"The above scenario prompted this post. If you have traveled with your dog - by any means including plane, train or automobile - please share your experiences and advice for others."
Traveling with your service dog is always interesting! There is a lot of things we have to consider that people traveling without service dogs do not have to think about. We have to remember our dogs safety, what they will need for the trip, etc.
- Going Potty
- Going Through Security
- Consider Your Dog's Safety
- Escalators: My advice is, "don't use them." They are potentially dangerous for your dog and can be very bad for the pads of their paws. I suggest finding an elevator or stairs.
- Elevators: Elevators can also be dangerous. When getting on to an elevator it is extremely important to get them in the back corner, away from the door. Make sure their tail is tucked away in a safe spot so that it is less likely for someone on those crowded elevators to step on it.
- Airport Trains: The trains in airports move very fast and are usually full of people who are in a hurry. I suggest having your dog in a "down" because of the speed of the train. I also think that it would be best to have them against the wall away from the crowds so that your dog will not get tripped on or stepped on.
- On The Airplane: Ask for bulk head seating so that there is plenty of room for your dog. Make sure the dog is as out of the way as possible so that your dogs tail/other body parts do not get stepped on/tripped over. I usually request a window seat so that Mr Darcy is not close to the isle.
- Packing For a Service Dog
- Portable Water Bowl - keep your portable water bowl handy (maybe in the pocket of your dogs vest) so that you can easily reach it to get your dog water.
- Food - sometimes it is hard to pack enough food for an entire trip. I usually pack enough for a few meals and then plan to buy a small bag when I arrive at my destination.
- Law Card - I have a book that includes the service dog laws for each state. I remember to bring that on trips so that if i come across a public access issue I have (in writing) the law for the state that I am in.
- Treats/ Toys - What is your dogs reward for alerting? Mr Darcy gets a toy reward for alerting - I always bring his "low toy" with me. If your dog's reward for alerting is a treat, make sure to bring plenty.
- Poopy Bags - ALWAYS clean up after your dog :)
- Vest/ Leash/ Collar/ Harness etc.