Flying with Service Dogs

Wynter in the Fog


I love traveling on exciting expeditions with my service dog, Wynter.

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.

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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.

pier - Service Dog

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
  • treats
  • 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.


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!Love, Crysta - Dancing With Fireflies


  1. I did not know airports must have service doggy areas, but I just never really thought about it ! How amazing you get to travel with your best friend, and he is so lucky too! Xoxox

    • This is a new law that was just passed. Sadly most of the existing doggy areas are outside of the security gates, making a quick potty stop out of the question between flights. But, we will see what happens!

  2. Good for you & your service pup that you braved the flight together! I have two dogs myself. They aren’t service dogs, however, so flying with them is out of the question as they would have to travel in the cargo area :-/

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