Traveling With A Service Animal

Curated by
Whitney Bailey
Content via Curb Free with Cory Lee
Curb Free with Cory Lee
Curated by
Whitney Bailey

Cory Lee is a self-proclaimed “travel addict”. He was born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Cory states the more prepared you are for a trip the more at ease you will feel, especially when traveling with a service animal.

service dog in blue vest

Cory gives the following advice for traveling with a service animal:

Checklist Of Documentation

Cory has created a checklist to ensure that you have all of the documentation you need related to your service animal while traveling.

  • Certificate of your service animal
  • Current health records (including up to date vaccinations)
  • A note from your healthcare professional
  • A note from your veterinary clinic
  • A personal travel certificate  (that explains your condition, the medical supplies you are carrying and why you might need support and privacy as you go through security)

Cory suggests if you are traveling out of the country to have these documents translated into the native language of the country you are visiting prior to arriving.

Depending on your destination, there may be other requirements for your service animal. For example, if you are traveling to an island there may be a quarantine period for your animal.

Cory suggests limiting your animal’s food and water intake a few hours before departure if you will be on a plane or train for several hours. Be sure to carry water for them as soon as you arrive at your destination.


Cory recommends arriving at the airport earlier than normal to ensure you have plenty of time to go through security and find your gate. You can speed up your security check by making sure security personnel is aware you are traveling with a service animal.

Cory states, “Most airlines require a 48 hour advance notice of service animals on flights, be sure to contact your airline to make them aware that you will be traveling with your service animal, and ask any questions you might have about the day of travel.”

Hotel Stays

Cory suggests contacting your hotel before arriving to ensure they know about your service animal. This way the hotel can then inform their staff before your arrival. A service animal is not a pet and cannot be refused access in any public place. A hotel cannot charge a fee for a service animal unless they cause damage.

Cory says, “Be sure to clean up after your dog as you would at home, and never leave your service animal in the hotel room alone. Even the best-trained ones can become anxious or stressed if left unattended in a new atmosphere.”

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