As a guest blogger for Time to train your Dog, it is a humbling experience and a honor.
My name is Leslie ‘Perl’ Wohlfeld, retired Army Combat and privilege to be part of a service dog team. My dog’s name is Lizzy. During my retirement process my case manager recommended a service dog for my various mobility disabilities. In 2010, Lizzy and I graduate from ECAD, Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities. I quickly looked into traveling with a service dog. Much research and asking questions. Review the TSA website, Passengers with Service dogs, good information.
When I travel for more than 2 hours by airplane, no food or water. Make sure your Service Dog relieves itself. Contact your local airport for dog relief areas. Some major airlines in larger cities have them, ie, Orlando -Jet Blue, NYC JFK -Jet Blue.
Airline travel can be stressful so, I try to give myself minimum of 1 ½ hours for baggage check-in and security. Most airlines require you to appear at the full check in; they need to see the dog. If they ask any questions, ie, what type of service dog is she/he..mobility service dog. That is what my dog lizzy is trained for. By law they cannot ask what your disability is. They can ask what task the dog provides. Also, the boarding pass needs to indicate service animal.
As far as TSA security, I do not remove my service dog’s harness, the attached back pack yes for screen. First, I place my service dog in a dog, wait position, I advise the TSA Agent carrying a small piece of treat, showing it. Second, I walk through alone. Third, I call my service dog, give treat. Lastly, TSA will pat my service dog. [Which by the way she loves it. All the attention]
I find that if prepared ahead of time with the travel, the experience will be positive and enjoyable for all.
Below is a list for traveling with service dogs, enjoy.
- Service dog vest or harness
- Medical records, including immunizations.
- Travel bowl, [collapsible if possible, I use a cloth bowl]
- Collar with dog tags
- Treats, if use them
- Paperwork certifying you both as a service dog team.
- Contact the Airline, Train, Bus that you will have a service dog.
- Medications, i.e. flea and tick, heart worm, first aid kit, [ Neosporin, gauze pad, band aids, etc.] keep it small and simple
- Carry on one day food supply, pack at least 3 to 4 days in check bag
- copy of the ada requirements for a service dog
- copy of the ada business brief for a service animal
- tooth paste
- tooth brush
- doggie poo bags
- dog toy