The Ultimate Guide to Service Dogs: What They Are and How You Can Get One

A service dog is specially trained to help a person who suffers from a disability, ensuring that they can get on with their life with the least amount of disruption as possible. They assist their owners with carrying out daily tasks safely and efficiently. 

Registering your furry canine friend as a service dog is a straightforward process by following the steps on Service Dog Registration of America. However, you might not be sure exactly what counts a service dog. Here’s everything you need to know before you register:

 Who can service dogs help?

 These amazingly smart creatures can help cover a wide range of issues people experience:

  • Visual impairment
  • Hearing impairment
  • Mobility impairment
  • mental illness
  • Seizures
  • Diabetes

 These are examples of issues that service dogs can successfully assist their handler.

 How are they trained?

 The specialized training they receive helps them build their sense of intuition, understanding, and awareness. Professional training can take weeks and is dependent on the tasks the animal will have to learn and perform. This will determine when they will be ready to serve someone who is in need of help.

 Here are 10 types of service dogs, from popular to newly developed:

  • Guide dog
  • Hearing dog
  • Mobility assistance dog
  • Seizure alert dog
  • Seizure response dog
  • Diabetic alert dog
  • Autism support dog
  • Allergy detection dog
  • FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders) service dog
  • Psychiatric service dog

 What duties do service dogs offer?

Service dogs can help their owners live a more fulfilling life by minimizing troublesome tasks and reducing workload that might otherwise be cumbersome without their assistance. Day-to-day challenges can be significantly reduced with a trained dog. 

 Let’s dig in and explore some of the tasks service dogs can carry out for people with a disability or impairment.

 Basic tasks service dogs can carry out

 As an animal guardian for their owner, service dogs can vigilantly perform some of the key skills for being an attentive companion. These include: 

  • Service dogs can respond when someone’s at the door by pulling a level. They can bring or retrieve items to their owners such as mail, medicine bottles, and other items. 
  • Carry a backpack with medicines and other provisions for the owner. 
  • Bark to summon or alert someone in another room to call them on behalf of the owner.  
  • Help the owners’ mobility; getting up from sitting, climbing the stairs and stably walking around.

 Critical tasks service dogs can carry out

 Service dogs can impressively perform emergency and critical tasks should the need arise. With training, they can give their owner the confidence that they will be safe in the event of an emergency.

 Some examples are as follows:

  • Bring the phone to the owner should they need to contact a relative or 911 in a difficult situation.
  • Alert its owner should there be a fire or burglary attempt.
  • Know which manner to bark as a signal for help.
  • Alert others when its owner is in a distressful situation.
  • Leads other people to its owner if he/she has suffered a challenging physical or mental situation.

 Is a Service Dog Right For You?

Just like humans, dogs have instincts too. With the right training, they can become intuitive to their owner’s difficulties and impairments. Service dogs can perform a plethora of resourceful and lifesaving tasks for their owners, enriching their lives with positivity and security. They provide tremendous physical and mental benefits for their owners, and with the help of Service Dog Registration of America, registering your canine companion as a service dog is clear and straightforward.  

 If you’re wondering whether a service dog is right for you, speak to your doctor.

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