Taking a service dog to work

If you have a disability and rely on a service dog to complete daily tasks, you may be wondering how to navigate the workplace with your service dog. At Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, we’ve developed a guide to help make this transition smooth.

Can I Bring My Service Dog to Work?

Before you take your service dog to work, consider what your job is and what duties you perform daily. If you’re driving a forklift or working on an assembly line, there are moving parts and other situations that can be dangerous for a dog.

Other careers like welding or being a delivery driver could also present hot, undesirable conditions for your service dog. Even if you are an insurance salesman or other type worker such as an AC repair technician, where you will be visiting people’s homes, may not be ideal for your service dog. If you work in an office setting, then that should be a good environment to bring your service dog.

Before coming to work with your service dog, you want to make sure your boss understands that you are requesting a “special accommodation”. When asking for a special accommodation, it may spark worry in your employer about what exactly that may mean, whether they will need to have a special space for you, do special things for you, and whether it may cost the company money. They may also wonder if it will change the way their business functions. The answer is -no. The business is not required to do anything special to accommodate you with your service dog. Asking for a special accommodation simply means that you’re requesting to bring dog work with you because he is your medical equipment for your medical condition. By law, this request cannot be denied.

Do I Have to Show Paperwork?

There isn’t any legal need for specific paperwork, but some employers may ask. You can fill out their requested paperwork if they aren’t asking you any personal questions since your medical information is protected under HIPAA. If you have a problem with the questions on the paperwork, you can check with the EEOC or your state disability services to be sure the questions are appropriate.
If you need a letter for your employer stating your need for a service dog just to prevent any confrontation or misunderstandings, Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs can assist you with that.

We are always available to assist you. We believe in taking the course of least resistance and educating employers rather than creating distention.

Tips for Helping Your Dog Adjust to Your Job

The most important thing you need to do is make sure your dog is comfortable. Make sure he has water, a few toys, a bed, and any other items to help him feel comfortable throughout the day. During the day, you will need to be cognizant of your service dogs needs. Take him/her out on your breaks and use your lunch hour to take him out to play. This will ensure he gets necessary exercise rather than just sitting there all day.

Also, be sure to continue to complete your job as normal and follow the protocols of your business. Of course, at first, people will want to meet the dog and ask you questions but be sure to keep boundaries. Your boss will really appreciate you preventing your service dog’s presence from becoming a social hour.

Make sure fellow employees understand that your dog is only there to provide service to you, the recipient.

Want to Learn More About Service Dogs? Contact us Today!

Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, one the of the largest non-profits for service dogs, serves as a resource for those in need of a service dog. Visit our website today to learn more!

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