Service Dogs can Enrich Your Life

If you have a disability and need help with certain activities, consider the benefits that come with having a service dog. These animals are not simply pets, but provide a vital role to their owners and allow them to live as independently as possible. Here are some tips from Pet Parents’ Place on how a service dog can be a positive influence on your life.

Ways a Service Dog Can Help

Service dogs provide help to individuals with disabilities in a variety of different ways. They can alert you when the doorbell is ringing if you cannot hear, keep you from crossing traffic if you’re unable to see, and even provide security and companionship if you suffer from anxiety.

If you have ever owned a dog, you know how much joy and companionship they can bring to your life. If you’re getting a service dog for the first time, think about your needs, and what would be the most helpful outcome for you if you welcome a service pet into your life.

Picking the Right Breed for Your Needs

There are a variety of breeds that can help support you. Some of the most popular breeds include poodles, German shepherds, Great Danes, and golden retrievers, to name a few.  It’s important to identify what your needs are and pick a service dog that can assist with those. For example, a standard-size poodle can help with seeing-eye needs, while a miniature poodle can comfort those with anxiety or PTSD.

Bond and Alleviate Stress

If you decide to get a service dog, it’s important to work with a pet trainer and learn about the needs of your service dog. You should bond with your dog as much as you can, and work to eliminate stressors when you bring your dog home. Spend quality time together, set a routine, and give them a place to rest and relax. Dogs can sense when something is not right, and this can lead to issues that could affect their overall behavior.

Taking Care of Your Service Dog

Since your new pet is already tasked with such a big job, it’s important to return the love and take care of them as much as possible. Make sure you find a dependable vet and find out what type of food is best for your dog. Consider their other needs, such as grooming and dental care, and find out how often your pet will need these services.

You should have supplies on hand like shampoo, food, treats, toys, and potty pads for times when there are accidents. Before you purchase anything, make sure you are reading reviews of the products from an unbiased source. Find out how safe they are, how well they work, and what other pet owners think of them.

Ensuring Safety for You and Your Service Dog 

Just as you would baby-proof your house before bringing a newborn home, the same should go for your new service dog. Make a list of things that you might need to change, such as removing cords that could be chewed, putting chemicals in a safe place, and keeping poisonous food like onions out of reach.

If your home does not have a fence and you need one, find out about fence builders near you. Take time to read reviews of companies online before you get a quote and talk about your needs. The overall cost will depend on the materials, how long the fence is, and where it is being put. Don’t forget to look for someone who is licensed and make sure they understand where the utility lines are on your property.

Although getting set up for a service dog takes some effort, it is well worth the joy and love you will experience when you bring your new dog home. Choose a breed that suits your needs, find ways to alleviate stress, care for your dog property, and ensure their safety inside and outdoors.

Pet Parents’ Place brings the past and present pet parents, including fosters, together online to bring peace of mind that their beloved pet has found a loving home. If you have any questions, please email 

Article by Jessica Brody, Our Best Friends Org

Photo from Unsplash

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