Spotlight On Service Dogs

It’s National Service Dog Month! Service dogs are truly extraordinary animals. These highly-trained pups help their humans live fulfilling and independent lives by assisting them with specific tasks. The awareness event was created to help honor and boost awareness about these Very Good Boys. A local Tampa, FL vet offers some information on Fido in this article.

What Tasks Do Service Dogs Perform?

Service dogs can perform a variety of tasks. It really just depends on what their job is. A guide dog’s duties entail helping the visually-impaired navigate through the world safely: they may help their owners go around curbs or obstacles. A hearing dog will react to certain sounds, whether it be a knock at the door or a car alarm, therefore helping their humans stay aware of what’s going on around them. Mobility dogs help people get around, and may also offer a shoulder to lean on … literally. Medical Alert Dogs are trained to detect and react to chemical changes in the body that signal an imminent happening, such as an epileptic fit or blood sugar crash. Psychiatric service dogs help people who are coping with issues related to mental health, such as anxiety or PTSD.

How Do I Qualify For A Service Dog?

If you or a loved one would benefit from a service dog, you’d want to start by obtaining the proper documentation from your medical provider, providing confirmation of the disability Fido would be assisting you with. You can also get in touch directly with an organization that trains service dogs: many offer assistance with getting through required paperwork.

How Long Does It Take To Train A Service Dog?

Fido needs to go through quite a bit of schooling in order to get his official certification. The average is about 18 months, though it may vary depending on the specific job. Not all dogs make it through school. In fact, about half of them fail training. Even those pooches that didn’t pass training are often in high demand. They may not be quite cut out for the working life, but still make wonderful pets.

How Do I Identify A Service Dog?

Service dogs usually wear special vests or harnesses, often with signs identifying them as such. If you see a pooch with a vest on, leave them be. Fido is working, and needs to focus on his duties.

Do you have questions about service dogs? Contact us, your local Tampa, FL pet hospital, today!

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