When you travel with a service dog, your travel options expand. Since they are trained to assist you with a medical issue, they have more access than normal pups.
When you’re traveling, a service dog can’t sit at home or stay at a pet hotel. They need to be by your side at all times. With that said, if you’re new to the service dog world, you may not know how to travel properly.
Here are some tips:
Bring All the Dog’s Documentation
This rule is common sense, as having a vest over your dog is not enough to prove that they’re a service animal.
In some cases, the airline may require documentation that proves that your dog is there to help you with a legitimate medical issue.
Be Sure to Register Ahead of Time
If you have not registered your service dog yet, make that a priority.
You can register your dog with SDRA and be on your way to a new relationship with your best friend.
Allow yourself a month to register your service dog properly, so you can have enough time to prepare.
Another tip is to prepare early. Some people go to the airline without telling the staff about the service animal, and it’s a hassle to prove certification even with documentation.
What you should do is contact the airline in advance and present documentation. Ask them what you need to bring to the airport, and obtain clearance ahead of time. Each airline may approach service dogs differently, so be mindful of this.
Some airlines may even give you roomier seating to help you sit down with your pup without you feeling uncomfortable.
Bring the Basics
Traveling with a service animal is similar to traveling with a regular animal. You should bring the essentials when you’re traveling. These include:
- Vet documents if an emergency happens. Also, be sure to update your pet’s vaccination records.
- Bring toys to keep your pet entertained.
- Be sure to bring a collapsible food and water bowl to keep your dog happy when you travel.
- Bring bags to scoop their waste if needed.
You can find all the basics at any pet travel store. It may also be in your interest to speak with your vet to ensure you have all your pet’s basic needs met and get even more specialist tips.
Check With All Places Ahead of Time
Finally, even when you’re traveling with a verified service dog, it does not hurt for you to check your lodging, restaurants, or other attractions you’re visiting to assure yourself that they allow service animals.
Almost all places will, but it does not hurt for you to verify it, as some areas will be aggressive about any dog, even one designed for service.
This travel season, don’t come unprepared.
Be sure you have all your documentation ready when traveling with your service dog. Prepare early, and then you can enjoy your vacation without any stress.
Enjoy your trip, you and your best friend deserve it.