Always have your “go-bag” on you ready for anything. Just because you took your service-dog out before you left doesn’t mean they won’t surprise you in a store from time to time!
Don’t be that person! Clean it up quicky with your gear!
And have a couple treats, for rewards and for distraction. Bring water, just in case you are gone longer than you thought or it’s hot out.
ASK TO PET / DO NOT PET
Decide before you go whether you want people asking to pet your dog or not. If not, make sure you have patches on the vest saying “DO NOT PET.” If so, make sure your patches say “ASK TO PET.”
People will still ask, no matter what the vest says. Don’t be timid! JUST SAY NO! Team Rescue can practice with you and teach you tips for how to do this firmly but politely.
WATCH YOUR FEET
Keep a set of booties in your car or “go-bag” that fit your service dog well.
Before you give the command for your dog to exit the vehicle, check the pavement. On hot days, it may be too hot for their foot pads. On cold days, there may be ice or ice-melt products that can harm them.
Make sure you put booties on them to protect their feet!
KEEP ON THE GRASS
Always keep an eye out for grassy spots at each and every stop you make.
Better to let your service dog sniff and not go than to not give them the chance, and next thing you know, you’re cleaning up the spot where they lifted their leg on the cat crates in PetSmart…
If there isn’t a grassy spot, still take them to an area with gravel or a tree of some kind.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!
It’s not often you will be faced with a venue or a person who challenges your right to bring your service dog with you. However, it will happen to everyone at some point.
Have a copy of your ADA Rights card given to you by Team Rescue or have this website handy so you can show them the link to the Service Dog Rules and Regulations.
Make sure you know your own rights! There are a few places where you cannot bring your dog, and a few exceptions where you and your dog may have special rules. You can’t count on the community to know these rules. It is your responsibility to know where you can and cannot go and what you can and cannot do.
There are plenty of folks out there abusing the rules and making it tough for the rest of us to have our service dogs with us. Don’t be that person!
Team R4PTSD is happy to talk with you about any questions you have, what to do when something happens, and how to handle a scenario. When in doubt, give us a call right away!