Sure, your dog can fetch a stick, but can they fetch the phone so you can call for help in an
emergency? The latter is just one of the many things that trained service dogs can do for
people with disabilities. Service dogs can be a lifeline for people who struggle with
everyday tasks, but there’s a lot to consider before bringing a service dog into your life.
Here are some benefits to having a service dog and advice on how to get the most out of
using a service dog.
Types of Things Service Dogs Can Do
Did you know some service dogs can be trained to alert epileptic people when a seizure is
imminent? The list of things service dogs can be trained to do for you as their owner is
nearly endless. Among other tasks, service dogs can retrieve far away or dropped items,
prevent falls or injuries, bark on command to summon help for the owner, provide
companionship, and alleviate anxiety.
Your service dog will be specifically trained to handle your unique needs. Training a service
dog can take anywhere from one to two years.
Best Breeds for Service Dogs
All dogs are great, but not all dogs make great service animals. The key traits of a service
dog are intelligence, obedience, and friendliness. As such, two of the most popular breeds of
service dogs are Labradors and golden retrievers. Be sure to take your lifestyle needs and
personal preferences into account for any service dog breed you consider.
Adjusting to a Service Dog
Prepare your home before your pup arrives by having supplies, such as food bowls, leashes,
and dog beds, ready to go. Before purchasing any items, read comprehensive product
Consider seeking therapy or doing guided meditations to help your stress levels remain
low so your dog will have an easier time staying calm and behaving. Set aside dedicated
time each day to bond with your dog and complete any additional training your trainer
Since your dog is a working animal, you need to be firm about your boundaries and not
allow others to distract your dog. Don’t put your dog in dangerous situations and try to
walk him in pedestrian-safe areas. Make sure your dog has on a vest indicating that they’re
a service animal while they’re working. Additionally, familiarize yourself with the
Americans with Disabilities Act so you know your rights related to your service dog.
Keeping Your Pet Safe
Your service dog will likely be quite well behaved, but you still need to have some safety
mechanisms to ensure they cannot wander off. One of these is a fence that extends around
the perimeter of your property. Before you hire a contractor to install a fence to keep your
pet safe, verify that the fence installer is licensed and insured and has experience dealing
with underground utility lines.
Enjoy Your Service Dog
Service dogs are often a life-changing addition to people with special needs. Decide what
breed is right for you, prepare for your dog's arrival, and make sure your dog is safe at
AnimalCity is committed to rehoming pets whose owners have passed or become
incapacitated. Learn how you can get involved!