3 Tips on How to Select the Right Service Dog Vest2022-07-21
Service dogs do incredible work and aid their owners in various life-changing ways. Because of this, the equipment they use should serve the same purpose so that they can continue to support their owners in invaluable ways.
One of the most common items that service dogs use is the best. However, depending on the animal’s training and the task they perform, not every vest will be suitable.
Finding the right kind of equipment for your service dog can enhance its ability to aid you in your daily life. To help with that, we want to share our knowledge with you and help you navigate the world of service dog vests. Read below for tips on selecting this critical piece of equipment.
What Kind of Vest Does a Service Dog Wear?
Service dog vests can be personalized pieces of equipment. Many organizations highly recommend owners invest in one for various reasons. Identifying vests save time, minimize frustrating encounters in public, and make it easier for members of the public to recognize the service dog fulfills a critical role—that it’s not just a pet.
Perhaps surprisingly, there is no legal requirement that a service dog wears identifying clothes or vests. The owner is responsible for explaining that the dog in question is a service animal but nothing else.
Nevertheless, many service or support animals owners wisely choose to outfit their animal companions in identifying clothes. The reasons why someone would choose to outfit their companions in recognizable gear differ from owner to owner.
Still, one of the best reasons is avoiding the hassle and embarrassment of having strangers come up to inquire about the animal’s service dog status. It’s a relief when a person with a disability doesn’t have to repeat these conversations and can avoid them altogether by outfitting the animal in a recognizable vest.
3 Tips on How To Select the Right Service Dog Vest
To most effectively help you figure out what to buy for your canine companion, we will provide three tips we hope you find helpful.
Consider the Color
The first tip we'd like to provide anyone reading this article is to consider the color of the vest you are planning on buying or maybe even making yourself. The simple reality is that the color of clothing affects those who see it. While different colors may mean different things to people based on many factors, color is still a valid consideration.
If someone sees a service or therapy animal out in public, they could be alarmed by it, but by dressing your dog in the right kind of clothing, you could help them relax. Picking the right color for your companion's vest could help here.
The vest color is a vital tip since service dogs do not face many of the same breed restrictions other dogs might face. A person could feasibly have a Pitbull or another “scary,” “aggressive” breed of dog as a service animal.
While these stereotypes about Pitbulls are often false and deeply unfortunate, the truth is that some people still believe them. The right vest can help people relax around, which can make all the difference in moments when one is needed.
Plus, there are many situations wherein the color of a dog's vest can make a meaningful difference anyway. A dog in a brightly colored vest is less likely to go missing and is easier to spot in the dark or by cars on the road.
Many organizations recommend service dogs wear blue or red vests to signify their status. Other suitable colors include orange, camouflage, or patriotic colors. You have your choice of colors here, but sticking to the standard colors may make it easier to notify others of the animal’s status.
Think About the Purpose
Understanding what you hope to achieve with a vest is essential for figuring out how to best clothe your dog.
If you're hoping to get people to leave your animal alone, think about achieving that with the vest. It could mean getting gear that signals that your dog is a service animal, such as vests that say “Service Dog” on them. You can find labeled vests online and at a variety of stores.
You can also consider other markers, such as identifying tags, labels that insert into a clear pocket on the vest, or a leash with “service animal” marking it.
Besides notifying the public about your dog’s status, you can also think about the purpose that the service dog has trained to fulfill. If it helps you take life-saving medicine, a pocket that can carry your medication can be handy.
Finally, these vests can also help you protect your rights and your service animal’s rights. Some vests will come with handy pockets where you can keep the service dog registration papers at hand.
The ADA states that public establishments cannot ask about your disability or for paperwork proving the animal is a service dog. However, they can ask about the dog’s status as a service dog or other animal. Vests can ensure that whoever is asking doesn’t impinge on the animal’s rights.
Ponder the Price
The final consideration for outfitting your service dog is the price. There is a range of prices someone could pay for the gear, and it’s up to you to determine how much you are able and willing to pay for such gear.
The price for a vest ranges from $25-$120. It’s not prohibitively expensive, but if you already have to pay for other items related to your disability (medication, equipment, medical treatment, etc.), the additional cost can be concerning.
One consideration for many who struggle to pay for gear is to make their vests. For others, it might be worth seeking out deals that will allow them to afford ready-made vests or find them pre-owned.
Service dog vests can be a critically important piece of equipment for those who need them. They aren’t required by law, but they can help protect you and your rights.
Are you looking for a service dog vest, harness, leash, or other identifying markers? Visit the Service Dog Registration shop and find all the gear you need.
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