We're Celebrating National Service Dog Month
For many, service dogs mean the difference between safety and danger or life and death. September is National Service Dog Month, and we’re using the opportunity to celebrate service dogs while educating our clients about service dogs, their importance, and proper service dog etiquette.
What Is a Service Dog?
According to the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), service dogs are dogs that have received special training to perform tasks to help individuals with disabilities. For example, a service dog might be trained to monitor, support, and alert seizures on behalf of a person with epilepsy or a service dog might be trained to safely lead a visually impaired person down the street or through an airport.
Can Any Dog Become a Service Dog?
Not just any dog can become a service dog. For starters, only a select few puppies enter training to become service dogs each year, and only a few of those puppies grow up to successfully complete their training and become service dogs. These puppies are specifically selected for temperament and aptitude. They then enter a rigorous training program that typically lasts for years and involves several steps and tests.
Understanding Service Dog Etiquette and Why It's So Important to Follow
Service dogs are not pets; they are working dogs. Service dogs have very important jobs to do. In fact, a person’s safety or life might depend on the service dog’s ability to stay focused and perform its job well.
For this reason, it is never appropriate or okay to pet, give treats to, interact with, or otherwise distract a service dog from the job they are doing. It’s also important to know that service dogs are legally allowed to go anywhere that their owner has permission to go. This includes restaurants, grocery stores, movies, and the hospital.
Specialized Veterinary Care for Service Dogs in Redondo Beach
Service dogs are essential to their owners, and so ensuring that they have good veterinary care is a very important step to ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of a service dog. At Pacific Animal Hospital of Redondo Beach, California, we take special care to provide highly personalized veterinary treatments to each of our patients, including service dogs. This helps ensure that each animal receives the care they specifically need when they need it most.