Service dogs save lives every day by being the support someone who is facing a disability needs. This requires hard training and a dog that is ready to take on the tasks required of them. Oftentimes these dogs will be marked with a vest or harness but are service dogs required to wear a vest? The short answer is no but there are many reasons why you should, keep reading to find out why!
Service dogs are often seen wearing a vest that shows both that they are a service dog and what specific type they are on occasion. These vests come in multiple styles and sizes to fit any need a handler might have. Some are made to be guide dog harnesses, some to bring medicine, and some are simply to show that it is a working dog.
There are so many reasons dogs wear service dog vests and they are incredibly important. Oftentimes these vests also have patches that have different meanings and might even tell you not to pet. These are also common on service dogs as they could inform the public what or what not to do when in the presence of a service dog.
Service dogs are workers and can sometimes be on duty 24/7 if the jobs require. These dogs love their companions and will do what they need to keep them safe. Because the disabilities that service dogs help are so diverse there is a difference in training for every dog. This also means that service dogs are hard to set with the correct person as some may not be trained for a specific task needed. This also makes the costs associated with obtaining a service dog expensive, but it will be incredibly beneficial.
Some of the different types of service dogs out there includeGuide Dogs/Hearing Dogs, Seizure Response Dogs, Mobility Assistance Dogs, Diabetic Alert Dogs, Autism Support Dogs, Allergy Detection Dogs, and Physical Assistance Dogs. Some of these will also require additional specialized tasks that can be the difference for a patient.
So are service dogs required to wear a vest? Again no, but there are a bunch of reasons why service dogs should wear vests.
First off they mark the dog so the confusion in public goes way down, this is probably the single most important thing too. This will help save you time and effort in many situations (especially the airport) and will keep the dog ready to help if need be without any problematic stalling.
Wearing a vest is also a way many service dogs distinguish working and playing/relaxing. When a service dog has a vest on they are more alert and ready to take action if need be. This is also why you should ask to pet a dog while they are in a vest as it may dull their judgement about the vest.
Lastly a vest is something that distinguishes a dog from being a pet to a working animal and by letting people see that, it may be the difference between them being able help you and them stopping you from getting into certain places.
Service dogs are a blessing to anyone who has one and having a vest is an incredibly smart move. Some dogs may not like a certain vests but may like a different kind. Make sure to get the right size vest and to be proud that you know a service dog! If you have anything to add make sure to comment and share this if you know anyone that could use the information!
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