General Travel Tips:

Toileting

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. 

Toileting harness

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

Long-haul flights

 

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.

Cruise ships

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.

 

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Country Guides

Read our country specific toileting sections in the TravelPaws Country Guides:

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