Service animals can perform a large number of specific tasks. Some tasks require only dog skills, while others cannot be performed without special equipment. In this article, we will consider in which cases service dog vests are needed and how to choose the right equipment and accessories for service animals.
Animals that help
Emotional support animals and service animals predominate among the most common kinds of helper animals. The service ones are specially trained animals that aid humans with inabilities to cope with daily tasks and challenges, which can be difficult for a person due to his or her disability. Service dogs can be an ideal therapy for people suffering from any kind of disability.
ESAs are used for the treatment of people experiencing emotional distress. The role of the emotional support animal is often limited only by its presence next to the “patient”. Therefore, ESAs do not require special training to be able to comfort their owners.
Special accessories for service dogs
The law does not oblige owners of service animals to buy special equipment for their four-legged assistants. However, most people agree that a special service dog vest greatly facilitates the stay of the animal in public places. People feel calmer and more comfortable when they realize that there is a service animal nearby.
Accessories and equipment for service dogs are very similar to equipment for pets. Standard items include collars, leashes, muzzles, and safety footwear. Yet, a dog harness and vest are among the most commonly used tools that perform many important duties simultaneously.
Why do you need service dog vests?
The ADA does NOT require the service animal to wear the harness or vests. Yet, the right service dog vest helps to ease your daily walk with a service dog. The vest can also identify pets as service animals. It will reduce potential public controversies.
The dog training is mainly done by wearing vests and carrying harnesses. To allow a new animal’s owners and a person to easily adapt to each other, the vest or harness is usually inserted. The resulting calming effect makes it easier for the puppy to concentrate mainly on the new owner.
Where can I buy a service dog vest?
Most of the necessary equipment and accessories for animals, such as a leash, a collar, and a harness, you can buy in specialty stores. This equipment is no different from equipment for ordinary pets. You can also buy a vest there.
In addition, everything you need can be found online on special websites. Typically, such resources offer a wide range of products, and online consultants are ready to advise you if you have any questions. One such site where you can find a wide range of the best service dog vests and other equipment for a service animal can be found at: https://myserviceanimal.org/products/service-animal-harness/
How do I choose a service dog vest?
The choice of a dog’s vest should be approached very carefully. Be sure to pay attention to all the details of the choice or consult a specialist who will be able to select equipment specifically for your pet and based on your needs.
First of all, the equipment should help the animal to perform its tasks as much as possible. For example, equipment for the mobility dogs and guide dogs will be different because animals perform different functions.
Also, take care of convenience. First, the animal should feel comfortable in a vest. Second, the equipment should be comfortable for you and have quick-release buckle makes. Be sure to carefully choose the size of the service dog vest, as well as make sure that the material from which it is made is strong enough and you can use the product for a long time.
Brace and Balance/Mobility Support Harness
These kinds of harnesses can be commonly used by service dogs and can assist in mobility and balance tasks. The harness should have strong handles or stable pull straps and should be ergonomic for both the handler and the dog.
Your dog should feel safe and use appropriate harnesses to provide stability and mobility support for his movements and balance. You should bring your dog to your veterinarian to get the proper health checks if you want to make sure that the dog performs the necessary job.
Service dog owners with impaired mobility often use this kind of harness on their service dogs to make the wheelchair easier to maneuver. Pulling harnesses often have elastic y straps between the front legs or on the shoulders that can be fixed with a tadpole.
This type of service dog harness makes life much easier for people who are forced to move in a wheelchair. Making a wheelchair move can take a lot of energy from a man because this task is quite difficult physically. Pulling harness allows you to transfer part of the work to the animal, which is specially prepared for this purpose.
Selecting the right size vest for your service dog
Usually, the service dog vests are bought for a certain period and it’s very important to choose the correct size vest. Most often, the size of the vest is calculated based on the circumference of the dog’s chest to the smallest area of the abdomen. Most sellers have a size chart that significantly speeds up the choice of the right item.
If the size of the dog falls at a boundary, eschew larger sizes, as the manufacturer may suggest otherwise. There are several ways to modify a vest that is too large, there are not many ways to have a vest that is too tiny for certain body size.
Do service dog vests have to be a certain color?
There are no special requirements for the color of the service dog vest. You can choose the color you like. However, the vests should be made of reflective material or have reflective stripes. This makes the animal more visible even in the dark and also adds extra control to the owner.
Pros and Cons of Wearing a Vest/Harness
A vest or harness allows a service dog to be as helpful as possible to its owner. In addition, the vest often has many small pockets where you can conveniently place everything you need, such as an animal ID card, keys, or medicines. And of course, the vest is a distinctive sign that helps to indicate the status of the animal and avoid possible controversies with others.
One of the obvious shortcomings of service animal vests is that they need to be constantly updated. First, the size of the animal may vary. In the long run, even the strongest material can wear out, so you need to periodically update the equipment.
Is wearing a vest mandatory for service dogs?
The ADA does not require service animals to wear vests or identification tags. Therefore, the service dog wears special equipment either to perform its functions, such as a pulling harness for the mobility dogs or because its owner or if the owner is in a public place where pets are not allowed.
By the way, if you have an emotional support animal you can also buy special equipment or an ID tag for it. In this way, you will make it clear to others that the animal is not just a pet, but your helper.