I am very excited as I start to plan for an exciting expedition that my dog, Wynter and I are taking at the end of summer this year. She and I are flying for the first time together. We are on a solo adventure away from our favorite humans and traveling to meet one of my oldest friends across the country.
While we have done road trips from East coast to the west, long day trips, and over nights, Wynter and I have never had the chance to fly together. I fly often with my husband and daughter, choosing to leave my service dog home on her own vacation away from the stress of air travel. But this time she and I are on our own.
Wynter is amazing. She’s alert, smart, and always keeping her eye on me. So planning this trip is something I know she can do, but I am planning ahead to be sure she is as comfortable as possible.
After contacting my airlines and letting them know I am traveling with a service dog, I was happily surprised at how smoothly I was able book her flight. Next I’ll take her in for her physical and get her clean bill of health and updated shot records. Both are needed for her travel.
Her “down stay” is great and I know she is small enough to wiggle down under the seats, but I am glad they moved us to the front to give her more room.
Traveling with a dog isn’t easy. There are extra things to pack, more planning involved, and yes even thought out “potty” breaks that must go into the scheduling.
Here are a few Must Haves when traveling with a Service Dog:
- Water bowl & bottled water
- food bowl & food
- travel bed or blanket
- vaccination records and vet safe to travel slip
- leash, collar with tags, and waste bags
- down time toys or bones
- map of where airport doggy “bathrooms” are located.
As of this year (2016) all American airports that have over 10,000 travelers per year are required to have an area for service dogs to do their business before their flights. This means many airports are busy converting spare space to accommodate our 4 legged friends. I love this and it is another reason why I am finding myself brave enough to bring my SD along.
I know she is going to love the adventure. I’ll make sure to post some photos and share our travel adventure.
If you are traveling with your Service Dog this year, we would love to read about your adventures. Please share your links in the comments! Do you have a Service Dog Twitter or Facebook? Share those too!