Service dogs are highly trained and are there to serve a purpose. They help their disabled owners to live independent and fulfilled lifestyles by aiding them on physically challenging tasks throughout the day.
These animals make great travel partners and help ensure that you have a fantastic trip, wherever you may choose to go.
Traveling with any animal, however, may raise a few extra things to consider before setting out. We have compiled a list of some great tips so that you can enjoy your trip without any unnecessary surprises. So, let’s get started.
Registration and Training Documentation
It is important for starters that your animal is registered as a service animal and that you have the proper documentation on you at all times throughout your trip.
While laws protect you and your service dog, many professional travel companies will require you to prove that the dog has been trained to help you and that it is registered as a working animal, not just a pet.
The Service dog training cost is worth it and will provide you with peace of mind in knowing that your animal will be prepped to help you through the entire traveling process, regardless of what may come up.
Specific training courses have been created to help train dogs for all types of travel. This training can be added to their registration and documents to solidify the dog’s credentials and the right to travel alongside you.
Speak with Your Travel Provider Ahead of Time
Being prepared is always going to be your best bet when traveling with a service dog.
In the weeks leading up to your trip, make sure that you reach out to your travel provider and explain your situation to know their protocols and what you can expect when you arrive.
No matter how you choose to travel (plane, train, or bus), there will be specific rules that apply to bringing a service animal with you on public transit.
While there are overarching legal protections put in place to protect you and the animal, each company may have its own rules and regulations that you will have to follow. So, avoid any surprises and ask all of your questions up front. That way, you know exactly what to expect when you head out on your journey.
Know Your Rights
Even though service dogs are genuinely working animals and are there to help you to function on your own, there is the off chance that someone may not recognize the importance of having the animal with you.
Unfortunately, many people see a dog in a place where animals aren’t technically supposed to be and will jump to conclusions before you have a chance to explain.
As the owner of a service dog, you have many legal protections that you should be well-informed on in the off chance that something comes up. Being prepared and knowledgeable about service dogs and their protections will help the traveling process run a lot smoother if you are to come in contact with any preventable issues. Additionally, making sure that your dog always has its service vest is a clear indicator that it is a working animal.
All in all, traveling with a service dog is a beautiful thing and will help you to see the places you want to see on your terms. These animals are specially trained to help you live a happy and independent life, and that means traveling whenever you want, wherever you want.
We hope these tips will help prepare you for your trip and give you some peace of mind in knowing that you can have your service animal with you every step of the way!