If you are going to be paired with a service dog, it is important to be prepared to with the correct knowledge and supplies needed to provide proper care to your service dog and set yourselves up for success. There are several things that you will need that we can explore below…
Keep a Water Bowl or Bucket Available
Just like a regular pet dog, your service dog should always have a water bowl or bucket available to them. You can place the water bowl/bucket in a room where they can access it easily. It’s best to place the water bowl/bucket on a mat or a towel to soak up any mess as some dogs can be very messy drinkers. Be sure to clean and refill it with fresh water daily.
While many dogs sometimes prefer the hard floor, it’s always nice to provide them with a dog bed in the main areas you spend time in such as your living room, kitchen, or office. I would suggest one in your bedroom, but chances are your service dog may want to sleep in bed with you.
Toys for the Service Dog
When you receive a service dog through Guardian Angels Medical service Dogs, we already know what toys your service dog prefers. Because our dogs are large, we are very particular about the types of toys we use, so we will provide the appropriate toys at your pairing. Our service dogs will need toys that can withstand the wear and tear they put on them. Lower quality toys or plush toys can be easily shredded into pieces that the dog could consume, thus creating a potential serious or even life-threatening medical emergency. We never allow rawhides, cow hooves, etc., or any consumable toys.
Training Equipment for Your Service Dog
Training equipment will also be provided to you when you are paired with your Guardian Angels Medical Service Dog. This training equipment should never be changed without the advice from one of our trainers. Other people may do things differently than how are dogs are trained. Our dogs are not accustom to any harsh methods or training equipment. Our training methods are highly specialized and positive. We will teach you everything you need to know, and our trainers are always available to answer your questions or concerns.
Do I Need a Fence for My Service Dog?
At Guardian Angels, we highly prefer you have a fenced in yard, so the service dog has a place to run and play. Exercise is very important, even though they are working 24/7, they need to be able to play at least twice a day to stretch their legs, play ball and relax their minds. If you don’t have a fenced in yard, then you will need to find a place nearby that is fenced in. You can check out areas such as school yards, church yards, local community parks, etc. where your service dog can play ball, run, and have a good time while safely within a perimeter.
AVOID DOG PARKS with Your Service Dog
At Guardian Angels, we never allow dog parks for our service dogs for multiple reasons. They are a great place to pick up diseases, internal and external parasites such as worms, fleas, ticks, etc. Also, we never want our dogs to be in a situation where they would be challenged or jumped by an aggressive dog. Such an event can change their psyche making them defensive which could render them inappropriate as a service dog in the future. This is very serious, so protect your service dog. He is your lifeline.
Establish a Routine
When you first bring your dog home, we ask that you plan to stay home and continue your normal daily activities such as grocery shopping, working, going to school, etc. for the first couple of months. Do not host or attend large parties, attend concerts, go to shooting ranges, or other major activities in the beginning. This is because you and your service dog need time to bond. It’s very important that you get to know each other first and become comfortable with each other while doing everyday activities before adding any major activities as mentioned above. You should also talk to our trainers to be sure how to approach any new major activity as not all things are appropriate for a service dog or should be done in stages. Your trainer will advise you to insure your success.
Do Not Add Any Pets to Your Home
On the application, you will be asked what pets you already have in the home. These are the pets you can maintain once you’re paired, and no others. There are many variables we consider when choosing the most appropriate dog for you and your environment. If you tell us that you have goldfish, but you actually have three cats, the service dog may not cohabitate peacefully with them. Many of our dogs are fine with cats or other animals when working in public, but not all of them will share a home with other pets appropriately. Do not add pets to your home without notifying our trainers prior to considering such an addition.
Want to Learn More About Service Dogs? Contact us Today!
At Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, we are happy to answer any questions you may have about service dogs and how to prepare your home for when you are paired. Contact us today to learn more at www.medicalservicedogs.org
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