Preparation Phase

Dog Preparations

Time to read: Approximately 2 minutes

Here is a list of some ideas that might prompt you when considering your dog's needs.

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  • Can I buy my brand of dog food overseas? Alternatively, do I need time (3 months) to wean my dog onto new food? (check with your instructor)
  • Has my dog received all the necessary treatments that are required to travel?
  • Have I booked the overseas veterinarian appointments that the Travel Rules require?
  • Do I need any further treatments for my dog that I can administer myself without a Recognised veterinarian?
  • Have I spoken to my local veterinarian about any other concerns?
  • Some countries require foreign Assistance Dogs to obtain the same certification as domestic Assistance Dogs
  • Have I considered how the weather and climate of my chosen destination/s will impact my dog? (e.g. boots for heat or ice, coat for cold)
  • Are there escalators when my dog is only used to lifts or stairs? Train or do your homework on how to get around while avoiding escalators
  • Will I need to train my dog to use a toileting harness or absorbent mat in a toilet?

Further Tips

  • Make sure your dog is well groomed before and during your travels, as different places have different hygiene requirements
  • Consider getting your dog “travel ready”. This may mean confining him/her for certain periods based on your modes of transport. Also, consider whether you need to increase your daily exercise if you plan to walk a lot more than usual
  • Take your dog for a long walk or free run the day before or morning of travelling to help them relax
  • Toilet harness:
    • They are great for travelling as you can take your dog anywhere
    • The harness is a thin belt that goes around the dog’s waist or tail to catch the ‘goods’ and does up with a quick release clasp. A standard poo bag with handles is attached (photo below)
    • Discuss it with your instructor first as it involves a bit of training and adjustment for the dog
    • Cut an absorbent pad into small pieces, then place a couple of pieces into the bag before your dog urinates. This makes it easier to discard the bag and its contents
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Guide Dog Nixon using his wee harness in a park
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Guide Dog Nixon using his poo harness in a park