Accommodating Service Animals

When planning your trip and searching for vacation rentals that accommodate service animals, it’s important to be aware of the policies and house rules on Lake.

Recognizing Service Animals are Not Pets

At Lake, we recognize that service animals are not pets. Service animals are specifically trained to assist individuals with disabilities, whereas pets serve as companions. When searching for a rental property, focus on service animal policies, as pet policies may not apply to your situation.

Service Animals

Most vacation rental platforms have policies to accommodate service animals. For instance, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires any “place of public accommodation” to allow service animals. That said, some rental properties may operate in a legally gray area regarding service animal accommodation. 

To make things easier, Lake, for example, defines a service animal as a dog trained to perform tasks for individuals with disabilities, such as assisting with navigation, alerting to sounds, or pulling a wheelchair.

When searching for rental properties, check our specific service animal policies and house rules. Always communicate with the property owner or manager ahead of time to ensure your service animal is allowed.

Emotional Support Animals

Emotional support animals (ESAs) differ from service animals as they do not perform specific tasks to assist with a disability. Instead, they provide emotional support and companionship. As a result, Lake has a separate policy for ESAs.

When looking for accommodations that accept emotional support animals, check the house rules, pet policies, and non-discrimination policies of potential rentals. 

Some properties might require additional documentation or charge an extra fee for ESAs. It’s always a good idea to communicate with the property owner or manager to understand their specific ESA policy and any reasonable accommodations they may provide.

By being informed about the differences between service animals, emotional support animals, and pets, you can find the perfect vacation rental property that caters to your needs and ensures a smooth, enjoyable experience.

Understanding Vacation Rental Platforms and Service Animals

When you plan to travel and require accommodations for your service animal, it’s important to understand the policies and guidelines set by Lake. 

Making your search for a vacation rental seamless and stress-free is the ultimate goal, and being informed will help you achieve that.

Relevance of ADA Guidelines

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) plays a crucial role in defining your rights when it comes to service animals. It requires “places of public accommodation” to allow service animals, which includes some short-term rentals depending on their similarity to hotels. Understanding the ADA guidelines can help you ensure that your service animal is allowed to stay with you during your vacation.

To begin with, let’s take a quick look at the classification of service animals according to the ADA:

  • Service Animals are dogs that have been individually trained to perform tasks or provide assistance for a person with a disability.
  • Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) are not considered service animals under the ADA as they are not trained to perform specific tasks.

When searching for a vacation rental, always read the property’s policies and house rules, taking note of their stance on service animals, emotional support animals, pet policies, and non-discrimination policies.

Traveling with Service Animals

Respecting Host Property and Policies

When planning a trip with your service or emotional support animal, it’s essential to search for accommodations that cater to you and your furry companion’s needs. As a guest, you must respect your hosts’ policies and property as you navigate various vacation rental platforms.

Starting with a Pet-Friendly Search

To begin with, make sure to filter properties that allow service animals or are labeled as “pet-friendly.” This can make your search easier and enhance your guest experience. Be aware that some hosts may have pet allergies or specific limitations regarding their properties, so it’s crucial to communicate with them before confirming your booking.

While ensuring your service animal is welcome, you should also provide proper documentation if requested, such as proof of tasks your animal performs and any vital registration information. This will further cement your booking and ensure a smooth check-in process.

As you browse through suitable accommodations, keep in mind that not all properties may offer the accessibility features you or your animal may need. Prioritize listings with guest reviews that mention positive experiences with service animals or emotional support animals to help narrow down your options.

Housekeeping for Your Service Animal

Now, let’s talk about housekeeping. You should confirm your service animal is housebroken and maintain cleanliness throughout your stay to avoid any potential conflicts with your host. Any additional cleaning fees or security deposits should be clearly disclosed and agreed upon in advance.

In case of property damage caused by your service animal, check with your host about their insurance policy or security deposit requirements. Some hosts may charge pet fees or require additional security deposits for pet-related damages, so it’s good to be prepared.

By maintaining open communication and adhering to their policies, you’ll ensure a successful and enjoyable stay for both you and your service animal.

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