Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Heading to Phoenix with your service dog? This bustling Arizona city, famed for its friendly locals and vibrant culture, is more than just its desert backdrop. If you’re venturing into the Valley of the Sun with your service dog, you’ll need more than just sunscreen – being prepared is key.

From the intense heat to the buzz of downtown, here’s what you need to know when traveling with your service dog to Phoenix, including transportation, accommodations, and understanding your rights.

Local Considerations: It’s More Than Just The Dry Heat

Phoenix is well-known for its blazing temperatures. While our furry friends might enjoy the mild winters, the summer heat is a different challenge altogether. Keep in mind:

Hydration, Hydration, Hydration: The dry climate can quickly dehydrate both humans and dogs. Make sure your dog has constant access to water, especially during any outdoor activities. Paw Safety: The scorching sidewalks and streets during midday can burn your dog’s paws. Test the ground with the back of your hand – if it’s too hot after 5 seconds, wait for cooler times. Consider paw protectors if heading out. Morning & Evening Strolls: It’s safest to stick to the early mornings or late evenings for walks. Remember, even in these cooler parts of the day, Phoenix’s temperatures can be exceptionally high. Phoenix Hotels for Service Dogs

Thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act, your service dog is welcome in public spaces, including Phoenix’s top hotels like the Arizona Biltmore or the Royal Palms. You can’t be charged extra or relegated to specific rooms because of your service dog.

Give a Courtesy Call: While not required, letting your hotel know in advance about your service dog can make your check-in process smoother.

Dog-Friendly Hotels: With the heat in mind, you might opt for a hotel near one of Phoenix’s dog-friendly parks. Many hotels are also incorporating shaded dog areas. For example, the Arizona Biltmore offers several amenities for four-legged guests. 

Flying into Phoenix Sky Harbor with your Service Dog

If you’re landing at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, inform your airline about your service dog ahead of time. You will need to fill out the DOT’s Service Animal Air Transportation Form and submit it to your airline in advance.

At Sky Harbor, there are nine pet relief stations for your service dog’s comfort. If you’re hailing an Uber or Lyft, letting your driver know about your service dog is a polite gesture.

Navigating Phoenix: Desert Drives and Downtown Dashes

Phoenix offers various transport options for you and your service dog.

Taxis & Ride-shares: Phoenix drivers, be it taxis or Ubers, are usually familiar with service dog rules. A quick mention while booking ensures a hassle-free ride.

Valley Metro Rail: This light rail system is a great way to traverse parts of the city. Service dogs are more than welcome.

On Foot: Downtown Phoenix is vibrant and filled with sites. Plan your walking routes and remember those indoor breaks, especially during warmer parts of the day. Again, be very mindful of sidewalk temperatures before heading out with your service dog. 

Entertainment in Phoenix with Your Service Dog

From the Orpheum Theater to the Desert Botanical Garden, public Phoenix venues must accommodate service dogs. Given the various sights and sounds, it’s vital to ensure your dog has been appropriately trained to deal with these diverse settings.

For some outdoor relaxation, consider places like Papago Park or South Mountain Park. Remember to carry ample water for both you and your canine companion.

Service Dog Verification in Phoenix

As in most cities, you may be queried by staff about your service dog. If the reason for your service dog isn’t immediately apparent, staff can ask:

Is the dog a service dog required because of a disability? What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?

No other queries about your condition or requests for demonstrations are allowed. Handy optional accessories like ID cards or vests can help avoid intrusive interactions and ward off curious onlookers. Having the right service dog kit can make your travel experiences much more enjoyable. 

Order Here Service Dog Laws in Phoenix

Service dogs in Phoenix are protected by the federal ADA and Arizona state law. You and your service dog should receive accommodation in public places without any fees. Discrimination or harassment due to your service dog is illegal. In one case, the Attorney General of Arizona pursued action against an establishment for failing to properly accommodate a veteran’s service dog.

Please don’t try to pass off pets or emotional support animals as service dogs. It’s unethical and can lead to legal repercussions in Arizona. Service dogs are essential for their handlers, and laws exist to protect their rights.

If you feel your rights were infringed upon, Arizona’s Center for Disability Law is a non-profit organization that advocates for the rights of individuals with disabilities and can provide guidance.

Emergency Vet Services in Phoenix

Accidents happen. In Phoenix, facilities like the Arizona Animal Wellness Center and the 1st Pet Veterinary Centers are there to help. Always call ahead to ensure a vet is available.


Phoenix offers an incredible experience for a getaway. With your service dog beside you, it’s even better. So, as you gear up for Phoenix, take heart. The city, with all its desert charm, awaits you and your loyal companion.

Are you embarking on a journey to Chicago with your service dog? The Windy City is renowned for its deep-dish pizza, blues music, towering skyline, and much more. If you’re venturing into the heartbeat of the Midwest with your service dog, preparation is key. 

From the chilly winter breezes to the bustling vibes of Michigan Avenue, here’s your guide to navigating Chicago with your service dog, from transportation and accommodations to your rights and local tips.

Local Considerations: From Breezes to Busy Streets

Chicago’s diverse climate is known for its icy winters and warm summers. Here’s what you should remember:

Winter Woes: Chicago’s winters can be brutally cold. Ensure your dog has a warm coat, especially if they have short hair. Paw Safety: Snow-melting salts can irritate your dog’s paws. Consider dog booties for protection. Summer Strolls: While summers are generally beautiful and mild, it can get humid. Always have water ready for your dog. Chicago Hotels for Service Dogs

The Americans with Disabilities Act ensures your service dog can accompany you, whether you’re staying at the historic Drake Hotel or the modern Langham. Hotels can’t charge extra or limit your rooms because of your service dog.

Communication is Key: Inform your hotel in advance about your service dog. City Sensory Overload: The hustle of the Loop or the buzz of Navy Pier might be a lot for some dogs. Consider the location you are staying in and make sure your dog is properly acclimatized to busy urban settings. Dog-Friendly Hotels: Chicago has numerous green spaces. Opt for hotels near dog-friendly parks like Millennium Park or Lincoln Park. Flying into O’Hare or Midway with your Service Dog

Before touching down at O’Hare International Airport or Midway Airport, inform your airline about your service dog in advance. Ensure you’ve filled out all necessary paperwork (the DOT’s Service Animal Form) and cleared it with your airline ahead of time. 

Both airports provide pet relief areas – you can find 6 pet relief stations at O’Hare. If using ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft, giving your driver a heads-up about your service dog is always appreciated.

Navigating Chicago: From the ‘L’ Train to Lakefront Trails

Getting around Chicago with your service dog is quite convenient.

Taxis & Ride-shares: Chicagoans, from taxi drivers to Lyft operators, generally know about service dog regulations. A quick heads-up during booking ensures smooth rides. Chicago Transit Authority (CTA): The city’s bus and ‘L’ train system is comprehensive. Service dogs are allowed, but ensure your companion is appropriately trained to deal with crowded settings. Lakeside Walks: Chicago’s lakefront trail is a scenic way to traverse parts of the city with your service dog by your side.  When visiting Chicago with your service dog, make sure the dog is prepared for the city and the season. Chicago Entertainment with Your Service Dog

Venues ranging from the Art Institute of Chicago to the theaters of the Broadway in Chicago circuit have service dog-friendly policies. Given the diverse ambiance and sounds of the city, ensure your dog is ready for these environments.

Outdoor spots like Grant Park or the Chicago Riverwalk are also great places to unwind. Always have water for your dog, especially during summer.

Service Dog Verification in Chicago

If questioned by venue or store staff in Chicago, remember they can only ask two questions:

Is the dog a service dog due to a disability? What task has the dog been trained to perform?

They cannot ask for demonstrations or probe into your medical history. Carrying a service dog ID or vest might help avoid these inquiries, but you cannot be required to have one

Order Here Service Dog Laws in Chicago

Chicago abides by both the federal ADA and Illinois state law concerning service dogs. These laws ensure you and your service dog are accommodated in public places without discrimination.

Remember, trying to pass off a pet as a service dog is not only unethical but also illegal in many jurisdictions. A recently proposed bill in Illinois would levy penalties for misrepresenting a service dog. It’s incumbent on both dog owners and venues to properly adhere to service dog rules, both for compliance with the law and to respect the needs of true service dog owners. 

The government has pursued legal action against businesses in Chicago that failed to comply with ADA rules. In one recent case, the U.S. Attorney’s Office found that a restaurant discriminated against a service dog handler when restaurant staff offered to seat the woman and her dog in the back of the restaurant, segregated from other customers. 

The woman was visually impaired and tried explaining to the restaurant staff that such segregated seating violated her ADA rights, but the restaurant still refused to comply. 

The restaurant was ordered to pay a hefty fine, and the staff was mandated to undergo training on service dog rights. The restaurant also now posts a sign that says “This Restaurant Welcomes Customers with Disabilities Who Are Accompanied by Their Service Animals.”

Emergency Vets in Chicago

Accidents and illnesses happen. For emergencies, facilities like the Animal Medical Center of Chicago and MedVet Chicago are available. Always call ahead to ensure they are properly staffed and can offer timely care.

In Conclusion

Chicago, with its rich history and cultural tapestry, promises an adventure. With your service dog by your side, you’re ready to dive deep into what this city offers. So, as you embrace the Windy City’s spirit, take solace in knowing your loyal companion is with you every step of the way.

Are you traveling to Canada with a service dog from the United States? Just like on domestic U.S. flights, service dogs are allowed to board the cabin of planes free of charge.

Flying with a service dog to Canada, however, can be a bit more complex than flying within the United States. That is due to the fact that Canada has different documentation requirements for service dogs. In addition, Canadian airlines can also differ from their U.S. counterparts in terms of how they process service dogs. 

In this guide, we’ll cover some basics to help you plan your trip to Canada with your service dog.

Gathering Essential Documents

To fly with a service dog to Canada, you will generally need the following documents:

DOT’s Service Animal Air Transportation Form Rabies Vaccination Certificate  Airline Specific Form  The DOT’s Service Animal Air Transportation Form

This is the form required by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to fly with a service dog to or from the U.S. Both U.S. and Canadian airlines will ask for this form. For U.S. airlines, this is generally the only form you will need to submit prior to your flight. 

Filling out the form is easy; you can find instructions at this link

Vaccination Certificate

To enter Canada, the rabies vaccination certificate must:

be written in English or French be issued and signed by a licensed veterinarian identify the animal (age, breed, sex, color/markings, weight, and microchip/tattoo number if applicable) state that the animal is vaccinated against rabies indicate the date of vaccination indicate the trade name and the serial number of the licensed vaccine specify the duration of immunity (otherwise, it will be considered valid for 1 year from the date of vaccination); and have the name and signature of the licensed veterinarian that issued the certificate and the date it was signed.

Note that Canada actually exempts service dogs from the rabies vaccination requirement. However, Canada requires that the dog must be trained and certified by an organization accredited by Assistance Dogs International or the International Dog Federation to be regarded as a service animal.

Most U.S. service dog owners will not have this certification, as it is not required under U.S. laws. Therefore, U.S. service dogs may be regarded as personal pets, and owners should come prepared with a vaccination certificate.

Airline Specific Form

U.S. airlines generally only require you to submit the DOT’s Service Animal Air Transportation Form. Some Canadian airlines, such as Air Canada, also require an additional form. 

For example, Air Canada may demand an identification card or document issued by an organization or person specializing in service dog training. This request can be difficult for U.S. service dog owners since most do not have this kind of documentation – they are not mandated under U.S. law. 

Keep in mind on flights to and from Canada most airlines will require you to submit any forms at least 48 hours prior to your time of departure.

Handy Extras for Your Journey

To make your trip more comfortable, consider bringing:

Vests, tags, ID cards, harnesses. Service dog accessories, such as vests, tags, ID cards, and harnesses, are useful at the airport and on the plane. They are typically expected by airline staff and fellow travelers and indicate that your dog is a working animal. PSD letter. If you own a psychiatric service dog, you may want to carry a PSD letter. A PSD letter states that you have an eligible psychiatric condition for the purpose of owning a service dog.  Wonder if your emotional disorder qualifies for a psychiatric service dog?Get an assessment by a licensed health professional.

These items can be very helpful while traveling. WestJet recommends bringing a registered ID card or other written documentation in the event it is requested by airport or airline staff. 

It’s a good idea to travel with copies of all your documents and your service dog accessories. 

Before or Right After Booking Your Flight

Always consult your airline for their most recent policies and requirements concerning service animals. Most airlines have a dedicated section on their website or a disability services contact for further inquiries.

This is especially important when traveling to Canada since the requirements for your particular airline may differ from what you are accustomed to when traveling domestically. 

Here are links to the service dog policies of popular airlines flying to and from Canada:

Air Canada United American Airlines  Delta Alaska Before making any travel plans to Canada with your service dog, make sure to read up on the rules for flying with your dog. In-Flight Tips

When traveling with a service dog, airlines have specific rules to ensure a safe and comfortable journey for all passengers. Here are some general guidelines for flying with a service dog:

Be prepared to have your service dog harnessed, leashed, or tethered at all times during the flight. Service dogs must fit in the handler’s foot space without obstructing the aisle or other areas. Airlines should work with passengers to find suitable seating, such as a bulkhead seat or one with extra legroom. Your service dog must be well-behaved and not disrupt other passengers. If your dog is unruly, aggressive, or noisy, the airline has the right to refuse transport. You are responsible for providing food and water for your service dog during the flight. It’s a good idea to bring waste bags and clean up after your service dog, if necessary.

Lastly, it’s always a good idea to mark your dog as a service animal with items like a vest, tag, or ID card. This will notify other passengers and airline attendants that your dog is a working animal. 

Final Tips When Flying to Canada

Traveling with a service dog to Canada from the U.S. can seem daunting, but it’s achievable as long as you’re mindful of your particular airline’s requirements.

Be sure to check your airline’s latest policy before booking your flight. You may want to speak directly with a representative from their accessibility department before settling on a flight. In addition, do consult Canada’s official page for transporting dogs and review their latest rules so there are no surprises when you reach Canada’s customs.

Register your Service Dog and order your custom Service Animal Identification Card and Certificate