by Sue on December 10, 2015

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Here are some trip tips to make traveling with your Service Dog enjoyable.

Bring your dog to the vet’s for a check up before going on an extended trip. Make sure all his vaccinations are up to date and carry shot records and Health certifications with you.

To keep your dog healthy as you travel bring along a supply of his regular food. Be sure to bring any medications he needs.

In the event that your dog gets away from you on the trip, you can increase the chances of recovery by making sure he can be properly identified.

Make sure your dog has a sturdy leash and collar, harness or vest harness combo. This should have identification tags with the dog’s name, your name, and your cell phone number, as well as proof of rabies shots. And consider a permanent form of identification, such as a microchip. Also bring a recent picture of your dog along with you. Just a note. Many people make the mistake of putting their home phone number on the dog’s ID tags rather than their cell phone number. The reason I suggest the cell phone number is that you will always have that with you in the event that your dog is found, no matter where you are.

If your dog is prone to car sickness, this can be avoided by letting your dog travel on an empty stomach. However, make sure he has plenty of water at all times.

Keep the car well-ventilated.

Do not let your dog ride with his head sticking out of a window. This can lead to eye injuries.

Stop frequently for exercise and potty breaks. And, please, clean up after your dog.

Each airline has to, by law, allow Service Dogs or Emotional Support Animals board with proper identification and a letter from your personal Doctor stating the dog is needed. However when you make your reservation, you must tell the airlines that you will be bringing a Service Dog or Emotional Support Animal.

All airlines require health certifications and proof of vaccinations.

Small dogs may ride under the seat in a crate or carrier. Dogs which cannot fit in a carrier must stay quietly at the owner’s feet.

Only Service dogs are permitted Amtrak trains or on buses operated by Greyhound and other interstate bus companies. Emotional Support Animals are not permitted. Local rail and bus companies have their own policies however so you will need to check with them first.

You may fare better if you’re taking a cruise. The QE2 luxury cruiser, which sails from New York to England/France, provides special lodging and free meals for your dog. However, you should check the policies of the cruise line or ship you will be traveling on before making plans to take your Service Dog or Emotional Support Animal on a cruise with you. Because some liners are not USA owned, they do not need to abide by our laws regarding Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals.

Have a safe holiday and happy traveling!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Khira 12.14.15 at 11:24 am

I suggest an email on the collar/ tag for traveling out of the country where cell reception may be unavailable and carriers may not be compatible.

2 Karin 02.17.16 at 12:05 am

Thanks for mentioning the cruise! I’ve always wanted to take a cruise to Europe, but wondered if I could bring my service dog and if it would even be fair to her to spend that much time on a ship. I’m glad to hear that they have accommodations.

I’ve written a guide to traveling with a service dog which goes into a bit more depth on some aspects. I hope you enjoy it.

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