Service dogs have become a real salvation for humans with inabilities who do not want to be a burden to their relatives. These four-legged helpers can help their owners with routine chores and more complex assignments, making them indispensable for their keepers.
As the public’s awareness of service animals grows, so does their demand. Many proven service animal providers are willing to supply you with their services if you meet the allegations. Therefore, in this article, you will learn who can become a service animal owner and what the demands are.
In compliance with the ADA, a service animal or an assistance animal are individually trained dogs designed to succor humans with inabilities. They receive peculiar preparation and learn to perform tasks to facilitate the daily routine of men with special needs.
Service animals differ from emotional support animals in both their legal status and the functions they perform. A service dog is legally vital to its owner because it performs specific duties to meet a person’s disability-related needs and is tutored to give pre-medical assistance when necessary.
Service animals often aid people with visual, hearing, physical impairments, or severe mental disturbances. These types of conditions necessitate the constant outside help and support that service dogs can provide. Because of this, assistance animals are protected by law and have an extended list of rights compared to other animals. In fact, they can accompany their owners anywhere from shops and restaurants to airplane cabins.
Service animals training
Thanks to unique preparation, a dog can be called a service animal. The dogs go through extensive training that ensures they are maximally effective in assisting their future owners. A service dog training program consists of several stages. First of all, the dog receives basic obedience training and interaction with people and other animals.
Any manifestations of aggression or misbehavior for service animals are unacceptable. They must obey their owner and be able to follow commands. After completing the basic tutoring, the animals are divided into several groups, depending on the type of disability with which they will interact. This makes it possible to adjust the animal’s competency to a specific impairment.
At the end of dogs’ education, the future owners of service dogs are also involved in the process. Thanks to joint exercises under the supervision of a specialist, a person will learn to interact with his four-legged assistant, and the animal will be able to adapt to the needs of a specific person.
How to become a service animal keeper?
If you meet the service dog requirements and have received a recommendation from a doctor to own an animal, you can contact verified providers of service animals. Each animal is prepared individually according to the needs of its future owner. Therefore, the preparation of an animal can take quite a long period of time, usually up to one year.
If you don’t want to wait, you can take an adult-trained animal that has already worked with people with disabilities. In this case, you need to visit a training center, choose an animal, and undergo additional two-week tutoring with your dog under the supervision of professional dog trainers.
If you already have a dog, you can make it eligible for the role of a service one. For this, the animal must undergo special taming and get service dog certification. Without this certificate, the animal cannot be considered official and claim the privileges and rights provided for by law.
After training and receiving documents, you also need to register service dog. The general register includes Information about the service animal and the service dog gets an ID card, which serves as additional confirmation of its status.
The allegations of obtaining a service dog
To have your own service dog, you must have one of the disabilities that significantly affect your life and impair your living standard. It can be a sensory, intellectual, physical, or mental disability. For instance, most often, the owners of service animals are people with impaired vision or hearing, mobility issues, and various non-physical afflictions.
To receive a trained service dog, a service dog candidate must have authorization from a doctor. Talk to your therapist and discuss a service animal’s prospects and possible benefits in your particular case. In some situations, the doctor may refuse to give you the necessary order because your health does not allow for the animal’s proper care.
For veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, there is a separate category of companion animals called psychiatric service dogs. Because these dogs have similar functions, they are often confused with emotional support animals. The task of PSA is to ensure consolation and moral strengthening for one with severe non-physical maladies.
In addition to this, a psychiatric service dog can also assist in case of panic attacks or flashbacks. Service dogs can monitor timely medication intake, wake you up during a nightmare, and can be trained to fulfill many different household chores to make life easier for its holder.
Accessories and equipment
Also, service animals may need extra accessories. First of all, this is a special vest for identifying the animal in the crowd. People with mobility issues should also purchase a specially designed harness to help the service dog roll the wheelchair.
What’s more, the owner of a service animal will need additional equipment for convenience and safety. For example, we recommend buying a collar and several types of leashes for your dog at once. Also, take care of the comfort of your service dog in advance and purchase suitable food, treats, bed and toys for the animal.
The Air Carrier Access Act guarantees particular freedoms for service dogs so that you can take the animal with you in the plane cabin during air travel. However, airlines have requirements for the carriage of a service animal in the cabin. Therefore, you may also need a carrier that will fit the animal in size and in which it will feel safe and comfortable