Like any other person (or, in this case, animal) on the job, service animals need equipment that’ll help them perform their tasks more efficiently. Service animals come in all shapes and sizes, but dogs are the most common. For this reason, the items listed below primarily cater to them. Fortunately, many of them can be customized to cater to other kinds of animals. With that being said, if you have a service dog, here are some products you can have customized for your four-legged helper:
A dog with a bandana is sure to turn heads while they’re walking down the street. For the average pet owner, dog bandanas are a way to dress up their pet without being too constricting or flashy. With a service dog, however, using custom dog bandanas can help inform passersby of the animal’s job and keep the pup from being disturbed.
Some of the things you can have printed on the bandana include, but are not limited to:
- “No patting, please. I’m a service dog.”
- “Pup at work. Please don’t disturb.”
- “Please don’t pet or distract me. I’m working.”
If you don’t want to go with a full sentence or a phrase, even just printing “Service Dog” in large and bold letters on the bandana should suffice. In case of emergencies, you can also have your name, condition, and hotline numbers printed on the other side of the bandana. That way, passersby who may happen across you during such emergencies will have a better idea of who to contact and what to do to help you.
A dog wearing a vest is arguably one of the most well-known indicators that a pup is a service animal. Typically, these kinds of vests come in bright, saturated colors like blue or red. There are many service dog vests available on the market, but getting a customized one may offer you some additional advantages.
Firstly, dog vests offer a lot of printable space. You can add customized patches that say “Service Dog,” “Do Not Disturb,” and “Do Not Pat,” for instance. You can even have the pup’s name embroidered on the vest to make it more personalized. Secondly, you can request a customized vest with pockets. These pockets can then be used as an ID cardholder or additional storage for you and your pet’s essentials.
When choosing a vest, don’t pick one that has an abrasive texture. After all, your dog will be wearing the vest for long periods. So, opting for a vest made of snugger, softer, and smoother material will make your furry helper feel more comfortable while on duty.
Harnesses are one of the standard tools that many dog lovers keep in their arsenal. For pups that like to pull against their collars, a harness may be a safer alternative. As a bonus, a harness can also make it easier to maneuver the dog in public.
Harnesses are especially helpful for service dogs, in particular. Some owners depend on their dogs for balance and support, such as pulling a wheelchair up a ramp. A well-made harness will spread the pressure of the pulling action throughout the dog’s shoulders and chest. This not only helps the dog accomplish heavy tasks more effectively, but also protects the dog from injuries while carrying out said tasks.
For a better fit, invest in a customized harness that‘s made for your service dog’s specific size and breed. Name tags and signs can also be added to the harness, though you may not be able to fit as many of them on it as you would on a vest.
Mittens and Booties
Unlike the average pet, service dogs work around the clock. Wherever their owners go, they also go. Unfortunately, a dog’s bare paws are usually exposed to the elements, and it can be painful for them to step on surfaces that are too hot or too cold.
So, it’s important to protect their paws while they’re doing their job. Hence, purchasing a few sets of dog footwear will come in handy on days when the pavement may be scorching or when there’s a lot of snow on the ground. Like many of the other products on this list, dog mittens and boots can also be customized to fit certain requirements, such as material type and thickness.
Truly, service dogs—and service animals in general—play crucial roles in the lives of their owners. By giving these pups the proper tools and equipment, they’ll not only stay safe and comfortable as they accompany you on your day-to-day activities, but they’ll also become significantly better at their jobs. So, make sure to invest in a few custom pet products for your service dog as soon as possible. It’s just one way of treating your furry best friend for all their hard work.