General Travel Tips:
All this information is based on my experience and therefore are my views only.
Please share your dog's toileting experiences in the TravelPaws Facebook group.
Toileting command and leash relieving
I find it so handy to leash relieve my dog on command. That way I know Guide Dog Nixon will go when I give the command. I also know that he is near me to pick up the aftermath relatively easily.
At my current school the command is 'Quick Quicks'
At my old school it was 'Do your jobs'
Please share your own commands.
Some schools in Australia train their dogs to use a toileting harness; for weeing or pooing. Does anyone else use them? They are great for travelling as you can take your dog anywhere for toileting.
The toileting harness is a thin belt that goes around the dog’s waist or tail (depending on weeing or pooing) and does up with a quick release clasp. A standard poo bag with handles is attached (photo below).
Tip: Cut an absorbent pad into small pieces, then place a couple of pieces into the bag before your dog wees. This makes it easier to discard the bag and its contents.
I don’t know if you could purchase the harness anywhere or have it made. The schools in Australia won’t provide/sell them outside their client base
I recommend you discuss it with your instructor first as it involves a bit of training and adjustment for the dog.
Visual Description: Photo of Guide Dog Nixon using a toileting harness to wee in a park
Visual Description: Photo of Guide Dog Nixon using a toileting harness to poo in a park
Travelling on long-haul flights with an Assistance Dog requires some planning. This is what works for me:
I restrict Guide Dog Nixon’s food and water before I fly, to minimise the need for toileting. Although I feel bad and he gives me sad puppy dog eyes, I feed him only half his normal breakfast
I toilet him just before check-in and then hold my breath! -although worse things can happen than your dog having an accident
I offer him a little water on the plane, so he doesn’t dehydrate
Apparently, dogs' bowels and bladder aren’t stimulated when lying on the plane, and they don’t seem to have the same urgency to go as humans do. I have heard of dogs travelling 24 hours before going to the toilet
I carry an absorbent pad and deodorised garbage bag when we walk through arrivals at the other end in case of an accident
I toilet Nixon as soon as I arrive.
I can imagine the toileting harness would be especially convenient on a cruise ship. Certainly, in Australia, I believe most companies will allocate a toileting area for your dog and provide wood chip or artificial grass. If your dog has its own surface needs, I suggest you bring/deliver it yourself.
Would anyone like to share their experience in our Facebook group?
Read our country specific toileting sections in the TravelPaws Country Guides: