How to Get a Doctor’s Note for a Service Dog [5+ Best Examples ]


A dog has been recognized throughout history as man’s best friend. From as early as fifteen thousand years ago, man has been aided by his furry friend through tracking down prey that both species can enjoy. Boris Levinson discovered the existence of human receptivity to animal therapy when he used to bring his dog, Jingles, with him when trying to help children who weren’t into socializing. Time and again, dogs have proven themselves to be reliable companions, loyal allies, and amazingly fluffy therapists — provided you can get a doctor’s note for a service dog.

What is a Service Dog?

Have you ever seen labradors with special vests walking around your neighborhood? Or blind people being led by a golden retriever? Those aren’t your average, garden-variety pooch; they’re service dogs that are sometimes specially trained to aid people with specific problems or disabilities. Now, to be clear, there are several types of service dogs such as hearing dogs, guide dogs, diabetes alert dogs, and even emotional support animals, so you have plenty of choices. However, some specifications need to be met before you can have your own service dog (since some people try to do business out of it by preying on innocent people); which now begs the question of…

How do I get a Doctor’s Note for One?

1. Understand Your Condition

What do you have? What is making your life unbearable? Do you have diabetes? Autism? Depression? Understand yourself and what you deal with before you can even ask if you really need a service dog. Fret about what the dog will be like later, right now, you need to know what you can and can’t do in your current state; can you live a healthy, independent life? Is it challenging to deal with your emotions? How real is a possibility of you having a seizure and no one is around to help you? If you think your condition, emotional stability, and general everyday life can be made possible through a service dog, then go for it.

2. Ask Yourself, “Do You Really Need a Service Dog?”

This may seem redundant when you first think about it, but really, do you absolutely need a service dog? This is less about your needs and more of can you actually keep the dog alive, well, and loved? Having a service dog isn’t like having a pair of glasses or a wheelchair; they have needs too. They also need food and clean water, someone to take care of their droppings, and they also need as much love and care as they give you. Having a service dog means having a companion and not just another method of medication, so be ready for the commitment. Not only that but having a service dog with you everywhere you go does present a few problems that you will need to face and adjust to.

3. Consult Your Doctor

Hopefully, after you’ve given yourself time to think, your good doctor will see you now and then you two can discuss this matter. What’s most likely going to happy is he’ll assess your conditions, and see if you’re good to have a service dog. What happens next depends on the type of animal you need; if you need an emotional support animal, the doctor will give you a prescription note. For most other service dogs, the doctor will write you a letter providing evidence of your disability, as well as explain to you that you will need to prove that your dog has been officially trained to be a service dog.

4. Determine The Service Dog You Need

As mentioned above, if you need an emotional support animal, all you’ll need is a doctor’s note that prescribes you to have one. However, some dogs are uniquely trained to do specific tasks, such as hearing dogs alerting people to potentially harmful or diabetic alert dogs being able to smell the changes in the hormones of their owners to see if they’re going to need their medicine soon. This is why knowing your condition is crucial because it directly links to the type of animal you will need.

5. Fetch Your Pooch

When you’re finally ready to find your own service dog, do find one from a reliable source — the last thing you want is to think you finally have a service dog that can help you be more independent but isn’t actually properly trained to be one. You can look up online for organizations or go to a local one near you instead but make sure that they are a legitimate organization since there will be people trying to advantage of this “lucrative business.”

Now that you, as a patient, know how you can get a doctor’s note for a service dog, here are a few examples and templates for doctors out there who have patients that you think are in dire need of a service dog.

Sample Doctor’s Notes for Service Dogs

Here are some sample doctor’s notes for service dogs, as well as an example guide of all the usual questions asked about service dogs in the U.S. Even though in most situations people will be understanding of your need to have your service dog around, there will be times when carrying around a doctor’s note as proof can come in handy.

1. Sample Doctor’s Note

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File Format
  • Google Docs
  • MS Word
  • Pages

Size: A4 & US Letter Sizes

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Any doctor can use this sample doctor’s note template when writing down prescriptions for their patients on service dogs by clicking the download button.

2. Blank Doctor’s Note

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  • Google Docs
  • MS Word
  • Pages

Size: A4 & US Letter Sizes

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This blank doctor’s note can give you a good layout for when you want to make a doctor’s note that looks a bit more like a letter. Download now and use this template to sooth the minds of your patients because they know that they can finally live a normal life with the help of their new furry friend.

3. Simple Doctor’s Note

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  • Google Docs
  • MS Word
  • Pages

Size: A4 & US Letter Sizes

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Downloading this 100% customizable and easy to edit simple doctor’s note template can give you an amazing layout for all of your patients medical-document needs — even as evidence of your patient’s need of a service dog.

4. General Doctor’s Note

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  • MS Word
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Size: A4 & US Letter Sizes

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The details of why a patient requires a service dog (be it for emotional support, a disability, or both) can be found on the document the doctor provides; their prescription — which they can write down on this general doctor’s note template for maximum ease and convenience.

5. Veterinarian’s Note

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  • Google Docs
  • MS Word
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Size: A4 & US Letter Sizes

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After adopting your new pet pal, you’re going to want to make sure that his health is alright, and if he does need anything from the vet, that he’s covered. Your new friend can only help you with your health and happiness if you help him with his, so take a visit to the veterinarian once in a while for a usual checkup. If something does come up, they can always jot down everything that you need to do using the veterinarian’s note provided above.

6. Service Dog Guide Example

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  • PDF

Size: 349.6 KB

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This service dog guide PDF contains all the commonly asked questions about service dogs in the U.S., ranging from legal matters to ownership of one and civil rights that they have. Take a read before you consider getting a service dog of your own.

Dogs have, for millennia, helped us thrive as a species well before we discovered their ability to help us through our own medical problems. However, getting a service dog takes a lot of responsibility, so weight it all in before you decide because it isn’t just your well-being at stake here, but that of the animal’s as well.

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