Travel Info for Service Dogs

The AIR CARRIER ACCESS ACT :

Allows for you to travel with a Service Dog.

Trained service animals are accepted in cabin for qualified individuals with a disability.

1. A service animal should sit in the floor space in front of the customer's assigned seat but cannot protrude into the aisles.
2. Customers may use an approved in-cabin kennel for smaller animals provided its use meets stowage requirements. Large dogs may need to be checked.
3. Exit row seating is prohibited.
4. Documentation such as vaccinationmay be required for an animal traveling to international destinations.
5. You will not be charged extra fees.


Calling your airline is very important to see what they will require such as vest, ID, or letter from a medical professional etc.You don’t want to be at the airport and find you do not have all of the required information. 
International travel with a Service Dog MUST involve extra advanced preparation.

U.S. citizens should first check International Travel Information at the U.S. Department of State as well as their Tips for Traveling Abroad.

Check country specific information to find information on local customs and regulations as well as contact information to inquire about requirements for quarantine and importation of animals.

Most countries, especially rabies-free countries, follow the guidelines similar to the  EU pet passport scheme which requires a minimum of six months preparation before travel to avoid quarantine.

Dogs, including service dogs, must have two rabies titers as well as special paperwork and an ISO compatible microchip.

Not all microchips available in the U.S. are ISO compatible, so check with your vet about yours.
Public Access Internationally

Entering a country via meeting quaratine requirements is important, but so is checking out the requirements and laws regarding public access in those countries.

~The US has very liberal service dog legislation that is rarely seen in other countries.

~You cannot expect the rights that apply in the US to apply in other countries.

~While a growing number of countries do now have Guide dogs for the blind, and many are beginning to introduce Service dogs as well, they are not nearly as common as they are in the US.

~Most countries do only allow dogs from programs and many also require that those dogs be from programs which are accredited members of the International Guide Dog Federation, and/or Assistance Dogs International.

~Many countries also have quite strict breed specific legislation which will need to be considered.

~Some will only allow dogs for certain disabilities.

~Not all airlines allow guide and service dogs in the cabin, and some will only allow guide dogs and not service dogs.

Many countries provide for free a seat space for the assistance dog which may be worth taking into account if a long journey is required, when you are chosing which airline to fly with.

If you are in the process of obtaining an assistance dog of any sort and you do plan on doing international travel, it would be well worth ensuring that the program that you obtain the dog from is if a Guide dog accredited with the International Guide Dog Federation, or if a hearing or service dog Accredited (not just a member) of Assistance Dogs International. Florida Dog Guides is an Accredited Training Program, but is not a member of  Assistance Dogs International, as it IS NOT a requirment for international travel in ALL countries just yet. 
We are in the proccess of adding this service to our clients.

This is the best way of ensuring that your dog will have access rights in as many countries as possible.

If you know what countries you plan on visiting it would also be worth considering which breeds are most common in those countries and trying to obtain a service dog of that breed as this may also help in allowing you access in other countries.

Above all be respectful of other countries cultures and laws.
Just like the US expects visitors to accept their culture and laws other countries expect the same.
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