National Pet Travel Safety Day, established by pet expert Colleen Paige, falls on January 2nd. Aligned with New Year’s resolutions, the day serves to heighten awareness about the importance of pet safety during various modes of transportation, including cars, airplanes, trains, and bikes.
At Healing Companions, we provide training and assistance to service dogs and their companions. Being a pet owner entails more than just routine grooming and vaccination maintenance; it is imperative to prioritize their safety at all times, especially when traveling.
Thus, on the occasion of National Pet Travel Safety Day, we want to share some basic steps to ensure the safety and confidence of service dogs during travel, as it is essential for their well-being and effectiveness.
- Gradually introducing your service dog to public transportation settings is a fundamental step. Starting outside quieter train stations and airports, trainers can acclimate service dogs to the hustle and bustle, keeping sessions short and incorporating sniff breaks for decompression.
- Break down the challenges of transportation settings. For instance, exposure to rolling luggage and familiarization with common sounds heard in airports is crucial. Controlled environments can provide a foundation for dogs in training before facing public spaces.
- Practice behaviors needed for navigating security checkpoints and simulate TSA interactions with volunteers, which will help reinforce necessary behaviors in a controlled setting. Rehearsal plays a vital role in preparing service dogs for travel. Look for service dog organizations near you who can arrange practice sessions with TSA agents.
- Learn to interpret signs of stress and be careful to meet your service dog’s needs throughout the trip. Identify relief areas, plan for downtime and exercise. Adjust activities based on the dog’s individual requirements to ensure a safe and positive travel experience.
Service dog travel safety encompasses a holistic approach. Remember, be sure to recognize the unique needs of these remarkable animals and ensure they are able to navigate the challenges of public spaces with confidence and well-being.
Here are some additional tips to further enhance the safety of your furry companion on the go:
- Secure Your Pet: Use a proper pet restraint system such as a harness, seat belt, or pet carrier to keep your pet secure during the journey. Avoid letting your pet roam freely inside the car as sudden stops or turns can pose a risk.
- Familiarize Your Pet with the Car: Before embarking on a long journey or going cross-country with your pet, it is best if you gradually introduce your pet to the car environment by taking short rides prior to your long travel. Place familiar items, such as your pet’s blanket or toy, in the car to create a comfortable space.
- Check for Travel Restrictions: Before hitting the road, ensure that your destination is pet-friendly and that there are no restrictions or quarantine requirements for traveling with pets.
- Vet Visit: Schedule a visit to the veterinarian before traveling to ensure your pet is in good health for the journey. Carry necessary health records, medications, and your veterinarian’s contact information.
- Pack Adequate Supplies: Bring enough pet food, treats, and any medications your pet may need during the trip. Pack a first aid kit with essential items for your pet’s well-being.
Did you know, we can help you when it comes to training your PSD or how to get started with basic dog training issues? You can set up a phone consultation from the comfort of your home by visiting https://healing-companions.org/schedule-a-consultation/ to schedule a consult with Jane Miller. Jane can also provide extensive information about PSD’s, emotional support animals or therapy dogs.