Posts Tagged ‘service dog travel’

United Airlines offers customers the most comprehensive network of worldwide routes. They also include one-stop or no-stop flights to and from anywhere in the United States. With hubs inside the four largest U.S. cities, it’s no wonder that United Airlines leads the airline industry. If you’re planning on booking a flight, United Airlines is probably one of your options. And if you’re traveling with your service dog, understanding United Airlines’ service, dog policies can simplify your trip.

Traveling with Service Animals on United Airlines

United Airlines welcomes service dogs within their cabin, as long as they perform tasks for a person with a qualified disability. United Airlines defines service animals as animals trained to do work to benefit a qualified person with a disability. The disabilities may include — but are not limited to — psychiatric, intellectual, or physical issues.

People with service dogs may travel with up to two animals. Service animals must be dogs and over four months of age to travel within the airline cabin. 

How to Fly with a Service Dog on United Airlines Make sure that your dog qualifies and is trained to provide a service for your disability. Complete the required document(s) (linked below) for your service animal(s). Submit your completed documents to United Airlines at least 48 hours in advance. If you booked your flight within 48 hours of your departure, provide your completed documents at the airport. Contact United Airlines via the United Accessibility Desk (1-800-228-2744) with any questions. Required Documents 

United asks to complete a few forms before flying with a service animal. The Department of Transportation (DOT) forms are as follows:

U.S. Department of Transportation Air Transportation Service Animal Training and Behavior Attestation Form: The Service Animal Training and Behavior Attestation Form is mandatory for all service animals. The form serves as a customer’s statement that the service dog meets the training and behavioral standards for safety.  U.S. Department of Transportation Service Animal Relief Attestation Form (Relief Form): The Relief Attestation Form must be completed for flights that are 8 hours or longer. The form ensures that the handler understands the service dog can relieve themselves in such a way that will not be a health or sanitation hazard to others on the plane.

United Airlines asks that both forms be completed and carried with you. For tickets purchased 48 hours before the flight departure, the completed forms may be presented to the airline agent at the airport. United Airlines welcomes you to contact the United Accessibility Desk at 1-800-228-2744 for questions regarding traveling with your service dog. Please be aware that, depending on your destination, additional documents may be necessary.

Before flying with your service dog on United Airlines, familiarize yourself with their rules and policies. Traveling Information 

When inside the cabin, the service dog should sit on the floor in front of their handler’s feet. To ensure safe aisle access for others, the dog should not protrude into the aisle or block others. Smaller dogs with a kennel must fit United Airlines’ stowage parameters. Service dogs and their handlers are prohibited from sitting in the exit row seats.

United Airlines asks customers flying with service dogs to adhere to the following:

Travel is not allowed within 30 days of a service dog’s rabies vaccination. Service dogs must be under the control of their handler at all times. Service dogs must behave appropriately and follow their handler’s directions.  Service dogs are harnessed or leashed at all times. Travel within an airline cabin to an international destination, Guam, or Hawaii, may require a current copy of the service dog’s vaccination records. United recommends that vaccine copies should be on hand whenever traveling.  Service Dogs in Training 

United Airlines allows dog trainers to bring one service dog in training on board — no charge —, as long as it assists a person with a disability. The service dog in training should not occupy a seat and should meet service dog documentation requirements. If not, handlers and trainers are welcome to check the dogs as pets.

Therapy Animals and Emotional Support Animals on United Airlines 

Only service animals helping a person with a disability may travel in the airline cabin free of charge. Therapy animals, comfort animals, and emotional support animals are not considered service animals. When traveling with these animals, pet-related regulations and costs will apply.

Flying with Pets

If you’re flying with a puppy or kitten as a pet, it must be at least four months old and accompanied by an adult person. The pet must remain in the floor space under the seat in a kennel. If they’re too large for a kennel, they must utilize United Airlines’ PetSafe program.

Documentation for Pets

Anyone traveling with a pet on United within the continental U.S. will need a health certificate along with proof of the last rabies vaccine. Travel is prohibited within 30 days of the rabies vaccine. Some states like Hawaii and other countries require additional documents, and travelers must comply with all pet travel requirements relevant to their destination. 

Flying with United Airlines

As one of America’s premier airlines, United Airlines’ regulations for service animals are generally in line with other major U.S. airlines. Although service dogs are welcome in the cabin of United Airline’s airplanes, people traveling with service dogs should ensure that the correct documents and regulations are met. This makes the journey more enjoyable for both the individual and the service animal.

Although federal laws protect the presence of service animals on airlines, can you take a service dog on an Amtrak train? Short answer: Yes, you can. 

In more detail, Amtrak operates a nationwide rail network through 46 states and three Canadian provinces. It’s rail network accesses 500 destinations and is federally chartered, with the federal government as the majority stockholder. In 2016, 17.8 million trips were made on the NEC rail lines alone. With so many passengers traveling on Amtrak, the company is familiar with the needs of passengers with disabilities and their service dogs.

Amtrak’s Animal Passenger Rules 

Amtrak understands the need for animals to travel with their owners. They’ve established carry-on pet guidelines where animals must remain inside a carrier while in stations and onboard trains (with exceptions on some specific routes). These guidelines apply for the following animals:

Emotional Support Animals (ESA): ESAs give emotional support but are not trained to execute a specific task. Police Dogs: Dogs used for public safety or by the Amtrak Police Department. Search and Rescue Dogs: Dogs specifically trained to serve a general purpose, but not for an individual’s personal use.  Pets: Dogs and cats under 20 kg (including the carrier) are allowed on trips less than 7 hours. Pets are allowed in Coach class only; They are not allowed in First class, Business class, bedrooms, or dining cars.

Service animals do not fall in any of the above categories, and therefore the carry-on pet guidelines do not apply.

Taking your service dog on Amtrak is allowed only if you and your dog qualify. Service Dog Considerations on Amtrak 

Federal laws apply to service animals, which protects their handlers’ right to have their service dog by their side at all times. Because of their importance, service animals are not considered pets. Instead, the fees and general rules that apply to pets don’t apply to service dogs.

Although the service dog is essential to the wellbeing of their handler, service dogs are still animals. To keep both the service dog and other passengers safe, there are specific rules that service dogs and their owners must abide by:

1. Remain on the Floor

Service dogs onboard an Amtrak train must remain on the floor. They can sit or lie under their handler’s seat or at their feet, but they can’t be on a seat, bed, or in the aisle. Trains have tight spaces, keeping the aisles free for others to pass is vital. 

2. Walking a Service Dog

Amtrak trains have scheduled stops with breaks for passengers to change trains or get some fresh air. Service dog owners are welcome to take their dogs out for walks during these stops and re-board at the same time as other passengers. Service dog handlers are responsible for the care of the service dog at all times, which includes any “accidents” the dog may have.

3. Prior Notification 

To ensure that Amtrak can accommodate a service animal, it’s best to make a reservation on their website ( or through their number (1-800-USA-RAIL ). This allows Amtrak to set aside an accessible seat upon request. Amtrak can also provide a list of stops along the route. 

4. Keeping a Controlled Service Dog

Amtrak has everything that could make a passenger comfortable. From onboard dining rooms to private rooms, Amtrak provides a unique experience to make each trip pleasurable. Though service dogs can accompany their handlers throughout the journey, they must remain well-behaved and calm.

Amtrak holds a service dog to the following requirements:

The service dog must be leashed, tethered, or harnessed at all times unless it is contraindicated because of the handler’s disability. The service dog must be under the handler’s control and not pose a disturbance to other passengers. 

If a dog is causing a significant disruption to the environment, such as barking uncontrollably or acting aggressively, an Amtrak employee may ask the handler to remove the dog from the area. In that case, the service dog handler can choose to remain in the area; however, the dog may not be left alone. If there is no one to accept custody, then the handler may resume travel at another time. 

Traveling with a Service Dog on Amtrak

A service dog provides an individual with a disability with more freedom to do the activities they enjoy, including traveling. Amtrak understands the importance of service dogs and is prepared to welcome them aboard their trains. 

When on an Amtrak train, show everyone your service dog is a necessary part of your life with your Service Dog ID. Get your service dog registered now.

Service Dog Regulations & Traveling Internationally

Are you planning a trip with your Service Dog to another part of the world? Before you show up at the airport, or even before you book your flight, there are some important regulations and rules you will need to know when traveling with a Service Dog.

Service Dog Health Requirements

Of course, you will want your Service Dog to be at optimal health before traveling. But aside from that, every country has specific regulations when it comes to entering with a foreign animal.

Due to the risk of rabies, It is advisable to start preparing your Service Dog six months before your date of departure to avoid having your dog quarantined.

During this prep time, your dog should have an ISO microchip (this International Standards Organization is a 15 digit number that is accepted worldwide). If your pet does not have an ISO microchip, you can opt to have one implanted or to carry your own scanner.

Your dog may also be required to have two rabies titers before departure. This is essentially a test done to gauge your dog’s immune response to rabies (either through exposure to the virus or through vaccinations). Other blood work may also be necessary depending on the individual area’s regulations.

Service Dog Documentation Requirements

Even though your canine companion is a Service Dog, you will need to carry some important documentation with you when you travel out-of-state. This includes;

The registration letter/certificate of your Service Dog Health/rabies records, and microchip documentation from your veterinarian. These documents should also be notarized then certified by the U.S Department of Agriculture. A “good health” letter from your veterinarian stating your dog is healthy. This must be written on your vet’s own letterhead to be accepted. A letter from your health care professional stating that you require the assistance of the Service Dog. Outfitting your Service Dog with the proper identification gear like a vest or special harness.

It is also recommended that you contact the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to find out if they have any bans on particular breeds of dogs. Also, you should call the Department of Ministry of Agriculture in the country you are planning to visit to ask about quarantine policies of incoming animals.

Lastly, have all your documents translated into the native language of the country you are planning on visiting. This helps cut down on the confusion if you are dealing with a non-English speaking individual.

Service Dog Requirements for Common International Destinations

Although each country and region of the world have their own policies when it comes to Service Dogs, we’ve gathered the information you will need to know for some popular vacation spots.

Mexico Service Dog Travel Laws

To enter into Mexico with your Service Dog, you must have;

Proof of rabies vaccination at least 15 days prior to entry. Will accept a 3-year rabies vaccination entering from the US or Canada. Proof of treatment for internal and external parasites within the last 6 months Health certificate from your veterinarian. This can be a template printed on their own letterhead. The second option is a USDA-accredited vet can issue the APHIS form 7001 or if traveling from Canada, the Canada Export Tri-Lingual Veterinary certificate can be used.

Mexico does not require your Service Dog to be microchipped; however, it is strongly recommended.

Costa Rica Service Dog Travel Laws

To enter into Costa Rica with your Service Dog, you must have;

Rabies vaccination must have been given between 21 days to one year of entering Costa Rica. They will also accept a 3-year rabies vaccination. The dog must enter into the area at least 30 days prior to the vaccination’s expiration date. The Veterinary Certificate for Costa Rica must be filled out within 14 days of entry. An alternate copy translated into Spanish is also required. The certificate must then be endorsed by the State USDA office (United States) or the CFIA office (Canada). If you are traveling from the United States, you must also obtain a USDA health certificate for your Service Dog which has been endorsed by the USDA office. An import permit from your flight Internal and external parasite treatment within the last 15 days

Your Service Dog does not need to be microchipped to enter into Costa Rica.

Japan Service Dog Travel Laws

When traveling to Japan, be sure your Service Dog has these requirements;

ISO microchip or bring your own scanner Advanced Notification Form must be filed at least 40 days in advance of import with the Animal Quarantine Service (AQS) Rabies Blood Titer Test Must have two rabies vaccinations (inactivated or recombinant) within one year of entry A Japan Health Certificate filled out by an accredited veterinarian within two days of entry. Recently treated for both internal and external parasites

Note that Japan does require a quarantine period for all animals entering the country.

Hong Kong Service Dog Travel Laws

Before you travel to Hong Kong, the following requirements must be met for your Service Dog;

Microchipped with either a 9 or 15 digit code (you may also bring your own scanner) Import permit from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. Rabies vaccination dependant on which country you are traveling from Certificate stating where the animal has resided (length of time dependant on country you are traveling from) Veterinary Certificate for Hong Kong issued by an accredited veterinarian within 14 days of entry Captain’s Affidavit stating your Service Dog did not leave or come in contact with any other animal during the flight. Philippines Service Dog Travel Laws

If you are thinking about traveling to the Philippines, these requirements must be met when concerning your Service Dog;

Import Permit/Veterinary Quarantine Clearance (good for two months) Rabies vaccination within the last 30 days and no longer than one year Additional vaccinations against canine distemper, infectious hepatitis, leptospirosis, and canine parvovirus Health/Veterinary Certificate Treated for external and internal parasites within the last 48 hours France Service Dog Travel Laws

Do you want to travel to France with your service dog? Here’s what your Service Dog will need;

ISO microchip (or bring your own scanner) Proof of current rabies vaccination Rabies titer test Health Certificate (dependant on country of departure)

Service Dog Regulations When Traveling Internationally – Do Your Homework!

When you are planning a trip outside of your country, it’s important to do your homework in regards to a Service Dog. Remember to start the process at least 6 months in advance so you will have the time it takes to obtain the needed documents. In addition, be sure to follow all the requirements to the letter to ensure you and your Service Dog will be allowed into the region.

Happy Travels!