Commitment to Service Dogs

Some of the most committed dog people in the world are service dog owners.  These disabled people develop a strong bond with their dog/s.  Each is depending upon the other to meet particular needs.

This little article deals particularly with those who are considering getting a service dog.

Do you like dogs?  If not, better not get a service dog.  If the relationship is only a business one, it just won’t work smoothly. If you can’t stand dog hair, or saliva, or the smell of dog feces, etc. then reconsider getting a service dog.  But if you love dogs, then you have crossed the first hurdle in getting a service dog.

Before getting a service dog, be aware of the commitment involved.  This will be a 27/7/365 relationship.  You will be sharing a major part of your life with this four-footed bundle of eagerness.  Even your bathroom will be available to this dog.  He or she will go with you into restaurants, to the hospital, possibly to work or school.  He/she will be with you constantly.  Can you handle this?  For some, this is an awesome idea.  For others, the idea of a dog being constantly under foot can be annoying and frustrated.

Are you committed to the wait?  Most service dog trainers have a waiting list.  Sometimes it could take 1-2 years or more before you receive your service dog.  Most trainers require a deposit at the start of training.  Are you able to wait until the training is complete to see your investment begin to pay dividends?  Furthermore, most trainers will want to meet with you in person in order to have a better understanding of your needs and then develop a plan to best meet those needs.  Are you committed to the travel time/effort/expense involved – before you ever receive your dog?

Then there are the commitments to grooming and healthcare.  Does your disability hinder your ability to administer medication, or cut toenails?  There are other alternatives to this, of course.  Other family members, a close friend, or the Vet can help with these chores.

There is the commitment to continued maintenance training.  In order to keep the training fresh, it must be maintained.  If you fail to continue it, you will lose it.  Before you invest many dollars into a service dog, be sure you are committed to sustain the tasks he/she has learned.  Otherwise, your investment could be largely wasted.  Of course, your trainer can/will help to maintain the training.

Do have the financial commitment for a service dog.  He/she will need equipment (such as vests, collars, leashes, etc), regular veterinary care, daily feeding, and so on.  Be sure your income and/or insurance is sufficient to supplement these needs.  A dog is a living, breathing, feeling individual that will depend upon you or your family for all of its needs.

While there must be a devoted commitment to owning a service dog, there are many blessings with him/her as well.  As stated previously, the deep bond is seldom seen among pet owners.  The devotion is his/her eyes looking at you, awaiting his next command, anxious to respond to your every whim is something special indeed.

Contact Conifer Canine for your service dog training needs.

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