First of all, I want to wish everyone a 2007 filled with quality of life, health and may you all have enough peace in your lives to keep you going!
On the PSDS listserv, we recently discussed dog packs and vests. Each person needs something different from his/her service dog and the vest or pack a dog wears will reflect this need. Some handlers like their dog to be able to carry water and also their meds. This requires a pack as a vest merely has enough space for some information cards and some change and that is it. There are many places on the internet to find service dog gear, but you may also find that you can make regular civilian dogware work for you as well. I recently tortured my dog by having her model a few of my favorite service dog outfits she has so that I could take photos and share these ideas with you. The results of that photo session are shown above. To view the information, click on the image to make it large enough to read. Remember that if you use a pack, do not overload your dog. Consult your vet on how much weight your dog can carry safely. Overloading and overworking a dog is not good on their joint health. Some dogs were bred for load-bearing work, some weren't. Also keep in mind that the minimum size of a mobility dog is about 50-55 pounds, and that is for bracing as well. This weight should not include the extra weight of an overweight dog. The reason is because the extra pounds the overweight dog carries are already putting strain on the dog's body, they don't need any more strain added to their joints. If your dogs "ideal" weight is supposed to be under 50 pounds, you should not use the dog for even the light mobility.