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San Diego, CA: A Great Place to Visit with Your Service Dog

San Diego is often called “The Birthplace of California,” because of its historical importance as the first location visited by Europeans. Today, San Diego is the second largest city in California and an important part of commerce in the area.

Despite being a huge city, San Diego manages to be very dog friendly, and a wonderful place to bring your service dog or emotional support animal. Here are just a few great, dog-friendly places you can go with your furry friend.

Take your emotional support animal to a restaurant

If you own a service dog, you know that your dog must be admitted in all public locations. Emotional support animals however, do not get the same treatment. If you still want to visit a great restaurant and bring a dog who maybe doesn’t quite meet service dog standards with you, there are several dog friendly locations happy to serve you.

Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar

Not only will Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar let you bring your companion animal or pet to sit with you on the patio, they even have a dog friendly menu. Your dog can choose from a grilled hamburger patty, chicken breast or brown rice. Water is complimentary. You can visit at 1202 Camino Del Rio N San Diego, and experience their high quality service for yourself.


Another restaurant that serves a dog menu, Slaters offers 50/50 burger patty, turkey patty, beef, bacon and chicken strips as options for your dog. They welcome all leashed dogs on their patio. For the owners, you can look forward to 50 different beers to choose from, as well as burgers and other comfort foods.

It’s a great place your dog will enjoy, whether he’s perusing the menu for a little off duty fun, or hard at work as your loyal service dog. You can find them at 2750 Dewey Rd #193 San Diego, California 92106

Stay at a dog friendly hotel

Service dogs are welcome at any hotel, but there are special perks to choosing a dog friendly one. When a hotel is prepared for dogs, they tend to have amenities such as green spaces for your dog to potty in, rooms on lower floors for easy access, and sometimes even goodie bags for your animal.

If you have a service dog or an emotional support dog you need to bring along with you, Porto Vista at 1835 Columbia Street, San Diego, CA 92101 is a great choice. They are right across the street from a dog park, and are located near several dog friendly eateries as well as accepting dogs in their hotel. It’s a wonderful place to bring your dog, whether he’s a pet or a working dog.

Planning a move?

The Village Mission Valley has everything you need in order to enjoy apartment living with your service dog or emotional support dog. This includes amenities such as a private dog park, so you can relax with your dog and get to know your neighbors in a pleasant manner.

It also has plenty of amenities for you too, such as a fitness center and a pool. See for yourself at 6555 Ambrosia Drive San Diego, CA.

Visit a dog park

There are plenty of dog parks available in San Diego of all different sizes. If your service dog is hoping for a little off duty fun, or you want to give your emotional support animal a fun outing, visiting a dog park is the way to go.

There are lots of dog parks out there, but the Kearney Mesa Dog Park is a local favorite. It features golf course like, plush grass, drinking fountains for you and your dog, poop bags, benches, and other important amenities. It isn’t the largest dog park in San Diego, but it is definitely a favorite due to the relaxed nature of the park.

Take your dog to Little Italy Mercato Farmers’ Market

Unfortunately, most farmers’ markets in the Los Angeles area frown on dogs at open air markets, despite the fact that they are held outdoors. Although your service dog will always be an exception to the rule, if you don’t like people asking about your working dog, it can be awkward taking your dog to these areas. In these cases, we recommend your dog to wear a service dog vest, so other patrons know not to disrupt your dog at work.

This Saturday market is an exception to the rule in this area, and gladly welcomes polite, leashed dogs. Enjoy farm fresh eggs, amazing produce, and homemade goods at this beautiful market held every Saturday. Click here for durable, American-made, service leashes to take your dog to the market.

Need veterinary care?

It is vitally important that your service dog be kept in good condition, so he can keep taking care of you. 4Paw Animal hospital at 16625 Dove Canyon Road, Suite #106 has everything you need to keep your service dog in top physical condition. They are AAHA accredited, and can handle a wide range of problems including preventative care, surgery, and behavioral problems.

They can also handle your grooming needs, should your dog need maintenance of its coat and nails as well as general physical health.

Explore the tide pools

Cabrillo Tide Pools Trail is a half mile trail you and your service dog can complete in about an hour. The trail is the only part of the Cabrillo National Monument leashed dogs are permitted on, so be prepared for people to warn you that your dog is not permitted there. If you would rather not have the hassle, you may want to use equipment that identifies your dog as a service dog.

Dogs must be kept strictly on leash so be mindful of the rules while you are letting your dog explore the wonderful ecosystems present at the tidepools. You can visit the tidepool at 1800 Cabrillo Memorial Dr, San Diego, CA, US, 92106.

San Diego is a wonderful place full of exciting, dog-friendly places you can take your dog to. Keep his tail wagging with these wonderful, dog-friendly locations that he’ll love.

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Tampa, FL: A Great Place to Visit with Your Service Dog

If you’re craving a warm place with sparkling waters to rest and relax in, Florida is the perfect vacation spot. Tampa has a great mix of everything when it comes down to a city. It is a busy metropolis with lots of things to do and see, a hub of business for those who want to work as well as play, and yet is also home to some of the best beaches and recreation the United States has.

It’s also a dog friendly place that welcomes service dogs and emotional support animals in many of its venues. Here are just a few of the places you can take your dog, even if he isn’t a working animal.

Hungry? Here’s where you can get a bite to eat

While service dogs are welcome in every restaurant, things get trickier when you have an emotional support animal. Most emotional support animals are treated like ordinary pets, with laws protecting only their right to housing. Luckily, there are lots of places you can being your dog and still enjoy a bite to eat. Here are two of them.

Sail Pavilion on the Riverwalk

Whether you boat up or walk up, there is space available for you at this river front location. The Sail Pavilion has great views, a full bar, and a selection of salads, sandwiches, and a few appetizers too. Your service dog won’t be neglected either. There’s a place for him to go potty, stainless steel dog bowls, and even a treat or two. Visit them at 333 S Franklin St, Tampa, FL, US, 33602.

Jasmine Thai

If you want authentic Thai food, Jasmine Thai welcomes your dog at their outdoor table, even if they are an emotional support animal and not a service dog. Enjoy Tom Yum, Egg Rolls, and Pad Thai at this wonderful restaurant.

You can visit at 13248 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL, US, 33618.

Great place to stay

When you are traveling with a service dog, you can safely choose any hotel you want and know that they must accept your service dog. There are perks however, to choosing a dog friendly hotel. This includes knowing there will be green space available for your dog to do his business on, the rooms are likely to be on the lower floors for ease of getting your dog outside, and sometimes even treats and other goods for your dog.

If you’re traveling with an emotional support animal or a pet along with your service dog, it’s more important than ever to choose a dog friendly hotel. Westin Tampa Bay at 7627 Courtney Campbell Cswy, Tampa, FL 33607 is a very pet friendly hotel that provides your dog with amenities such as treats and bowls, and also has an on-site potty area. The pet rooms are all on lower floors, making this the perfect place to bring your pet.

Moving? Here’s a dog friendly apartment

If you need to bring along a pet who is not a service dog, or you want your emotional support animal to be comfortable in the apartments you choose, the Westwood Reserve is an amenity packed hotel that feels as if it is designed for dogs. It has its own private dog park, “The Bark Park” for your dogs to relax in, as well as lots of ordinary green space and pet friendly apartments.

Your service dog will feel right at home in this apartment, and you’ll love the easy beach access and other amenities.

Take your pet to the dog park

Dogs love to run and play together. If you have a service dog craving a little off duty fun, or you want to better socialize your emotional support animal, taking them to a dog park is an excellent way to give them the exercise and play time they need.

Tampa has many dog parks available, a local favorite being the West Park Dog Park at 6402 N Occident St, Tampa, FL, US, 33614. The park has water fountains, shelters, picnic tables, and even a dog wash in case he gets a little too muddy. It’s a wonderful place to take your service dog for a little fun, and visitors report the place is usually clean, a big plus.

Visit a trendy dog boutique

Your service dog or emotional support animal needs a number of items to maintain his level of comfort as he works for you. Whether you’re searching for high quality food or perhaps a new chew toy, chances are you’ll need a thing or two for your dog while he is out and about with you.

Wag Natural Pet Market at 304 E Davis Blvd, Tampa, FL 33606 has everything you need for your dog, plus grooming and other services. If you’re in Tampa and need to resupply, this is a great store to visit.

Take your service dog for a hike

One of the most popular hiking trails in Tampa is the Flatwood loop trail. This 7-mile-long loop located at 14302 Morris Bridge Rd. Thonotosassa, FL 33592 is paved, and leashed pets are permitted on the loop. This trail is paved and has restrooms and other amenities. There is a $2 fee for entering, but as many as 8 people can be in each vehicle without having to pay more.

Visit a Saturday Market with your dog

The Ybor City Saturday market, located at 1901 19th Street Tampa, FL 33605 is a unique market filled with handmade goods, fresh produce, and vendors who love to form long term relationships with their customers. They also welcome pets, which is rare in a farmer’s market.

They have everything from jewelry to farm fresh eggs and is a perfect way to spend the day with your beloved friend.

Tampa is the perfect place for service dogs, and a wonderful way to relax and enjoy the beach. No matter why you are headed to Tampa, there’s no doubt you will love visiting with your dog.

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Colorado Springs, CO: A Great Place to Visit with Your Dog

If you love spending time in the great outdoors with your service dog) or emotional support animal (ESA), you’ll love Colorado Springs, CO. Colorado Springs is known for its rugged, outdoor adventures and the dozens of activities available for both you and your ESA.

If you’re planning a visit or even a move to Colorado Springs, here are the top dog-friendly locations you need to know about.

Great places to eat

If you have a service dog, you probably don’t have a problem getting into a restaurant with your assistant. An ESA however is a different story. Emotional support animals (ESA) are not exempt from rules about animals in restaurants, and the only legal protection they get involves housing. Luckily if you have an emotional support animal (ESA) instead of a service dog, there are still plenty of dog-friendly eateries you can take your animal to.

Pub Dog Colorado

This pub is unique because not only can you dine with your dog, but you can even take your ESA or pet indoors with you. Most dog friendly restaurants prefer animals that are not service dogs to sit on an outdoor patio, and only service dogs are permitted inside. This is great news for dog lovers of all kinds and makes Pub Dog Colorado our top choice. You can check them out at 2207 Bott Ave.

Pizzeria Rustica

If you like eating sustainably, the Pizzeria Rustica is the right choice for you. This restaurant welcomes dogs on its outdoor patio. Pizzeria Rustica is a certified Green restaurant and has top tier service. If you love pizza and want to bring your ESA along for the ride, this is a great place to get quality pizza. You can find them at 2527 W Colorado Ave when you’re ready to visit.

Take your pet to a museum

Although your service dog is allowed in many places, an ESA is usually very restricted. If you want to experience a museum with your ESA, there actually is one in Colorado Springs that allows your dog to visit every nook and corner.

The Manitou Cliff Dwellings Museum is a dog friendly outdoor museum, that allows you to see the homes carved into the cliffs by civilizations long ago. These dwellings are over 800 years old, located at the foot of Pike’s Peak. You can visit with your furry friend at 10 Cliff Dwellings Rd, US Hwy 24 West, Manitou Springs.

Moving to Colorado Springs?

If you’re planning to make your stay in Colorado Springs a permanent one, you may be hoping to find dog friendly apartments for your stay. Service dogs and ESA cannot be refused as far as housing is concerned, but that doesn’t mean the apartments you are in will be comfortable for your service dog or ESA.

Pet friendly apartments usually have green spaces where you can take your dog potty, and sometimes even amenities specifically for your dog. Ridgeview Place, for example, has its own “Bark Park” specifically for their dog loving renters, making it one of the most pet friendly apartments available. You can visit yourself at 3310 Knoll Lane in Colorado Springs.

Bond with your dog at Bear Creek Dog Park

This huge 10-acre dog park has a number of amenities that make it stand out from other dog parks. Apart from the usual fenced in play areas, benches, and trails to walk on, Bear Creek also has an agility course for you and your dog to practice on. Located at S 21st St, this is a fun place for dogs of all shapes and sizes.

Enjoy Palmer Park with your service dog

One of the best parts about visiting or living in Colorado Springs is the huge number of outdoor activities readily at your fingertips. If you’d like to visit a beautiful park filled with excellent hiking opportunities, you’ll want to make Palmer Park a regular part of your stay.

Palmer Park is a 296-acre park that has over 25 miles of hiking trails on it, as well as a scenic overlook, a dog park, sports areas, and more. Elevation Outdoors Magazine named it Best Urban Park in its Best of Rockies 2017 list. You can visit it at 3650 Maizeland Rd. The hiking trails are leash free, so be aware of other animals approaching while visiting with your service dog.

Take a hike at The Garden of the Gods

If you’re going to hike, what better place to do so than Colorado Spring’s very own National Natural Landmark. The Garden of the Gods is a huge park full of hiking trails, rock climbing, and breathtaking views.

There is a location you can let your dog off leash, but otherwise all dogs must be kept on a six foot leash. If you’re worried about untrained dogs mobbing your service dog as you try to enjoy a hike, this is one of the best hiking locations you can try. See for yourself at 1805 N. 30th St.

Top Tier Veterinary Care

If you have a service dog to help you in your daily life, keeping him in the best possible condition is also essential to your quality of life. Even if you’re just planning to stay for a few days, knowing where a great veterinary hospital is should something happen to your service dog during your stay is of the utmost importance.

Animal Hospital of Colorado Springs

Animal Hospital of Colorado Springs is accredited with the American Animal Hospital Association, and the vets that work there have a number of important certificates that go above and beyond basic veterinary training. If you need veterinary treatment for your service dog, they can help you whether it is a complex case or a simple vaccine. You can take your dog to 1015 Cheyenne Meadows Road if you need care.

Get resupplied at Bon Pet Supply

If you need toys, treats, or food for your service dog, you probably want the best quality to keep him healthy and happy. Bon Pet Supply carries a wide range of products, including many different brands of high-quality dog food, and everything else your service dog might need or want. Pets of all types are welcome in the store. They are also open 7 days a week, so you won’t have to worry about running out of food on a Sunday and having to wait. You can visit them at 2312 N Wahsatch Ave.

Colorado Springs has a wealth of dog friendly opportunities. If you’re planning to visit there or even move and want to see what fun things you can do with your beloved canine, these are our top picks.

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New York, NY: A Great Place to Visit with Your Service Do

If there is any city in the world that people dream of visiting, it’s New York. This iconic city is filled with amazing things to see, from the Statue of Liberty to the Empire State building, as well as the home of dozens of TV shows, and the inspiration of novels.

If you’ve always wanted to see New York, or are planning to move there, you may be wondering if it’s a safe place to bring a dog. New York has many places that are dog friendly, whether you want to get a bite with your emotional support animal, or see the sights with the help of your service dog. Here are a few great places you can bring your dog, whether he is a working one or not.

Great places to eat with your dog

Taking your emotional support animal or pet to a restaurant isn’t always easy. Most restaurants frown on anything but a service dog entering their premises, making it difficult to take your pet with you when you go out to eat. Fortunately, NYC has an abundance of dog friendly locations to eat out at, and here are two of them.

The Wilson

If your service dog has been a very good boy, taking him along to Chelsea restaurant The Wilson will get his tail wagging for sure. Not only is this high end restaurant dog friendly, it also has a fancy menu especially for dogs.

Unlike many restaurants that offer a burger patty or other simple fair, your dog can dine on salmon or even a choice steak at this restaurant. All dogs are welcome, so if you want your emotional support animal to try a little grilled chicken breast or other treat, your dog is welcome. Join them at 132 W 27th St New York, NY 10001


The Cookshop not only features an amazing breakfast menu, it also has a huge patio with plenty of room for you and your service dog to enjoy. Shade is available when its hot, and there’s also a lot of greenery on 10th ave, making it even more appealing for dog owners. You can try out their American style menu at 156 10th Ave New York, NY 10011

Stay at the Park Lane Hotel

This beautiful hotel has an incredible view of New York City’s famous Central Park. They are ADA compliant, and even have their own pet package, including a bed, poop bags, bowls, treats and a list of pet friendly events you can take your pet to.

Your service dog will appreciate the ease of access to potty spots, and you’ll love the accessible nature of the hotel. It’s perfect for everyone. Stop by at 36 Central Park S , New York, New York 10019.

Visit Central Park

Central Park is an enormous green space both you and your dog will love. The park is, of course, open to all animals, from your emotional support animal to your service dog. Dogs are allowed off leash in the early morning and late evening, and must be on-leash the rest of the time. Basic responsible dog ownership rules apply, such as picking up after your dog and maintaining voice control over your pet when he is not on leash.

There are a few areas where dogs are not permitted at any time except for service dogs, such as the sheep meadow and the playgrounds, for safety reasons, and also certain areas where your dog must be leashed even during off leash time. This includes the bridle path and the Conservatory, again for the safety of the grounds, animals, and other people.

Central Park is huge with multiple entrances. You can access the park from 59th to 110th Street Manhattan Borough, and from Central Park West to 5th Avenue, New York City, NY 10022

Give your Service Dog some off duty fun at Sirius Dog run

The Sirius Dog Run is an off-leash area that pays tribute to the service dogs who helped during the devastating 9/11 attacks. If you have a working animal such as a service dog or an emotional support animal, it’s particularly appropriate that you make this off-leash dog park a stop for your furry friend.

The dog park offers a wading area for the dogs, and while it is small it is one of the most popular dog parks in New York City. Check this park out at 385 S End Ave, New York City, NY, US, 72758.

Go Hiking on NYC’s only natural hiking trail

Inwood Hill Park Trail is the only natural hiking trail on Manhattan Island. The 2 mile hike has a few slopes that will provide you and your service dog with exercise, while at the same time being a beautiful trail that provides epic views of the city. Check it out yourself at 22-90 Payson Ave, New York City, NY, US, 10034

Your dog must be on a 6 foot or shorter leash for this trail, but is welcome to go with you for this hour long walk in nature. It’s a great place to bond with your emotional support animal, or to spend time with your dog in general.

Need a vet?

You depend on your service dog to help you in your daily life. If he gets ill, that means you will suffer too. That is why knowing where a quality vet is no matter what city you travel to is vitally important. One of the best vets in NYC is Hudson Animal Hospital at 238 W 61st Street New York, NY 10023. They can provide emergency care for your service dog, as well as a wide range of other procedures, and of course normal preventative care.

If your service dog needs medical attention while you are visiting NYC, this is a great choice for care.

Take your dog to coffee in the bark

On the first Saturday of every month, you can gather at Prospect Park with other dog owners for coffee and treats for both you and your dog. This is a great opportunity to socialize your emotional support animal, and to meet other people who share your love for dogs. The 9th street entrance is the closest address to this event, located at Prospect Park West (at 9th St.) Brooklyn, NY 11215.

New York City has many wonderful places you can take your dog, whether you own a service dog, an emotional support animal, or just a pet. Enjoy NYC and its many wonders, and take your dog with you. They’ll love it as much as you.

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Summer is Coming! Protect your Service Dog & ESA

At last, summer is on its way! Dog lovers everywhere will be enjoying the outdoors making the most of long sunny days. You’ll be walking in the park, cranking down the car windows to feel the wind rush in, enjoying a lazy drink on the deck with your Service Dog or Emotional Support Animal curled up at your feet.

Taking care of your service dog in the summer, however, can sometimes be a challenge. As temperatures start to rise, our canine friends can find the heat, sun, and humidity hard to cope with. Just like humans, dogs can suffer from dehydration, skin problems, and even heat stroke.

People with Service Dogs and ESA’s need to take extra special care as our canine partners often work long hours, are constantly alert, and do complex activities all day long. We know how cranky we can get when it’s hot – and we’re not wearing a fur coat!

While summer is a great opportunity to get outside, exercise and enjoy the world, we also need to be aware of the risks. How can we take care of our Service Dogs when the temperatures soar?

How Dogs Keep Cool Naturally

First, it’s important to understand how dogs normally keep cool. Humans produce sweat to regulate their body temperature. Did you know dogs produce sweat only from their paws? The main ways dogs keep cool are by panting, direct contact with a cool surface, and drinking water.

Dogs are naturally pretty good at taking care of themselves. Their fur coat keeps them warm in the winter but it’s also a very good natural sunscreen, stops their skin from drying out and helps keeps their body temperature down. When the temperatures begin to rise, you might need to lend a helping hand to keep our canine friends cool.

What are the dangers of too much sun for our Service Dogs and Emotional Support Animals?

Skin Problems

No one likes the idea of walking around in the hot sun with a fur coat on. Our instinct might be to cut or even shave our dog’s coat to help them keep cool. Remember though, your dog’s fur protects them from the sun and stops their skin from drying out, so keep them clipped but don’t go too close to the skin. Just like humans, dogs can get skin cancer, so keep an eye on exposed areas such as their noses and the tips of their ears – and use a good vet-approved pet sunscreen for extra protection. Dogs with short, light-colored fur are especially prone to sunburn.

If your Service Dog or ESA has shaggy fur on their paws, keep this a little longer than the rest of their coat as it will protect their paws from the sun. Keep their coat clean and well brushed.

Dehydration and Breathing

You may notice when a dog is really hot their tongue swells, increasing its surface area and helping them to cool down faster, as it pants. If the panting starts to sound labored or they start to gag, it’s time to get your dog into the shade and give them water and a rest so they can recover. If you have any doubts, seek the advice of a vet as soon as possible.

By the way, although it sounds like an old wives’ tale, it really is true that dog’s noses should be wet. A dry nose could be a sign of dehydration.

Paw Care

Although nature has equipped your Service Dog and Emotional Support Animal with pads on their paws that act as natural shoes, when temperatures really start to rise, be aware how hot the surface is and remember some surfaces are hotter than others.

Be careful of any black surfaces, but particularly asphalt as it radiates heat and can actually burn your dog’s paws if it’s been exposed to hot sunlight for any length of time. A hot surface will also lead to a rise in your dog’s body temperature and might make them overheat.

It might seem a bit wacky, but the easiest way to test if the ground is too hot for your dog to walk on is to feel it with your hands or, better still, your bare feet. If it’s too hot for you, it’s probably too hot for them. On particularly hot days, allow your dog to walk on the grass as much as possible.

Check your dog’s paws regularly for signs of blistering and splitting. Walking on hot surfaces can cause dryness so if you notice this is a problem it’s a good idea to invest in some veterinary-approved wax that will protect the paw pads in both winter and summer. Boots are also available and can help protect your dog’s paws from strong heat but remember your dog sweats from their paws so make sure they are ventilated, or they may get a bacterial infection. In addition, if air can’t circulate, this will make your dog hotter. Remember, if your dog has shaggy fur on their paws, this is nature’s way of providing insulation, so don’t cut it too short.


We all get a little cranky in the heat, especially if we have to work, and it’s no different for your Service Dog or Emotional Support Animal. On hot days allow them a little grace. It might take them longer to do the things your dog normally does, and they might need more rest.

Heat Stroke

In severe cases, dogs can suffer from heat stroke, just like humans, and this can be extremely dangerous. Heat stroke occurs when the body has a rapid and uncontrollable rise in temperature, which can be caused by dehydration and heat exhaustion from over-exertion, and not taking in enough water before and during exercise. A dog’s normal body temperature is 100-103. This can rise to 107 with heat stroke which can be life-threatening.

Some breeds are more prone to heat stroke than others, such as dogs with short nasal passages like bulldogs and pugs; particularly those that suffer from Brachycephalic Syndrome. Dogs with heart, lung and respiratory conditions such as Laryngeal Paralysis, and dogs that are overweight will also suffer more. Older dogs and smaller dogs are also more prone to sunstroke as they are less resilient.

How to Spot Signs of Distress in Our Service Dogs and ESA’s

The most common symptoms of heat stroke to be aware of are excessive panting and drooling as dogs produce extra saliva when they need to cool down quickly. They may also vomit and /or have diarrhea. Your dog might lie down frequently and unexpectedly if they need a break. It might be unusually clumsy, stumble or even have a seizure. They might have a racing heartbeat. Watch out for these symptoms and take them into the shade for a rest and a drink. If they collapse, seek help from a vet immediately.

What to do if you think your Service Dog or Emotional Support Animal has heat stroke:

  • Act quickly
  • Move them to a cool area
  • Try to stop them from lying down. Keeping them moving will allow the cooler blood that is at the surface of their body to circulate which will help their body temperature drop
  • Soak towels in water or use whatever material you might have to hand and lay this on their coat, as direct skin exposure to water will also help them transfer the heat from their body
  • Give your dog small drinks of water at room-temperature. However tempting it is, don’t give them iced water as a sudden intake of cold water can cause distress to their heart
  • Allow them time to rest and recover
  • If in doubt, see a veterinarian as soon as possible

How to Help your Service Dog or ESA Keep Cool

So when the temperatures really ramp up, what can we do to keep our Service Dogs and ESA’s cool and prevent heat stroke?

Provide Shade

Dogs are very good at seeking out shade, so while we’re used to our Service Dog or Emotional Support Animal walking down the middle of a path, be aware that they might be more comfortable seeking out the shadows. Make sure there is shade for them both when you are at home and when you’re out and about.

Never leave your dog in a parked car on a hot day. Temperatures can soar very quickly to dangerous levels. If you leave them at home, think about drawing the curtains so they can escape from the sun streaming through the windows.

Air Conditioning

While you might be tempted to escape the heat and hunker down in the aircon, don’t rely on this too much too soon. As soon as the days start getting warmer, begin to acclimate your Service Dog by taking it outside each day. This provides the opportunity to get used to the increase in temperature. When you’re going out by car, try to lower the windows rather than using air-conditioning, so your dog has time to get used to the temperature during the journey.

Cool Gadgets

There are many useful products available to help keep your Service Dog or Emotional Support Animal cool. Make sure their vest is made from a material that transfers heat, such as mesh or nylon. National Service Animal Registry offers very lightweight service vests. Some vests come with cooling pockets or pockets where you can fit gel-packs. Otherwise, get a vest that you can soak in water as this will allow them to keep cool down for longer. There are also a variety of bandanas, cool beds and cool collars available.

Never leave the house without a supply of water and invest in a foldable bowl or a water bottle that doubles as a bowl. When it gets hot, think about treating your Service Dog to a kid’s pool so they can enjoy cooling off in the tub. If you live near the beach, lake or river, be aware that although dogs instinctively know how to swim, they are not necessarily strong swimmers. Be careful of currents and keep your eye on them when they are in the water.


Dogs drink more water for their weight than humans, and this is a key method they use to cool down. Make sure the water you give them is room temperature rather than iced as very cold water can cause stress for your dog’s heart. It’s okay to give them an ice-cube as a treat, though, as this will melt and warm up before they ingest it. You might also want to fill a Kong with wet food and freeze it to make the perfect doggie-popsicle.

Protect Against Parasites

In hot weather, parasites multiply faster, and if your Emotional Support Animal is spending more time outdoors, especially in grass or undergrowth, they might be more likely to pick up something nasty. Make sure they are protected against common parasites such as Heartworm, Lyme Disease, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Ask your vet if you’re not sure.

What to Do in Severe Heat with Your Service Dog or ESA

When it gets very hot outside, over 90 degrees or when the National Weather Service has issued a warning, keep your dog inside, and make sure there is plenty of shade in the house for him or her to enjoy. Manage your schedule so you avoid going out in the hottest part of the day and make time to exercise them when the sun is low. Make sure there is always plenty of water for them to drink.

Final Thoughts

We depend so much on our Service Dogs and ESA’s. They keep us safe, provide us with companionship, and do many tasks that we find difficult. As your partner, you know your dog best. What are their needs? Do they have a thick dark coat that traps the heat so needs a pool to splash in or regular sprinkler-time? Are they getting a little older, or do they have any medical conditions that mean he’s more prone to heat stroke? Do you need to invest in a new cool-vest, or some pet-sunscreen to protect any exposed skin?

The summer is a perfect opportunity to get out and about with your Service Dog or Emotional Support Animal and really enjoy the outdoors together. Bear these safety tips in mind and get prepared so you can make the most of the long sunny days with your canine partner.

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Sacramento, CA: A Great Place to Visit with Your Service Dog

Sacramento is the capital of California state, and is the fastest growing major city in California. Sacramento is still growing and developing, becoming a technological powerhouse and a source of visionaries, this city is a unique place to live, work and play.

If you are thinking about visiting this place with your service dog, or if you have an emotional support animal you like to keep with you, you may be wondering about visiting with a dog. Sacramento is a dog friendly location to visit, and there are lots of places you can visit with your four-legged friend, whether he has a job or not. Here are just a few of them.

Great places to eat

Sacramento is well known for its culinary circle, and if you love food, visiting some of the better restaurants is probably on your list. Many of these restaurants are open to service dogs only, but there are actually a few fabulous places to eat that are friendly to all dogs, including your emotional support animal. Here are two of them.


This amazing restaurant offers a taste of regional ingredients, and a carefully selected wine menu. Each dish is created to make the ingredients stand out by chefs that are regarded as some of the finest in Sacramento.

Dogs are also welcome here and are generally treated like kings. Expect at the very least a bowl of water for your service dog, and a corner on the patio just for them.

Capitol Garage

This eclectic hotspot for good eating has two patios, which increases the odds you’ll get a coveted dog friendly spot for your emotional support animal. Customers who have visited the restaurant with their dog report not only getting water for their dog, but often a treat too!

Your service dog will love chilling on the cool patio with a slice of bacon, while you enjoy one of a delicious selection available on the menu. Whether you’re looking for brunch, burgers, or beer, this place has what you and your dog needs.

Stay at a dog friendly hotel

If you want a great place to stay with your emotional support animal or a hard-working service dog, look no farther than The Citizen Hotel, a Joie de Vivre Boutique Hotel. This incredible hotel has gorgeous rooms, wonderful staff, and beautiful architecture—as well as plenty for your dog as well.

Directly across the street is an entire park for pet relief, walking, and general fun. Your dogs will be welcomed with treats at the front desk, and there is no additional pet fee for the dogs. It’s a wonderful place to stay, see so for yourself at 926 J St, Sacramento, CA 95814.

Let your service dog run at an off-leash dog park

If your emotional support animal or service dog needs some off-duty fun, you might want to visit the Tanzanite Community Dog Park at 2220 Tanzanite Way, Sacramento, CA, US, 95834. The beautiful, 2-acre off leash dog park has plenty of room for your dog to run. The dog park has plenty of other amenities, including water spigots, shade, benches, and lots of grass.

This is a popular dog park, but the atmosphere is usually relatively calm, so stop on by and let your dog run free before he goes back to hard work as your partner.

Take your dog to the Midtown Farmer’s Market

This year-round farmer’s market allows well behaved, leashed dogs. The market is open every Saturday all year round, except for when there is an 80% or greater chance of rain, or if wind at greater than 15mph is projected. According to their website, this happens about 3 times a year or less.

The farmer’s market has both vendors with handmade goods and farm fresh products, and generally has music, live demonstrations, and a kids play area to help liven things up.

This is a great place to stroll with your service dog as you check out the farm fresh eggs or homemade cheeses, but your well-behaved emotional support animal is welcome too. Visit at 1050 20th St, Sacramento, CA 95811.

Need supplies? Take your dog to Wagger’s

As you can imagine, Wagger’s is a dog boutique that has everything your emotional support animal needs to keep that tail wagging. They have full service grooming, as well as toys, treats, and other essentials. Voted one of the best dog boutiques in the area for over 9 years straight, this is a well liked business that will do right by your service dog.

You can visit at 2051 Arena Blvd 130 Sacramento, CA 95834. The friendly staff will be happy to help you with anything you might need for your dog.

Check out dog friendly Old Sacramento

Old Sacramento along the peer features an abundance of historical buildings, iconic hotels, and beautiful views along the waterfront. It’s a wonderful location along the Potomac river just to walk and admire the scenery, but there are dog friendly buildings you can take emotional support animals to, including restaurants with outdoor seating.

Most of the museums and other buildings admit service dogs only, but even if you just wander outside, you’ll enjoy this wonderful location. Stop by at 153 I St, Sacramento, CA, US, 95814.

Go hiking with your service dog

Just 30 minutes from Sacramento is the Quarry Road Trail. This beautiful trail is over 5 miles long, letting you and your service dog walk as much or as little as your fitness level allows. The trail is very wide, making it comfortable to pass other hikers, and it’s well worth the drive.

While there is closer hiking to Sacramento, and even some trails in Sacramento itself, these trails tend to be heavily trafficked by bikers, and many owners report being unable to enjoy the walk due to the speed and number of bikers passing them.

The Quarry Road Trail offers a welcome break from the concrete jungle, and you can visit with your loyal service dog at 501 El Dorado St. Auburn, CA 95603.

Sacramento is an exciting place to visit with your dog, and there are a large number of dog friendly locations you and your dog are welcome at. Don’t be afraid to book a visit today and see Sacramento for yourself.

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Portland, OR: A Great Place to Visit with Your Service Dog

Portland, Oregon is a pet friendly location that loves seeing your companion animal. Whether your dog is a pet, an emotional support dog, or a service dog, you’ll find plenty of places you can go with your animal. Your service dog will love a little off duty time as part of your trip, and even if your dog is just a pet, he’ll still find lots of reasons to keep that tail wagging at these great places.

Hotel Monaco

If your just visiting, finding pet-friendly lodging can be a challenge in many different cities. A hotel cannot refuse your service dog, but if it is an emotional support dog the same rules don’t apply. Hotel Monaco is the perfect solution, as they accept any breed of dog regardless of size. Located on Southwest Washington Street, it’s just a 12 minute walk from the Portland Art Museum, and a couple of miles from the Japanese Garden.

Mt Tabor Dog Park

If your service dog is craving some off duty time, the Mt Tabor Dog Park has a little bit of everything. While you enjoy the exquisite views of a dormant volcano and old growth forest, your dog can meet with others in an off-leash park, as well as accompany you on on-leash adventures elsewhere in the park.

The rules are strict on where a dog may or may not be off leash, so pay close attention before releasing your dog. The dog park is located at 6336 SE Lincoln St and is open 5AM-Midnight.

Dog Friendly Eateries

While your service dog won’t have any problems getting into the restaurant of your choice, if you have an emotional support dog or just a pet, you’ll need to stick to dog friendly dining. Luckily, Portland has an abundance of dog friendly places you can eat.

A favorite among tourists and regulars alike is the Lucky Labrador Brewing Company. They have an outdoor patio that all dogs are welcome on, and regularly hold dog friendly events such as “Dogtoberfest” and “Barks and Brews.” If you’re interested in giving it a try, it is located on 7675 SW Capitol Hwy.

If you’re in the mood to spoil your service dog, the “Tin Shed Garden Cafe” not only has a dog patio, but a doggie menu! Located at 1438 NE Alberta St, Portland, your pet will delight in the treats they have in store.

Hip Hound

Regardless of whether you have a service dog, an emotional support dog, or a favorite friend, you’ll need to resupply your dog’s basic needs at some point. The Hip Hound is a trendy place you can get everything from natural dog food and grooming supplies to toys and treats. It is well liked due to how friendly the staff is, so if you have any questions you won’t have a problem getting help. Located at 610 NW 23rd Ave, Portland, they are our top recommended store.

Top rated medical care

Keeping your dog healthy is always important, but when you own a service dog or an emotional support dog, top tier health care becomes even more important.

Mt. Tabor Veterinary Care has it all when it comes down to good quality veterinary care for your dog. Each exam room is comfortably decorated to look like a living room, so your dog can feel more comfortable during his stay. On top of this, they offer top tier veterinary service, and a fear free clinic. Located at 4246 SE Belmont St., Suite 1, Portland, 97215 they are happy to give your service dog the loving care it needs.

Explore Washington Park

Washington Park is a huge 420 acre park that encompasses several different gardens, an arboretum, a children’s museum, and a zoo. It also has a number of hiking trails criss-crossing it, and much of the park is dog friendly.

If you love hiking and touring beautiful gardens, this is the perfect spot for you and your canine. Your emotional support dog or pet is welcome in the gardens and the arboretum on leash, but service dogs only for the zoo and museum.

If you are planning a visit to Oregon Zoo with your service dog, ask for a copy of their service dog map. Due to the strong reaction the animals may have, certain areas of the zoo are restricted even to service dogs, and other areas require you and your service dog to move through as quickly as possible for the safety of everyone. No kennels are available for service dogs should you want to visit these areas, so you may need to plan ahead.

A service dog vest may also be helpful here, in order for the zoo staff to help get you the map you need and other important information regarding the zoo right away.

You can visit all these wonderful things and more at 4033 SW Canyon Rd, Portland, OR 97221.

Portland Saturday Market

There are few ways to make shopping more fun than visiting an open air market. The Portland Saturday Market features an abundance of vendors selling everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to homemade candles.

This market is special because it is nationally recognized as the largest continuous open air market in the United States. It’s also pet friendly, so feel free to take your emotional support dog along for the trip. You’ll also find lots of pet related booths, so if you were hoping to get something special for your service dog or emotional support dog, you may find it at one of the many booths available.

Despite the name, they are open both Saturday and Sunday, all year round. Visit at 108 West Burnside any weekend.

Portland, Oregon is a wonderful place for dog lovers to visit and live. If you’re planning a visit or a move to Portland, Oregon you’ll love these wonderful opportunities for you and your beloved animal to enjoy.

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Denver, CO: A Great Place to Visit with Your Service Dog

Known as the mile-high city due to its extreme elevation, Denver is a popular city for those who enjoy the great outdoors. This beautiful city is very dog-friendly and is a safe place to bring your service dog or ESA as you take in the sights and sounds of the city. If you’re hoping to spoil your service dog, or just want to see all the great places you can take your four-footed friend, here are our favorite picks.

Visiting Denver? This is the best hotel to stay at

The Kimpton Hotel Monaco located in Denver is part of a boutique collection of hotels that specifically cater to keeping your furry friend. If you have an emotional support animal (ESA) that you want to keep with you, it’s not always as easy to find an understanding place to stay. The Kimtpon Hotel Monaco is that place. They accept multiple dogs of any size in their pet friendly rooms, and even have canine amenities to go with the hotel room. They are located on 1717 Champa Street At 17th Street. If you want your service dog or ESA to feel just as welcome as yourself, this hotel is a great option.

Grab some eats with your pup

Service dogs are always welcome in restaurants, but your emotional support animal (ESA) often has to wait at home for you to return. If you’d prefer to bring your pup with you, Denver has a large number of dog-friendly places to eat. Here are our two favorites.

Forest Room 5

This restaurant has brought a little of the great outdoors inside. The beautiful outdoorsy d&eactute;cor will make your dog feel right at home, and your dog whether it is an emotional support animal (ESA) or just a furry friend will be welcome right at home on the patio. There are lots of different beverages available from craft beer to mixers, so this is a great spot for your happy hour as well as a meal. Their address is 2532 15th St Denver, Colorado 80211 if you want to check them out.

Bonnie Brae Ice Cream

Has your service dog been good and is ready for a little off duty treat? Take him to Bonnie Brae Icecream where dogs are always welcome. You can get your dog his own personal ice cream sandwich, made out of two dog biscuits and a little ice cream between them. Service dogs can come inside, but your ESA or furry friend is on the patio only. Find them at 799 S University Blvd, Denver 80209.

Go to a dog park

Denver has 10 dog parks to its name, and all of them are fun places to take your service dog for a little off duty romp. If you’re looking for someplace fun to take your beloved service dog or ESA, try the Railyard Dog Park. It has separate areas for different sized dogs, and is extremely large for a downtown dog park.

Your service dog will love a game of fetch or a walk along the wheelchair friendly paths. There is very little shade in the park however, so if it is a hot day you may wish to come in the early morning or late evening to stay cool while your pup plays. The park is located at 2005 19th St Denver, CO 80202.

Emergency? Take your service dog here

When your well-being depends on a service dog or ESA to help you get through the day, knowing the location of a quality vet is essential. We recommend Bear Valley Vet if you need medical care for your service dog or ESA while in Denver, Colorado.

Bear Valley Vet features a state of the art medical facility, and also handles emergency visits as well as the usual wellness exams and preventative care. If your service dog runs into a problem large or small, they are prepared to handle it.

Hit the trails with your dog on the Bear Canyon Loop

One of the best parts of Colorado is the many outdoor activities available. There are dozens of dog-friendly trails you can take your pet on, and they are among the most beautiful hiking trails in the nation. A good one is just 30 minutes outside of Denver for a pleasant, two-hour long hike.

If you are hoping for an easy hike that includes wide open spaces, wildflowers in season, and native wildlife, this trail is a good choice. Use caution when hiking alone or with just your service dog, as mountain lions and black bears do frequent the area. You can find the trailhead at NCAR Trail Head, 1850 Table Mesa Dr, Boulder, CO 80305.

Enjoy the Cherry Creek Fresh Market

Sometimes called the “Cadillac of farmers’ markets,” this Saturday market is open May through November, and features both fresh produce and gourmet foods from local vendors. Held at Cherry Creek Shopping Center located on 1st Ave. & University Blvd, parking is free during the market.

Dogs on leash are welcome, so you can bring your furry friend even if he is not a service dog to this busy and beautiful outdoor market.

Grab essential supplies at Dog Savvy

Dog Savvy has your dog’s grooming, food, and pet supply needs handled. This cute and trendy shop is beautifully set up, and the staff is friendly and welcoming. If you want the best possible shopping experience for yourself and your service dog, Dog Savvy is an amazing shopping experience in Denver. See for yourself at 1402 Larimer St Denver, Colorado.

Denver is full of exciting places to see and things to do. If you’re hoping to move here or visit with your dog, you’ll have no end to dog-friendly opportunities in Denver.

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Las Vegas, NV: A Great Place to Visit with Your Service Dog

Las Vegas, the city of shining light and big casinos, isn’t just a fun place for people. It’s also a surprisingly dog-friendly city that welcomes service dogs, emotional support dogs, and even dogs whose only job is being cute. If you’re planning to visit or move to Las Vegas with your service dog, here are a few key places you need to know about.

Just visiting? Try this hotel.

The Westin Las Vegas Hotel & Spa is a pet-friendly hotel just a few steps away from all the action of the Las Vegas strip. It’s accessible, with elevators, staff available to read literature for the visually impaired, and meeting rooms with assisted listening. It’s pet-friendly for your emotional support dog, and of course, service dogs are always welcome.

Moving permanently? This apartment loves dogs.

The Elysian Flamingo apartments aren’t just pet-friendly, they even have their own dog area specifically for your furry friends. While your service dog is welcome anywhere, it’s always nice to have amenities catering to owning a dog, so that you don’t have to make hunting for a green space part of your daily activities.

These apartments also don’t have weight limits, so even if you have a large ESA, they will still accept your pet. While size is not a problem, there may be breed restrictions, so call ahead about your pet.

Take your pet to Barkin’ Basin Park

This fun little park has everything your off duty service dog or emotional support dog needs for a tail wagging good time. It features separate enclosures for different sized dogs, shaded seating for owners, and water fountains for both dogs and people.

The park is always kept clean and there is plenty of room to throw a ball, so if you’re looking for a spacious place to let your pet run free or to stretch your service dog’s legs, this is a great place to do it. Located at 7351 W. Alexander Road, 89129.

Treat your dog to a baseball game

Your service dog works hard for you on many occasions, including helping you when you go to the baseball park to watch a game. On Wednesdays in Las Vegas, you can reward your service dog, emotional support dog, or favorite friend with his own personal day to enjoy the big game at Wag Your Tail Wednesdays.

Dogs are allowed to watch every Wednesday home game from May until September at the Las Vegas ballpark. If you feel like your service dog deserves a little off duty fun, or you can’t normally enjoy these games without the help of your emotional support dog, this is the event for you.

Join the Las Vegas Aviators with your very own dog as your copilot at 1650 S Pavilion Center Drive.

Places to eat with your pet

All restaurants are required to allow your service dog to join you for dinner, but if you have an emotional support dog, it’s not as easy to sit down with your dog for a bite. Luckily Las Vegas has a number of pet friendly venues you can bring your ESA to. Here are two of them.

Big Dog Brewery

As you might expect, Big Dog Brewery is a dog-friendly place to catch the latest sports game or just hang out with your friends for some ice cold beer. They have over 35 local brews on tap, as well as midwestern style foods such as cheese curds, steak and eggs, and pulled pork sandwiches. Your emotional support dog or other pet is welcome on the patio, your service dog is as always welcome anywhere. Visit at 4543 N. Rancho Dr., Las Vegas, NV 89130

Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar

This restaurant not only allows your emotional support dog or other pet on the patio, they even have their own menu for your dog! The doggie menu includes things like a hamburger patties or grilled chicken and brown rice. Whether you’re giving your service dog a little off duty treat or taking the opportunity to bring your ESA with you, this restaurant provides a great treat for you both.

Go hiking in the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

While the Las Vegas strip gets most of the attention, it’s not the only part of the city. Just half an hour from the strip itself is some of the most beautiful terrain in Nevada. The Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area features dazzling red rocks and a fun canyon to explore. Dogs must be leashed in all buildings and at the overlook.

It’s a great place to take your dog whether you own a service dog or an ESA, and makes for great photos as well as a great hiking experience. Drive to 1000 Scenic Dr, Las Vegas, NV, US, 89124 in order to enjoy this hike with your pet.

Outdoor (Saturday) market

The middle of a desert probably doesn’t seem like a likely place for an Outdoor Market, but there are actually many of them in and around Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Farmer’s Market is particularly fun because they embrace a festival like setting, with music as well as food and of course local produce. Pets are welcomed, so don’t be afraid to bring along your ESA. There is no parking fee as long as you let the attendant know you are visiting the farmer’s market.

Bring your service dog, your ESA, or just your pet and get a bounty of fresh produce at this wonderful outdoor market located at 9100 Tule Springs Rd . Las Vegas NV 89131.

Las Vegas has many wonderful opportunities for your dog, whether you own a hard-working service dog or a pet whose only work is snuggling. If you’re planning a visit or a move to Las Vegas, you can rest assured there are plenty of places to take your furry friend.

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How to Welcome Your New Dog to the Family

There’s usually much anticipation and excitement when you’re about to introduce a new furry friend home and into the family: Cuddles to look forward to, playful silliness to indulge in, and perhaps, a good excuse to take more walks to the park. Just watching canine behavior, which is so different from our own, yet still so relatable, can provide hours of entertainment. For many, the absolute best part about bringing a service dog (in training) or emotional support dog into the home, however, is the easy companionship they provide. It’s like getting a new friend, or maybe something even more far-reaching: when you welcome a dog into the home, it can be nothing short of welcoming a new family member.

When you consider the significance of such a pivotal moment, it’s also normal to feel a little bit apprehensive about the new addition. How will life change? If it’s a puppy, especially, you may be concerned about the training process, anticipating chewed up shoes and cleaning up urine drenched rugs. Will the pup adjust alright? Will you?

It’s in everyone’s best interest (people and pooches included) to ease the transition with as much care as possible. Dogs are sensitive creatures and feel changes in their environment acutely. You want your new furry family member to move into their new home with as little stress and as much comfort as you can provide.

Preparing the way with smart planning and executing the inauguratory welcome, will not only make your service dog or emotional support dog’s life easier, it will make your life easier, setting the stage for a grand, companionable relationship.

This article will guide you through the process of bringing a new dog into the family with an aim towards minimizing stress for all parties involved, so you can focus on the fun stuff and build a happy, healthful relationship with your new dog.

1. Gather the Tools

First things first: Gather the tools. Naturally, you want to have all the accessories and necessities at the house before your new dog arrives, to prevent hectic scrambling to find a leash when you need to take the dog out to pee, etc. This scenario can create the kind of frenetic energy that is stress-inducing to human and dog alike.

Luckily, it can be fun to shop for your new doggie-friend! You get to pick out colors, styles, and functionality of an amazing array of accessories and toys available online and at the local pet store!

Here’s a short list of the main tools you’ll should have before Woof-Woof gets to town:

A Crate

For many dogs, a crate provides them with a sense of security. Having a place to go to that is both contained and just their own is a great source of comfort to dogs. Additionally, a crate helps with obedience training for the wee-ones.

Dog Bed

Dogs, like people, adore a cozy bed to curl up in. Like the crate, a dog bed can provide them with a comfortable slice of home that is their own alone.

Collar and Tags

Particularly in a new place, you’ll want to safeguard against your dog getting loose, lost, and without tags (heaven forbid)! If yours is a service dog or emotional support dog, collars and ID tags from National Service Animal Registry legitimize the look of your dog, while identifying him/her.


A leash is sort of self-explanatory, but especially in the beginning, keeping dogs on a leash will make them (and you) feel safe. The first time you introduce them to their new home, you’ll want to bring them in with a leash (more on that below). NSAR offers high quality service dog and emotional support dog leashes at very reasonable prices.

Dog Food!!

Shop around, do some research (maybe ask your vet), or check back on this blog for the best dog food that fits your budget and provides proper nutrition (there are a lot of junk-food dog brands on the market).


An important part of your service dog’s health and nutrition, you’ll need to know a little about vitamins and other supplements to help keep your dog in peak physical condition. Do a little research, have a chat with your veterinarian, or check this blog (we’ve done the homework for you) will help you select the most important items. Remember: different ages and different breeds will require different nutrient additions.

Dog Treats and Chew Bones

These can be invaluable for dog training, teeth maintenance, and are an easy way to make your dog feel special!

Food and Water Dishes

It’s important to maintain a water bowl in a designated area of the home which is kept full and fresh, so your dog can monitor his own hydration.


For puppies, toys will provide hours of play (a helpful adjustment tool since they wont be with their siblings for possibly the first time in their young lives), and additionally gives them something to chew on as they teethe. But even an old dog likes a happy toy or two to chew on 😉

Old Towels and Lots of Rags

You’ll likely need these for mopping up messes, accidents, and cleaning the dog’s feet after a play in a muddy yard, etc.====2. Primp and Preen the Den:====

Now that you have collected the tools and accessories, it’s time to primp and preen the den for maximum comfort for the four-legged. Designate a corner for the crate and/or dog bed. Dogs like having a safe haven, a space just for them.

Decide where the feeding area will be: In the kitchen? Garage? Back Porch? Decide on an indoor and outdoor water station so the dog can be sure to have access to water at all times.

If you have a yard with a fence, maybe you’ll want to install a dog door. Have fun! Arranging a space for a new family member can be a sweet and intentional way to connect before they even arrive.

3. Prepare the Pack

As you collect your handy tools and spruce up the den in preparation for this exciting new adventure with your emotional support dog, you’ll naturally begin to prepare mentally for the family dynamic shift as well. It’s a good idea to gather the pack to establish that everyone is on the same page and has similar expectations.

Discuss with your family or household members how you’d like to incorporate this new wagging member of the pack. What are the rules? Is the dog allowed on the furniture? Are there parts of the house that are off limits? Get the basic law of the land down pat, and you can always adjust, as necessary.

Decide on the commands you will use (do you prefer the command Off or Down for jumping?) so you can maintain consistency among all household members and avoid confusing poor Fido. It’s really a good idea to read up on some basic training techniques to better understand the psychology of your dog and to help enact an effective strategy for training.

Also, divvy up roles, so everybody has a good sense of what is expected of them; who is in charge of feeding? Who is going to get up in the night (if it’s a puppy) so she can relieve that tiny puppy bladder?

Review the appropriate, conservative behavior upon initially bringing your new pooch into the home in order to establish what is expected from the get-go, saving you headaches down the road (more on this below!).

And last, but certainly not least, if you already have a resident dog or cat in your unique pack, you’ll want to consider their comfort as well. Educate yourself on the best way to make an introduction. Animals are territorial, and even if they are a particularly social animal at the park or with the other neighborhood cats, a newcomer to the home-den can be stressful and even frightening. Impervious to any of your new dog’s adorable attributes, they will likely feel as though their safe haven, their very own home, has been invaded by a stranger. And indeed, it has.

Luckily, there are ways to minimize the stress in this situation and hopefully, within a few weeks, if you’re pets aren’t best buddies, at least they’ll accept each other and live in relative harmony. Next week’s blog will focus on introducing your new service dog or emotional support dog to the resident cat. Be sure to check back!

4. Find a Veterinarian

Although we’ll be adding an interesting and informative article on finding the right veterinarian for your service dog or emotional support dog in the next few weeks, in the interim, it’s a good idea to ask friends and family for a good recommendation in your locale. Familiarize yourself with where you’ll be taking your dog for routine health check-ups and shots. It’s best to set up an initial visit sometime in the first couple weeks after bringing your pooch home.

A good vet is an invaluable resource for excellent information on both dog care and dog behavior. They are also an important support system to have in place, should there be an emergency.

5. Introduce Your Dog to the New Territory

The day has finally arrived! You’ve prepared everything so thoughtfully, minding every detail, and now it’s time to bring your furry, slobbering sweetness home! Congratulations you’re about to embark on a wonderful new relationship!

However, as territorial beasts, you’ll want to intro your dog to her new home terrain slowly. In fact, if possible, it’s ideal to familiarize her with the neighborhood a few times before actual move-in day. This way the home-zone is not so foreign.

If it isn’t possible to get a head start on territory-familiarization, (it may be impractical under many circumstances, especially with puppies), that’s okay too. You can facilitate a thorough Project Familiarization on Day-Move-In too.

A good rule of thumb for introducing your new dog to the home-place is to start wide, and circle in. That just means, don’t just jump into the deep end without testing the water (or in this case, the center of activity in the house). Instead, before even going into the home-den, begin with a walk around the neighborhood. Let your hound get a sense of the territory at large: the smells, sights, and sounds.

There are several important benefits of this initial walk:

  • It serves to tire your dog out even just a little. Arriving at a new home can be VERY exciting for your new friend, and it can easily become a wild and crazy affair! As silly and (sometimes) entertaining as this may be, it’s a good idea to minimize this initial craze (I’ll explain why below). Expending a little energy on a walk will help him or her come home for the first time in a slight calmer, more manageable state, better prepared to relax into a new space.
  • The walk enables the dog to relieve him or herself, minimizing the chances that it will happen on your living room carpet.

5. Coming in for a Landing, We Arrive: The Home-Den

As you circle the neighborhood, you finally narrow your focus into the home-den. When you enter the house, do so in a calm and calculated manner to prevent hyper-excitement. The reason is that this very entrance impacts the tone of the relationship and living space, as your dog understands it.

So, if you immediately take the leash off and let the dog run wild through the house, frolicking in frenzied excitement encouraged by nearly, equally excited family members who shriek, coo, and besiege the mutt with hugs and pets, ruffling his fur in passionate adoration for his adorableness – well, the stage will have been set.

It’s natural for us to welcome a new member with a party and celebration, but for a dog, this first intro to the home sets the tone for the rest of your years of cohabitation. It’s crucial to set up boundaries. If you open the door and let the dog run wild through the house, you are effectively signaling that there are no boundaries. Going back and retraining isn’t always the easiest or most pleasant of tasks. Without boundaries, your dog is led to believe that the entire home is theirs to do with as they please, which means they can beg, jump, and chew on everything, should they feel the inclination.

It’s much more difficult to correct these behavioral problems later than it is to just establish the norm immediately. Structure will actually provide stability and comfort to your dog, who has it in their instincts to function within a hierarchical, organized group, and will appreciate having a good sense of their own place within the group. Better to save the party for later and show the dog a tranquil experience that firmly communicates expectations.

You can do this by following these simple suggestions:

  1. Keep your cool. Dogs are pack animals, and together, you are now a pack. It’s important for you and the other resident humans to be the Alphas in this pack. Establish this rule from the beginning. Present your dog with an air of calm authority and assertiveness. Keep the stimulation to a minimum; this means controlled talking to and touching the dog. In addition to establishing your controlled leadership, this is compassionate to his or her sensitive-doggie-nervous system. Your dog may now be in a loving doggie-resort, and is already plenty stimulated by the new environment.
  2. Keep the dog on the leash, at least initially. This has the dual benefit of providing poochy-pooh with security and establishing dominance. It lets them know this is not their space to run a free-for-all in. This is your space. Show them their special space, but first, make it understood where it is not.
  3. Continue the home exploration, by moving from one room to another, pausing only a few moments in each to acquaint the dog with the quarters.
  4. As you navigate through the various rooms and spaces, always enter ahead of the dog. This is important to establish your dominance. Try not to let the dog enter each room until you’ve given permission. Have them wait, even sit until you give the signal (this is obviously easier with an older, trained dog, but there’s no time like now to begin the training process!).
  5. After finishing the home exploration, acquaint your new pet with the feeding area. Offer a doggie-treat and an opportunity to lap up some water.
  6. Present him or her with her own slice of heaven. Take her to her crate or dog mat and let her know it’s all hers. Remove the leash (finally!). Watch and see what she does. Maybe she’ll lay right down to rest and absorb the moment, confident that she’s found her place. Maybe she’ll want to sniff around some more or come spend time with you. Don’t be afraid to use a small treat to facilitate this.

It’s no problem, either way, but let you emotional support dog decide: if it wants to rest, let it. And maintain the same cool calm as you have been. It’s okay to be friendly and affectionate if he/she wants to spend time with you, but try not to build the energy up in an exaggerated way. You are still setting an example of dominance and expectations particularly during the first few hours.


If you follow these steps, welcoming your new, sweet pooch into your home will be close to seamless. Just remember, it always takes a little while to acclimate completely. Be patient and you’ll have years full of belly rubs and love to look forward to from a devoted and loyal friend. Congratulations!