Going on Special Outings
From aquariums to professional sporting events, it's best to be prepared before taking your service dog or service dog in training into highly stimulating, new environments!
Special outings can be anywhere you don't normally take your dog. Going to fun places like aquariums, professional sporting events, or museums can be an incredible experience for you and your pup! It's always best to prepare ahead to set your pup up for success and ensure your outing goes as smooth as possible.
Prepare In Advance
Talk to your POC to see if the outing is appropriate for your dog and their recommendations on how to make it the best experience for your pup
Plan relieving options and possible locations
Make sure the dog does both a #1 and #2 before you enter so you don't have to worry about it!
Research the location to get a lay of the land
Call the venue so they can educate their staff if needed
Be prepared to advocate for your dog as not everyone is aware of service dog etiquette and laws
What To Bring
A pouch full of kibble
High value treats
Head Collar or any training aides used by your org
Water and a bowl
Clean up supplies
Organization identification (if you have it)
Copy of the law and codes regarding SDiT's in your area
Pawsible's Access Laws Map is another great resource that you can easily pull up on your phone to show people the laws!
Know the common signs of stress in dogs
attempting to escape
not taking food reward
If your dog becomes stressed, remove them from the situation.
Find a calm, quiet place for them to regroup, maybe stepping outside.
Once your pup is relaxed, you can attempt to bring them back into the situation with lots of verbal praise and food reward (if your org uses this).
If they become nervous again, don't force them to stay, leaving is the best thing for your pup!
Remember to check your puppy raising manual or talk to your organization to see if there are any special outings your pup cannot attend. For example, some orgs do not allow their pups to go to zoos without special permission.
Check out our blog to see seasonal outing recommendations!