It’s National Service Dog month! That mean it’s a great time to address one of the toughest parts about having a service dog: how to respond when people want to pet the dog. If your senior loved one has a service dog these tips can help them politely make it clear to people that they are not allowed to pet the service dog while the dog is working.
Service dogs can be very helpful to seniors. But when a senior is out with their service dog and the dog is helping them shop, navigate sidewalks, or get around in a crowd people will try to pet the dog. That’s just human nature. When some people see a dog, they want to pet it. Sometimes seniors have trouble asking people to leave their service dog alone. They’re afraid of confrontation or afraid of the other person’s reaction. Some easy and polite ways to remind people that service dogs for seniors shouldn’t be pet while they are working are:
Get The Dog A Vest And Harness
Service dogs are not required to wear a vest when they are working. Sometimes they don’t even need to be on a leash. But a safety vest that says in bright big letters that the dog is a working dog and not to be petted can deter a lot of people who would casually try to pet the dog. It also will prevent your senior loved one from having to say no every time someone asks if they can pet the dog.
Hand Out An Information Sheet With Service Dog Etiquette Rules
Service dog etiquette is something that most people should know but many don’t. If someone asks to pet your senior loved one’s service dog, they can simply hand them a print out of service dog etiquette rules. It shouldn’t be your senior loved one’s responsibility to educate people on the rules of approaching a service dog but it’s a smart way to explain why the service dog can’t be pet while working. A printed sheet on service dog etiquette would also inform anyone asking that they should ignore the dog unless the dog is trying to get their attention because of an emergency.
Have Some Backup
A senior home care provider who goes shopping, walking, or to social activities with your senior loved one and their service dog can run interference when strangers approach and want to pet or interact with the dog. A senior home care provider can explain that the dog is working and shouldn’t be bothered so that your senior loved one doesn’t have the stress of having to tell strangers that they cannot pet the dog over and over.
Block The Dog
A senior home care provider can also step in and step in front of the dog to keep people from petting the dog before they ask permission. Sometimes people don’t bother to ask permission before petting the dog. In other cases, it might be that a child tries to pet the dog because they’re young and don’t know any better. In those cases, a home care provider can effectively block access to the dog by moving in front of the dog. Then they can explain that the dog isn’t a pet.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Senior Home Care in Bronx, NY please contact the caring staff at Prime Care, Inc. today. (212) 944-0244