Service dogs are valuable companions for people with disabilities. Dogs can provide mobility assistance. They can train as guide dogs. They can also provide medical alerts for people with diabetes or seizures. 

Children with disabilities may even bring their service dogs to school. Service dogs at school can help children get from class to class. They can alert staff of medical emergencies. 

However, service dogs for kids can cause disruptions in the classroom. Etiquette is required. Read on to learn how to adapt to service animals in schools to ensure a proper school environment. 

Understanding Service Dogs

Service dogs can help people with disabilities in various ways. They can aid with visible and invisible disabilities. Here are some examples of service dog abilities: 

Visible Disabilities

  • Wheelchair Handicaps: Service dogs in school may help children in wheelchairs get from class to class by pulling them along.
  • Mobility Issues: A service dog can provide support for people with mobility issues like cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis. 
  • Blindness: Service dogs can act as guide dogs for blind people. 

Invisible Disabilities

  • Seizure Alerts: Dogs can use their superior senses to determine when their owner is about to have a seizure. They can alert staff members to prevent seizure-related injuries. 
  • Diabetes: Service dogs can detect when their owner’s blood sugar levels get too low or too high. They can alert supervisors so they can correct the situation with recommended foods or medication. 

Laws and Regulations

Do schools allow service dogs? This section will review the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and its implications for service dogs in schools. 

Service animals in the United States are protected under the ADA. They are exempt from ‘no pet’ policies in public spaces. 

Some states require service dogs to be certified. In these states, a person may be asked to present certification before bringing dogs into a public space. Others may simply be asked if their animal is a service animal and what disability it serves. 

Service Dogs in Schools

Service dogs for kids present many benefits in a school setting. But teachers, principals, and other students must learn how to adapt to the animals. They must find a solution that minimizes disruptions. 

Preparing for service dogs in school starts with owner responsibilities. The owner must make the school aware their child will be bringing a service dog to school. They must be willing to clean up after the dog. 

Parents must prepare their children for situations where other students ask them questions or want to interact with their dog. They must be willing to work with the school and students to achieve an outcome that works for everyone. 

The school must also prepare students so they are respectful of service dogs and their owners. They should send out a notice letting students and parents know there will be a service dog in the classroom. They should host assemblies to ensure students are aware of rules regarding pet and owner interactions. 

Service animals in school may pose a threat to people with allergies. However, allergies can not cause a school or business to refuse service to people with animals. Rather, the person in charge must do their best to assign the dog owner and the allergic person to different sides of the room. 

@ouronederfulboggslife Replying to @Jenine Russom yes she does! Raelynn enjoys taking her service dog to school everyday! She was the first ever dog in Rae’s school’ And Spy loves going! #servicedogsinschool #servicedog #medicalalertdog #diabeticalertdog #type1diabetes #servicedogteam #kidswithservicedogs #t1d #type1kiddos #type1warrior ♬ original sound – ourONEderfulboggslife

Considerations for Students and Schools

Service dogs in school offer their share of pros and cons. Here are some to consider:


  • Protects the Child: A service dog protects a child in emergencies. They can keep the child safe when medical events occur. 
  • Helps the Child Get to Class: Dogs provide mobility assistance so children can get to their classes on time without relying on students or staff members. 
  • Promotes Inclusion: Children who see fellow students with service dogs may better understand their disability. They will learn to accept people for their differences. 


  • Can Cause Disruptions: The dog can cause excitement in the classroom that may disrupt the curriculum. 
  • Can Cause Allergic Reactions: Service dogs can cause attacks in people with allergies. 
  • Can Lead to Rude Questions: A service dog increases awareness of the owner’s disability. It could cause children to ask rude questions. 

Although service dogs present their share of pros and cons, school staff members can minimize disruptions by educating students so they understand proper service dog etiquette. Here are some things students should know. 

  • Service Vests: Service dogs wear service vests that tell students they are hard at work for their owner and shouldn’t be disrupted. 
  • Avoid Distractions: Students should not whistle or make loud sounds that distract service dogs. They should not feed them. They should not pet them without asking the owner’s permission. 
  • Be Respectful: Students should not ask dog owners why they need a service dog. They should think about the questions they ask the owner beforehand to ensure they are respectful. 


Service dogs for kids can benefit owners with disabilities. However, school staff members must ensure students follow proper etiquette rules and promote an inclusive approach. They must limit distractions in the school environment. 

Staff members must teach students to recognize dogs by their service vests. Students should learn not to distract service dogs. They should refrain from asking the owner inappropriate questions. 

Justice Speaks can help schools welcome service dogs into their facilities. We train students to increase awareness of service dog etiquette. We can also train employers, employers, and staff members to ensure workplace compliance with service dog rules and regulations. 

Contact us to learn how to make your school a more inclusive environment. 

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