When your dog has to ‘go’ while traveling
With airlines cracking down on emotional support animals (ESAs), this may leave business travelers and leisure travelers nervous about what options are still available for their service animals. While ESAs no longer make the cut, there are travelers with disabilities who still need their pets to be able to relieve themselves and not be stuck in a crate or under the seat the whole trip.
In a country where more than 24 million have been infected with coronavirus and more than 400K have died from it, sitting on the small space of an airplane may seem like the worst idea. But more than one million people were on flights over the holidays.
Interestingly, the American Medical Association reports that, “The airflow in today’s aircrafts have been measured at three times the amount mandated for infection control rooms in hospitals.” Airlines and airports are being quite strict when it comes to safety precautions. But service animals and pet stations may be touch-and-go as they continue to carefully re-open their terminal stations.
No matter how housebroken a service animals may be, like humans, they can only “hold it” for so long. Although dogs instinctively will not soil their crates (nor we, our clothing), there’s not a whole lot that can be done if a dog is crated on a 22-hour flight. Either the dog is going to hold him or herself until the trip is over, or let loose. We’d probably do the same.
Some airports may continue to fund their pet relief facilities inside of the airports, where dogs can physically use an actual bathroom. The paw-print marked door has a fire hydrant behind it so dog owners know where to go. A doggie bag dispenser and a hose are also available for travelers to use in the 70-foot-square room.
But before you travel, you may want to check out the USA Service Dog Registration site to see if these airports still have airport relief areas for your pet. Some offer simple perks like a place for your dog to stretch its legs and drink water. Others have elaborate fake grass, fire hydrants and automatic flushing stations for liquid waste. Check beforehand.
Parts of this post were originally written by Shamontiel and published on the Opie & Dixie blog.