Help With Flying With Your Service Dog

Help With Flying With Your Service Dog

This is very, very important for all clients to understand regarding Airline Assistance requests. I (Laurie, CEO) get a LOT of requests for help with Airline Travel, which is very important because I make sure that the airlines know that each client is flying with a Service Dog, and I know to emphasize with the more “stringent” airlines that SD’s that help people with psychiatric disabilities are called in by me as MEDICAL ALERT SERVICE DOGS. This is truth, because the ADA no longer even uses the term “psychiatric Service Dog” – they have been put in the same category as ALL Service Dogs, because psychiatric disabilities are literally medical conditions affecting the brain. I have to reiterate to many airlines that it is NOT an emotional support animal, because if they ask what the SD is for, if I say ANYTHING that resembles something psychiatric, they often don’t follow the ADA laws and they will immediately classify it as an ESA: requiring extensive paperwork, a fee, etc. I have learned very well how to work with the more difficult airlines, such as American. I reiterate to them that once they have listed the SD, they REPEAT back to me that the handler is not required to show ANY paperwork – simply that the SD is vested and has proof of rabies. I then verify with the airlines that the handler and SD team will be guided into the Priority TSA screening line, and get priority boarding. I have been working for years with Congress and to revise the Air Carrier Access Act so that Service Dog handlers who have psychiatric disabilities are treated no less respectfully as clients who have other disabilities. It is a long work in progress.

The ONE thing I cannot do for sure is this: if the handler making the reservation does NOT book the bulkhead seats, the only thing I can do is ASK the Special Assistance department if the seats can be changed. That is something I cannot guarantee. So, PLEASE, when you make your reservations, say that you are flying with a Medical Alert Service Dog, and try your best to book the bulkheads, especially with larger dogs. I will always still ensure that the process is as seamless as possible for all of you, will receive confirmation calls from the airlines 48 hours and 24 hours in advance to re-confirm, and will gladly walk each client/SD team through the entire process; but as much as I will try, I cannot guarantee that the airline will automatically give each client the bulkhead. And remember – after I call, and you are at the check-in desk, they might ask you the only two questions that they can ask. 1) Is this a Service Dog and 2) What tasks does this dog perform? ALL you have to say is 1) Yes and 2) He is a Medical Alert Service Dog OR My Service Dog helps me with my daily functioning. Travel requests require a lot of time for me on the phone with both the reservation departments and the Special Assistance departments, but I will always follow-through with this. Thank you!

If you are a SDE client and needs assistance with the airline, please click here. 

Importance Of Flea Prevention

Just to emphasize the importance of flea prevention for your Service Dogs. Please do not trust anything but the veterinarian-recommended brands. The types that you can buy at stores that sell generic brands such as Haartz, etc., are NOT as effective. All SDs must be on veterinarian recommended flea/tick/parasite control AND heartworm medicine every single month.

Public health officials in two northern Arizona counties have issued warnings that fleas in the area tested positive for plague.

Pet Ownership Costs Guide

Pet ownership represents a large emotional – and financial – commitment. Whether you buy from a pet store or a breeder, adopt an animal from a shelter, or take in a stray, initial costs are just the beginning of the story.

This guide for the folks at examines the different costs associated with pet ownership and helps you know what to expect, how to plan for these expenses, and potential ways to reduce the financial burden of pet ownership.

Pet Ownership Costs Guide

Pavlov’s Dogs | Simply Psychology

So freaking simple. So amazing. This is how it all works.

Like many great scientific advances, Pavlovian conditioning (aka classical conditioning) was discovered accidentally.

During the 1890s Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov was looking at salivation in dogs in response to being fed, when he noticed that his dogs would begin to salivate whenever he entered the room, even when he was not bringing them food. At first this was something of a nuisance (not to mention messy!).

Read more at Pavlov’s Dogs | Simply Psychology

Mushers Secret-All Season Paw Protection For Your Dog

PLEASE remember to protect your Service Dog’s paws in the upcoming heat (and when there is extreme cold). This product is absolutely wonderful. Instead of trying to get your dog to wear booties, which can be cumbersome, just apply a thin coating of the Musher’s Secret to their paws and let it sit for about 5 minutes. It forms a protective barrier on the dog’s paws that truly works. It can be purchased here, on Amazon, at Walmart, etc.

Mushers Secret Dog Paw Wax – natural breathable paw protection

Source: Mushers Secret-all season paw protection for your dog

Key Differences Between Classical and Operant Conditioning

Operant Conditioning versus Classical Conditioning. Service Dog Express (SDE) uses both.

Although a basic feature of operant conditioning is reinforcement, classical conditioning relies more on association between stimuli and responses. A second distinction is that much of operant conditioning is based on voluntary behavior, while classical conditioning often involves involuntary reflexive behavior. HOWEVER, although operant conditioning works extremely well, SDE NEVER supports punishment. Withholding praise is NOT the same as punishment. A very important distinction.

Check out more at: Key Differences Between Classical and Operant Conditioning

Video: Best Fruits and Vegetables for Dogs

Next time you’re shopping in the produce aisle of the grocery store, you may want to add some some fruits and veggies for you and your canine to your cart. From carrots and broccoli to apples and cantaloupe, these snacks are low-calorie, yummy and safe to feed your pup as long as they are prepared correctly and given in moderation. I even have a special trick for giving canines bananas without the mess!

Check it out: Video: Best Fruits and Vegetables for Dogs


I highly recommend this book, by the amazing Canine Behaviorist, Patricia McConnell. It chronicles her own path of dealing with trauma, and how working with her dog, Will, also a with a history of trauma, helped turn them both from “victims” to “survivors”. I am sure it is also available on Amazon.

A powerful, soul-searching memoir about the journey Patricia takes together with a troubled puppy to change being “a victim” into being “a survivor.


Service Dogs For Those With PTSD and Other Disabilities