What are some questions to consider
before getting a service dog?
Do you have a disability that requires a dog to help?
Do you have a documented mental or physical disability that requires the assistance of a service dog from a licensed doctor or mental health professional? If so, you do qualify for a service dog. Remember a service dog is not only and emotional support dog, they are there to help you with a task such as; retrieving meds, opening doors, pulling your wheelchair, escorting you out of a store in a panic attack, being a stabilizer while walking, waking you from a night terror, calling 911, among many other things.
Are you ready for the commitment?
Having a service dog is constant work, for you and your dog. They not only require everything that you would do for a pet but also dogs are not perfect and have to maintain their training throughout their time as your service dog. You will need to work with your dog often to maintain the level of training as well as obedience that is required.
Can you afford it?
There are many things you need to think about when it comes to the cost of a service dog. First the cost of getting the dog as well as the training need to be a factor. We help you in every way we can to pay for the cost of the dog as well as the training, which includes fundraising, applying for grants as well as help finding organizations to pay for your training. We also encourage you to consider your own dog or a shelter dog that fits within the parameters set by your trainer. TEC will help you with this process.
Another cost that you will need to consider is the overall cost of veterinarian care, included but not limited to, annual shots, flea & tick medication, heartworm medication, any injuries that may occur, grooming, etc. These can add up, so you will want to be prepared.
Have you talked to everyone in your household?
Having a service dog should be a family decision. Adding a dog can be a big change for many families, even when you already have dogs in the home. Although you will be required to take care of the dog most of the time, your family will still need to be involved in taking care of and also training your dog.
Are you ready for the attention (positive and negative)?
Having a dog in public can sure get peoples attention. In our experience, many people are nice and genuine and understand that the dog is working and should not be distracted. But sometimes, especially if you have an invisible disability, that attention can turn negative from those who do not understand. Maintaining your integrity and understanding that some people just don’t get it or are unwilling to learn, is important. We will do everything we can to ensue you are prepared for every situation that may arise when it comes to the outside public, but you will need to be prepared for all of the attention that a service dog brings.
Texas Expert Canine is here to answer all your questions about service dogs and what it means for you. Please call 614.582.4754 or visit www.texasexpertcanine.com for more information.