Preparation Phase

Dog Preparations

Time to read: Approximately 3 minutes

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

Preparations phase
  • 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?
  • Have I arranged a toileting surface if I am going on a cruise? Even if the Cruise Line supplies something, it may not be your dog's preferred size or surface (ask questions). A) Grass with tray or B) Chip bark is something you could consider. The toilet harness as described below is convenient too.

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
Image description below
Guide Dog Nixon on a long lead in a park in Tokyo. Nixon, a golden Labrador, crouches next to a tall tree using his wee harness which is attached around his lower region. There are scattered leaves all round.
Image description below
Guide Dog Nixon on a long lead in a park in Tokyo. Nixon, a golden Labrador, crouches using his poo harness which is attached around his back region. He is adjacent to a wooden fence with tall green grass on the other side.

These are the steps of the Preparation Phase: