Could My Dog Become a Service Animal?
September is National Service Dog Month, and it’s an important time to educate pet owners and the public in general about service dogs and what makes them so incredibly special and valuable to their companions.
What Is a Service Dog?
According to the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), a service dog is a dog that has been specially trained to perform certain tasks that can help improve and ease life for people with disabilities.
It’s important to remember that service dogs are not pets; they are working dogs that are busy performing very important jobs. For this reason, it is not appropriate to pet, interact with, or distract a service dog without first asking the handler for permission.
How Dogs Become Service Dogs
Service dogs require years of training. The dogs are specially selected as puppies and begin their training right away. Depending on the needs of their future owner, the dogs receive training in different tasks. For example, one service dog might learn to lead a visually impaired person safely down the street while another might learn the signs of seizures and how to support an individual with epilepsy. Throughout their training, service dogs must pass several tests before they can officially become service dogs.
Could Your Dog Ever Become a Service Dog?
Official service dogs, under the ADA, must undergo rigorous training that begins in puppyhood to learn how to perform certain tasks that assist their owners. For this reason, it is much more likely that the dog you currently own would become an emotional support animal or a therapy pet and not a service dog. While emotional support animals sometimes have special training that bonds them to their owners and socializes them so they know how to behave in a variety of public settings, they do not undergo the same extent or level of training that service dogs receive.
Dog Training, Therapy Dog Registration, and Service Dog Information in Goldsboro, NC
If you or a member of your family is in need of a service dog or if you’re interested in training your dog to become a registered emotional support animal, we welcome you to contact Eastwaye Veterinary Clinic. We can help guide you through the process of locating a service dog or training and registering your current pet to provide emotional support. To learn more, please contact our veterinary clinic in Goldsboro, NC today.