of ESAs (and pets in general)?

1. Feel less lonely

Many people suffering from mental disorders such as social anxiety tend to stay at home as much as they can to avoid putting themselves in uncomfortable situations.

Unfortunately, this isolation can get pretty depressing and many people find themselves stuck in this cycle. Having an emotional support dog by your side can help break this cycle.

Unconditional love

For homebodies, there’s nothing better than having a companion that loves you unconditionally. Some Frenchies are especially clingy and need you more than you need them!

Socialization

Having a dog also opens up the possibility of socializing while outside with them. It’s impossible to stay in your house all day when you have a dog!

They force you to go outside.

While walking and playing at dog parks, you’ll meet tons of people with the same interest and love for dogs that you do.

2. Reduces anxiety

Panic attacks and severe anxiety are some of the most common and debilitating mental illnesses.

It’s nearly impossible for others to calm you down or quell your irrational worries, and not many people seem to fully understand what’s going on.

But your dog probably does!

Our pets make everything better

There have been many studies that show anxiety and stress levels decrease when a sufferer is with their pet.

Chronic stress can have many negative effects on your body over a long period of time.

An emotional support animal has its emotional benefits as well as the physical benefits associated with better mental health.

3. Physical benefits

The Journal of Evidence-Informed Social Work reported an 82% reduction in PTSD symptoms in individuals with an emotional support animal in one week.

There has also been evidence of decreased heart rates and more oxytocin being released (the feel-good hormone)

Lowering your stress levels has many benefits…

  • Lower cholesterol
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Lower triglyceride levels

4. Various other health benefits such as

  • More motivation
  • Boost in self-esteem
  • Reduced stress levels
  • Increased social activity
  • Feeling more safe and comfortable
ESA Registration
US Service Animals | Emotional Support & Service Animal Registration
$89.98

Register your Frenchie as an Emotional Support Animal or apply for a letter from a Licensed Mental Health Professional for housing.

A simple online process that will take just a few minutes and you'll receive an ESA or Service Animal Registration Certificate and Photo ID by mail and in digital format

Pros:
  • Lifetime registration
  • Can get a doctor's letter for housing
  • Placement in the Official US Service & Support Animal Registry Database
Register your Frenchie as an Emotional Support Animal Learn More

What is the difference between a service dog and a therapy/support dog?

Emotional support dogs are NOT service dogs; this means that you and your ESA do not have the same rights that one with a service dog would.

Service dogs are allowed anywhere in public.

Emotional Support Dogs Aren’t Allowed Everywhere

An emotional support dog won’t be allowed to accompany you to

  • Work
  • Stores
  • Restaurants
  • Hotels that do not permit animals

People with an emotional support animal may request a reasonable accommodation such as a waiver of no pets policy due to the animal being an emotional support animal under both the FHAA and Section 504.

What conditions qualify you for an emotional support dog?

Did you know that 1 in 4 adults in the United States have some type of mental disorder?

Most mental or emotional conditions will qualify you for an emotional support animal given your mental health professional thinks you would benefit from an ESA.

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Fear or phobias
  • Mood Disorders
  • Panic Disorder
  • Personalities Disorders
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Separation Anxiety
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Stress
ESA Registration
US Service Animals | Emotional Support & Service Animal Registration
$89.98

Register your Frenchie as an Emotional Support Animal or apply for a letter from a Licensed Mental Health Professional for housing.

A simple online process that will take just a few minutes and you'll receive an ESA or Service Animal Registration Certificate and Photo ID by mail and in digital format

Pros:
  • Lifetime registration
  • Can get a doctor's letter for housing
  • Placement in the Official US Service & Support Animal Registry Database
Register your Frenchie as an Emotional Support Animal Learn More

How do I get my French Bulldog to be my emotional support animal?

While emotional support animals aren’t required to go through the same extensive training as a service dog, they still require basic training to ensure it can behave well in public.

What are the steps for obtaining an emotional support dog?

In order to get an emotional support dog, you must be prescribed one by your mental health provider whether it’s a psychiatrist or therapist. If you qualify for an ESA, the process is relatively simple.

  1. You must be diagnosed with a mental disorder that qualifies you for an emotional support dog.
  2. Ask your mental health professional (i.e. therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist) about getting a prescription for an emotional support animal.
  3. If they agree that an ESA may be beneficial to you, they will write a letter describing the condition you suffer from and how the ESA will help your treatment.
    This ESA letter is good for a year starting the date you received it.

You can also register your French Bulldog as an emotional support animal online through US Service Animals. They offer ESA registration as well as doctor’s letters from a Licensed Mental Health Professional for housing.

ESA Registration
US Service Animals | Emotional Support & Service Animal Registration
$89.98

Register your Frenchie as an Emotional Support Animal or apply for a letter from a Licensed Mental Health Professional for housing.

A simple online process that will take just a few minutes and you'll receive an ESA or Service Animal Registration Certificate and Photo ID by mail and in digital format

Pros:
  • Lifetime registration
  • Can get a doctor's letter for housing
  • Placement in the Official US Service & Support Animal Registry Database
Register your Frenchie as an Emotional Support Animal Learn More

Can I fly with an emotional support dog?

The Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) allows emotional support dogs on airplanes when individuals with emotional support dogs are traveling. Be sure to let your airline know at least 48 hours in advance that you plan to bring an emotional support animal so they can make accommodations.

There is no additional “pet fee” charged by airlines to travel with an emotional support animal and they are allowed to sit on your lap during the flight.

Are French Bulldogs good Therapy Dogs?

What even makes a good emotional support animal? We could probably all agree that these traits are what one might look for in a therapy dog.

What makes a good therapy dog

  • Good manners
  • Good temperament
  • Love people (especially their owner)
  • Is okay with clumsy petting, hugs, or being accidentally bumped
  • Doesn’t bark a lot
  • Friendly to children

Do Frenchies meet these requirements?!

Of course they do!

If you’re looking for a companion that will always be by your side, look no further than a French Bulldog!

Frenchies are loyal

Frenchies love their owners more than anything in the world and will always stick by your side.

Whether you want to lay in bed all day and watch TV or go outside for a jog, they’re sure to be right there by your feet!

Frenchies are resilient

Because of their stocky, rugged body, Frenchies aren’t fazed by clumsy petting, overbearing hugs, or being bumped into!

Frenchies are great family pets

This is especially a huge plus when there are children around that might get too excited around dogs.

Frenchies don’t bark too much

I don’t know about you, but nothing stresses me out more than a dog that won’t stop barking.

Thankfully, Frenchies almost never bark! While this is great in most circumstances, in my case, my Frenchie doesn’t even bark to go potty outside!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a French Bulldog be a Service Dog?

Yes, a French Bulldog can potentially be a service dog. While certain dog breeds are commonly associated with service work, such as Labrador Retrievers or Golden Retrievers, breed alone does not determine whether a dog can be a service dog.
What matters most is the individual dog’s temperament, health, and ability to perform the required tasks to assist a person with a disability.

French Bulldogs as Service Dogs – Closing Thoughts

If you are looking for a service dog that you can depend on for a serious medical condition, you might bet better off with a breed like a Golden Retriever or Labrador Retriever. These breeds are healthier and lower maintenance than the Frenchie so you won’t need to worry as much about them as you would with a Frenchie.

But Frenchies make great Emotional Support Animals

But if you’re not looking for an actual service dog, and are rather looking for an emotional support animal, the Frenchie is a wonderful choice.

ESA Registration
US Service Animals | Emotional Support & Service Animal Registration
$89.98

Register your Frenchie as an Emotional Support Animal or apply for a letter from a Licensed Mental Health Professional for housing.

A simple online process that will take just a few minutes and you'll receive an ESA or Service Animal Registration Certificate and Photo ID by mail and in digital format

Pros:
  • Lifetime registration
  • Can get a doctor's letter for housing
  • Placement in the Official US Service & Support Animal Registry Database
Register your Frenchie as an Emotional Support Animal Learn More

If you are on the fence about a Frenchie, you should find somebody that has one so you can play with it!

You are the only one that can decide if a Frenchie is the right ESA for you, and what makes one dog a great emotional support dog differs person-to-person.

Is a Frenchie right for me?
Pros & Cons of Owning a French Bulldog

Are you trying to decide whether or not a French Bulldog is the right breed for you?

Here’s what to know before getting a French Bulldog.

Learn More about Owning a Frenchie