Saturday, November 10, 2012

Assistance Dogs on Cruise Ships

Wanting to do some traveling with your Service or Assistance Dog, here are some tips from a guest blogger.

Assistance Dogs on Cruise Ships 
Despite regulations or rules that deny access to animals in restaurants and other public places, in many countries, guide dogs and other types of assistance dogs are protected by law, and therefore may accompany their handlers most places that are open to the public. Laws and regulations vary worldwide:

All Cruise lines must accept Assistance Dogs as it is against the law & human rights code.

Most Cruise lines will require you to sign a document confirming that your dog is an assistance dog and not a ‘pet’ before embarkation.

What restrictions are there for the entry of assistance dogs in different countries?

· When dogs or pets are imported or taken into Australia they must stay in quarantine for 30 days. However, the 3 main kinds of assistance dogs; guide dogs, hearing dogs and service dogs can enter Australia when entering a cruise port, provided they have not come from a high-risk country for rabies. They will be placed under quarantine surveillance but won’t actually spend any time in a quarantine station.


· Your pet must have an ISO pet microchip inserted and then be vaccinated for rabies and various other diseases at least 21 days but not more than 12 months prior to travel prior to travel.

· If your pet has been vaccinated before it was fitted with a microchip, it will have to be vaccinated again after the microchip is inserted

· If your pet' microchip is not ISO 11784/11785 compliant, you can bring your own microchip scanner.

· Pets entering Estonia from a country with a high incidence of rabies must have Blood Titter Test 90 days in advance to avoid quarantine.

· Unvaccinated pets (dogs and cats only) under 3 months old may enter an EU Country, but there are additional regulations that must be met. Certain aggressive breeds of dogs are prohibited from entry.

· The laws of Barbados do not provide for access of service/assistance dogs to public places (shops, restaurants, hotels, etc.). There are no special exemptions to the import veterinary health requirements for service/assistance dogs. They must satisfy the same import conditions as pets.

· In the event that you are traveling with a service animal or emotional support animal, you will be required to obtain an import permit from the Veterinary Services Division of the Ministry of Agriculture prior to arrival.

·         All animals traveling to Caribbean must be rabies-free, and must never have been rabies vaccinated.

· All pets must arrive in UAE manifested cargo- it cannot arrive as accompanied baggage.

· Dogs cannot be under 4 months old

· Must have had rabies injection

· All dogs must be walked on a leash in public areas in Dubai

· There is no quarantine in the UAE for pets arriving with all their vaccinations, documents or any other ministry requirements in order. If everything is not fully in order, then your pet may be quarantined, re-exported or even confiscated.

· You must provide a summary of full vaccination

· Must have a RMATT blood test ( rabies test)

· If travelling here from EU member states or listed countries the same rules apply. They must be micro chipped and have a pet passport, and be vaccinated against rabies (at least 21 days before departure). If you are entering from non-EU or non-listed country same rules apply but a blood sample must also be taken 30 days after the vaccination, and then you must wait 3 months to avoid your dog being put into quarantine.

Far East (China, Hong Kong)
· China does not recognize as many kinds of service dogs as the U.S. does. For example, they do not recognize psychiatric service dogs. Service dog owners also don't have as many public access rights as they do in the U.S.

· Pets must have a certificate showing they have been vaccinated against rabies within one year and at least 30 days prior to entry into China. Pets under 3 months of age are exempt from the rabies vaccination.

· Only one pet can accompany the traveller and the travellers name must be on the export health certificate. In addition, each animal needs its own health certificate, so multiple pets cannot be on the same APHIS 7001.

· There are restrictions regarding the entry of service animals into Hawaii. Customers planning to travel to Hawaii should contact the Hawaii Animal Quarantine Branch manager directly for quarantine requirements. The 24-hour phone number is 1-808-837-8092. You may also view animal quarantine information at the Hawaii Department of Agriculture website.

US/ South America (Panama Canal)
·   Traveling on domestic flights within the United States
Currently there are no vaccination or health/veterinarian document requirements for pets on domestic flights.
·      Traveling to the United States
A general certificate of health is not required by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention for entry of pet dogs into the United States, although some airlines or states may require them.

· However:
Dogs are subject to inspection at ports of entry and may be denied entry into the United States if they have evidence of an infectious disease that can be transmitted to humans. 

If a dog appears to be ill, further examination by a licensed veterinarian at the owner's expense might be required at the port of entry.

· In most South American countries and Mexico, in more tourist-heavy areas, guide dogs are generally welcomed without problems. In Brazil, however, a 2006 federal decree requires allowance of guide dogs in all public and opens to public places. The Brasília Metro has developed a program which trains guide dogs to ride it.

What happens when you disembark the cruise ship?
If you have an assistance dog you will not be able to disembark until last. Stay behind the yellow line on the platform until all disembarking passengers have left the cruise ship.

About the Author: Holly Evans is 24 and loves to blog about cruising. Her main hobby is kayaking and exploring different countries. If you would like her to write you a blog related to anything travel then email:


answers to adult driver education said...

Wow, thanks so much for these tips, you included Dubai here too and it's just what I was looking for. I'm really excited for our much needed vacation and my companion is just as excited.

Allen Pearson said...

You're welcome- hope you have a great trip! You might contact the author at the above link and let her know too. She put the post together.