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Service Dog Appreciation

September 1, 2023
September Is National Service Dog Month! Service dogs are truly extraordinary. These highly-trained pups can change—and even save—the lives of their humans. The topic of service dogs is very near and dear to our hearts here at Ingersoll Animal Hospital. We’ve worked with service dog organizations, such as Puppy Jake, and are happy to help raise awareness about service dogs and how to interact with them. Here, a local Des Moines, IA vet puts these Very Good Boys in the spotlight.

What Breeds Are Service Dogs?

Service dogs come in all shapes and sizes. They run the gamut from massive Bernese Mountain Dogs to tiny Pomeranians. That said, there are a few pooches that are more likely than others to be found working as service dogs. The Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, and Golden Retrievers are at the top of that list. Other pups often found on the job include the Poodle, Bernese Mountain Dog, Great Dane, Collie, and American Staffordshire Terrier. Even Pomeranians can be service dogs! A Pomeranian probably isn’t going to be a very effective mobility support dog, but can make a wonderful helper for someone with anxiety.

Can I Adopt A Service Dog?

There’s no specific yes or no answer to this. In some cases, service dogs may only have a few short years before they are ready to retire. While often, their owner adopts them, this isn’t always possible, as the owner may need another service dog. Service dogs do sometimes become available for adoption, so it isn’t out of the question. Just be prepared for a long wait time, a vigorous screening process, and a hefty price tag. Another option is to adopt a failed service dog: although these pooches may not have met muster for their intended jobs, they can still be very good boys.

What Do I Do If I See A Service Dog?

If you see a service dog, do not try to pet it, talk to it, or give it treats. Fido is working, and really needs to concentrate on the situation at hand. This also applies to emotional support dogs, though they are not as highly trained and do not have the same protections. The only exception is if a service dog approaches you, as Fido may be trying to get help. Contact authorities and, if you can do so safely, follow the pooch. As your Des Moines, IA veterinary clinic, we are dedicated to providing great care. Please contact us anytime!

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