If you have a service dog or two in Houston, TX, then rewarding your working animals for the hard work they do every day is important. While service dogs frequently love us unconditionally and are happy to do the work they do, they also enjoy gifts like anyone else. Service animals may need to stay focused while they’re “on the clock” completing a task and helping their handler.
Once they’re “off the clock,” though, they need time to enjoy the simple joys that every dog loves. The grueling Houston heat can be a lot for certain breeds who have thick coats. For energetic dogs like German Shepards or large dogs like Golden Retrievers, the Houston weather can feel demoralizing and uncomfortable. Making your service dog as comfortable as possible will only make them more effective at their tasks.
Sometimes, people think service dogs need to be like robots without any regard for the things that dogs love. While service dogs should be focused and serious as they’re helping their humans with medical tasks, they should also have time to unwind. Like overworked people, service dogs without the opportunity to play may burn out or get exhausted over time. Although they find joy and mental stimulation in learning new tasks, they also need to relax sometimes. They also want to bond with their person outside of service tasks.
Cooling Off for the Summer
For service dogs in Houston, TX, the heat can be overwhelming. If we humans find the Houston heat unbearable at times, imagine what it’s like to be working as a dog in the heat with a coat of fur on all the time! To alleviate the heat, you can use something simple like a garden hose to cool your service dog off. If it’s been a while since your pooch’s last bath, this can double as accomplishing a grooming task. Dogs love to play in the water and splash around. If you let your dog let loose and cool off, they’ll come back to tasking even more bonded to you and excited to get to work. If you’re going to use a garden hose, just make sure that the water pressure isn’t too intense for your dog.
Before you aim the hose at your service dog, aim it at the ground to adjust the pressure and work out any issues with the hose. While you want to help your dog cool off, you should also make sure that the water temperature isn’t too cold for your pooch to handle. A small service dog might struggle with getting too cold even if it’s hot outside. Knowing your dog’s limits and comfort level with water will help you make this inexpensive gift for your service dog as good as possible for him or her.
Adding a Doggie Door
When you want to enhance the quality of life for your service dogs in Houston, TX, installing a doggie door to one of your doors can be a great way to increase their confidence and sense of independence. When you’re home and done with tasking, your service dog probably wants to be free to come and go between your house and your yard. If they need to perform a task while they’re outside and you’re inside, having a doggie door installed might be the safest idea, too.
As a gift to yourself and your service dog, making your home more accessible to your dog from the outside is a great choice. It will make it so that you don’t have to get up from your couch or chair if you have mobility issues and walk to the door to let your dog in and out. When your dogs can come and go as they please–within reason–it can make them feel excited to explore outside on their terms.
Introducing Them to New Scents
It’s no secret that service dogs everywhere (including service dogs in Houston, TX) love to explore new scents with their nose. While you can take your dog on “sniffy” walks that let them enjoy all the sensory input that their nose can take, there are some ways you can gift your service dog so you bring the exciting new scents to them. Buying birthday flowers isn’t just for a significant other or friend – you can buy them for your service dog or the service dogs in your life, too! Just make sure that if you buy flowers, they’re safe for dogs to smell. If your dog happens to like to eat items that are usually inedible, you might also want to make sure that the flowers you buy are safe for dogs to consume. Introducing dogs to new scents is a simple way to enrich their lives.
Taking Them on a Pup-cation
If you want to gift your service dogs in Houston, TX with new experiences, start looking into vacation rentals for a “pup-cation.” Everyone needs to get out of their familiar surroundings and try something new sometimes. When you’re traveling with a service dog, it can be a fun bonding experience for you and your service animal.
Since service dogs are allowed on all forms of transit and transportation, you don’t have to worry about your service dog being banned from taking the plane or train with you to a new destination. Additionally, if you want to take your service dog to a hotel or Airbnb, they legally have to allow your service dog to be there as long as your dog is abiding by the legal requirements for appropriate behavior and safety. If you’ve been bitten by the travel bug, taking the plunge and booking a plane ticket to your favorite destination for you and your pup will be a great gift for you and your pooch.
Fencing Your Yard
To give your service dogs in Houston, TX the gift of running free within reason, schedule a fence installation to make your yard a safe place for your dog to let loose. As your dog is running around outside in your fenced yard, you can enjoy the peace of mind that he or she won’t stray too far. When you have a service dog, you’ll want to make sure that your dog doesn’t get too distant from you. Otherwise, he or she might not be available if you need them to complete their medically necessary task.
With a fenced-in yard, your dog should still be close enough to hear you call with the free reign to enjoy the great outdoors as much as you do. If you have a hard time making sure your dog gets enough time to walk or your dog has high energy, a fenced yard can be the answer to your dilemma. It’s the best of both worlds when your service dog gets to spend his or her free time roaming through your yard and chasing after balls while you relax in your own preferred space.
Removing Guests From Their Yard
If you have unwanted “guests” in your yard like rodents or other pests, calling in pest control services can be a wonderful gift for you and your service dogs in Houston, TX. When you have pests in your yard, your service animal may have a tough time focusing on tasks while ‘on” and focusing on relaxing while “off duty.” A service dog has a strong sense of smell, which can make them want to sniff out pests. When you call in pest control professionals, they’ll be able to eliminate the distraction and restore peace to your yard.
As you use pest control services, you should make your exterminator aware of your service dog. This is because some pest control methods are harmful to dogs and other animals. If you need to leave your home for a little bit while the pests are being treated, you can doubly gift your pooch with a “pup-cation” to your favorite destination. Even traveling to another town to visit other friends and family can be a much-needed break while you’re waiting for pest control to finish the job.
Cleaning Their Air
When you use air purification to enhance the quality of the environment for your service dogs in Houston, TX, you’re giving them the treat of a breath of fresh air. Sometimes, pet dander and other allergens can make the air in your home feel stuffy. It can also make it hard for the humans in the house to breathe easily. One simple solution that can act as a fantastic gift for your service dog is an air purifier. Usually, air purifiers range between $100-$300 depending on the model. Since they’re a useful tool that you’ll use for years to come, they’re a worthwhile investment. If anyone in your household has asthma or allergies, their lungs and respiratory systems will thank you for installing an air purifier. Your pooch will thank you, too.
Keeping Up With Them
While some service dogs in Houston, TX might naturally be inclined to be couch potatoes, many service dogs are a great match for the job because they enjoy learning new things and being active. If you notice that your service dog has a lot of energy to work out throughout the day, you can give them the gift that keeps on giving through athletic training. When you put your service dog through athletic training, they’ll end the day happily worn out and ready to focus on work the next day.
Some dogs need more stimulation than others. If you have a breed that is known for being active, keeping up with them when you have a disability that limits your mobility can be tough. Passing this task on to the professionals and signing your dog up for athletic training can make it easier for them to get out all of that excess energy. If you like being active, too, you can use athletic training for your service dog as a bonding moment. You can also use it to build up to certain tasks that require more physical stamina. If you would like to get more active, watching your dog train on an athletic level can be the motivation and inspiration you need to kick yourself into gear.
Constructing a Pool
If your service dog in Houston, TX dreams of doggy paddling through a swimming pool, it’s time to call a pool builder. With the Texan heat, a pool is a must for a dog owner if you can swing it. Your dog will enjoy swimming in the pool and paddling around. If you want to get into the pool with your dog, you can both cool off and bond while having fun. If you’re building a pool for your dog, it’s important to make sure that the depth of the pool is safe for your dog. While your dog might have strong swimming skills, you still need to consider whether you’ll be able to get your dog out of the pool if its ability to swim is compromised. Having a fence around your pool or a gate can help let you control when it’s time to go into the pool. This gift can be a source of fun, but it’s also somewhere that requires some extra safety precautions. As long as your pool is safe for your dog, you can let him or her splash around to their heart’s content.
Feeding Your Furry Friends
One of the most common gifts for service dogs is food. Giving your dog special doggy treats (as long as their animal metabolism can handle them) can help them bond with you. What’s more, it can be fun for your dog to taste-test new treats as a reward for learning a new task or trick.
When you get your service dog or service dog gifts, you show them that you appreciate all of their efforts. You also might be able to use gifts to incentivize them to pick up new tasks. Overall, gifts are sure to increase your service dog’s “job satisfaction.” It can also be fun for you as an owner to spend time buying gifts for your service dog and reminding yourself how grateful you are for their efforts. Showering a service dog with gifts can be a reward for you, too.