How To Travel Safely With Your Service Dog This Summer
Summer is here, and many of us are itching to hit the road for some adventure. For those of us with service dogs, traveling requires some extra preparation and considerations to keep our furry friends safe and healthy. Service dogs are an essential part of many people's lives, providing assistance and support to those with disabilities. They are not just pets, but vital companions that help their handlers with daily tasks such as opening doors, retrieving dropped items, and alerting them to sounds.
If you're planning on traveling with your service dog this summer, there are some important things to keep in mind to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey. In this blog, we'll cover some tips for traveling with your service dog, including the importance of proper equipment such as leashes, collars, and harnesses.
What Are Service Dogs?
Before we dive into tips for traveling with service dogs, let's define what service dogs are. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a service dog is a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability. The tasks performed by the service dog must be directly related to the person's disability.
Service dogs can be trained to assist people with a range of disabilities, including physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, and other disabilities.
Service dogs are not considered pets and are allowed to accompany their handlers in public places such as restaurants, stores, and airplanes. Under the ADA, businesses and other organizations that serve the public must allow people with disabilities to bring their service animals into all areas of the facility where customers are allowed to go.
What’s the Difference Between a Service Dog and Therapy Dog?
Service and therapy dogs play an important role in looking after their owners. However, there are a few key differences which are helpful to understand.
Service dogs are trained to perform specific tasks for individuals with disabilities, such as guiding those who are visually impaired. They have legal protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and are allowed access to public places.
Therapy dogs, on the other hand, are trained to provide comfort and emotional support to people in settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, and schools. For example, those who are experiencing anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or other mental health conditions. They do not have the same legal protections as service dogs and require permission from the facility before being allowed in.
Owners of service dogs are required to use a service dog harness for self-identification, which is what allows them to enter restricted places.
Now, let's take a look at some tips for traveling with your service dog this summer.
Tips for Traveling with a Service Dog
- Plan ahead
Before you hit the road with your service dog, it's important to plan ahead. This means researching your destination to ensure it is dog-friendly and finding out if there are any special requirements or restrictions. For example, some hotels and vacation rentals may have specific pet policies, while some airlines may require additional paperwork or proof of training for service dogs.
- Use proper equipment
Using the right equipment for your service dog is essential for their safety and comfort while traveling. This includes a well-fitting collar or harness, a sturdy leash, and any necessary identification tags.
At WOLFpak, we offer a wide range of high-quality leashes, collars, and harnesses designed specifically for service dogs.
- Keep your service dog cool
Summer temperatures can be dangerous for dogs, especially those with disabilities. Make sure to keep your service dog cool and hydrated during travel by bringing plenty of water and taking frequent breaks. Consider bringing a cooling mat or vest to help regulate your dog's body temperature.
- Prepare for emergencies
No one likes to think about emergencies, but it's important to be prepared just in case. Make sure to bring a first-aid kit and any necessary medications for your service dog. It's also a good idea to have a plan in place for what to do in case of a medical emergency.
- Be respectful of others
While service dogs are allowed in public places, it's important to be respectful of others. Keep your service dog under control at all times and make sure they are well-behaved in public. If your dog is still in training, it may be a good idea to avoid crowded places until they are more comfortable and well-trained.
In conclusion, traveling with a service dog requires some extra planning and preparation, but it can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience for both you and your furry friend. By using the proper equipment, keeping your dog cool and hydrated, and being respectful of others, you can ensure a safe and memorable journey.
Here’s Why Your Service Dog Needs the Right Gear for Traveling
At WOLFpak, we offer a wide range of high-quality leashes, collars, and harnesses designed specifically for service dogs, which can help make your travels easier and more comfortable for both you and your furry companion.
Our service dog leashes are made from durable materials and are available in various lengths and styles to suit your specific needs. Every collar and service dog harness are designed for comfort and safety, with features like padded straps and reflective material for visibility in low-light conditions.
Remember: Identification = Safety
Another important consideration for traveling with a service dog is proper identification. It's a good idea to have identification tags on your dog's collar or harness with their name, your contact information, and any important medical information.
You may also want to consider getting a service dog vest, therapy dog harness, or custom dog patch to help identify your dog as a service animal, which can be particularly helpful in situations where access to public spaces may be restricted. For example, you might get a “service dog in training vest” or “emotional support animal vest” to signal to strangers that your dog is working, and allowed to enter restricted areas.
WOLFpak offers tactical patches for service dogs. For example:
- “Do not pet” service dog patch
- Service dog patch for harness
- Therapy dog patch for harness
And more dog vest patches! Click here to shop.
Ultimately, traveling with a service dog can be a wonderful experience that strengthens the bond between you and your furry friend. By following these tips and using the right equipment, you can help ensure a safe and enjoyable journey for both you and your service dog.
And at WOLFpak, we're here to help make that journey a little bit easier with our high-quality leashes, collars, harnesses, and custom service dog vests and patches, designed specifically for working dogs.