Service dogs are one of the best animals a human could own. They’re adorable, but most importantly, useful and supportive. However, there are a couple of things you should know if you’re planning on getting one. We’ll be running through them, so read ahead.
They can be Lifesavers
A lot of people think you can only get a service dog if you need help dealing with a physical disability. This isn’t the case as they can be used as emotional support animals too. So, if you’re struggling with depression, a little buddy by your side can help!
Be Prepared To Wait
The thing is, it takes a while to get a service dog. You can’t get it done overnight. It takes weeks, months if not longer.
This is because you need to be assessed. The people you’re getting the dog from should know if you’re actually in need of one. Even if everything checks out and they’re still reluctant, they may evaluate you for longer.
Get Your Pen Ready
One of the major things people don’t realize about owning a service dog is that they have to fill out a couple of forms. These ask for details about the type of person you are and the lifestyle you live. This would involve you giving very personal details about yourself, as you can imagine. If you’re not comfortable with this, then you might not want to get a service dog.
What’s more, these aren’t just a few forms. There are loads of them that have to be filled. So, get your pen ready.
The Dogs Are Pricey
Another major thing that people don’t realize is that service dogs are expensive. If you’re thinking of getting one, you can’t just fill out a couple of forms and expect to have one sent to you. A lot of the time, you’ll have to pay for the dog. Depending on its breed, you could be dishing out quite a bit of cash.
In terms of how much you could spend, you could run up a bill of at least $500!
If you’re really lucky, you may live in a country that offers service dogs for free. If not, they may offer them for cheaper compared to other places.
They Need To Be Continuously Trained
Yes, they’re handy dogs that can help with a lot of things, but they can only do this as they’ve been trained. If you think about it, dogs are bright, but are they that smart? They’re bound to lose touch with these things, especially important training regiments.
This is why they’ll have to undergo constant exercise that will remind them of doggy boot-camp. The service you get the dog from would tell you about what you should be doing, so keep your eyes and ears alert.
Services Dogs Aren’t Allowed In Some Places
If you’re under the impression that your service dog would be allowed entry everywhere, you’re mistaken. If you want to take your dog with you, you have to get him registered and obtain a letter saying that he has to be with you at all times. Without this, he’s just a dog on a leash. As you can imagine, this would tick a lot of shop owners off.
They’re Not Like Most Dogs
Yes, they’re fluffy and cute like other dogs, but you need to be strict with them. If you pet them, play with them or spoil them the way you would a regular dog, you may make the service dog forget all about their training. So, be sure to treat them in a way that would maintain their disposition. After all, they should be working, not playing.
The service dog needs to be instructed at all times too. If you don’t give them things to do, you’re going to become restless. Being bored is not normal to them so they’ll start to act strangely.
Your Doggo Will Always Be By Your Side
The fact that your service dog will always be your side is adorable, but depending on the type of person you are, this may be irritating. They’re trained to always be with you, no matter what. So, if you’re not ready for such a commitment, then getting a service dog is out of the question.
How Well Can You Take Care Of One?
Remember, they’re dogs after all. Dogs require a lot of attention and most importantly, care. Your service dog has been a good boy so he deserves to be tended to.
Be sure to constantly keep him stimulated, fed and most importantly, groomed. Treat him with the care you’d show any other dog. He’s not a robot that’s always doing your bidding.
Although you may need a service dog, be realistic. Will you be able to attend to his needs? If not, will there be someone that would? If not, then getting a service dog might not be the best thing for you to do.
People Are Going To Stare!
Dogs are cute! You won’t find anyone that would disagree with this. That’s why when you’re in public with your furry companion, people will flock to you. The truth is, people don’t know how to act around service dogs and are fascinated by them.
This means you’ll draw a lot of attention. This is somewhat counterproductive if you got the service dog to act as an emotional support animal. If he or she is there to help you with anxiety, people paying too much attention to you and your dog would lead to some major panic attacks. So you need to be able to handle this part of it effectively.
Service dogs are easily the best pets to have around if you have a disability or need emotional support. This doesn’t mean you can act on a whim and own one just because you want to. What we mentioned above makes this clear, so if you want to get hold of a service dog, keep all these tips in mind. That way, you and your service dog will be a great fit for one another.