Archive for the ‘Service Dog Tips’ Category

To raise and maintain a service dog can cost a pretty penny. According to the Freedom Service Dogs of America, the cost of a Service Dog is approximately $25,000. Forbes magazine estimates a regular dog ownership to start at $17,650 and can go as high as $93,520 depending on the breed and size of the dog. 

Acquiring and training a service dog is costly. And having a service dog does come with some dismay from individuals who may not understand the owner’s needs. Therefore, some handlers decide to register their Service Dog in order to make the dog’s purpose more transparent.

Though service dog owners sure want to keep their service dogs well-taken care of, it can be a lot of money. Therefore, every little dollar counts. The following are a few money saving tips for you and your service dog. 

1. Purchase Dog Food in Bulk 

It’s not easy dragging large bags of dog food around, but the savings might be worth it. Especially for large dogs, food can cut quite a chunk into your budget. One way to save money is purchasing dog food in large amounts when there is a sale or from big-box stores. If you don’t think you’ll be able to use up the food before it expires, you may want to ask a friend who has the same sized dog to split it with you.

Sharing the costs and buying in bulk can save you a lot of cash in the long run. 

2. Groom Your Service Dog at Home

Dog grooming can be expensive. However, it’s a necessary part of keeping your dog healthy. That said, grooming your own pet can also be difficult! If money is a big concern, make grooming your own dog a priority. There is a learning curve involved in grooming your dog, so make sure you educate yourself first. Start small by learning how to clip and buff your dog’s nails. Then move on to shampooing and cutting hair. Online tutorials, books, and web articles can teach you. Just know that you may need to invest in quality grooming tools in the beginning, but the cost savings will make up for them! 

3. Start Coupon Clipping For Your Service Dog Needs

Even if you don’t do it for your own groceries, you can start coupon clipping for your service dog. Every little coupon counts. You don’t need to wait for the Sunday newspaper to clip coupons anymore; You can search for them online. The pet store and your veterinarian may also have coupons available, so don’t be afraid to look around or to ask. 

A service dog appreciates love and care more than receiving expensive goods. 4. Become Your Service Dog DIY Expert

You can learn to DIY your dog’s products. Make it a hobby and it becomes fun! Your service dog won’t know the difference between a high-end doggy bed versus a DIY one. All your service dog will know is that it belongs to them and it’s full of warmth. You’ll see the gratitude in their eyes and feel proud that you made it for them! Even toys and dog houses can become DIY projects. You’ll enjoy finding the right DIY project for you and your service dog. 

Your service dog won’t know the difference between a high-end version versus a DIY item.

5. Prevent Potential Dangers  

Prevention is key. Dog-proof your home to keep your service dog safe. Keep potential poisons away from your pet. Ensure your gates and fences can endure the onslaught of your service dog. Preventing accidents from happening will save you the tragedy having to take a sick or injured dog to the vet. 

Prevention also comes with maintaining your service dog’s health. Provide your dog with ample space to run, give them enough exercise, and maintain their weight. Veterinary fees can pile on when your dog is unhealthy. Start paying close attention to your dog’s health from the get-go and prevent veterinary fees in the future. 

If your money is tight and you don’t mind, many veterinary schools provide discounts with students in training. The services may be very basic, but the monetary savings are great. Service can include check-ups, vaccinations, and spaying and neutering. Stick to an accredited veterinary college and call around your area if you’re curious about the savings. 

Your Service Dog’s Love Does Not Need Riches

Your service dog will love you, regardless if their supplies are exquisite or bought from the dollar store. How you treat your service dog and care for them speaks more than a pricey outfit. Be mindful of what you spend money on and you can save money bit by bit. 

A service dog can significantly improve a person’s quality of life. Not only do they fulfill specific tasks for individuals with physical or mental disabilities, they also provide companionship and security. A service dog’s presence can be the difference between a safe and a dangerous environment. That’s why registering a service dog may be the best option to ensure these essential animals can do their jobs. The following are guidelines to help you register your service dog. 

Determine Your Need for a Service Dog

First, decide if a service dog is right for you. People who require service dogs typically have a diagnosed physical or mental disability, such as difficulty walking, a debilitating chronic illness, or psychological disorder. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a person with a disability as: 

“[…] a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment.”

However, the ADA does not go into detail as to which impairments are explicitly covered. If you have a physical or mental impairment and feel that a specially trained dog could help accomplish a particular life activity, a service dog may benefit you. 

Choose the Breed that Fits Your Need

When looking for a service dog, choose a dog that can perform your required task(s) well and safely. For instance, if you’d need a service dog to assist you with remaining upright when walking, then a 15-pound chihuahua may not be the best choice for you. As adorable as a particular dog breed may be, that type of breed may not meet your needs.

Choose a breed that can complete the job rather than one you find most appealing. 

Train Your Dog for Your Disability

There are a variety of ways to train your service dog:

You can purchase a dog that has already received training to meet your type of needs. You select a dog and then find a professional dog trainer to do the training. The most cost-effective—but most involved—choice is to train your service dog yourself.

Once trained, it may be time to register your service dog. 

A service dog can be registered after its training is complete. Register Your Service Dog

Traveling or going out in public with your service dog can lead to fewer problems if they’re registered. Other people are more likely to trust a service dog who is registered and certified. Registering your service dog includes their information into a comprehensive database and provides information on your dog’s status without having you divulge private medical information to strangers. Registering your dog is a quick and easy process that can save you from obstacles when out in public places. 

How to Register Your Dog as a Service Dog  Input the name of the service dog handler. The handler would be the name of the person who the dog performs tasks for and answers to. The handler also provides care for the dog, such as grooming, feeding, and toileting.  Input the name of your service dog. This name would be the name a service dog typically responds to. Provide your email address. Some sites may need you to verify your email address afterward.  Upload a picture of your service dog. Choose a photo that is clear and provides an accurate representation of your dog.  Select the format of the registration. Include the registration as a paper certificate, collar tags, leash covers, and other tools. Why Should I Register My Dog as a Service Dog? 

Although the ADA doesn’t make certification or registration of a service dog mandatory, it’s still good practice. Despite having protection under the ADA, the public may not understand the rights of service dogs and their handlers. Due to the recent rash of fraudulent service and therapy dogs, the public may be wary of allowing legitimate service dogs into their establishments. By registering your service dog, you can provide immediate notice of its status—bypassing any disagreements. 

Registering your service dog maintains your privacy. Because you can provide immediate and tangible information of your service dog’s status, others are less likely to question your dog’s presence. Registration allows you—and your service dog—to go about your daily tasks with less interruption and discussions. Your disability, and your dog’s services, can remain your own business. 

Service Dogs and Public Trust

Fraudulent service and therapy dog claims erode the public’s trust in legitimate service dogs. Registration re-builds the public’s trust and, in the end, allows service dogs to do their jobs in peace. 

Service dogs can be trained to help individuals with physical or psychological disabilities. As the service dog holds the job to specifically assist their handlers, a trained autism service dog can provide individuals with autism invaluable assistance in a number of ways.

From helping their handler conquer social barriers to distracting them in times of distress, an autism service dog can take on many tasks.

How to get an Autism Service Dog

A dog can become an autism service dog if it meets the requirements as set forth by the ADA. These requirements state that the dog must perform one or more tasks that help the individual in a manner that pertains to their disability.  The service dog needs to be trained and focused on the job, oftentimes be alert 24/7 and never leave their handler’s side.  

What Situations Can an Autism Service Dog Help With Companionship

Individuals with autism can struggle in relating to others as they may not understand typical human interaction or how to respond in socially-acceptable ways. This can lead to social isolation and feelings of depression. Having an autism service dog to provide companionship can help ease this suffering, whether just at home or in public as well.  

Social Interaction Support

For people with autism that wish to interact with others but have a hard time doing so, an autism service dog is a perfect way to break the ice. While others might avoid individuals with autism that are actively displaying non-typical behavior, people may gravitate towards individuals that are walking a dog. This helps break those uncomfortable social barriers and provides great socialization for the individual with autism.

Autism service dogs can help individuals with autism to interact with others. Safety for Children with Autism

Children with autism can be unpredictable and may choose an inopportune moment to take off. And since they cannot evaluate dangerous situations they might wander into busy traffic or get drawn to an open body of water. The autism service dog can help supervise the child and may prompt it to stay put, or at least momentarily slow their escape, allowing parents time to intervene.  

It should be noted that even when trained, animals are still animals and can exhibit unpredictable or erratic behavior. An adult should maintain control of the service dog at all times.

Children with autism can benefit from having an autism service dog. Soothing a Meltdown

An individual with autism, especially children, may experience loss of behavioral control. During such a meltdown it is crucial that they can regain control before they might harm themselves or someone else. An autism service dog can be trained to recognize when such a meltdown is happening and help soothe their handler.

Alerting and Grounding

The needs of every individual with autism are unique, and autism service dogs can be trained to perform a variety of tasks that may prove helpful. Such specific tasks may be:

Nudging a person to disrupt and stop repetitive/self-injuries behavior Help identify sounds and alarms Alerting the individual or their parents of dangers Autism Service Dogs Can Help Overcome Hardship

Individuals with autism deserve to live full, fulfilling, and rewarding lives despite the challenges brought about by their disability. Autism can be difficult to handle, and parents of autistic children might want to decide if a helping paw could benefit their whole family. Investing in an autism service dog is a great way to help an individual with autism to live a life less complicated.