Choosing The Perfect Travel Destination

Tips For Handling An Emotional Support Dog While Traveling On An Airport Shuttle

by Eli Lambert

If you're planning to take an emotional support dog with you on a flight, you might also find yourself staying at a hotel with the animal and planning to ride the hotel's shuttle to the airport. While you're traveling with the animal because it provides a degree of support for you, you also want to make the process as free of stress as possible for your furry friend. It's a smart idea to prepare in advance and have a plan for your pet when it comes to riding on the airport shuttle. Here are some tips that are important to keep in mind.

Confirm In Advance

While you shouldn't have trouble riding on the airport shuttle with your dog, provided that you have a letter from your family doctor that recognizes the pet as an emotional support animal, it's nonetheless good to confirm in advance that you plan to have the dog with you. Simply share this request at the hotel's front desk so that the shuttle driver can be informed. The last thing you need is some confusion at the time that you're supposed to depart, especially when you have a flight to catch.

Plan To Arrive Early

The average traveler can take a last-minute shuttle to the airport, breeze through security, and run to his or her departure gate, but this entire scenario would be highly stressful on your emotional support dog. It's better to take an earlier shuttle so that you arrive at the airport in plenty of time. This will allow you to stay calm, which is important because animals can often detect the stress of their owners. Additionally, it will give you time to walk the pet around the terminal to give it some exercise before the flight and also visit a designated pet relief area if the airport has one.

Find An Isolated Seat

If the airport shuttle isn't overly crowded, try to find an isolated seat. Depending on the size of the support dog, you can either have it sit at your feet, sit on your lap, or sit on an empty seat next to you. Picking an isolated seat is ideal because it lessens the chance of other passengers — especially children — approaching the animal and attempting to pet it. When strangers invade the personal space of dogs, it can be threatening and overwhelming, and you want to minimize such potentially stressful experiences for your dog, given that traveling can be stressful enough.

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