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How to Make Your Dog a Service Dog

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As pet owners, many of us understand the importance of our beloved animals and the role they play in our lives. For pet owners who may not be able to have children, or maybe just don’t want them, taking care of a pet may not completely resolve, but will assist in filling a caretaking void so many of us have experienced or may experience in our lifetimes.

Because so many of us are attached to our pets, the idea that someone would care for them better than we would, in the case of our absence is a hard pill to swallow. So some people will forego vacations and trips so they don’t have to deal with the stress that comes along with someone watching your furry friends. Sure, there are amazing services like Rover and DogWalk that allows you to review profiles and backgrounds of potential sitters. But nothing would match keeping your dog with you.

This is why registering your dog may be a great idea for you. You’d be able to keep your dog close in your travels and would not need to worry about being discriminated against because you have a dog. The ADA (American with Disabilities Act) protects service dogs and their owners from discrimination. Dog owners know first-hand the challenges of finding apartments to rent, going out to eat with your dog, plane flights, etc. to mention a few. Registering your dog as a service animal will provide you the appropriate documentation and identification that protects you and your dog under the law.

If you’re curious as to how you too, can benefit from registering your dog as service animal, read on. We’ll discuss what you’ll need to do to make your dog a service dog. 

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Train your Dog to Provide a Task as a Service Dog

If you’d like to register your dog as a service dog, you’ll want to make sure your dog can follow basic commands. If your dog has obedience issues, this could be challenging and you may want to enlist some professionals for help. Your dog should know the basic skills; such as, sitting, staying put, laying down, heeling, returning to their place and coming when you call. You’ll also want to make sure your dog doesn’t have bad habits like jumping on furniture without permission, begging when the family is at the table eating dinner or barking randomly or at people. Service dogs are very task oriented, so starting them slowly on the basics would be a great help.

Register Your Service Dog as an Assistance Tool

After your dog can prove they have the basic skills to follow directions, have your dog registered at servicedogcertifications.org. Your dog will be certified and provided appropriate documentation stating they are a service animal. You’ll be given vests and an ID to identify your dog as a service animal so establishments understand your dog will be with you at all times and they cannot deny you because of your dog under the law.

Live With Your Service Dog

Under Federal law, you and your dog are protected and cannot be denied housing even in places dogs are not allowed. Your dog can live with you wherever you decide to plant your roots. Even if there are breed restrictions or weight restrictions, HOA and Landlords are required to allow you to live with your service animal.

Travel With Your Service Dog

Traveling with your service dog is a great perk to having them registered as a service dog. The law also covers you when flying with your animal. You will need to have all of your documentation with you like your dog’s certification, a vest if they have it and their ID. Make sure to let the airline know beforehand you will be traveling with a service animal. They have designated seating and airlines may have specific regulations in reference to flying with service animals.

Now that you have these simple steps to getting your dog registered as a service animal, don’t hesitate and get them registered today! There are a number of websites that offer great resources to get you started.

https://www.rover.com/blog/become-service-dog/

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Edward Arroyo

Writer

Edward attended college at Northwestern University where he received his bachelors in journalism. After graduation he spent the next several years traveling the world writing about his experiences on his own personal blog. His hobbies include travel, photography, bicycling and hanging out with his dog Milo.