In America, the 4th of July is a day full of celebration. With cookouts, parades, sparklers, crowds, fireworks, noise, activity, events and chaos galore, Independence Day can be difficult not only for pets, but also for working K-9s, Service Dogs, and their handlers. Before joining a holiday celebration with your canine partner, here are some points to consider.
When temperatures soar, keeping your Service Dog cool, comfortable, and safe often proves challenging. Here are 6 ways to help your Service Dog beat the heat this summer. Cool Treats Dog ice cream offers tons of options to help cool your dog down. It's easy to make at home and there's a recipe for everyone and every need. At its simplest, you can freeze kibble and water into cubes or into Kongs. You can bend peanut butter and bananas into a cream or purchase pre-made ice creams that are dog safe. However, you do it, have fun! Frozen Busy Buckets What do you get when you put stuffed kongs, swirls of peanut butter kibble, chunks of fruit and veggies, cloth strips, and other durable toys into a bucket, fill the bucket with water, and then freeze it? A ton of fun, that's what! These fun DIY enrichment toys are often called "busy buckets" and they keep dogs happy for hours! Stick a rope into the bucket through the middle with 2-3 feet sticking out the top before you freeze it. When it's frozen, pull it out of the bucket and hang it up. Your dog will work to get the goodies as the water melts, revealing them bit by bit. Pool Swimming provides great exercise and a good way to cool down! From a baby pool full of water or a bag of ice to creeks to full-size swimming pools, lots of dogs enjoy taking a dip. Be safe while swimming. Take appropriate breaks, use a life jacket in unfamiliar water, and don't make a scared dog get in the water. Paw Protection Hot pavement, asphalt, and other surfaces burn paws. Boots, eye protection, cooling coats, and other tools help keep your Service Dog more comfortable while out and about during the summer. Read more about summer safety for Service Dogs. Vehicle Safety Dogs should never be left in a hot vehicle. Many tools exist, though, to make vehicles safer for dogs who need to stay in one. Wifi dongles allow visual monitoring of your vehicle and dog while you're indoors. Specialize crate fans and nozzles that pull cold air from the front into the back of the vehicle help prevent hot spots and lack of circulation. Temperature regulation units keep your A/C running and alert you if the internal temp of the vehicle rises beyond a certain level. If you use a temperature regulation system, purchase one that alerts
It’s time to look for your next Service Dog. What traits should you look for? What's important? What doesn't matter? There is a sea of misinformation that a Service Dog handler must sort through while picking a Service Dog puppy or candidate. Cut through the chaos and learn what what to look for while selecting a potential partner.
Brace and Mobility Support Dogs are a type of Service Dog trained to provide their disabled handler with assistance moving from place to place. This invaluable service is matched only by these dogs’ ability to also help with other chores and tasks, like opening doors or retrieving dropped items. Due to the unique nature of their work, though, Brace and Mobility Support Dogs have special needs. Read on to learn more!
Naming a Service Dog can be highly personal. Many people choose names that carry meaning for them. Others choose names from a TV show or book that they particularly enjoy. Still others research names extensively and choose names from another language or culture that convey something they want to always keep in mind. Here's a list of 100 unique name ideas for Service Dogs! Attribute Service Dog Names Aart, Dutch - "powerful as an eagle" Abelino, Germanic / Old English - "bird" - good for a light, lithe Service Dog Adelmar, Germanic - "of noble strength" - good for a Brace Dog Adelrik, Germanic - "powerful and strong" Adira, Hebrew - "strong" Aegius, Greek - "protector" Alba - "white" Aikin, Old English - "like an oak tree" - good for a strong, powerful Service Dog Blaze - good for a dog with a white stripe on their face Cyan - good for a dog with blue eyes Dakota, unknown - "friendly companion" Drojo, Old Saxon - "ghost, phantom" - good for a white or silver Service Dog Hagan, Old English - "strong warrior" Hazel - good for a dog with brown/green eyes Jade - good for a dog with green eyes Jedrek - "strong, manly" Jett - good for a very darkly colored dog Kieran, Gaelic - "little dark one" Lenna, Old German - "lion's strength" Mazaran, French - "dark blue" - good for a dog with richly blue eyes Remo - "the strong one" Roux, French - "red, russet" - pronounced "Roo" Saffron - golden-brown color Sienna - rich brown color Takeo, Japanese - "strong as bamboo" Xanthe - yellow - good for a yellow Labrador Meaningful Service Dog Names Aapeli, Finnish - "breathing" - good for someone who needs a constant reminder to just breathe Ace, Latin - "the best one" Agni, Sanskrit - "from the fire" - good for someone seeking growth or a new way of life Aurora, Latin - "dawn" - good for signifying new beginnings Beacon, Old English - "signal light" - good for an alert dog Eos - Greek goddess of dawn Genesis - beginnings Huchon, Gaelic - "heart, mind, spirit" Imanu, unknown African origin - "spiritual guide" Jodo, Indonesian - "buddy, friend, mate" Jomei, Japanese - "spread light" Kaibigan, Filipino - "friend" Katlego, unknown African origin - "achieving" Kiran, Sanskrit - "beam of light" Maika'i, Hawaiian, "calm" Nura, Arabic - "blazing light" Oralee, Hebrew - "my light" Paena, Hawaiian - "partner" Tadeo, Aramaic - "gift" - good for a Service Dog who will give the gift of independence Valerian - herb known for its calming effects Zen, Japanese Service Dog Names From Books, Movies, TV Akasha / Akki - Vampire Chronicles Albus - Harry
Before partnering with a Service Dog, there are several important points to consider. While thousands of individuals with a disability benefit greatly from partnering with a Service Dog, it’s not the solution for everyone. If you or a loved one is considering full-time Service Dog partnership, please ask yourself the following 5 questions before making a final decision.
When it comes to Service Dog tasks, there is a lot of confusion over what constitutes a real, specifically trained task and which are only perceived tasks, fueled by emotion and wishful thinking. From Service Dog handlers to trainers to medical doctors to veterinarians alike, there is historically a lot of confusion surrounding this topic.
No one method will be right for everyone, but here's my story regarding the steps to take towards getting a successor dog and retiring a current service dog. First, begin the process before you need to. The last thing anyone wants is to have an older dog that won't get a chance to retire. I start the process when my current dog is around 8 years old. It often takes 2 years to comfortably switch over to my successor dog and also because one can not replace a soul. There are dogs after your first, second, third, and so on. and they are called "Successor Dogs". When you are partnered with dogs as long as I've been, you gain a unique perspective. I am an owner trainer that has benefited from the knowledge of many amazing mentors, several of them over the years. A few of my mentors stand out over others, and some are good friends that I have met along the way. Some people prefer program dogs, that professional trainers teach, and then match them to their people. This is a great route to go. I recommend, because of the time and expense, you start early and learn about fund raising. Also apply to a lot of reputable organizations, especially if you're not military affiliated (like a Combat Veteran). Most people that aren't military affiliated don't get dogs donated, so fundraising is a big deal, since dogs can cost a lot, with price varying due to the complexity of the trained tasks the dog must know and what the dog will be doing. My personal choice was to be an owner trainer, because I grew up with dogs and have been training dogs for almost 40 years. This is the information I know best. My first step is to come to terms with the fact that my best partner ever (they each are) is getting older. The big "joke" is that about the time they're perfect, you need to start the process of training the next of a hopefully long line of dogs, and begin to retire the partner that you've worked with for years. Make a Plan The next step is to plan. You need to plan and ask and learn. For example, I refresh my memory of how to teach the basic foundation behaviors, as well as their more complicated finished behaviors. It sounds silly, but after having a solid partner to the