Please Don't Pat Me


Business Information

What can you do to offer your customers with disabilities a positive experience?

Puck - Psychiatric Assistance Dog
Puck - Psychiatric Assistance Dog

What are my rights / responsibilities as a business?

Complying with the terms of the Disability Discrimination Act is the most important thing your business can do to offer your customers with disabilities a positive experience. However, there are several other simple things you and your employees can do to make patrons with assistance dogs feel like valued customers and respected human beings.

Please see our page about interacting with assistance dog handlers and pass the information provided onto your staff.

  1. Educate all staff about an assistance dog handler's rights under the Disability Discrimination Act.
    • Each staff member and representative of your business should be well-versed in dealing with patrons with disabilities, including those with assistance dogs.
  2. It is vital that all staff observe the fundamentals of assistance dog etiquette:
    • Do not touch, distract or interact with the assistance dog in any way.
    • Do not feed the assistance dog.
    • Do not ask the handler personal questions about his or her disability.
  1. Treat assistance dog handlers with the same respect you would treat any other customer in your store.
    • Greet an assistance dog handler in a friendly, welcoming manner and ask if he or she would like some help.
    • Do not follow assistance dog handlers around your establishment unnecessarily.
    • Offer an assistance dog handler the same assistance you would any other customer.
  2. Replace signs saying only guide dogs are permitted with signs that say assistance dogs are permitted.
  3. Educate other patrons about assistance dogs if the need arises.

For more information, try our Business FAQs
There you will find commonly asked questions about assistance dogs in places of business.