Travel with your Service Dog – Service Dog Registration
Traveling can be an ordeal for anyone but when you are traveling with a service dog, it can be nearly overwhelming. While the truth of the matter is that there are only 2 questions that you should potentially be asked legally, the reality is that you may face some serious obstacles when traveling with your service dog. This is in large part because many people are unaware of the role a service dog plays and unfortunately, the common misconception that all disabilities are visible. That doesn’t mean that you have to stay home all the time, but it does mean you should know your rights and be ready to defend them if the need should ever arise. Registration of your service dog can help with alleviating the pain of having to explain your need for an assistance animal.
Service Dog Registration Rights
Let’s take a look at some steps you can take to make these problems easier to overcome and help alleviate some of the stress.
First, let’s look at those 2 questions. They are as follows:
- Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
- What task or work has the dog been trained to perform?
You do not have to disclose anything about your medical condition or diagnosis. This is confidential medical information and not required to be disclosed to employees at restaurants, airlines, or any other place you may travel with your companion.
Although it is not required, you may aid in the ease of acceptance of your service dog if you make sure he or she included in a service dog registry. Another great step is to make sure your dog is well identified. This can be done with the aid of vests or certificates and by entering your information on a service dog registration that clearly states your dog is a service dog. All of these make it clear even from a distance and despite appearances that your dog is not a pet, it is a working animal. You can also carry a service dog identification card that shows your dog is a registered service animal and present it when asked.
Presenting your Service Dog Identification Card
Once you present employees with identification for your service dog, they will typically stop harassing you. However , even if you take every possible step to ease the travel experience, you may still come across those who are uninformed and unwilling to accept your service dog. When this happens, you have no other option but to stand up for your rights and defend the use of your animal in that location. Of course, this is never the most ideal and pleasant situation so it is left here as a last resort only. If the issue is with staff, ask to speak with management, if the issue is with management, ask for the top person. Don’t be afraid to stand your ground even if a threat is made to call the police. In fact, the calling or arrival of law enforcement will usually resolve your issue.
Of course everyone hopes they will never encounter a problem, but it is nice to know what to do if an issue arises. Traveling with a service dog can have its disadvantages especially when dealing with people who are not familiar with the work these types of animals do. Knowing your rights, being proactive in making sure your helper is on ServiceDogCertifications.org, and having identification ready are all ways to make travel as simple and hassle free as possible. Try to remember that most opposition you run into is more likely to be about a lack of understanding than a real problem with your service dog. This is a great time to educate the general public on the important role these dogs play in your world and the lives of so many others with disabilities both seen and unseen.