Can Snakes Be Helpful Animals? Everything You Need to Know!

A service animal is a working animal that performs some kind of task for its handler. They differ from emotional support animals, which, as the name suggests, provide emotional support rather than physical tasks.

While many different types of animals can be trained to perform tasks and complete jobs and activities for their owners, only dogs are recognized as service animals by the ADA. While snakes can be excellent therapy animals and emotional support animals, they should not be considered service animals.

new snake splitterWhat is a Service Animal?

Service animals are animals that have been trained and are usually certified to work with people with disabilities to complete certain tasks and roles. Under current guidelines, only dogs are recognized as service animals.

Guide dogs are the best and most common examples of guide dogs, helping blind owners with tasks ranging from walking to daily chores like helping with laundry and tidying. Service animals are also known as helper animals, service animals, or service animals.

The Americans with Disabilities Act states that people with disabilities are allowed access to their service animals, unless a legitimate safety concern is deemed to exist. Most countries have similar measures and rules that allow access for this essential animal species.

Trained Snake_ Light and Sight_Shutterstock

What are Emotional Support Animals?

Emotional support animals are different from service animals. They can calm someone suffering from an anxiety attack or help control depression. They do not require special training and are not required to perform and support or assist tasks to be considered emotional support animals. Their presence is enough to provide emotional support.

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Emotional support animals are not covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, and businesses and individuals do not have to allow them in places with their owners. As such, some businesses allow these animals in as a courtesy.

It should be noted that some animals may be considered emotional support and service animals. For example, if a dog can identify when a person is about to suffer an anxiety attack and then take action to prevent that attack from occurring, they will be considered a service animal and will be granted the rights defined by Persons with Disabilities of America. Act.

snake-dividerBenefits of Emotional Support Snake

A snake cannot be a service animal because only dogs are permitted by law. This may change in the future, but snakes are still unlikely to be considered. They cannot be trained to perform the tasks necessary to benefit their owners.

However, the emotional support snake is real and helpful. Some of the advantages of having it include:

  • Easy to Control – The amount of training that can be given to snakes may be considered minimal compared to Retrievers or other service dogs, but they can be trained to be docile and tolerant when handled. Training a snake means teaching it that it doesn’t have to be afraid of people because it won’t be a threat to you when held. Even with this training, snakes are not friendly animals, and will not attract or try to attract the attention of others.
  • Hypoallergenic – Dogs can cause allergic reactions in their handlers and other people. They produce allergens in their fur, dander and saliva. Reptiles and snakes do not produce the same protein and are believed to be hypoallergenic. This means that therapeutic snakes will not cause other customers or others to have allergic reactions when they are present.
  • Easy Feeding Requirements – Dogs and most other animals require daily food or may need to be fed several times a day. They also need to drink water. Snakes are more likely to feed weekly, and you can control when and what they eat. Even if your snake is hungry, it will not beg for food from others or try to steal food from plates and hands.
  • Related Read: 25 Interesting Pet Therapy Statistics

garter snake being handled by a man

What Kinds of Pets Can Be Helpful Animals?

Under current guidelines, dogs are the only type of animal that can be considered a service animal, under the Americans with Disabilities Act. This may change in the future.

You may also be interested in: Are Garter Snakes a Good Pet? (Honest Answer)

new snake splitterCan Snakes Be Helpful Animals?

Snakes cannot be considered service animals, although they can be effective therapy animals or emotional support animals. Emotional support animals do not need to be registered but they also do not enjoy the same rights as service animals.


Featured Image Credit: Imageman, Shutterstock

Can Snakes Be Helpful Animals? Everything You Need to Know!
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