A Guide to Owning a Service Dog for People with Disabilities

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A Guide to Owning a Service Dog for People with Disabilities
For people with disabilities, a service dog can be a valuable companion. They offer physical and emotional support and are always reliable. Dog lovers and first-time dog owners alike can use this brief guide from Linda Chase to learn more about what it means to have a service pet.
Get Help with Anxiety, Daily Tasks, and Mobility
Service dogs provide support for people with an array of disabilities. There are three distinct types of service dogs: psychiatric service dogs, emotional support dogs, and service dogs. Psychiatric service dogs specifically help people with a diagnosed psychiatric disability, such as anxiety, depression, social phobias, panic attacks, and more. For example, they can detect when a panic attack is coming and alert you to find a safe space and practice breathing techniques. Emotional support dogs specifically help people going through a difficult time by providing companionship.
Service dogs are specifically trained to help with tasks that people cannot do on their own. For example, they can help people get in and out of wheelchairs and bring items to people with mobility issues. They have been proven to help individuals with epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, vertigo, spinal cord injuries, sleep apnea, vertigo, and multiple sclerosis, among other issues.
Care for Them Properly
Caring for your service dog is not entirely unlike caring for any other dog. You should provide them with regular visits to the vet for checkups and purchase high-quality food. How and what you feed your dog is important to their health. Don't trust advertising. Do your reach and find dog food brands that offer the best in quality. Service dogs go through training programs, but their training shouldn't end there. You have to work with them and be prepared to follow the instructions provided by the training institution.
Provide them with a safe space to roam. If your backyard does not have a fence, check with local contractors in your area about installing a fence around your property line. Before you meet with anyone, discuss your needs and get quotes from multiple companies. Be sure to check their reviews online and make note of the elements needed for installation, including materials and labor costs. Finally, check for proof of licensing and make sure they’re aware of the underground utility lines.
Your Rights as a Service Dog Owner
As a service dog owner, it is important for you to know your rights. Every state is different, but the Americans with Disabilities Act protects you from discrimination, including being denied certain things for having a service animal. For example, you cannot be denied entry into a restaurant, retail store, museum, or virtually any establishment for having a service dog. Additionally, if you are a renter, you cannot be denied a lease in a pet-free rental.
How to Adjust
Getting a service dog is going to be an adjustment. You have to keep up with all the normal conditions, such as purchasing supplies and cleaning, just as you would with any dog. The important thing to remember is to listen to your pet's trainer and spend as much time bonding with the dog as possible before you bring them home. Dogs can easily detect high stress levels, so it's important for you to create an environment as stress-free as possible. Stick to a routine and find a safe spot in your home where they can decompress.
Getting accustomed to your role as a service dog owner takes time. However, over time, you'll see that you can't remember how you ever lived without your companion. Treat them well, give them a stress-free home, and they will serve you well.

Tips for Starting a Business When You’ve Just Welcomed a New Pet Into the Family


Linda Chase

Starting a new business will come with its fair share of hiccups. Knowing how to manage these while still being accommodating to your new pet will require some sacrifice on either end so that you can find time for both. Today, Linda Chase outlines some strategies to help you keep your sanity while juggling these responsibilities.
Set Up Your Home for Work and Play
Before you bring home your new fur kid, make sure that your home is suitable for your work and pet needs. Dogs do best with a fenced in yard, and cats love places where they can lounge in the sun and watch the local wildlife. Your business needs might necessitate a home office or a more dedicated space where you can meet with clients or store goods or materials.
If your current home doesn’t meet these needs, you may need to consider adding moving to your “to do” list. The housing market in Atlanta is in a slight downward trend, which means it can be a great time to buy. Check your budget, too. You may find that upgrading to a larger house is more cost efficient than staying where you are and renting an external office space.
No matter where you live, you’ll want to keep your cat’s litter box smell under control. No one likes living, working, or visiting a place that stinks!
Complete the Necessary Preparations
Making the necessary preparations on the business side of things is important to do so that you don't end up feeling overwhelmed before you even get your business off the ground. Therefore, if you don't have your pet just yet, make sure you iron out the details concerning registering your business, including completing the necessary paperwork. Applying for an EIN, which is part of forming an LLC, is necessary so that you don't have to worry about this later. Operating as an LLC has several benefits (e.g., limited liability, tax advantages, and less paperwork), and you can save time by delegating this task to a formation service.
Speaking of making the necessary business preparations, Cornerstone University notes that something that might take up quite a bit of your time, in the beginning at least, is drawing up a business plan. Try to allocate all the time you need to this (preferably before welcoming a pet) so that you can give your time and attention to this essential document. Most business plans usually include how your business must be registered, a description of what you will be selling, and what your financial projections are likely to be.
Your marketing strategy is also an important part of your business plan. This involves creating a website, and there are a variety of ways to market your business online. For example, creating an eye-catching infographic on your website is a way to use data visualization to communicate your product or service offerings. You could hire a graphic designer to design your infographic, or you could save money by using free templates that you can customize for your site. After choosing a template, simply personalize it by adding your own content, color scheme, background, and other design elements.

Set Up Your Workspace
Setting up your workspace to accommodate your pet and your new office will be something else to consider too. For one, Catster points out that you'll have to ensure that your office is safe and fit for your pet to be there with you so he adjusts to you and his new environment. You'll also want to make sure they’re kept occupied when you are busy. So invest in cat toys that are designed to stimulate their mind, such as a food-driven puzzle and a few new toys that'll also keep them busy for hours on end.
Apart from all the nice extras that you'll want to spoil your pet with, making sure they have the basics they need to help them thrive is important too. So, for example, a bed for your dog or cat is helpful for daytime naps, and a cat tree is great for play, rest, and scratching. Perhaps a pet crate would be handy to transport them to and from work, as well as having a few tasty treats on hand to reward good behavior.
If your cat appears anxious during the day or even when traveling to and from the office, consider talking to your vet about CBD for anxiety. Many animals benefit from this over the counter supplement. Watch for gastrointestinal side effects when you first start giving them CDB to make sure that it doesn’t upset their stomach. And if your pet becomes overly lethargic, change their dosage and talk to your veterinarian.

Take Regular Breaks Throughout the Day
You'll probably need to take regular breaks throughout the day, especially in the beginning, when you're just starting to wrap your head around the new changes taking place. These short, intermittent breaks will also enable you to spend additional time with your new pet, who's sure to benefit from extra quality time with you as their new owner.

Find a Healthy Balance for You and Your Pet
Welcoming your new pet at a busy yet crucial time, such as opening a new business, should be quite the journey. As busy as it is, it should also be joyous as you embark on this adventure with your loyal companion. So use the tips above – from looking into CBD to streamlining your workspace – to help you make the most of the situation.

*Image via Pexels