Service Dogs and their Owners: Awareness, Etiquette, and Things to Know
September is National Service Dog Month. At Sage Creek Animal Hospital, we like to honor the month by spreading awareness about service dogs to help more people understand what service dogs are and what the proper etiquette is when you encounter one while you’re out and about.
What Is a Service Dog?
A service dog is a dog that has been specially trained to work, perform tasks, or provide some other form of assistance to a person who has a disability. Service dogs enable their owners to have more independence and safety.
They are allowed to be in all public places with their owners, and no documentation of the animal’s training or certification is required for their presence.
6 Tips for Proper Service Dog Etiquette
1. Do Not Distract a Service Dog
Do not touch, approach, or speak to a service dog. Although it’s difficult to resist any set of puppy dog eyes, service dogs are working and have some very important jobs to do. Depending on the owner’s reason for needing a service dog, their service dog’s focus could mean the difference between life and death.
2. Keep Your Own Dog Away
Although service dogs are well trained, other animals can still present a big distraction. If you and your dog encounter a service dog, do your best to keep a good distance between them.
3. Do Not Offer Treats
Food is one of the biggest distractions for all dogs, and service dogs are no exception.
4. Treat the Owner With Respect
Remember that people who have service dogs have a reason for needing them. Remember this and always treat others with dignity and respect.
5. Let the Owner Know If Their Dog Approaches You
If the dog approaches you, this indicates a distracted dog. The owner should know so that they can correct the behavior.
6. Don't Assume a Sleeping Dog Is Off the Clock
A napping service dog is still working. All rules still apply.
Exceptional Veterinary Care for All Canines in Winnipeg
At Sage Creek Animal Hospital, we know that all pets are equally special in their own family’s eyes. That’s why we provide all of our patients with top-quality, personalized veterinary care including wellness and preventative services, sick pet care, emergency care, and more. Our veterinarians are here for you and your pets when you need us most.
To learn more about our comprehensive veterinary care or to schedule an appointment, we welcome you to contact our office today.