Archive for the ‘Dogs’ Category

Quite a few of us have had a dog steal our hearts, but did you know they can also save it? Dogs provide companionship and comfort. But for people who struggle with dangerous heart conditions, service dogs can also help monitor their heart condition. 

Medical Alert Service Dogs

Medical alert service dogs—or more specifically, Cardiac Alert Dogs—are service dogs trained to detect anomalies in heartbeats and blood pressure changes. When a sudden change occurs, a cardiac alert dog can spot the difference and alert their owner to the danger. 

Because cardiac alert dogs play such a vital role in saving lives, they must learn how to detect cardiac changes accurately. To achieve this training level, cardiac alert dogs spend years learning how to recognize changes in pulse patterns and blood pressure. Sometimes, their training starts as young puppies, with almost daily sessions devoted to identifying heart changes. 

When significant changes are observed, a cardiac alert dog may get its owner’s attention through a designated “alert behavior,” like pawing at their owner or laying on the ground. For example, if a sudden spike in blood pressure is detected, a cardiac alert dog may bump its owner repeatedly with its head until its owner responds. 

How Much Does a Medical Alert Dog Cost? 

The costs for a service dog can vary, depending on whether you train the dog yourself or purchase a fully trained dog. Although training a service dog yourself is the cheapest way, the cost savings come at another price: time and effort. Training a service dog takes consistency, routine, and a lot of time. 

If you’re looking to purchase a medical alert dog, you may pay anywhere from $10,000–$25,000 for a fully trained dog. It’s important to buy the dog from a legitimate organization because, quite literally, your life depends on the dog you buy.

Whether you choose to train a medical alert dog yourself or purchase one, it’s an investment in your future and health. Medical service dogs provide companionship and peace of mind that isn’t available anywhere else. 

Which Breeds are Good Medical Alert Dogs? 

When choosing a medical alert dog, the breed matters. A dog breed known for its excellent sense of smell and hearing is the best choice. Discerning changes in heartbeats and blood pressure not only takes a keens sense of smell and hearing, but it also requires a dog to be attentive and not easily distracted. The following breeds are tried and true medical alert service dog breeds:

Labrador Retrievers are all around great dogs and can be trained to become any type of service dog, including a medical service dog. Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds to have as pets, and they make ideal service dogs. Traditionally, Labrador Retrievers were bred as hunting dogs, which means they can follow directions and readily detect changes. A perceptive breed, Labrador Retrievers, are definitely up to the task of being a medical service dog. 

Poodles are cuddly and eager to please. Their sharp senses make them an ideal contender for a medical service dog. Poodles

Poodles aren’t just pretty to look at, but they’re also intelligent and eager to please. What’s more, they have a sharp sense of smell and are often used for tracking purposes. Poodles are also hypoallergenic dogs and are ideal for people who are allergic to dog fur and dander. 

German Shepherds are always alert and focused on their jobs, which are perfect traits for a medical service dog. German Shepherd

German Shepherds often function as police dogs because of their strong sense of smell, making them excellent medical service dogs. Along with their olfactory talents, German Shepherds are focused and calm. They don’t get distracted or rattled very easily and can stay on task for long periods. As medical service dogs, German Shepherds are a great option overall. 

Finding Your Medical Alert Dog

If you’re interested in a medical alert or cardiac alert dog, speak with a licensed healthcare professional to see if one could benefit your situation. You may even qualify for discounts, grants, financial aid, veteran support, or donated service dogs if your physician recommends one. Depending on your environment and needs, finding the right service dog might take a bit of time. For example, a German Shepherd might make an excellent medical alert dog, but they’re not practical if you live in a small apartment or can’t afford the cost of care. 

A medical service dog is a living animal and requires care and attention, just like a regular pet. They perform best when they have a solid bond with their owner. There are many factors to consider when searching for a medical service dog, and obtaining the right medical service dog is not easy, but it may save your life. 

Let everyone know instantly your medical service dog is an indispensable part of your life with your Service Dog ID. Get your medical service dog registered below.

Mobility service dogs do more than help a person with a disability walk or remain upright. They can receive training to perform a variety of tasks related to movement. For instance, they can: 

Move obstacles out of a disabled person’s path (such as rugs, chairs, or small objects).  Obtain items that are out of reach for a person.  Retrieve items that fall onto the floor.  Hold coats and jackets to help their owner dress or undress.  Function as a brace for people who struggle with strength or balance issues.  Bark to alert others when their owner falls or collapses. 

To register your dog as a service dog in our national database, click on the link below to get started.

Five Best Mobility Dog Breeds

Mobility dogs must be intelligent, as with all service dogs, but they also have to be an adequate size to qualify as a true mobility service dog. Because people with mobility issues may fall or require a brace, small dogs may not be appropriate. Mobility dogs are often strong and solid dogs, squarely built and full of muscle. They must also have a patient temperament, free from anxiety. 

The following dogs are the five best mobility dog breeds for people with disabilities: 

Labrador Retrievers

Labrador Retrievers are a favorite choice for most types of service dog requirements. They’re highly intelligent and eager to please, but labrador retrievers also have an excellent temperament. They bond well with their owners and family, are calm in public spaces, and socialize well with other dogs. It’s their size, however, that makes them an optimal mobility service dogs. They’re strong and sturdy, and grow large enough to help brace their owners and life limbs. Male Labrador retrievers can grow up to 80 pounds and can reach two feet in height. 

The intelligent Labrador Retriever is all around a perfect mobility service dog. Newfoundlands

Newfoundland dogs are very large dogs, making them ideal for taller individuals who require fall prevention or bracing. The male dogs can grow up to 150 pounds and 28 inches in height. Although they’re large dogs, Newfoundlands are exceptionally gentle and patient. They’re well known in the dog world for being sweet and attentive with their owners—precisely what mobility service dog owners need

Newfoundlands are gentle giants that can support larger humans. Bernese Mountain Dogs

The Bernese Mountain Dog looks almost like a large fluffy teddy bear, and their temperament adds to this aura. Their broad head and thick fur are adorable, but these traits also make the Bernese Mountain Dog great mobility dogs. Their thick coat allows their owners to grab onto them or brace themselves comfortable—and their large heads can do the same. This breed also boasts a gentle and patient personality. Not prone to anxiety or fear, they are well-behaved when out in public. Adult male Bernese Mountain dogs can reach up to 115 pounds and 27 inches in height, which allows them to tolerate weight. 

Bernese Mountain Dogs has the size and temperament to be excellent mobility dogs. Rottweilers 

Rottweilers are well-known as guard dogs, but they also make ideal mobility service dog. Their size and physique make for a sturdy brace, and they can tolerate and pull weight. Male Rottweilers can grow up to 135 pounds and grow to 27 inches in height. What’s more, Rottweilers are exceptionally easy to train and loyal to their owners. Although their reputation as vicious guard dogs precede them, they’re quite calm and gentle. When in a playful mood, they can also be silly and goofy! 

With their strength and loyalty Rottweilers make great mobility service dogs. St. Bernard

The St. Bernard is a large dog. Owners who choose a St. Bernard as a service dog may want to consider their size. Not only is the St. Bernard a huge dog, but it’s also very furry—making it look even larger. A male St. Bernard can grow up to 180 pounds and 30 inches in height. Ideal for larger people who may require a brace for fall prevention, the St. Bernard is an excellent mobility service dog. This breed, especially the males, are solid and muscular underneath the layers of fur. They’re also calm, attentive, and eager to learn. Despite their size, they’re wonderful with small children and function well in families. 

The St. Bernard is a gentle, strong giant and eager to work as a mobility service dog. Other Points to Consider with Mobility Dog Breeds

Dogs used as mobility service dogs tend to be larger breeds. And large breeds need more space and more food. A mobility service dog works well in larger areas with little clutter. These dogs also need to stay fit to do their work, requiring space to run and play in. And because they’re often working, they may need extra nourishment. 

Large dogs may also require costly grooming fees because of their size and fur. This point is important because adequate grooming and feeding keep service dogs healthy and ready to accomplish their tasks. If you’re looking for a mobility service dog and can provide the right environment and care, then the breeds above may be right for you!

Dogs can’t tell the difference between a luxury dog toy and a dollar store dog toy. All they know is that it’s given with love and that it’s theirs. The following are ten simple dog toy ideas that will give your service dog hours of stimulation without breaking the bank!

Show everyone that the rights of your service dog should be respected. Get your service dog registered below.

Bouncy Sock

This DIY is a great way to use those socks who have lost their other half. It also satisfies your dog’s needs to run around with your socks—except this one is clean. 

What You Need: – One tennis ball– One sock

Instructions: Push a tennis ball into a sock. Make sure the tennis ball gets all the way to the toe area. Knot the sock near the tennis ball area. Throw the sock ball and watch your dog enjoy the bouncing sock.

Food Finder

Dogs love food, and they also love a challenge. Hiding snacks in a tennis ball turns it into a fun snack dispenser.

What You Need: – One tennis ball– Doggy snacks– A knife or box cutter

Instructions: Choose a seam on the tennis ball and cut a small slit along the seam. Stuff the dog snacks into the slit. Throw the ball towards your dog and let the fun begin. 

A tennis ball and food can make a great DYI toy for your service dog. Treat Bottle

What You Need:– One empty plastic bottle– Doggy snacks – Denim strips

Instructions: Unscrew the lid from the bottle’s neck and discard the lid. Push the dog treats and denim into the bottle. Watch your dog puzzle over this delicious toy. 

Chew Toy from Denim 

What You Need: – Old denim jeans– Scissors 

Instructions: For this project, make sure to use thick denim. Don’t use stretch denim or chambray cloth, or your dog will tear the toy to shreds in no time. Cut the denim into long strips. Gather the trips together and knot one end very tightly. Then braid the pieces together. Knot at the other end when complete. When done, you should have a braided chew toy that will occupy your dog for hours. 

Iceberg Treats 

What You Need: – Small dog toys– A plastic bowl or container– Water – Your freezer 

Instructions: Take your dog’s favorite small dog toys, place them in the container. Then add water into the container and fill it to the top. Once the container is filled, freeze the container overnight. When the contents are fully frozen, slide the entire amount out. It’s best to do this treat outside in warm weather for a cool summer day treat. Note: If you feel exceptionally creative, you can use broth to freeze the toys instead of water. You can also freeze fruit pieces or dog treats! 

Floppy Stuffed Animal

What You Need: – A clean stuffed animal– Scissors– Needle and thread– Fabric strips (optional)

Instructions: If you have an old stuffed animal lying around, you’ve got yourself a dog toy. Simply remove the stuffing and sew the (un-stuffed) animal back up. You’ve got a floppy toy for your dog! If you’re feeling extra adventurous, stuff the animal halfway with thick fabric strips for an extra treat when your dog finally chews it open. Just be aware of the confetti-like celebration your dog will leave in their wake! 

An old stuffed animal can be turned into a great DYI. Frozen Hand

What You Need: – A clean old, thick glove– Broth or water– Dog treats – Your freezer

Instructions: Place the dog treats at the end of each finger, and knot the fingers of the glove. The knot prevents the treats from slipping out. Soak the glove in broth and freeze. Give to your dog after it’s frozen. Just like the Iceberg treats, this is a perfect sunny day toy for a dog. 

Simple Peanut Jar

What You Need: – A plastic jar– Peanut butter

Instructions:This dog toy DIY is simplest when you’re at the end of a peanut butter jar. Instead of scraping the sides clean, just hand it over to the dog to do the dirty work. If you don’t have an almost empty peanut butter jar, any durable plastic jar will do. You can smear peanut butter onto the insides of the jar. If you’d like, you can mix in crumbled doggy treats into the peanut butter. Freezing the jar and peanut butter also gives an extra treat for those warm days.

The Rope Throw

What You Need: – A piece of old rope– One tennis ball

Instructions: You can cut or drill a hole in each side of the ball. Make the holes large enough to slide the piece of rope through. Slide the ball into the middle of the rope. Form tight knots on either side of the ball to keep the ball in place. This creates a toy to play fetch with. 

Dog Feeder 

What You Need: – One foot PVC pipe– 2 PVC pipe caps– Doggy treats 

Instructions:This DIY takes a little for elbow grease than the others, but it’s worth the effort. Mainly for large dogs, this PVC pipe dog feeder will last through multiple playtimes. Carefully drill holes throughout the pipe. Sand the rough edges of the holes down with the sandpaper. Wash the pipe with soap and water and let dry. When dry, insert the dog treats and cap the ends. Your dog will love trying to get the treats out of this simple and sturdy toy! 

Keep Your Dog Safe

For all of these DIY toys, as with any dog toy, supervise your dog when they’re playing. Make sure that the dog toys and snacks are the appropriate sizes for your dog. Have fun making these doggy diversions. Your dog will thank you for them!