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Ready to Be a Puppy Parent? Top Signs You’re Ready for a Dog

Are dogs good pets? Is that even a question? Puppies are the greatest thing on the planet Earth. Anyone who says otherwise is probably trying to sell you something. 

But there’s a big difference between loving sweet, fluffy puppies and being ready to own one. 

If you’re contemplating whether getting a dog is the right decision for you, keep reading for a few key signs that you’re ready to parent a fur baby. 

You’re Able to Be a Responsible Adult

The foremost sign that you’re ready to have a dog? You’re ready, able, and willing to be a responsible adult. 

Puppies and new dogs require a lot of attention. They’re super cute and they’re far more self-sufficient than baby humans, but keep in mind that they are still babies. 

That means that you need to invest quite a bit of time in training them. The obvious example is potty training, but there’s a lot more training you need to do for your cute puppy to turn into a well-behaved adult dog. 

For example, you need to kennel-train your puppy. You also need to teach them proper manners when going on walks, how to behave around other dogs, obedience training to curb bad habits like chewing shoes or jumping on people, and a laundry list of other training checklists. 

Plus, puppies under six months old need to be fed three times a day, and you can’t leave food out for them–they’re babies, and they’ll wolf all of it at once and make themselves sick. 

Even if you adopt an older dog from a local shelter, they still need an adjustment period to get used to their new home and owner. 

You’re Financially Stable

Besides the time to train a dog, you also need to have the financial stability to support a dog. 

Even if you think you have enough to own a dog, you probably need more. After all, dogs get sick and injured too, and you never know when you might need money saved up in case of emergencies. 

In addition, puppies are expensive to care for in their first year of life–they need a lot of vet visits, vaccinations, and food to thrive. In general, you should plan to spend between $2,000 to $6,600 on your puppy during their first year. 

This depends a bit on what kind of dog you have and what kind of owner you want to be, but if you truly want your dog to be happy and healthy, you should plan on shelling out a bit extra. 

You Live in a Dog-Friendly Area

In addition, you need to think about the area you live in. 

Not all areas are dog-friendly, and some areas are much more expensive to own a dog. Take a look at your area–are there other dogs that live nearby? Are they friendly? Are there any outdoor spaces or designated dog parks? 

You also need to check on any breed or weight restrictions in your city or apartment building (if you live in an apartment). Breed restrictions vary by city, but commonly banned breeds include: 

  • Rottweilers
  • Mastiffs
  • Pitbulls
  • Alaskan Malamutes
  • Siberian Huskies
  • German Shepherds
  • Great Danes
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • Bulldogs
  • Terriers
  • Wolf hybrids

There are many reasons for breed restrictions, ranging from size (Malamutes, Great Danes) to reputation for aggressiveness (Pitbulls, Rottweilers, wolf hybrids) to noise level (Huskies, Terriers). 

If you live in a city, you need to make sure there are plenty of pet-friendly housing options. Otherwise, you and your best friend may have to scramble to find housing. 

Also, make sure that those pet-friendly housing options are within your budget. Most apartment buildings charge an additional security deposit for a pet, as well as monthly pet rent. 

Are Dogs Good Pets? Yes, Obviously!

Are dogs good pets? Yes! But you have to know how to take care of them. 

Adopting a puppy is like adopting a baby that never grows up. On one hand, you’ll never need to worry about sending them to college. On the other hand, your dog has certain needs throughout their life that a child grows out of. 

If you need help figuring out how to care for your first dog, we can help. We offer complete puppy care packages, as well as all kinds of helpful advice on our blog. 

Need to book an appointment for your furry friend? Click here to get started. 

Table Scrap Taboo: Is It Okay to Feed Your Dog Table Scraps?

It’s good to share. Who better to share with than an endearing pair of puppy dog eyes?

That may not be a good thing, however. Many pet owners are easily swayed by a dog’s pleading and can end up doing lasting damage to their pup’s health. But that’s not to say that it’s the end of the world.

So here’s some advice from your Sykesville Vet on the table scrap taboo.

We Do We Give Dogs Table Scraps?

We get it, don’t worry. A good boy or girl deserves a reward, and dogs can be very good while doing very little.

But don’t think your dog is innocent. Dogs have begging down to a fine art. They love to project the impression that they’re hungry if it means getting more to eat. That can be a lethal combination with the human need to share.

Feeding your dog table scraps at dinner time is a popular — but not harmless — activity.

What Happens to a Dog Who Eats Table Scraps?

Eating table scraps can have a surprising impact on dogs, which we can break down into the physical and the behavioral.

Physical Effects

Is ham bad for dogs? Are carrots bad for dogs?

Even if you can answer those questions off the top of your head, there are likely many more foods that would leave you stumped. Dogs aren’t the developed omnivores that humans are. Some foods are so bad for dogs that they pose immediate health risks.

Even leaving aside unhealthy foods, feeding your dog from the table also makes it tough to keep track of how much they’re eating. Dogs are bottomless pits by nature — they’ll rarely turn down something edible.

Behavioral Effects

The negative impact of table scraps can also go much deeper. Dogs are nature’s big eaters, and they have a complicated psychological relationship with food. Feeding your dog table scraps could play to their worst instincts, inspiring them to beg, snatch, and even steal food.

It’s not always pleasant to have a dog circling the dinner table like a hungry shark, either, particularly for guests who aren’t comfortable with animals.

Dogs are also quick to develop new habits where food is concerned. Even irregular feedings can cause them to see the dinner table as a place for treats.

Are Table Scraps Ever Okay?

This might all sound a little draconian, and it’s true that some things are fine in moderation. The odd treat from the table likely won’t cause any lasting harm.

But you need to be sure that you monitor how often and under what circumstances your dog receives table scraps. You’ll also need to make sure your dog knows where the boundaries are.

A treat from the table should be just that — a rare treat, and only when you have some dog-friendly food available.

Your Sykesville Vet Tackles the Table Scrap Taboo

This has been your Sykesville vet tackling the table scrap taboo. With some new understanding of the subject, you can make an informed choice about your dog’s physical and behavioral health.

Is your dog in the best health they can be? Take a look at our preventative care services to make certain.

Is it My Cooking?: The Top Reasons Your Dog Won’t Eat And You Need to Take Them to a Vet in Sykesville MD

We all know dogs CAN’T eat chocolate. But what happens when they WON’T eat anything at all?

Is your dog refusing to eat their food? What’s going on? Read on to learn the top reasons your dog won’t eat and when it’s time they need to see a vet in Sykesville MD.

1. Is Your Pup Suffering from Separation Anxiety?

Are you gone for long periods of the day? Your dog may be suffering from separation anxiety.

Some dogs show their frustration by ruining your furniture while others show their panic and stress by not eating. Luckily, separation anxiety is common and treatable.

A few ways to reduce their anxiety is by slipping out of the house without making a lot of fuss.

Before leaving your home, you should make sure your dog has had a good walk or is tired out and ready to sleep. You should also leave them with puzzles to play with and things to keep their mind occupied. 

If you’ve established that your dog is anxious, they may also be suffering from depression. If you fear that your dog is depressed, it’s time to see your vet.

2. Is Your Dog Not Eating OR Drinking?

If your pooch is avoiding both food and water, this is an indication that something is seriously wrong and it’s time to call your vet. 

You should check for diarrhea and vomiting or the first signs of dehydration. Pay careful attention to the behavior of your pup.

If all of these signs are present, you may have an emergency situation on your hands and should treat it as such. Your pooch may be suffering from a major condition.

3. Dental Trouble can Prevent a Pup From Eating

If your dog appears to be behaving normally other than the fact that they’re not eating, you may simply have a minor issue on your hands such as a dental problem.

If you normally feed your dog hard food, switch to some softer options during this time to see if they are capable of eating them.

Make sure this diet is mild – chicken and rice is good for dogs who have an upset stomach or dental issues. After a couple of days of paying close attention to your dog, take them to the vet and let them know what you learned.

4. When Did You Treat Your Dog for Worms?

Think back to the last time you treated your dog for worms. Are you up to date? Intestinal worms can cause a lack of appetite. 

This is a common health issue in dogs and can be resolved with a trip to your vet in Sykesville MD.

They will be able to diagnose the parasite and effectively treat your pup so it is back to good health in no time. 

Make an Appointment with Your vet in Sykesville MD.

When it comes to understanding why your dog has stopped eating, there is no one better to turn to than your vet in Sykesville MD. 

You can quickly and conveniently book an appointment via our website so matter whether you’ve been before or are a new patient.

Are Dogs Good Pets?

Considering getting a dog?

Wondering “Are dogs good pets”? Well, they don’t call them ‘mans best friend’ for nothing. They truly are one-of-a-kind companions.

In fact, owning a dog could even help relieve stress and anxiety. Want to know more?

Read on to learn about why dogs make great pets.

Loyalty

Dogs are extremely loyal creatures which are why some people prefer them over cats. When a dog knows you’re its’ owner, he or she will want to protect you and keep you safe.

A dog will love you unconditionally. They’ll always greet you when you get home from work and want to lay by your side when you watch TV.

Not only are they emotionally loyal, but they’ll literally protect you from outside dangers. They will guard your home should there be an intruder, alerting you to a possible threat through their barks.

Their ability to hear sounds you can’t help you rest easy at night knowing you’re protecting and that your dog will let you know if you’re in trouble.

Stress Relief

Interacting with a dog can reduce stress and anxiety. Playing with or petting a dog can change the chemicals in your brain, releasing oxytocin and minimizing the production of cortisol which causes stress.

This is why dogs are often used to treat veterans who suffer from PTSD or why they’re brought to hospitals to visit with sick patients.

A little love from a furry friend can go a long way.

Imagine coming home from a stressful day of work and snapping out of it when your dog wants to play. It’s a great distraction from the stresses of life and can bring joy to any household.

Stay Active

Dogs need to have activity and therefore so do you. You’ll inevitably get exercise when you have a dog because you’ll have to take them for walks or to the dog park to get their energy out.

Depending on their breed, age, and overall health, a dog should get between 30 minutes and 2 hours of exercise per day.

You can bring your dog running with you in the mornings, take them hiking, throw a ball or toss a frisbee to keep them active and get some exercise for yourself as well.

Companionship

If you often feel lonely, a dog can make the perfect companion.

Dogs love to please and serve their owners. They pretty much live to make you happy. So having one by your side can help you through a difficult time and make you feel less alone.

There is something very comforting about having your furry friend by your side at all times.

Socializing

Because your dog requires you to get out of the house and engage in activities, it’s inevitable that you’ll begin to socialize with other people.

Strangers may approach you to ask to pet your dog, or you’ll make new friends at the dog park because your pups become pals.

Whatever the reason, having a dog is a great conversation starter and a way to connect with others.

You may build a new network of friends or meet the love of your life because of your dog!

Are Dogs Good Pets? The Answer Is Yes!

If you were asking yourself, “Are dogs good pets?”, you now have your answer!

Not only are they loyal and great guards of your home, but they’re fun and comforting too.

We’ll work to keep your canine healthy. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

How to Find the Best Veterinarian Near Me

Have you recently adopted a pet and are looking for a veterinarian? Maybe you know something is wrong with Fido but aren’t sure what. Then there is the chance that you’re in need emergency vet care–don’t wait until the last minute–find a veterinarian clinic before you NEED one.

You may ask yourself, ‘how do I find the best veterinarian near me?’ There are several ways to answer this question and we’re going to take a look at each of them.

Keep reading for more information!

Search ‘Veterinarian Near Me’

No really, use the search term ‘veterinarian near me.’ The reason for this is that most major search engines already have a decent idea of your location and will show the vet clinics closest to you.

Keep in mind that this won’t necessarily render the absolute best veterinarian, but it will begin to give you an idea of the clinics around. These results will offer basic information that you need to begin your hunt.

Read Reviews

After you’ve seen some of the vet clinics in the area, read their reviews. Ideally, check multiple sources, including social media and various rating sites. Not every veterinarian can keep every single pet parent happy, so you may run into a few negative comments.

Take those negative comments with a grain of salt unless you see a pattern with them stating the same things over and over.

Look for Accreditations

You probably wouldn’t go to a general practitioner for major surgery. Chances are, you’d speak with a doctor that specializes in the type of surgery you need.

Most veterinarians are similar to a GP for animals. This means that if your fur child needs more specialized care, your vet should have those specialized skills.

It is definitely worth double checking your chosen vet’s accreditations if your four-legged child has a chronic illness or is a less common pet–like an exotic bird, reptile, or even a horse.

Ask Your Fellow Pet Parents

Although reading reviews may give you a broad idea about how a particular vet may treat an animal, your friends and family can give you a more complete view.

Their recommendations will give you the good, the great, the bad, and the ugly. The people you ask won’t gloss over small details that they didn’t like, and will also mention the better things that are often left out of reviews.

You may hear about how the receptionist is an absolute angel, the waiting room is crowded, or that maybe the vet clinic staggers patients so there is less of a wait or none at all.

Finding Your Vet

Sometimes it can take some work to find a vet that you and your pet get along with. Most pets view going to the veterinarian similarly as most adults see the dentist–they dread it!

So the key to finding the best pet care is not just using the search terms ‘veterinarian near me,’ but also taking time to meet and greet with them to ensure Fido loves him as much as you do!

If you’ve already found a vet clinic near you, find out how to prepare your pup for their doctor’s visit!

 

Top 5 Signs of Canine Vestibular Syndrome

Have you started noticing some weird symptoms in your dog?

Like they always tilt their head or their eyes are rapidly moving back and forth?

You may think it’s a stroke, but it may also be canine vestibular syndrome.

Does your do have canine vestibular syndrome? How can you tell? Read on to learn about the top signs of canine vestibular syndrome.

Canine Vestibular Syndrome: What Is It?

Before we look at the signs, it’s important to know what canine vestibule syndrome is.

The vestibular system is the part of the body that controls spatial awareness and balance. So when something affects it, these symptoms can occur.

There are some things that cause it, like ear infections, too frequent ear cleanings which breaks apart their eardrum, a stroke, tumors, polymps, hypothyroidism, and head injuries. Certain drugs can also cause this syndrome.

Sometimes this syndrome is confused with a stroke, so it’s important to take your dog to the vet to make sure. This syndrome doesn’t cause your dog any pain though.

This syndrome also shows up most in older dogs and was nicknamed old dog syndrome.

Signs to Look For

If you suspect that your dog has canine vestibular syndrome, these are some of the signs and symptoms that you should keep an eye out for.

1. A Head Tilt

If your dog’s head is tilted to one side when they look at you, that may mean that their balance is off.

If the cause of this is an ear infection, then your dog will probably tilt their head in the direction of the infected ear.

2. Trouble Balancing

When they have trouble balancing and standing on their legs, this can also be an issue when it comes to walking.  This symptoms can also cause others, like drooling and vomiting.

3. Rapid Eye Movement from Side-to-Side

Like the head tilt, if only one eye is moving back and forth, your dog may have an ear infection on that side.

4. Vomiting

If your dog seems nauseous and they are vomiting a lot, this could be another symptom combined with the others to hint that your dog has canine vestibular syndrome.

Your dog throwing up could be a symptom of this syndrome because it causes motion sickness. And if you’ve ever been motion sick before, you can understand and empathize with your dog.

5. Stumbling and Falling

They may start working in circles, or they may even have trouble getting up.

This symptom doesn’t have to be a complete inability to walk. Your dog could subtly stumble every now and then. However, it can also be that they can’t stand up at all.

You may notice that they are spreading their legs farther than normal to try and balance themselves, or they may be leaning against a wall for support.

Get Your Dog Checked Out Today

These symptoms and signs are all important to be aware of. If you’re not sure if your dog has canine vestibular syndrome, then you can make an appointment with your vet to get a professional opinion.

If you notice that your dog displays some of these signs and symptoms, you may want to consider taking it to a vet.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us or make an appointment.

5 Reasons Why Dogs Make Good Pets According to Sykesville Vet Clinic

Are you thinking about getting a dog? Having a canine companion is not only more fun – recent studies show that it’s actually good for your health.

Owning a dog does take some work, but it’s a labor of love. Feeding, bathing, and walking your dog will become new routines that enrich your life, rather than complicate it.

Of course, it’s the things you do in between the routines that are most memorable. Those things include cuddling, bonding through play, and the unconditional emotional support you’ll gain – you can even share meals with your best canine friend.

To find out more about why dogs make good pets, check out these 5 reasons according to Sykesville Vet Clinic.

1. They Keep You Active

Unless you want your house to smell like dog urine, walking will become a new and frequent routine. While it may be inconvenient sometimes, it’s an excellent way to stay active.

Once you see your dog enjoying the great outdoors, you’re more likely to get out there and play. This will help you easily hit daily recommended exercise goals.

2. They Improve Your Weight

Of course, if you’re out there walking and playing with your dog, you’re likely to lose some weight. Owning a dog is not only ideal for fit and active people but also people who want to become fit and active.

Even if you pick up dog walking as a side job, you’ll find yourself dropping pounds as you run around outside with man’s best friend.

3. They Help Your Social Life

There are tons of dog lovers in the world. Owning a dog is a great conversation starter and hobby to share with new friends.

This is great news for older folks who find it more difficult to connect with strangers. Head to a dog park and get ready to set up doggy play dates with other caring dog owners.

4. They Lower Your Stress Levels

Stress is an unavoidable part of life, but not everyone knows how to deal with it in the most healthy way. With a dog, this becomes a lot easier.

The exercise you get walking and playing with your dog will help with that stress. Additionally, the happy demeanor and loving nature of your dog will release calming chemicals like dopamine in your brain.

5. They Help Prevent Depression

With more exercise, a better social life, and less stress, it’s obvious that dogs help with depression. They improve so many aspects of your life that it reduces the risk for this condition.

Why Dogs Make Good Pets and More

It’s no secret why dogs make good pets. They are loving and loyal without limitation. There are few bonds in the world that can rival a man (or woman) and a dog.

Even science is on the dog owner’s side. Keeping a dog as a pet means a having a healthier heart, keeping your weight down, staying fit and active, lowering your stress levels, and preventing depression.

With all these great benefits, there are few reasons not to own a dog. If you’re ready to take on a new pet, don’t forget to check out our helpful puppy preventative care packages.

Sykesville Vet Recommends: How to Tell if Your Dog Is Pregnant

Are you interested in having a whole litter of puppies to play with?

Do you suspect you have a pregnant dog on your hands already, but want to know for sure?

If so, then you’ve come to the right place.

The good news is there are a lot of ways you can learn how to tell if your dog is pregnant. Of course, while we suggest taking them into your local vet to be sure, there are a few other signs to watch out for.

Read on to learn more about them below.

How to Tell If Your Dog Is Pregnant

As with humans, one of the easiest ways to understand if your dog is pregnant is to look for sudden weight gain that can’t be explained by diet.

Pay close attention to your dog’s abdomen area. If it seems larger, then chances are your dog is “further along” than you might think. Take her into a vet ASAP.

Another sign of a pregnant dog?

Unfortunately, vomiting and diarrhea. Diarrhea in the early pregnancy stage happens because of sudden hormone changes in your pet. It’s especially common for your dog to come down with these two symptoms in the third and fourth weeks of their pregnancy.

In addition to an enlarged abdomen, also be on the lookout for enlarged nipples or a color change in the nipples. They may become rounder as opposed to flat, and they’ll likely take on a darker red tone. This means more blood is flowing to them.

Additionally, be on the lookout for serious fluctuations in your pet’s appetite. Believe it or not, this doesn’t always mean your dog will want to eat more. Especially early on, you might notice she’s not touching her food. She may not want to eat meals she once enjoyed.

Be sure to look out for a slowdown in overall activity levels, too.

Caring for a Pregnant Dog

You, of course, want the best for your dog over the course of her pregnancy.

Talk to your vet about switching to a diet that’s a bit higher in proteins and fats. In most case, you’ll need to give your pet about 1.5 times more food than they normally eat.

You may also need to cut back on the level of intense exercise you give your dog. Strenuous runs and long walks aren’t usually a good idea.

However, short and regular standard walks are more than fine-even good for a pregnant dog.

Need a Dog Pregnancy Test?

Of course, the best way to learn how to tell if your dog is pregnant is to take them into your trusted vet for a test.

While, believe it or not, there are actual dog pregnancy tests out there, the best thing for your dog is to take her to a vet.

We want to be able to help both you and your animal prepare for this exciting news! The same goes if you want to spay/neuter your dog.

Contact us to make sure your pet gets the attention and care she deserves while pregnant.

How Often Should You Take Your Cat to the Vet? Here’s a Quick Guide!

If you’re a new cat owner, congratulations! Welcome to the ranks of over 36 million American households who contain furry, feline friends.

If your kitty and you go way back, you’ll still need to take them to the vet regularly to make sure they’re staying as healthy as possible. Regardless of your situation, you probably have a lot of questions.

How often do cats need shots? What sort of special care do senior cats need? How often should you take your cat to the vet for a cat check up?

Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. Read on for all the answers you’ll need!

How Often Should You Take Your Cat to the Vet?

There’s not a one size fits all answer to this question. You’ll need to take a few key things into consideration when answering this question. This includes:

  • Your cat’s age
  • Your cat’s lifestyle
  • Any special symptoms you might notice

Answer these questions to help you get a better idea of how often your cat needs a vet checkup!

Age Matters

When it comes to the regularity of your kitty’s vet appointments, their age matters.

Kittens, for instance, should have at least four exams in their youth. There is a whole slew of first-time vaccinations and tests they need, too. They should also be spayed or neutered, which helps to prevent cancer in addition to unwanted pregnancies!

Middle-aged kitties should have an annual check-up every year. Symptoms of various feline ailments are hard to notice to the untrained eye, so it’s important to have a professional make sure your cat’s health is tops.

Senior kitties require some special attention. As cats age, their behavior and capabilities change along with them. Try to find a vet who specializes in senior cat care to be sure they’re covering all your kitty’s bases.

Your Kitty’s Lifestyle

Is your cat indoor-only, outdoor-only, or indoor-outdoor? This is essential to consider when deciding how often you’ll take your cat to the vet.

The outdoors pose a whole new world of risks for a feline. If you’re planning on introducing your cat to the great outdoors, they’ll need certain vaccinations to be sure the transition goes smoothly.

Other lifestyle changes can affect a cat’s health, too. Planning to move soon?

Moving is a big stressor for cats, which only makes your move harder. Visit your vet before you make the move for a full check-up and to talk about how to make it as easy as possible for your little buddy.

Notice Something Off?

Finally, don’t forget to live by this old adage when it comes to your cat’s health: if you see something, say something.

Cats are excellent at dealing with discomfort. They won’t whine and let you know they’re in pain like a dog will. This means it’s up to you to keep an eye on them.

If you notice changes in their feces, appetite, or energy levels, it might be time to visit the vet. Same goes for increased meowing, behavioral changes, or limping.

If you’re unsure whether or not to visit the vet, it’s always a safe bet to make the appointment. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Your Little Buddy

By now, hopefully, you’ve got all the information you need to make a smart decision about your kitty’s regular healthcare. You can stop Googling “how often should you take your cat to the vet?” and answer your own questions about your kitty’s health!

Need us to answer them for you? We’re always here to help! Get in touch to talk about all things feline, or make their appointment today!

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Service Dogs

Have you been dealing with a disability of some sort? Has your family been talking about you needing more help if you are going to keep living on your own? Do you struggle with doing a daily task and need help? If you have said yes to any or even all these questions, you may want to get a service dog. Service dogs can make amazing companions and even help you live more independently if you have a disability. Find out 10 things you didn’t know about service dogs today.

Service Dogs Are Different Than Emotional Support And Therapy Dogs

Service dogs are trained to help their handlers who have a disability of some sort. They can help their handler to live more independently. These dogs are protected by the ADA or Americans with Disabilities Act. They are allowed to be in public places such as on public buses, in grocery stores, and even at restaurants.

Service dogs are not emotional support dogs. While they can emotionally connect with their loved ones, service dogs need to have training and emotional support dogs don’t. To have an emotional support animal, someone simply needs a note from a doctor or even a prescription wrote for an emotional support animal.

Service dogs are not therapy dogs. They do comfort their handlers in many settings. However, therapy dogs are meant to provide comfort during therapy sessions. Service dogs are helping their handlers to get something done, such as bring in the newspaper.

If you have a disability , you may want to talk to your doctor about getting a service dog.

No Certificate Needed

The American Disabilities Act does not require someone to have a certificate for their service dog. However, it is very clear on the differences between service and non-service dogs. A service dog is professionally trained , or their owner must teach them how to assist with their disability. A service dog needs to be trained to do a minimum of one specific task for their disabled handler or owner. They must behave well in public places. These dogs are seen as a type of medical equipment , something a person needs to have to help them manage their disability .

No Identification or Vest Needed

There are many service dogs you see that wear vests or even an identification tag on their collar. Service dogs do not need to have these. The American Disabilities Act does not require they do so. The majority of handlers do opt for their service dog to wear a vest, since getting their dog into public places is easier that way. Without seeing a service dog perform an act to help their handler , many business owners and workers in public places dont know right away what type of dog it is. The vest helps these people to distinguish a service dog from an emotiona l support animal, for instance.

No Weight Restrictions or Breed Restrictions

If you are going to get a service dog, you should know there are no weight or breed restricti ons. You can get any sized dog you want. There are going to be some dogs who are better at performing certain tasks for their owner than others. For instance, a Shih Tzu cant pull their handler’s wheelchair. However, a Shih Tzu could let their handler know if their phone is ringing. Many of the service dogs seen are German Shepherds or Golden Retrievers. However, other dogs could assist their owners with a disability as well.

Faking A Service Dog Could Be Dangerous

Service dogs can do some very incredible things. They are seen all around the world , helping their handlers to manage their disability better in some way or another. However, some people do fake their service dog. If someone doesnt have an actual disability and they have not trained their dog to do at least one specific task , it is not a qualified service dog.

There could be a great danger to others in the community if you fake a service dog. They could distract true service dogs from doing their trained tasks. They could even attack other service dogs or humans. Many people are still unsure of whether service dogs can even be helpful to their handlers. Faking a service dog can make this lack of belief or trust even worth . If someone fakes a service dog, they can receive a fine and even be charged federally with a crime.

It isnt just convenient for true service dogs to go places with their owner. Their handlers need them to help with certain tasks. A service dog is a tool, just like medical equipment. Some handlers wouldnt be independent if it werent for their service dog. Keep this in mind.

Most Handlers Don’t Want You To Pet Their Service Dog

One thing many people dont know is that most handlers dont want you to pet their service dog. The dog is out in public with them to help with a task, not so they can be loved by strangers. By asking to pet someones service dog, you are a distraction the dog from their tasks. The service

dog is trained to help their handler. Distracting them from their job is not what their handler needs or wants.

Questions Asked In Public About Service Dogs

While there is no certificate, vest, or identification required to have a service dog, there are some questions public shop owners or restaurant employees may ask about a service dog.

They may ask if the dog is needed to help with a disability. They may ask what tasks the service dog has been trained in doing. They cant make someone prove they are disabled . If the employee asks for the service dog to perform the task the handler mentioned, they must have their dog do it.

Dogs Are Only Allowed As Service Animals

People who need an emotional support animal could get a hamster, duck, macaw, dog, cat, or practically any animal. Dogs are only allowed as service animals. In some instances, miniature horses might be allowed, depending on the circumstances and their capability of performing a specific task.

Tasks Service Dogs Can Perform

Service dogs all around the world have been trained to do some pretty incredible tasks. Some service dogs help their owners who are visually impaired or blind get across the street. Service dogs can alert someone if their handler has a seizure. If the handler is hearing disabled , they may alert them of the phone ringing. Service dogs can give medication reminders to their handler. They can help their handler if they have an anxiety attack. They can pull wheelcha irs, alert their handler if blood sugar changes too much, and even more.

Service Dogs Can Help Someone Overcome Addiction

Some people who need to overcome an addiction, need to take medications to help manage their withdrawal symptoms. They also may need to be on depression or anxiety medications as well, after leaving alc o hol treatment. If someone doesnt take their medication , they could end up drinking or abusing drugs again. A service dog can remind their handler to take their

medication. They can even assist them and comfort them if they are dealing with a panic attack.

If you were misinformed before or didnt know about the capabilities of service dogs, hopefully , this gives you a better understanding of them.