Traveling On A Plane With A Service Dog

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If your dog has not flown before, you want to do a practice trip. Go to the airport. Walk around. Walk up to the security. Ask the airport personnel if you can board a plane on the ground with your dog.

Take a blanket with you for your dog to lay on. Airplane floors can be cold.

Pack a days’ supply of food for your dog in your carry-on. Also carry a bottle of water for them and a small dish. Do not allow your dog to drink water that is not bottled for the duration of the trip. Dogs get travelers’ diarrhea too and you will definitely want to avoid this at all costs. Many dogs can carry their own food and water in a small backpack.

Arrange to arrive a little earlier than you normally would for your flight. Walk your dog and allow them to go to the bathroom before you get to the airport.

Approach security with your dog. Allow security to check out your animal. They may run a scanner over your dog. If you believe your animal will become nervous at this, practice this with a friend at home before you travel. Have a stranger (to your dog at least) run a wand that resembles the airport wand over your dog and then leave. The security may not want to pat down your dog, but make sure that they do. You want to be sure that everyone believes your dog is safe. A well trained service animal should tolerate this without any problems.

Go to the bathroom yourself. This helps make you more comfortable for the flight. Airplane bathrooms are tiny and hard to maneuver.

Approach the check-in desk. Ask to be seated with the first group on the plane. This will allow extra time to get settled in with your dog. If your seat is not appropriate for you and your dog (i.e. you are asked to put your feet or others will be putting their feet on your dog) ask to move before others are allowed to board. Do not budge on this. You dog works hard to keep you safe and they should be comfortable too.

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