Traveling with an Emotional Support Dog can make or break a vacation depending on if you plan properly. We at CertaPet wanted to make sure all of our ESA owners have all the ins and outs for what they need to travel with their emotional support dog. This article is to ensure their vacation goes smooth and is an enjoyable experience for both dog and owner.
Traveling with Emotional Support Dog- Planning
Traveling by Plane
When preparing to fly with their emotional support animal, an owner must first ensure that they have their prescription letter. This must come from a licensed medical or mental health professional approving your use of your pet as an ESA. Different airlines have different rules or steps for flying with your canine friend. Be sure to call the air carrier you’re traveling with to let them know you intend to travel with an emotional support dog. The Air Carrier Access Act requires airlines to allow you to travel with your emotional support animal. Coordinating with the airline will save time and lessen the chance of a nightmare situation.
Traveling by Car
When traveling with an emotional support dog by car, especially on long road trips, it’s very important for an owner to map out their trip. It’s always nice to know where the closest dog friendly rest stop, hotel or restaurant is. There are many dog friendly hotels and restaurants across this great country, but some places might have a no dog policy. This policy is permitted, since hotels and restaurants are not covered under the Fair Housing Act or Air Carrier Access Act. It is very important to remember that an emotional support animal is not legally required to be allowed in a restaurant or hotel just because it is an ESA.
Traveling by Train
Unfortunately, Amtrak, the nations largest train operator does not recognize emotional support animals. They do allow service and therapy dogs to travel freely with their owners. Service and therapy dogs go through specialized training which emotional support animals do not have to go through. You can travel with your emotional support dog on Amtrak, but it must be in a kennel and they charge a fee of $25.
Traveling by Bus
Greyhound also does not recognize emotional support dogs. Just like Amtrak, they allow service and therapy animals to travel with their owners, but they do not allow emotional service pets as there is no legal requirement for them to do so.
Traveling with an Emotional Support Dog- Final Thoughts
Once again, when traveling with an emotional support dog, planning is key. When flying, make sure your have your letter from a licensed medical or mental health professional. Also, make sure the airline knows ahead of time of your intentions to fly with an emotional support dog. When traveling by car, make sure to plan out rest stop places and dog friendly lodging. This way you aren’t stuck halfway on your trip with no place to stay with your four legged friend. If you are planning to travel and would like to see if you’re a good candidate for an emotional service dog, then start by taking CertaPet’s simple 5 minute survey to see if you qualify.