A Guide to Owning a Service Dog for People with Disabilities

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A Guide to Owning a Service Dog for People with Disabilities
For people with disabilities, a service dog can be a valuable companion. They offer physical and emotional support and are always reliable. Dog lovers and first-time dog owners alike can use this brief guide from Linda Chase to learn more about what it means to have a service pet.
Get Help with Anxiety, Daily Tasks, and Mobility
Service dogs provide support for people with an array of disabilities. There are three distinct types of service dogs: psychiatric service dogs, emotional support dogs, and service dogs. Psychiatric service dogs specifically help people with a diagnosed psychiatric disability, such as anxiety, depression, social phobias, panic attacks, and more. For example, they can detect when a panic attack is coming and alert you to find a safe space and practice breathing techniques. Emotional support dogs specifically help people going through a difficult time by providing companionship.
Service dogs are specifically trained to help with tasks that people cannot do on their own. For example, they can help people get in and out of wheelchairs and bring items to people with mobility issues. They have been proven to help individuals with epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, vertigo, spinal cord injuries, sleep apnea, vertigo, and multiple sclerosis, among other issues.
Care for Them Properly
Caring for your service dog is not entirely unlike caring for any other dog. You should provide them with regular visits to the vet for checkups and purchase high-quality food. How and what you feed your dog is important to their health. Don't trust advertising. Do your reach and find dog food brands that offer the best in quality. Service dogs go through training programs, but their training shouldn't end there. You have to work with them and be prepared to follow the instructions provided by the training institution.
Provide them with a safe space to roam. If your backyard does not have a fence, check with local contractors in your area about installing a fence around your property line. Before you meet with anyone, discuss your needs and get quotes from multiple companies. Be sure to check their reviews online and make note of the elements needed for installation, including materials and labor costs. Finally, check for proof of licensing and make sure they’re aware of the underground utility lines.
Your Rights as a Service Dog Owner
As a service dog owner, it is important for you to know your rights. Every state is different, but the Americans with Disabilities Act protects you from discrimination, including being denied certain things for having a service animal. For example, you cannot be denied entry into a restaurant, retail store, museum, or virtually any establishment for having a service dog. Additionally, if you are a renter, you cannot be denied a lease in a pet-free rental.
How to Adjust
Getting a service dog is going to be an adjustment. You have to keep up with all the normal conditions, such as purchasing supplies and cleaning, just as you would with any dog. The important thing to remember is to listen to your pet's trainer and spend as much time bonding with the dog as possible before you bring them home. Dogs can easily detect high stress levels, so it's important for you to create an environment as stress-free as possible. Stick to a routine and find a safe spot in your home where they can decompress.
Getting accustomed to your role as a service dog owner takes time. However, over time, you'll see that you can't remember how you ever lived without your companion. Treat them well, give them a stress-free home, and they will serve you well.