Service Dog Gear Buying Guide Service Dog Gear Buying Guide - SitStay

Service Dog Gear Buying Guide

Black silouettes of a service dog and his owner that is a military man.
Jordan Ashley author of Service Dog Gear Buying Guide

Service dogs perform a completely essential role for the people they help. Without them, many wouldn’t be able to get through their everyday life. However, this role requires quite a lot from them. They need to be well trained and motivated. 

This is where some service dog gear comes in. It can help to make your dog’s job easier, good supplies help identify the service animal in public, get them their special permissions with less fuss, and help them relax. This service dog gear buying guide goes through the key things that you need for a service dog and how they’re going to help.


What is a Service Dog?

It is important to understand just what the role of a service dog is. Since this equipment helps them do their job, it is suited to the role of a service dog. They are really quite unique from normal pets, and their equipment has to be thought of as unique from other dogs too.


Not a Pet. A Worker

When service dogs are out in public or at home, they’re not considered pets but more or less working dogs. It is important to understand this. Products like ID cards and vests, help to get this message across to anyone that you meet, to help cut down on the amount of time spent explaining why you as the owner do not want people interacting with your dog. 


Must Be Approved By the ADA

Since a service dog is allowed to go to places and do things that no other pets can, they are regulated in a different way. Service animals have to be approved by the ADA - Americans with disability act - to make sure they’re being used responsibly. You can’t just put a vest on your pet and expect to be allowed to take it anywhere with you.


Specifically Trained to Assist with Certain Disabilities

As previously stated service dogs, or assistance dogs, are workers and not pets. They are doing a job at all times and they have to be specially trained to perform their specific job. The type of dog training that they receive depends on the specific duties they need to be able to perform to achieve within their role, they could be a seeing-eye dog, a police dog, rescue dog, psychiatric service dog and so on, but no matter what their job is, all of them are highly trained with special abilities that assist someone with a disability or job in the community. 


Often Identified by Dog Harness and ID Card

Some service dogs might not initially look any different from a very well trained pet. In the case of less-visible roles, people often use a dog harness and ID cards to identify their pet as a service animal. This isn’t essential, but it does cut down on the amount of time you have to spend explaining this to people. A lot of strangers like to approach cute dogs in public, these things let them know that the dog is on the clock!


What Do I Need for My Service Dog?

Even if your dog is considered a pet or a working dog, both usually require the need to obtain dog supplies here and there. A service dog buying guide covers the equipment and kit that your service dog will need to make their lives easier. While this isn't essential to do their job, certain things are going to cut down on hassle and make everything run a lot smoother. Others are going to help them be more comfortable while working and resting.

Service Dog Vest

A service dog  vest can make a service dog easily recognizable to anyone. With this one, most people are going to allow a dog to enter a place where dogs can't normally go. This cuts down on the unnecessary steps of explaining the dog to every new place you visit. These are not a requirement for service dogs, but they make things a lot easier.

It is important to go for quality when getting a vest for a service dog. Since they’re going to be spending a lot of time in it, it needs to be comfortable. It should also be of strong and resilient material; service dogs get a lot of exercises so a good vest needs to stand up to punishment.

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Service Dog Patches

Like vests, patches aren’t a legal requirement but they definitely make things easier. These are a great line of defense between your dog and the general public. This might sound strange, but service dogs don’t need to be distracted and people don’t always think things through before approaching a dog to pet them. A patch will quickly let everyone know that this is a service dog who shouldn’t be distracted.

Patches can also be effective at communicating what type of service dog you have. This again cuts out unnecessary questions when you visit anywhere and helps to make your dog’s job a little bit easier.

Service Animal ID

Service dogs are essentially on official business, but for most of the viewing public, they're just a normal dog.  An ID card just gives them an authoritative edge, something that says I'm here for a reason. Like a vest it isn't actually mandated by the ADA, however, it can really cut down on that time you spend explaining that this is a service dog and they're allowed in here.  

The added bonus of an ID is that most will state their rights and requirements from the ADA. If someone wants to quickly check your dog’s status, they can look exactly on the badge where they are allowed and what they’re allowed to do.

This isn’t a necessary thing to have, but the laws about service dogs can make things difficult for those who use them. Many people won’t assume a service dog is doing a job unless the person holding them is visibly blind, these kinds of cards cut through this. There are invisible disabilities that mean you need a service dog or visible conditions that might not be instantly apparent.

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Our Identification Cards are customizable to your specific information. Enter in your dog's name, your name, city, state and phone number. Include a head-shot photo of your dog as well.


Dog Leash/Harness

A good quality dog  leash or harness is really important for a service dog, more so than with any other pet. This is because there are pretty much always on a leash. A regular dog gets a lot of use out of a leash and harness, but a service dog is in one at all times. These are essential tools for their trade, so it needs to be comfortable for them.

A good leash made from a decent material is going to last a lot longer. When service dog equipment gets used so heavily, it is important that it doesn’t wear out too quickly. 

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The Julius-K9 IDC® Powerharness dog harness with interchangeable hook and loop patches and adjustable chest strap. The IDC-Powerharness is a high-quality dog harness manufactured in Europe from German materials. Suitable for home use as well as for working dogs.


Good Dog Bed 

The life of a service dog can get tiring. They're happy to do it but they're working all the time. This means they really need somewhere good to sleep.

After a long day on their feed, an orthopedic pet bed can be really helpful for them, with this you can be sure they're getting a restful night's sleep. This allows them to bounce back with all of their energy for their duty the next day!


Do You Need Everything from the Service Dog Buying Guide?

This service dog buying guide covers the equipment that most service dogs are going to get a lot of use out of. While these aren’t requirements for a service they can make their jobs easier and ensure that they’re comfortable both during their duty.


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Meet The Author 

Jordan Ashley Author of service dog gear buying guide

Jordan Ashley

Jordan is an experienced author who enjoys writing about all things dogs. He loves all animals and when he is not working he spends his time curled up with his two dogs playing video games and maybe enjoying a craft beer.