Travelling Phase

Pre-Departure

Time to read: Approximately 2 minutes

Security varies. Sometimes you get a pat down, sometimes not. This is the same for your dog.

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  • Give your dog the latest opportunity to go to the toilet on their preferred surface.
  • Note Dog relief areas may not exist through immigration
  • Contact the transport operator of your arrival at the sea port/airport. Priority assistance will help smooth the procedure
  • Announcing yourself at the gate will give you the option of boarding first. This will give you more time to settle in before take-off
  • Walk on board with your dog’s harness /coat on as normal so they are identifiable as a working dog
  • Once you are on board, take the harness off and give it to the flight attendant to put in the overhead locker
  • Put down your dog’s traveller bed and familiar toy and ask your dog to lie on their mat (some airlines provide an absorbent pad where the dog lies in case of toileting accident)
  • If your airline policy states that you only get one seat with your dog, ask your dog to slide under the seat in front of you backwards. This way he/she is facing you and can see you (you can apply an oxygen mask to them in an emergency or a vomit bag if required)
  • Secure your dog to the base of their seat. Use two short leads clipped to the car harness ring on their back (not to the neck collar which is dangerous)

Further Tips

  • Consider putting your dog’s seatbelt harness (minus buckle) under their normal harness before boarding so there is less for you to do on-board to secure them
  • The jury is out about the view to tether or not tether your dog. Ask your instructor and refer to your airline policy
  • Remember if your dog has a toileting accident on board, it’s not the end of the world!
  • If you have unassigned seating, discuss your preferences with other Handlers in our Facebook group. Everyone has a different opinion