How to Make Sure Your Disabled Pup Can Go Anywhere With You

It won’t take you very long to bond with your pooch. In fact, from the very first day, leaving your pup alone at home can be an unbearable thought. However, this feeling is much greater when you have a disabled pet and traveling with them can lead to its own set of challenges.

Small Drag Bag Pup Maia Traveling

At this point, leaving them behind isn’t just a question of their emotional state but also their physical state. After all, if your pooch needs constant care and attention, it may not be feasible to leave them by themselves without any supervision.

Of course, while the world in general, is becoming more dog-friendly, most places have a long way to go. So, although you may want to carry your pup around, you may not think it is possible. Well, the good news is that there may be a few ways you can actually have your dog tag along with you. Here is everything you need to know so you can travel anywhere with your best friend.

Know What Is Appropriate and What Isn’t

Before you head out with your disabled pooch, stop for a moment and ask yourself whether this is a good idea. While there are plenty of establishments that don’t allow dogs, it isn’t the only thing to take into consideration. You also have to figure out how your pup may feel about going to a particular place.

For instance, if you have a quiet or introverted dog, then taking him or her to a crowded place isn’t a good idea. Sure, they may be allowed in but there is a good chance that your pup will not enjoy themselves at all. In that case, the outing will be a bust.

In short, although you may want to take your dog everywhere, this isn’t always the right approach. Think about where you are headed and whether it is suitable for your dog. If it isn’t, you may want to have somebody watch your precious furball for you at home.

Train Your Pooch

small dog wheelchairYou should also start working on training your pup to behave in public. Sure, at present, he or she may be just fine with a couple of other people around or playing with others at the dog park. However, if you really want to take your pooch everywhere with you, then you need to train them properly.

Engaging in the proper training regimen has advantages for everyone involved. On the one hand, your pooch will be calmer and know just what to do in unfamiliar places and in large crowds. There is also the fact that other people will respond better to a pooch that knows how to behave. If they see your pup behaving well, they will be more likely to be friendly or even allow him or her into certain establishments.

So, what are the things you should focus on when training your pooch? Well, there are a few key points:

Heel

The last thing you would want is for your pooch to wander too far away from you. Even if they have trouble getting around, you will find that it is quite easy for them to become tangled up in someone else. To avoid this, make sure that they are fully aware of the heel command. This way, it will be a lot easier to keep them by your side at all times.

Focus

Now you don’t have to use this exact word – something like “watch me” works just as well. The main goal with this command is to make sure that your pup pays attention to you. Keep in mind, in a larger crowd, it is normal for your pooch to pay attention to something else or even get worried. With a simple command, you will be able to bring their attention back to you.

Get the Right Certification

As much as you do for your disabled pooch, they probably return the favor quite a bit. Of course, they may not do this through any task or activity but rather out of love and affection. After all, there is proof that having a pup in your life can help in a number of ways, including boosting mental health.

Now, there is a chance that you may be suffering from a mild emotional or psychological issue. In fact, perhaps you rely on your pup to make you feel better. If they have an observable, positive impact on your mood and life, they could be classified as an emotional support animal.

A mental health professional will have to concur that your dog does offer you certain health benefits. If this can be proven, you should be able to register your pup as an ESA. In doing so, you may be able to get the law on your side.

After all, the Fair Housing Act and the Airline Carrier Access Act do make allowances for dogs that are considered to be ESAs. In such cases, they may be forced to allow you to take your pup to various housing schemes and airlines!

Be Aware of Special Circumstances and Obstacles

dog wheelchair hikeYou are aware of what your pooch can do and what he or she can’t. It is important to think about this before you go out with them. To start with, consider the location you are heading to. Dog’s on wheels need to more area to navigate, so make sure you’re taking them somewhere they can maneuver around easily. What kind of surfaces and materials are there? Also, are there any safety hazards that you need to be worried about?

For example, let’s imagine that you wish to take your pup out on a boat. Then, you need to be mindful of the fact that there are slippery surfaces. There may be particular streets or buildings that have quite a few stairs that could be difficult for your pooch to navigate.

By planning out your trip better, you will find that it is a lot easier to take your pup with you to most places. Therefore, a little foresight can go a long way!

If you want to limit how much time you spend away from your dog, these are the tips to follow. Stick with these and you will only have a few places to avoid with your pooch. Happy travels!

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Guest Author:
Tasha Williams

Tasha has been an animal trainer for over ten years. During this time, she has cared for and trained a number of service, therapy, and emotional assistance dogs. She has also been instrumental in pairing dogs and their owners. She continues to provide advice on the subject, based on her past experience.

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4 Comments

    • Hi Patricia – Many special needs and disabled dogs become trained as therapy animals and emotional support animals. Some programs and requirements of certification can be adapted to accommodate a dog’s abilities – such as the “sit” command in the Canine Good Citizenship training can be done as a stop or roll backwards campaign for a dog in a wheelchair. You would need to speak with a trainer who can help you get your dog certified and trained to qualify.

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