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karliebug 06-07-2014 08:08 AM

Service dogs at WDW
 
WE will be bringing our service dog in training to WDW in August. Does anyone have any tips or advice for us? I will be bringing boots for his feet so they don't get burned on the hot pavement and will be sure to bring lots of water to keep him ( and us) well hydrated. I would like to hear from other service dog handlers on what they found most helpful,etc. thanks!

lost*in*cyberspace 06-07-2014 09:06 AM

Do a search of this forum; this has been discussed several times and you'll find some good information.

lanejudy 06-07-2014 10:37 PM

You don't mention from where you are traveling, or mode of transportation to get there, but note that dogs "in training" are not always afforded the same acceptance as fully trained service dogs; laws may vary by state. As PP suggests, try a search as I recall posts about dogs in training at WDW. I did just check the WDW website for disabilities and it specifies "trained service animals are welcome in most locations throughout" WDW. I don't know if that is new wording, or intended to differentiate service animals from therapy dogs.

Enjoy your vacation!

Disneykidsdad 06-09-2014 11:39 AM

You should not have a problem bringing a service dog in training to WDW. There is a service dog organization with a campus in Orlando that brings dogs in training into the parks on a regular basis. I have been there with my daughter's service dog and have friends with me with a dog in training. As long as it is truly a service dog in training and is well behaved, you should not have a problem.

lsenquiz 06-17-2014 09:07 AM

Bringing a service dog to Disney
 
We are going to Disney the third week of September and my daughter is bringing her boyfriend with us. He has a service dog so I have some questions for anyone that has brought a service dog with them.

1) What documentation is required?
2) Does the dog have to be with her boyfriend at all times or can we leave him in the room some? The dog's job is to help boyfriend with his PTSD. If he had an attack he could go back to the room and relax with her. I am very concerned because the dog is 10 year old black lab. She has done 6 tours in afghanistan (the last two with my daughter's boyfriend) so she is a tough little cookie but the thought of her walking the parks all day just seems like alot to me.
3) The dog has boots and sunglasses from her time in afghanistan. Would you bring those? I know the Florida heat is very different from the heat in afghanistan so not sure if the boots would help or hurt?
4) What do you do with the dog while you are on rides? Is there a parent swap type option?
5) Are there any restrictions on where the dog can go?
6) Are there specific areas within the park we can take her if she has to go to the bathroom?

Any additional advice you can provide to help would be appreciated.

Mrsjvb 06-17-2014 09:49 AM

1: unfortunately, none. (I say this because too many people are stretching the definition of 'service dog' to beyond breaking point.

2: ABSOLUTELY NOT. no animal can be left in the room alone for any amount of time. there is a kennel on site if he doesn't need her 24/7. Military Working Dogs live and work under FAR worse conditions than WDW. she will be fine, and there are plenty of places they can take a break.

3: yes.

4: This I am not sure of but there is at least one person who regularly posts that has done the World with a SD.

5: I would plan on using the companion/Family restrooms if he needs to bring her in the stall with him. otherwise, no real places that are off limits that I can think of. You should not on any ADRs that you will have a SD though.

6: again this I am not sure of but I bet there is a list somewhere.

lanejudy 06-17-2014 10:17 AM

Here is the link to WDW's page about service animals:
https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/gu...rvice-animals/

Some attractions are restricted, and I believe you can either do a "rider switch" or they should have kennels available at those rides. Such rides are listed at the link above, as well as locations for relief areas.

As PP mentions, the service dog must be with one of you at all times while on property, or boarded at a local kennel. It cannot be left alone in the resort room.

Enjoy your vacation!

3disneykidz 06-27-2014 08:42 AM

Hi we take our daughter's service dog every year to Disney he is a huge huge huge help for her. She has Autism and bringing him along is really good for her.

To your questions
1) What documentation is required? No you don't need this however he does need to be in jacket/harness or on leash at all times.

2) Does the dog have to be with her boyfriend at all times or can we leave him in the room some? No the dog has to stay with the person he is working with.


3) The dog has boots and sunglasses from her time in afghanistan. Would you bring those? I know the Florida heat is very different from the heat in afghanistan so not sure if the boots would help or hurt?

yes Florida is hot but we have never had glasses or shoes for Crosby we looked at his paws all the time though to make use they weren't burnt and brought cream along for them.


4) What do you do with the dog while you are on rides? Is there a parent swap type option?

For rides the dog can go on most of them there are very few that the dog can't go on. You can do a ride swap that being said the cast members are not allowed to take charge of the dog at anytime, it is the resposibility of the person who the dog is working with or anyone in your party.


5) Are there any restrictions on where the dog can go?

Yes there are go to the website an look up in the help button. I can't for some reason post the link.

6) Are there specific areas within the park we can take her if she has to go to the bathroom?

yes each park has a few spaces where the dog can go to take a break and be watered.

things to bring:

A water bottle or dish. you dont' need to bring water as any cast member will give you water for the dog be it tap water or bottled we got both.

I would buy a cooling coat for the dog this came in real handy as well to keep Crosby cool.

If you need to leave the dog at the kennel which we have done you will need a copy of the dogs vet records he will need a kennel cough meds in order to stay. The kennel is great.

don't forget poop bags

brign a bed or blanket if you need to, we didn't as Crosby sleeps with our daughter.

I would also go to guest services at the first park you go to as well and explain the service dog. If the boyfriend can't stand in lines that long and it will be to hot for the dog to stand in lines as well you could ask them for a DAs card where you get a time to come back to rides where wait times aren't as long.

take breaks with the dog as well not only for the boyfriend to rest but the dog as well.

Be prepared to be stopped by everyone as they always ask to pet the dog.

Feel free to pm me if you would like we take Crosby every year for the past 5 years and he does great.

3disneykidz 06-27-2014 09:38 AM

you should not have any problem at WDW with a puppy in training infact lots of organizations around WDW train their puppies there.

We bring our daughter's service dog there every year with out and issue.

We don't bring boots for his feet and he has never had an issue we go in Aug and Sept. We do bring cream for his feet we put it on at the end of the day and massage his feet.

We do bring a cooling coat that you put in cool water for Crosby to wear he loves it. you can find these at most pet stores I got ours at Pet Smart.

Bring a bowl or waterbottle/bowl to the parks. We dont' bring water for him as the Castmembers will give you either tap water or bottled we usually get both depending on the cast member

Once you go to the park get a map and on the map it will have the places you can get the dog so it can go to the bathroom.

the puppy can go on most rides if comfortable if not you can ride swap. At no time can a cast member take charge of the dog. Crosby went on Nemo and Toy Story the first year we went and we closed the ride each time as he got scared and pooped on them.

The puppy can also not be left alone in the resort room. If you need to board him the kennel is across the street from Riverside resort. it is a nice kennel we had Crosby there last year. The puppy will need to have a record of his shots for there as well as a kennel cough. Make sure the puppy doesn't have fleas as if he does they will give him a bath and charge you for it.

Bring your treat bag as you will probably need it as well as the poop bags.

try to expose him now if you can to loud noises and crowds as well as long walks and if you can mascots. We did this just before the first time we took Crosby it really helped.

I am not sure where you are coming from are you driving or flying. if flying make sure you call the airlines well ahead of time so they know you are bringing the puppy in training.

be prepared to get stopped a lot and asked if people can pet the dog.

Have fun on your trip pm me if you need more info

SueM in MN 06-27-2014 09:56 PM

I combined 2 recent threads about Service Dogs so that people will be able to find the information easier.

There is a page on the Disney website about service dogs which lists information like the attractions that are not recommended for service dogs and those they are not allowed on.
https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/gu...rvice-animals/
There is also Service Dog information on the Guidemaps for Guests with Disabilities. You can get those at the map kiosks at the entrance to each park. They list end also have an icon on the map to mark the location of Service Dog relief areas.

The ones that are not recommended generally have something that might be problematic for some dogs, so discussing with a CM (Cast Member) before going on is important.

The ones that don't allow Service Dogs are generally because there is no way to safely keep the dog in the ride car - things like Soarin' where guests are suspended and Rock 'n Roller Coaster.

There is a link in my signature for the disABILITIES FAQs thread (you can also look near the top of this board). Post 3 has some links to past threads about Service Dogs at WDW and there are some more recent ones if you do a search of this board.

SueM in MN 06-27-2014 11:44 PM

Our youngest DD has a Service Dog, but we have never brought him to WDW; our trips are usually 10-14 days and the disadvantages of bringing him along were greater than the advantages of bringing him.
We did talk to our trainer before deciding send got some advice and we do bring him on shorter trips.

Air travel - our trainer suggested taking a short flight, maybe an hour in duration and then come back the same day. That would give the dog the opportunity to travel and then come back to familiar home so when we traveled somewhere else, the air travel at least was not new. It also gives you a chance to see how the dog does and be able to concentrate on the dog and not have to worry about your bags or having your whole family to worry about.

Another piece of advice she gave us was to think of the dog in the same way we would think of a toddler - it's up to us to recognize and prevent the dog from getting too tired, too hot, too stressed/overwhelmed or dehydrated.
Just like a toddler, the dog may not be aware or be able to let you know those things.

Quote:

Originally Posted by karliebug (Post 51600203)
WE will be bringing our service dog in training to WDW in August. Does anyone have any tips or advice for us?

I would have a few questions -
Is the dog used to the same kind of heat/humidity as August in Florida?
You might want to go early, leave to rest in the middle of the day when it is hottest and then come back to the park in the evening when it starts cooling off again.

How old is the dog and how far into training will the dog have gotten by August?
If he is really young or early in his training, he may only be able to be in the parks for a few hours before becoming too tired or overwhelmed.

Yes, there are local organizations that bring puppies in training to WDW. The difference is that they might be there for a few hours and then go back home to their familiar environment. Your dog will either be going back to a strange hotel room with you or to a kennel.

Quote:

I will be bringing boots for his feet so they don't get burned on the hot pavement
Some people and their dogs really feel boots are vital and others never use them.
We use Musher's Secret on DD's Service Dog's feet. It is used on sled dogs in the snow, but also helps with hot conditions.
Her dog loves it and will lay on his back for his 'foot massage' to get it put on.

Whether you use boots, something like. Musher's Secret or nothing, it's important to take periodic breaks from walking on the pavement and inspect your dog's feet for damage.
Quote:

and will be sure to bring lots of water to keep him ( and us) well hydrated. I would like to hear from other service dog handlers on what they found most helpful,etc. thanks!
As other posters mentioned, you can get water from drinking fountains or many other places. One of the most useful 'tricks' our DD's dog knows is being able to drink from a water bottle. So, we don't always need to carry a bowl for him.

lauriko 07-03-2014 11:17 PM

For the OP, I'll give as much advice as I can. I have brought my last 3 Puppies-In-Training to Disney World over the last 3 years. Each trip was different and we experienced different things. A few things that I have learned though might help you out.
- I carry a backpack that contains everything the puppy is going to need. It has cleaning supplies, a collapsible dish, bottle of water, a serving of food, brochures and cards (I train for an organization), extra poop bags and an updated Health Certificate of her current vaccines. I also carry booties and a container of Musher's Secret for their paws. It's not a huge backpack, and it isn't as heavy as you would think. I also carry a treat bag in case a bribe is needed.
- The ground can get very hot depending on when you will be there. A good test would be to put your hand on the pavement. If it's hot enough that your hand burns, then it's too hot for the pup as well. We have used both the booties and Musher's Secret. Both work well and it's best to use whatever your dog is most comfortable with.
- A cooling vest of some sort is ALWAYS a good thing to have if you go during the hotter months. One that can be easily re-hydrated with water works the best. A darker color dog obviously needs one more than a lighter color dog would.
-I always carry around a bottle of water as a back-up. You might not be near a place that will give you water, so that extra bottle can come in handy. Just keep refilling it at water fountains and you should be fine. During meals, ask for a cup of ice and feed that to your pup. This will help to cool them down and give them something to keep them hydrated.
- If you can, avoid the hottest time of day, the afternoon. Relax in your hotel room or sit by the pool. If you don't want to leave the parks I would suggest going on rides where you are mostly indoors or go do some shopping which will give the pup a time to rest in the air conditioning.
- The potty areas are located on the park map and aren't that hard to locate. Look for a small road sign that has a person with a dog and that's the spot. When I was there last September, the CMs were a little unsure where they were located, so the maps helped us a lot!
- If you are unsure how your pup will respond to loud noises (like fireworks) I would suggest finding a spot that has an easy "exit" so that you can get your pup away from the noise if they start to react negatively towards it. DO NOT keep the puppy there if they are frightened. You will end up doing more damage than good.

The Most Important thing to remember, especially for a puppy in training, is for the handler to know their dog. I know what my pups can handle and what they can't. We will be going again to Disney Sept 21-26 and my pup will be 16 months old. Throughout the summer I will be getting her used to large crowds, loud noises and walking under the hot sun. Hopefully this extra work will help her to become immune to the problems that can be faced at Disney. Work your dog with these distractions over and over and they should be fine. I usually arrive and head straight to the MK as I find Main Street to be the best place to gauge how my puppy will react. If they are fine there, then they will be fine anywhere.

If anyone happens to be in Disney while I'm there, you can find me with the Black Lab puppy wearing a yellow and blue vest. :) Any questions, feel free to PM me and I can answer them as best I can. Hope this helped a little!

SueM in MN 07-04-2014 10:50 AM

This is a picture of the First Aid area at AK, which happens to be one of the Service Animal relief areas for that park.

http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/1332/image95.jpg

As was already mentioned, they are listed on the park maps and have a small sign to mark the actual location. The signs all have the same picture, but are themed for the area they are in.


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