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Paws Up for Working Pups: How a Service Dog Can Benefit You

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

recommends.


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

home.


AnimalCity is committed to rehoming pets whose owners have passed or become

incapacitated. Learn how you can get involved!

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