I have traveled with my Service Dog on airlines. They do not require tags hanging from your dog. Check with the airline you will be traveling on, for their specific requirements.
You will need:
Notify the airline ahead of time that you will be traveling with a Service or Emotional Support Dog. Do not depend on your travel agent or anyone else to do this for you. The airline may be able to arrange your seating to allow for more leg room, or put you next to a vacant seat. I have found them to be extremely accommodating.
Health Certificate with proof of current vaccinations, etc.
A Prescription letter from your Doctor stating that you have a disability that requires the use of a Service or Emotional Support Dog.
In case you get separated, it is a good idea to have a personalized dog tag. My dogs have tags that say "Service Dog", my cell phone, and home phone number. You can make these yourself, for just a few dollars at almost any place that carries pet supplies.
Micro-chip and register your dog! In case your dog slips their collar, or someone removes it. A micro-chip is forever. Animal Shelters and Veterinarians have the ability to check for micro-chips.
Carry Identification, a picture of your dog, micro-chip and tag numbers. I tuck similar information into my dogs pack. My picture, cell phone number, emergency contact numbers, and his Veterinarian's number.
Prepare your dog:
Teach your dog to become "invisible". They should be able to settle down quietly beside you, or at your feet, and stay there for an extended period of time (hours). Take a road trip. If your dog will not fit or stay in the space at your feet, you may have to pay for an extra seat.
If your dog has been well socialized, the airport and flying should be no problem. If not, take them to the airport and introduce them to the sights, sounds, and smells. Take them on elevators, escalators, up and down stairs, busses, trains, over bumpy roads, anything that moves and makes noise.
You have to know that your dog will be inside the airport and on the plane for a very long time. Most layovers are not long enough for you to leave the security area, go outside and clear security again.
Teach your dog to "go potty" on command. This makes travel time much easier. Most dogs will get a little excited, with the activity of getting ready for a trip, make sure you see them go potty before boarding the airplane. Even if the airport says they have a place for the dogs to go potty, it is probably a little room. Most well trained dogs will refuse to go inside, no matter how many dogs have used it before. Some dogs will use a potty pad.
Pre-surgical rules work well. Withhold all food after 8:00 the night before if you will be flying early in the day. You do not want your dog to get dehydrated. Do not give excessive amounts of water, but small drinks on the trip. Whenever they bring you water on the plane, ask for 2. My dogs love ice water, or bring a small water bowl. You can't bring liquids into the airport, you can however bring a water bottle and fill it once through security. If you run out ask a flight attendant for water. Once you have landed give them all the water they want and of course a chance to go potty.
Plan ahead and use good sense, if your travel will take longer than is reasonable for your dog, make sure they get a chance to relieve themselves somehow. You may need to go outside, and back through security.
You should always carry supplies, poop bags, absorbant towels, and wipes so you can clean up after your dog, inside and outside.
By utilizing this service, I am intending to be legally bound hereby. I understand and agree and do hereby release from liability and to indemnify and hold harmless Heritage Service Dogs, and any of its employees or agents representing or related to this Program. This program involves a live animal. Animals by nature can be unpredictable. This release is for any and all liability for personal injuries (including death) and property losses or damage occasioned by, or in connection with any activities related to Heritage Service Dogs. I further agree to abide by all the rules and regulations promulgated by the ADA and, Heritage Service Dogs. The articles on this website contain the opinions of the author and are offered for educational purposes only. Nothing on this site is intended as legal, medical or veterinary advice or to provide answers to a specific situation. Heritage Service Dogs is not engaged in the practice of law or medicine and cannot render those professional services or advice. Always consult a competent professional.
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