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The Truth About Service Dog Certification

A black and tan German shepherd lay8ing down in a pile of leaves
Dr. Sara Ochoa DVM author of The Truth About service dog certification
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Do you have A disability that allows you to have a service animal? Having a service animal can make your life much more comfortable. They can help with many different disabilities.

These dogs are usually very smart and highly trainable. They also make an excellent companion for their owner.

This article explains the truth about service dogs and how to tell a real service animal from a fake one.

What is a service dog?

A service dog is a dog that is trained to do a specific task. These dogs help in aiding disabled or chronic individuals with their daily tasks. They are used to make their owner’s lives more normal and easier.

These dogs are different from therapy or emotional support dogs. These dogs must be trained and well-behaved. The handler must be in control at all times. While these dogs do not have to be professionally trained, they do need to be trained to do the task that they are assigned. A service dog does not require registration to be service animals.

Service dogs are allowed into several places a dog is otherwise not allowed, like certain hotels and restaurants, in order to continue assisting their handler.

Disabilities aided by a service dog

  • Epilepsy: These dogs are trained to sense when a person is about to have a seizure. They can alert their owner that they are about to have a seizure so they can get in asafe place. Their owners can get low on the floor and away fromharmful objects. They can also get away from things that can hurt them, and the dog can alert a parent or partner that they are about to have a seizure so that they can help the person.
  • Diabetes: These dogs are trained to sense a change in their owner's body chemistries and let them that somethingis wrong. The owners can then check their blood sugar and adjust their insulin dosages as needed. These dogs help prevent levels that are too high (hypoglycemia) or too low (hypoglycemia).
  • Blindness: These dogs help their owners move around in the house or even walk down busy streets. These dogs have had years of training on how to help their owners move arounddifferent objects. Some of these dogs have been taught the normalroutes that their owner takes on a daily basis, such as to school,work, or the store.
  • Hearing: For a person who has a very hard time hearing or is deaf, a hearing alert dog would be great for them. These dogs will alert them when someone rings the doorbell, a phone rings, or the fire alarm goes off. These dogs have special training to do these tasks.
  • Mobility Problems: These dogs help with people with mobility problems due to spinal cord disease, loss of arm or leg in a car accident, or military veteran. They also assist people who cannot stand on their own due to old age. These dogs are taught todo a simple task such as getting the newspaper, opening doors, retrieving shoes, or clothing items. These dogs also can be ofsupport for someone who has trouble getting around. Since thesedogs have to be able to support the weight of their owners fully, these are almost always large to giant breed dogs.
  • Allergies: Some people have such severeallergies to various types of foods that are not normally listed as an allergy on many food lists. These dogs are trained to smell the food of their owner without eating it and let them know if there is something in the food that they cannot eat.

Fake certifications

There are many ways that you can get a fake certification. Many online registries offer service dog registration. Most of these are fake as they cannot certify a dog that they have not seen. A business that offers fake certifications will charge you for this service.

Most of these places are hoping that you do not know that they are a fake place to register your dog and pay them money. Many of these places may also require information about you and your dog that you really do not want to give them. The only legal way to have a service animal is for your doctor to prescribe you one.

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How to properly identify your service dog

There are many ways that you can properly identify your dog as a service dog. Service dogs will wear a harness with patches that identify the dog. They will also have an ID card that lists their name, function, and information.

ID cards will list ADA regulations and define this service animal's functions. While there are also places that you can buy service dog harnesses and patches, most places do require that your dog is a real service animal before selling you the patches.

Service animals have many great benefits for people with disabilities to have. These dogs can assist them in their everyday task. While there are fake service dog registries on the internet, you can easily ask your doctor or another medical provider who to register your service animal with.

These dogs are very easy to train and very smart. Make sure your service animal is properly identified at all times, so you do not encounter any problems when taking them with you. Having a service dog can make life tasks much easier, and you will have a better quality of life with these furry companions.

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Meet The Author 

Dr. Sara Ochoa DVM

Since she was a little girl, she knew that her dream was to become a veterinarian. With a tremendous passion and love for animals that makes her a great source of knowledge for others. She lives happily with her husband Greg and her babies Ruby the Schnoodle, and Bam-Bam the bunny.

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