Emergency service animals are designed to help someone with an illness, injury, or disability be able to live a more fulfilling life. If a loved one has recently been approved for a service animal, it is important to know what to expect when searching and eventually finding the right dog to suit their needs. The guide below walks you through a few things to know about service dog.
You Can Have a Dog Certified as a Service Dog or Find a Trained Service Dog
If your loved one already has a dog that he or she loves and feels comfortable with, you may be able to get it certified as a service dog, depending on its training and the severity of your loved one's illness, disability, or injury. If your loved one does not already own a dog, there are a lot of specifically trained service dogs available from which your loved one can choose.
Service Dogs Can Go Anywhere with Your Loved One
A service dog is supposed to be a help to your loved one at home and when they are out and about in the world. The dogs will be able to focus on where they are going or what they are supposed to be doing, regardless of what is going on in the world around them. They can go into businesses, restaurants, and even churches without issue as long as they are wearing the vest that identifies them as a service dog.
Your Loved One Needs to Stick to the Guidelines of the Dog's Training
Service dogs are trained to provide specific assistance to someone based on that person's needs. The dogs should not be petted by people when they are out in public because it can cause them to become distracted from their duties. Service dogs should only be fed specific treats and food that is designated by their trainers so that they do not become accustomed to eating human food. You do not want your loved one to be out to eat and their dog jumps up on the table in the restaurant trying to get a nibble of their dinner.
Service dogs are very well-trained, loving animals. They will alert your loved one if anything is wrong when they are sleeping, guide them where they need to go throughout the day, and even alert others within the house, if something is wrong with the person that they are trained to assist. Talk to a vet, like Columbine Animal Hospital & Emergency Clinic, for more info.