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wizard-of-roz

Cruising With A Service Dog....everything You Ever Wanted To Know!

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Again, call the Special Needs Department of RCCL - 800.722.5472 x:34492 - Ask to speak with the person who handles "On Shore Compliance & Regulations" for Service Dogs, in foriegn countries.

I did speak to the Special Needs desk, but she simply said they don't know anything about the rules, never mentioned such a person as you said above, and asked if I needed anything else. :rolleyes: Go figure. I'll have to be sure to call back on a different day/time (can check my cell phone's records on when I called, hehe).

 

Some of the ships require that the Service Dog stay on the ship, with one of the passengers and you would have to take turns going ashore.

 

If you are traveling with a kennel that has a door on it, that can be closed, you may have to leave your dog in that while you go on your excursion. The door to the kennel must be closed and locked!

 

You should NEVER leave your Service Dog in the cabin, loose and unattended!:(

 

I hope some of the above helps!

 

I wouldn't be able to get off the ship and do things without my dog - that's why I have her - so we're just staying on the ship on the two ports we can't enter (Grand Cayman and Jamaica). That's three days in a row stuck on the ship (with the third day being the at-sea day), though, so I really hope I like the ship! ;) :p (I didn't pick the itinerary, remember - it is a group cruise.)

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Wizard-of-Roz, thanks for all the helpful information. I am organizing a cruise for the Guide Dogs of Texas (GDTx) in January on RCCL. We have 22 people going so far, including two visually impaired people bringing their guide dogs.

 

That's really neat! Don't forget to give us a report on how things went after the trip!

 

I'm going on RCCL, as well.

 

The potty box info was especially helpful as that is something people really want to know. I've read that other guests on a cruise would ask the dog's owner where the dog "went " After being told the would take an "excursion" to the potty box to see what it like.

 

LOL! That's funny that ppl would find that exciting to see. ;)

 

There is a Web site out there of a company that puts together cruises for service dogs. On their site they say they put wind chimes at the location of the potty boxes (guess they get two for having so many dogs on one ship) so the blind/visually impaired handlers can find the boxes easily. You might want to do that for your cruise, too.

 

As I understand it the guide dog teams will be allowed to preboard and will be given a tour of the ship, to include the potty area. Thanks for the idea of the sign. I'll make one up with the cute saying about butts.

 

I have been told that ppl with disabilities have priority boarding for embarkation and then go to a special area on the ship for priority debarkation, as well. This related to somebody in a wheelchair, but prob'ly also relates to those with service dogs since customs and all may take longer.

 

I've also requested a room be available each night for an hour for our group to gather and let the dogs run about.

 

That's a great idea! Let us know if they give you the room and if they charge you anything for it and all.

 

I'm thinking about sending a prepared notice to the Hotel Director on the ship and asking it to be placed in the ship's daily paper. It would say something about visually imparied individuals and their guide dogs being on the ship and asking people not to pet the dogs.

 

That's a good idea, too. Let us know if they do that for you. I think it would definitely cut down on the drive-by patting and questions. See if they can publish your school's Web site address so ppl can get more info., too - maybe you can even put up a special page just for ppl on the cruise to read.

 

We are going to Montego Bay, Jamaica, Georgetown, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, Mexico. The dogs cannot enter Jamaica. Someone will stay with the dogs on board while the visually impaired individuals disembark. We have 3 GDTx staff and 4 puppy raisers (minus their puppies) going on the cruise.

 

Those are the same places my cruise is going, just in the opposite order and plus Key West, Florida, USA.

 

Guide dog puppies in training aren't allowed to cruise. :(

 

I have heard about one person (I think it was the same person) who brought the puppy they were puppy raising on a cruise. I think they did it by telling the cruise line it was a service dog, as they also said Cayman Islands exempted the dog from the import fee (something they do for service dogs) and they keep calling it a "service dog", which, of course, it isn't. :mad: Then they let the puppy sit on furniture in the public areas of the ship, run about the ship off-leash (a video of which can be found on YouTube), etc. I sure hope nobody thought it was a real service dog acting like that!

 

I believe the dogs will be allowed to get off in Grand Cayman, but I am still working on the exact requirements.

 

They will if you want to pay a lot in vet fees. I am choosing not to spend $400 for eight hours or less in one country, but I know others have done so. A few messages ago I gave the link to a US gov't site that lists many countries' requirements. The full Cayman requirements for dogs is on that site, but here is the info. in my words as taken from that document:

 

You need six to seven months to prepare the dogs, so if you haven't begun the process already and your Cayman entrance is on or before Jan. 23 (if I calculated right), you may be out of luck. Dogs aren't eligible to enter until six months after their blood has been drawn for the rabies test (and the test shows they have enough antibodies) UNLESS they have had two rabies vaccinations not more than one year and not less than six months apart, with their microchip or tattoo having been applied before the most recent vaccination. (In other words, if the dogs are only vaccinated for rabies every three years, they aren't eligible for this six-month waiting period exemption.)

 

You're out of luck if the dogs don't fit the six-month exemption rule unless your entry to Grand Cayman is after Jan. 22 (if I calculated right - you can't enter until the 181st day after the blood draw) or they've already had the test done within the past two years. And that is only if the dogs have been vaccinated within what was a year prior to the day you'll be entering Cayman (between Jan. XX of this year and now), as you need about a 21 day waiting period between the vaccination and the blood draw.

 

If the dogs fit the rabies entry criteria (and I hope their owners are IAADP members, as there is a 50% discount on the rabies titer test for members), then they still have to do other things to enter the country. Within fourteen days of entering Cayman, the vet has to treat them with a tapeworm treatment containing praziquantel as well as treat them for ticks with a spot-on treatment containing fipronil (preferred), amitraz, pyrethrins, or permethrins - shampoos, collars, and preparations licensed for fleas only (such as Program, Advantage, Revolution, and Sentinel) are NOT acceptable. A health certificate endorsed by a full-time USDA veterinarian must also be done. Then, they have to apply for an import permit (usually $61 but I have heard they waive the fee for service dogs), which is then only valid for fourteen days (obviously, since all the above has to be done within fourteen days, LOL). The permit can be faxed to you. It takes about three business days to get. Finally, you must give 48 hours notice of expected date and time of arrival along with details of the vessel the dogs are arriving on.

 

Okay, so not only do I want to avoid the vet fees, but also the crazy hassle of all the fourteen-day-before stuff! :p

 

I found out that if our ship had gone to Mexico before we went to GC the dogs would not have been allowed to get off in GC. Even if the dogs had not gotten off in Mexico they would not have been allowed off in GC. But we are going to GC first so it will be OK.

 

Correct about they can't enter Mexico (as well as certain other countries) and then enter Cayman. I didn't know that staying on the ship was included, however. Funny, since the dogs can stay on the ship in Cayman without going through the health requirements! :rolleyes: Good thing I decided not to spend the $400 and crazy 14 days!

 

Mexico should not be a problem for the dogs, but I don't yet know if there are any special paperwork that needs to be done ahead of time. Any info on these two countries. I've contacted their embassies but never heard back from them.

 

For Mexico, only a health certificate dated no more than 72 hours prior to travel is needed. (It has to state, of course, that the dog has been vaccinated for rabies and distemper.) The Mexico requirements are also on the links I gave in a previous post.

 

Yeah, embassies don't get back to you real quick. It is best to call them on the phone and keep trying different numbers 'til you get an answer. Try the agriculture number first.

 

I'll try again a little closer to the cruise.

 

Always find out the requirements as soon as you know you're going someplace, as some (like Cayman) take six or more months (and a lot of money) to do!

 

What paperwork did you get from your vet before the cruise? I heard that the paperwork is only good for 10 days. So, for a 7 day cruise the paperwork has to be obtained only a few days before departure so it will still be good to reenter the U.S.

 

Different countries have different requirements on how long a health certificate is good for. For entry into the US, it is good for 10 days. For Mexico, 72 hours before travel (I was told by the USDA that for a cruise, this would be 72 hours before the cruise begins). For Cayman, 14 days.

 

Good luck! You're sailing just before I am.

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Boy! Talk about turning off service dog handlers from cruising......

 

The paperwork for traveling to Mexico is:

1. Current Service License from an accredidated organization

(this should include Tattoo number/chip etc.) Some have a picture of you and your dog, some do not.

2. City License (current) within the year

3. ADA info. Usually on back of service license. Some don't have it.

4. Vaccination Status (from Vet.) Must be current on Rabies/DHLPP(tag #/Serial # and type of vaccine will be on the form.)

(the Vet form will state expiration dates on these vacc. This form should also mention Heartguard use and Advantix (whichever you use for flea and ticks). MAKE SURE YOUR WELL WITHIN THE EXP. DATES.

5. NCL requires a Dept. of Food and Agriculture form. A visit to your vet will get you this. (He/she has the forms.)

 

Taking your service dogs onto land in some of the ports....is just NOT a good idea, anyway! Many of them, as I've said before have NO LEASH or VACCINATION LAWS! PROTECT YOUR SERVICE DOG!

 

The experience of cruising is such a wonderful one...and, has become "about the ship" sometimes, for us! You will love these amazing ships and what they have to offer, while in port. You, virtually, have the ship to yourselves and there's always something to do! The casino and shopping will be closed but the crew have classes/games and just plain relaxing available all day! There won't be long lines or traffic issues.....it a joy!!!!!

 

I promise you will love cruising, even if you can't go into some of the ports. On sea days the gift shops will be open and the myriad of things to buy is endless!

 

The windchime idea is wonderful....however, it's not always used. Don't depend on it. The potty box will be set up in an area that is very accessible for you. If it is not.....let the "Information Desk" or Hotel Manager know and they will have it moved to a more convenient spot for you. They want you happy!

 

Having your information put into the daily paper is a great idea! Tell them that there will be a "petting time" when guests will be allowed to touch your dog........they will love this and you for it!

 

The ship may tell you they do not have an empty room available for the dogs to roam freely. If you wait until it's a port day and most everyone leaves the ship, you will find an empty lounge, on your own as we have done. And, we let her off leash and throw her ball, she loves it! There may be a crew member in the lounge repairing or painting something (they use these days to clean-up the ship), don't let him/her stop you....it's your ship to enjoy!!!!!!

 

Many times I will put Brenda into a seat in the theatre....just for her own safety....she is black....and, when lights go out, she's invisible! I feel more comfortable about her not being stepped on. I have never had anyone complain about it! I also carry "Caution Tape" with me. I keep it all rolled up in my purse and I use it when I go to the movies or can not put her up on a seat (it's yellow & black) and can be seen in the dark. I lay her between two seats or in a handicapped area and string the tape across the two seats. (You can find the tape in a hardware store.)

 

I ALWAYS enter or exit the plane/train/bus/cruise ship before anyone, with the other handicapped or preferred guests. You may have to request this from the registration/security people prior to doing it. I have never been refused. This will allow you to pre-board and go to the Information Desk to find the location of the potty-box/explore the ship; before the rest of the passengers board.

 

Even if you are able bodied (not in a wheelchair) but you do have a service dog.....go to the handicapped registration area. You have the right to be there.....don't be hesitant or shy about getting special privledges.....your dog must be protected from the hordes of other people's feet! The registration folks will see your dog and know that he/she is with you for a special reason. They are not permitted to ask what the dog does for you. Some still ask out of curiosity. You would laugh at some of the answers I've given them!

And, if you've never cruised before, you won't believe the hordes of people's feet you & your dog will be encountering!!!!!!!! Protect them!!!

 

I do allow people to touch Brenda....only upon being asked first. It's very difficult for some people, who are missing their furry friends, to hold back. And, rather than having them "stealing pets", when I'm not looking I allow them to touch her........Brenda loves, loves children and when the parents see the children walking right up to her nose and see her, with her loving eyes and sniffing at their faces....they light up!

 

I have literally turned a "sour on dogs" ogretype person into a very gentle, loving soul after he watched Brenda interact with his grandson! I don't give much time for this..... I give her a "release" command, I allow just short pets and interactions and then she's put right back to work.

 

Unfortunately, you will find that the elevators on cruise ships are highly used and are, usually, always very full. It's a perfect time for me to show how well behaved she is with the above command and some "down time" with inquisitive and friendly fellow passengers. They will love you the rest of the cruise for this! And become more welcoming. I do realize that with "seeing eye dogs", this may not be possible! Use your good judgment...and know that most people who ask about the dog and true "dog lovers!"

 

Don't be turned off by some of the "hoops and whistles" it appears you'll have to go through.......just don't get off the ship!

 

When they anchor the ship, near land and you can see the hills/homes/villages/flora and fawna right from the deck or from your veranda; it's all you need! IMHO! Getting into a tour bus (that may or may not have air conditioning) or battling the crowds on a humid/dirty/crowded back street is just not always necessary to get the "lay of the land!" The food and ambiance of the country, your visiting, can be enjoyed, right on board!

Some ships bring the local culture on board to entertain you and you can purchase the very same "goodies" right in the gift shop!

I am reached through email notification....

 

Relax, bring your service dog with you and have a wonderful cruise!!!!!!

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Boy! Talk about turning off service dog handlers from cruising......

I wasn't turning anybody off, just getting them prepared for reality. There is a price to be paid for using a service dog, and that includes the inability to travel to places without six/seven months prep and a lot of money spent at the vet. For some countries, like Mexico and I think Canada, it is as simple as a health certificate (also costs money, but not like taking blood costs). For other countries (as well as the state of Hawaii), it isn't as simple and does cost a lot of money. A lot of ppl are used to the ease and access we have here in the States, forgetting that it isn't at all the same in other places.

 

The paperwork for traveling to Mexico is:

 

1. Current Service License from an accredidated organization

(this should include Tattoo number/chip etc.) Some have a picture of you and your dog, some do not.

Pets are allowed to enter Mexico, so a service dog certification isn't required. Mexico doesn't have service dog laws. And certification isn't required for the US.

2. City License (current) within the year

That also can't be true, as not all cities have licenses. Nor do any of the entry requirements I've seen for Mexico say anything about a license.

3. ADA info. Usually on back of service license. Some don't have it.

The ADA doesn't apply to you once you step outside of the US. No place in Mexico has to allow your service dog to enter, as they don't have laws about that there. The ADA is meaningless outside of the US.

4. Vaccination Status (from Vet.) Must be current on Rabies/DHLPP(tag #/Serial # and type of vaccine will be on the form.)

(the Vet form will state expiration dates on these vacc. This form should also mention Heartguard use and Advantix (whichever you use for flea and ticks). MAKE SURE YOUR WELL WITHIN THE EXP. DATES.

Heartworm prevention (not just the brand you happen to use, by the way) and flea/tick prevention (not just the brand and type you happen to use, as well) are also not requirements on any document I have seen for Mexico.

5. NCL requires a Dept. of Food and Agriculture form. A visit to your vet will get you this. (He/she has the forms.)

We're going on RCCL, not NCL. I don't think they can require a form that isn't needed to enter the countries, however, as the courts have ruled the cruise lines do fall under the ADA.

 

Taking your service dogs onto land in some of the ports....is just NOT a good idea, anyway! Many of them, as I've said before have NO LEASH or VACCINATION LAWS! PROTECT YOUR SERVICE DOG!

 

True, one must be very careful. And not just with other dogs in the port, but people, too! Be careful where you go.

 

The experience of cruising is such a wonderful one...and, has become "about the ship" sometimes, for us! You will love these amazing ships and what they have to offer, while in port. You, virtually, have the ship to yourselves and there's always something to do! The casino and shopping will be closed but the crew have classes/games and just plain relaxing available all day! There won't be long lines or traffic issues.....it a joy!!!!!

Yeah, I really hope that most ppl get off the ship at the ports. That'll be really nice! :)

 

I promise you will love cruising, even if you can't go into some of the ports. On sea days the gift shops will be open and the myriad of things to buy is endless!

Myriad of things to buy - that could be dangerous!!! :D

 

The windchime idea is wonderful....however, it's not always used. Don't depend on it. The potty box will be set up in an area that is very accessible for you. If it is not.....let the "Information Desk" or Hotel Manager know and they will have it moved to a more convenient spot for you. They want you happy!

I meant she should bring their own windchime. I don't know if the cruise line has one of their own or not. Sorry for not being clear about that.

 

Having your information put into the daily paper is a great idea! Tell them that there will be a "petting time" when guests will be allowed to touch your dog........they will love this and you for it!

A lot of service dog users don't want to encourage ppl to pat their dogs.

 

The ship may tell you they do not have an empty room available for the dogs to roam freely. If you wait until it's a port day and most everyone leaves the ship, you will find an empty lounge, on your own as we have done. And, we let her off leash and throw her ball, she loves it! There may be a crew member in the lounge repairing or painting something (they use these days to clean-up the ship), don't let him/her stop you....it's your ship to enjoy!!!!!!

I would discourage this practice. It doesn't mesh with service dog etiquette. If the room was closed off for your use, that's fine. But your service dog shouldn't be off-leash in a public place (except if it needs to be for doing a task, of course, but then it isn't really loose, just working off-leash).

 

Many times I will put Brenda into a seat in the theatre....just for her own safety....she is black....and, when lights go out, she's invisible! I feel more comfortable about her not being stepped on. I have never had anyone complain about it! I also carry "Caution Tape" with me. I keep it all rolled up in my purse and I use it when I go to the movies or can not put her up on a seat (it's yellow & black) and can be seen in the dark. I lay her between two seats or in a handicapped area and string the tape across the two seats. (You can find the tape in a hardware store.)

Service dogs should NEVER be up on furniture in a public place (unless needed for a task). It's not only part of basic service dog etiquette, but common courtesy for others around you and who come after you (especially if you have a dog that sheds, also fitting for those who have to clean the place) and for the sake of service dog teams those ppl might come across later on. Your dog should be on the floor between or next to your legs. Ppl who are stepping near her would know she is there bec. you would tell them, as they'd also be stepping over you, so nobody is going to sneak up and step there. You can also put something glow-in-the-dark on her (i.e. the pack I use behind my dog's harness is embroidered with glow-in-the-dark thread that says "SERVICE DOG" and "DO NOT TOUCH").

 

I ALWAYS enter or exit the plane/train/bus/cruise ship before anyone, with the other handicapped or preferred guests. You may have to request this from the registration/security people prior to doing it. I have never been refused. This will allow you to pre-board and go to the Information Desk to find the location of the potty-box/explore the ship; before the rest of the passengers board.

 

That's great that you have never been refused, but others, including myself, have. I don't except pre-boarding anymore, although one of the last times I flew the ladies at the gate were surprised I wasn't already lined up at the gate, LOL. It just depends on who is working at the time! It isn't a big deal for me, although if I have a window seat on the plane, it is best if I am seated before the others in my row so that they won't have to get up out of the seats and wait in the aisle while I get my dog's mat out of the bag, put it down, put the bag in the overhead, get my dog down, and get myself down. (I don't do well stepping over ppl's feet/legs - I may end up in their lap! :eek: )

 

Even if you are able bodied (not in a wheelchair) but you do have a service dog.....go to the handicapped registration area. You have the right to be there.....don't be hesitant or shy about getting special privledges.....your dog must be protected from the hordes of other people's feet! The registration folks will see your dog and know that he/she is with you for a special reason. They are not permitted to ask what the dog does for you. Some still ask out of curiosity. You would laugh at some of the answers I've given them!

Under the ADA, they are allowed to ask what the dog does for you. A lot of ppl do ask just out of curiosity, though, like you said. I'd love to hear some of your answers, though! :p

 

And, if you've never cruised before, you won't believe the hordes of people's feet you & your dog will be encountering!!!!!!!! Protect them!!!

We've been in lots of crowded places before - nothing new to us. My dog isn't small, so ppl see her.

 

I do allow people to touch Brenda....only upon being asked first. It's very difficult for some people, who are missing their furry friends, to hold back. And, rather than having them "stealing pets", when I'm not looking I allow them to touch her........Brenda loves, loves children and when the parents see the children walking right up to her nose and see her, with her loving eyes and sniffing at their faces....they light up!

I do hope you explain that not every service dog handler allows their dog to be patted. Most do not want their dogs distracted from their job, especially dogs who alert to sounds, medical problems, and other things or otherwise needs to keep their person safe.

 

I have literally turned a "sour on dogs" ogretype person into a very gentle, loving soul after he watched Brenda interact with his grandson! I don't give much time for this..... I give her a "release" command, I allow just short pets and interactions and then she's put right back to work.

I sometimes allow friends to pat my dog once I give the appropriate command (to the dog, that is, LOL) and occassionally strangers, but I don't make a habit of it and usually say no. My dog is there to work, not to entertain ppl or make them feel warm and fuzzy. She has plenty of time when she's not working to be spoiled (and boy is she ever! LOL. I'm sure your dog is, too).

 

Unfortunately, you will find that the elevators on cruise ships are highly used and are, usually, always very full. It's a perfect time for me to show how well behaved she is with the above command and some "down time" with inquisitive and friendly fellow passengers. They will love you the rest of the cruise for this! And become more welcoming. I do realize that with "seeing eye dogs", this may not be possible! Use your good judgment...and know that most people who ask about the dog and true "dog lovers!"

We're used to very full elevators, as well. I always put her in the corner against the wall in a sit or stand. She knows this and goes there automatically as soon as we enter an elevator unless we're alone in it or with only one or so other person. I'm not sure if you were saying you let your dog say hi to ppl while you were waiting for the elevator or while in the elevator, but I don't think a crowded elevator is the best place to give your dog a release command.

I have business cards in my dog's pack and may give to ppl who are curious about my dog. (Giving it to them depends on if I remember to and/or if I can easily and quickly get them out at the time.)

 

Don't be turned off by some of the "hoops and whistles" it appears you'll have to go through.......just don't get off the ship!

Hoops and whistles? Never heard that phrase before - just the one about jumping through hoops. I like it, though - very cute!

 

When they anchor the ship, near land and you can see the hills/homes/villages/flora and fawna right from the deck or from your veranda; it's all you need! IMHO! Getting into a tour bus (that may or may not have air conditioning) or battling the crowds on a humid/dirty/crowded back street is just not always necessary to get the "lay of the land!" The food and ambiance of the country, your visiting, can be enjoyed, right on board!

I'm hoping our balcony will face the ports instead of the ocean. It'd be nice to sit out there and look at the countries we won't be visiting. I do wish I could go to Hell in Grand Cayman, just to say I've been to Hell (LOL), but oh well! I told my friend to see if she can find one of those shirts that say something like, "My friends went to Hell and all they got me was this lousy shirt!" Haha!

 

Some ships bring the local culture on board to entertain you and you can purchase the very same "goodies" right in the gift shop!

 

I am reached through email notification....

 

Relax, bring your service dog with you and have a wonderful cruise!!!!!!

 

The gift shop could be a very dangerous place.... :p

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I would like to caution people that the dog relieving facility may not be consistently what the cruiseline says. Princess gave our service dog a piece of astroturf in a stairwell...he thought it was carpet and would not use it. Holland gave him a box that said for animals up to 35 pounds and he weighs 100 pounds...he became very precise. Celebrity has consistenly been the four by four box with mulch. Also, he absolutely would not use a practice box at home. His attitude was the yard is right there. On the ship, no problem.

 

If you feel comfortable leaving your dog with someone else, we have found that the people in guest relations have always been delighted to dogsit when we have been in a port where the dog could not get off the ship. We have left him on the ship at least once on every cruise he's been on (7). We have his water bowl, leash, and a toy for the sitters. They all have a good time and so does he. I know that option does work for everyone, but it does for us.

 

Our overall experience has been wonderful. There has never been a crew member who treated us negatively in any way, and we have met many more fellow passengers than we ever did pre-dog.

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Under the ADA, they are allowed to ask what the dog does for you. A lot of ppl do ask just out of curiosity, though, like you said. I'd love to hear some of your answers, though! :p

Totally unrelated to cruising, but perhaps you can confirm my understanding of this point of the ADA. People who are serving you are not allowed to ask what your disability is but they can ask what the dog does for you. For example, if a person in a wheelchair who works with a service dog is asked this question, they might say "she helps me stand if I need to" or "he holds doors open for me if they're not automatic" but they shouldn't be expected to say "I have MS" or "I am partially paralyzed" or something like that. Is that correct?

 

I mention "people who are serving you" because obviously the general public has no idea of this - I have seen people ask friends "why do you need a dog?" and they will either say "because I am deaf" or "because I am visually impaired" or simply the "what she does for me" routine. I have noticed that children especially are more likely to say "what's wrong with you?" rather than "what does the dog do?" But people who are serving you - individuals or corporations or whatever - are not allowed to ask the "what's wrong with you" question. Is that right?

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Holland gave him a box that said for animals up to 35 pounds and he weighs 100 pounds...he became very precise.

 

Yikes! How big was the box, do you recall?

 

Celebrity has consistenly been the four by four box with mulch. Also, he absolutely would not use a practice box at home. His attitude was the yard is right there. On the ship, no problem.

 

Haha, I wouldn't be surprised if my dog did the same thing! "What are we doing here? The yard is over there!" At the office, the only place to go is a strip of mulch, so I know she is fine with mulch (and has used it other places, as well). But, at least it will be winter when I'll be trying the practice box, so maybe I'll try it out first when it is inclement weather so she'll want to come inside right after going. :)

 

Our overall experience has been wonderful. There has never been a crew member who treated us negatively in any way, and we have met many more fellow passengers than we ever did pre-dog.

 

That's good to hear. How has your experience in the ports been as far as ppl treating you and also access?

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Totally unrelated to cruising, but perhaps you can confirm my understanding of this point of the ADA. People who are serving you are not allowed to ask what your disability is but they can ask what the dog does for you. For example, if a person in a wheelchair who works with a service dog is asked this question, they might say "she helps me stand if I need to" or "he holds doors open for me if they're not automatic" but they shouldn't be expected to say "I have MS" or "I am partially paralyzed" or something like that. Is that correct?

 

Yup, you've got it. :) A business can't require you tell them what your disability is (that is legally confidential info., after all!), but they can ask what tasks the dog does so that they have some way of determining a real service dog from a pet (it is crazy, but some folks try to bring their pets in restaurants and other no-pets places by telling the place it is a service dog!). A person can tell ppl their disability if they want to, of course, but they are not required to tell anybody if they don't want to.

 

Myself, the mobility harness I use with my dog is pretty darn apparent ;) so if ppl ask what she does for me, I tell them she helps me walk. Ppl accept that and don't ask further about what the exact tasks are (i.e. balance, counterbalance, momentum pull, etc.). I do usually also say she retrieves things for me, though, which is an exact task. Mostly it is the curious public who ask, though - I think I've only ever been asked by a business twice, both times which were in airports (security ppl walking around, not an airline or the security check folks).

 

I mention "people who are serving you" because obviously the general public has no idea of this - I have seen people ask friends "why do you need a dog?" and they will either say "because I am deaf" or "because I am visually impaired" or simply the "what she does for me" routine. I have noticed that children especially are more likely to say "what's wrong with you?" rather than "what does the dog do?" But people who are serving you - individuals or corporations or whatever - are not allowed to ask the "what's wrong with you" question. Is that right?

 

Correct. The ADA doesn't cover the curious public, just public places (and, therefore, those who work there). And, yup, many in the public are pretty curious (guess they didn't hear that tale about the cat...). I've gotten the "What's wrong with you?" question before from an elderly lady, but never from children. A lot of children I've come across must've learned about service dogs in school or their parents taught them, as they know what to do when they see one. Some kids learn on the spot as their parents explain to them why the dog is there and how it is working and such.

 

One crazy thing I heard once was a lady who knew she couldn't pat my dog, but said aloud to me that it wasn't fair I could bring such a cute dog in and she couldn't pat it! :rolleyes:

 

Some ppl take photos of my dog, usually with permission but at least one time that I know of without permission. Hopefully all of the pics are just of the dog and not me! ;)

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This is a very informative thread. Thanks to all who have posted here. I have found many threads about traveling with a wheelchair; but very few about traveling with your service partner.

My daughter received her service dog last year. We have cruised with them three times to Nassau, so I know the paperwork for the Bahamas. This year they will be cruising with us to Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Mexico (in that order). They will be staying on the ship in both Jamaica and Grand Cayman; but may want to get off in Mexico.

Other than an international health certificate, is there any thing else she would need to do or have to get off in Mexico? Any special tests, lab work? How about getting back into the US? Are there any special concerns with taking your service dog into Mexico?

One other question. Have any of you been given sod in the relif box, instead of mulch, when traveling with Royal Caribbean? If so what did you have to do to insure that you had sod?

We will be traveling on the Liberty, if this makes any difference.

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This is a very informative thread. Thanks to all who have posted here. I have found many threads about traveling with a wheelchair; but very few about traveling with your service partner.

Yeah, there isn't much info. out there on going on a cruise with a service dog at all. You'd think there would be, with the number of ppl I've come across that have done it (several ppl on this board, somebody on a non-cruise board, ppl who have talked about seeing a service dog onboard, and a travel agency that puts together service dog user cruises). (I haven't ever gone on a cruise yet.)

 

My daughter received her service dog last year. We have cruised with them three times to Nassau, so I know the paperwork for the Bahamas.

We go to the Bahamas, too, just by air instead of ship. :) Aren't the folks at the Humane Society in Nassau really nice?!

This year they will be cruising with us to Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Mexico (in that order). They will be staying on the ship in both Jamaica and Grand Cayman; but may want to get off in Mexico.

I'm curious to know what's keeping you from Cayman - the price of the vet stuff? The hassle of it? Can't fit the time requirements? For me, it is the price and hassle.

 

Other than an international health certificate, is there any thing else she would need to do or have to get off in Mexico? Any special tests, lab work? How about getting back into the US? Are there any special concerns with taking your service dog into Mexico?

Read some of the above posts - Mexico is mentioned and the link I gave before to the US gov't site that lists the requirements for many countries (for pets, not specifically service dogs) has Mexico on it. Mexico needs a health certificate, no rabies titer or anything. US needs a health certificate.

I have heard there are many loose dogs in Mexico, so be cautious. You may wish to carry some DirectStop (I think that's the name) spray, which you can get at the pet store (I know I've seen it at Petsmart before) or an online pet store. It is a citrus spray that you can spray at the attacking dog to distract it. Most dogs don't like citrus (although who knows - maybe in Mexico they do!) and the spray action will distract them and all. Remember to pack it in your airplane checked baggage, not carry-on baggage, if you are flying to the port.

 

One other question. Have any of you been given sod in the relif box, instead of mulch, when traveling with Royal Caribbean? If so what did you have to do to insure that you had sod?

I haven't sailed yet, but did think of asking them for sod/turf. I decided not to, though, so never asked if it was a possibility. You should call the Access Desk (you can find the number here on the board somewhere - I think even in the first page of this thread, maybe) and ask about it.

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On the turf issue, we have asked for it on every single cruise, and we have never received it. On Celebrity, it's been the mulch. On Holland, it was dog litter and the box was like a big cat box. He had to straddle it. On Princess, they started with astroturf, moved to a sheet of cardboard, moved to terra cotta pellets that I believe would be used in floral arrangements, and moved to sawdust. We have not been back on Princess since that experience, but I know others have had very different experiences, including group cruises. The first couple of cruises, the dog was not wild about the box and he would wait everyday to see if we were going ashore before he would use it. Now it's fine with him and he'll use the box even when he can see that we are docked.

 

He loves sailing and will even sit out on the balcony by himself on occasion and look out to sea.

 

Our last three cruises have been Alaska, Hawaii, and back to Alaska again. Interestingly, we had more challenges on the Hawaii cruise than all the others put together, including an open air restaurant that tried to deny us access. In the Caribbean, if the dog could get off the ship at all, we generally have had no problems. We did have a restaurant in Aruba tell us that we couldn't come in, but we have eaten other places in the Caribbean without a problem. Anywhere in the Caribbean or Mexico, you do have to keep an eye out for stray dogs.

 

BTW, on our May cruise to Alaska, there were three dogs, all from Guide Dogs for the Blind. One belonged to a friend who was vacationing with us, and the other belonged to one of the priests onboard.

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Roz, Just wanted to say thanks for all your help and to tell you that Brenda is beautiful!!

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Oh, you really should take her to Disney with you! They are really great about service dogs being there....

 

Another option you can do if you either are solo or have a big hankering for going on rides with the only other person in your party is you can drop your dog off at the park's kennels (just outside the park's gates) while you go do the ride you want to do that your dog can't go on. It is free....

 

My service dog loved Disney World. Her favorite ride was Pirates of the Caribbean (but I think that might have something to do with Captain Jack Sparrow being in it now... ;) ). We had no problems there.

Quampapetet, when I phoned Disney World's kennels they told me they charge for kenneling dogs.

 

And I had no idea you could take an SD on any of the rides! Ruby is a small Lab, but still 60 lbs. I can't imagine getting her into a Pirates of the Caribbean boat! What breed is your SD?

 

Regardless, my DH won't allow Ruby to come with us, anyway, seeing her inclusion as yet another hassle besides the wheelchair. So to keep the peace I leave her crated at home and limit our DW visits to just a couple of hours. For longer absences I have to leave her with a neighbor since my DH doesn't want her to fly or cruise with us, either. Ah, well. I suppose Ruby is better off even though I'm not sure that I am. :(

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On the turf issue, we have asked for it on every single cruise, and we have never received it.

 

I wonder if they can't do turf because of different countries' importation of soil laws?

 

On Princess, they started with astroturf, moved to a sheet of cardboard, moved to terra cotta pellets that I believe would be used in floral arrangements, and moved to sawdust.

 

:eek: A sheet of cardboard?!?! Are they crazy?! A sheet of cardboard can't even hold that much liquid!

 

The first couple of cruises, the dog was not wild about the box and he would wait everyday to see if we were going ashore before he would use it. Now it's fine with him and he'll use the box even when he can see that we are docked.

 

Smart dog! :)

 

He loves sailing and will even sit out on the balcony by himself on occasion and look out to sea.

 

Aww! Got any photos of that?

 

Our last three cruises have been Alaska, Hawaii, and back to Alaska again. Interestingly, we had more challenges on the Hawaii cruise than all the others put together, including an open air restaurant that tried to deny us access.

 

Wow, weird! I've been to restaurants here on the mainland US where they allow pet dogs in their outside seating areas.

 

In the Caribbean, if the dog could get off the ship at all, we generally have had no problems. We did have a restaurant in Aruba tell us that we couldn't come in, but we have eaten other places in the Caribbean without a problem.

 

That's good to know. I haven't had any problems in the Bahamas once the whole service dog concept is explained to them (they don't have service dogs there - one guy tried having a guide dog once, but was denied access so much that he gave up, according to somebody we spoke to who lives there).

 

BTW, on our May cruise to Alaska, there were three dogs, all from Guide Dogs for the Blind. One belonged to a friend who was vacationing with us, and the other belonged to one of the priests onboard.

 

That is cool that one of the priests onboard has a guide dog! :)

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Quampapetet, when I phoned Disney World's kennels they told me they charge for kenneling dogs.

 

They do charge to kennel pets there for the day and/or night. They don't charge if you want to leave your service dog for an hour/couple of hours while you do things in the park that she can't go on or wouldn't be good for your particular dog to do. Remember to mention your dog is your service dog for your disabilities. If you get the same answer, speak with someone higher up in the chain of command.

 

And I had no idea you could take an SD on any of the rides! Ruby is a small Lab, but still 60 lbs. I can't imagine getting her into a Pirates of the Caribbean boat! What breed is your SD?

 

Yup, they can go on most rides - just not ones that have height restrictions or would otherwise not work with a service dog on it (such as Soarin'). Disney's Web site's accessibility guide lists all the rides service dogs can't go on (they also list some that they "don't recommend" - I think that's 'cause they don't understand how service dogs are trained to be fine with most noises and sights and such - but it is fine to bring them on those rides). All the rides that aren't listed as ones they are not allowed on, they can go on. We did things like The Great Movie Ride, Haunted Mansion, Pirates, small world, The Seas w/Nemo, Spaceship Earth, Buzz Lightyear, and others. She couldn't go on things like Test Track, Mission: SPACE, Splash Mountain, etc. so my friend held her at the exit for me and then we switched places (if my friend wanted to ride the ride).

 

There are certain seats on some rides that are better for service dogs than others. Like on Pirates and small world, the front seat is a bit roomier. Of course, they can also put less ppl in the row to give your dog the floor space of where that person would've been instead. Some rides also have wheelchair boats/sections you can use for extra space (one ride, I think The Great Movie Ride, sat us automatically in this section).

 

My dog is a Portuguese Water Dog. She's a little smaller than your dog, but if you sit your dog in the footspace next to you, instead of in front of you (on top of your feet), she'd fit.

 

Regardless, my DH won't allow Ruby to come with us, anyway, seeing her inclusion as yet another hassle besides the wheelchair. So to keep the peace I leave her crated at home and limit our DW visits to just a couple of hours. For longer absences I have to leave her with a neighbor since my DH doesn't want her to fly or cruise with us, either. Ah, well. I suppose Ruby is better off even though I'm not sure that I am. :(

 

Sounds like your hubby isn't yet fully keen on the idea of your having a service dog. :( That stinks. I'm not married, but I've heard some hubbies take it to mean you don't need/want their help anymore.

 

Going to Disney really isn't all that different from going anywhere else with your dog. Plus, it is fun to show your dog all the sights and sounds of Disney! :p

 

Flying isn't too difficult with a dog, either - I recommend the bulkhead row (though now some planes are being made where the bulkhead is the exit row so you can't sit there, GRR!! Look for a plane that isn't like that!). My dog has been on at least 16 flights so far.

 

Cruising, well, I'll tell you about that after we try it. :)

 

I hope you get your hubby to see that you need your SD! I hope you are able to take her with you next time. If you do, post here and we can all give you tips on flying with a service dog.

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My name got attached to the quotes about the husband not wanting to take the dog to Disney, flying or cruising....that wasn't me!

 

My husband is actually the service dog user in our family, but I would never object to the dog going anywhere with us. About the only place we do not take him is rock concerts because of the noise and the zoo.

 

I dearly love that dog, and I have told my husband that if we ever split up, I get the dog. He tells me it doesn't work that way, so I guess we have to stay together.:D

 

Really I don't know how someone objects after they see the dog at work. My husband has been visually impaired his whole life, but it's gradually gotten worse as he's gotten older. He's very independent, and I used to worry about him all the time when he was off on his own. Since he's had Hero, I don't worry about him. If nothing else, we have found that people rush to help you when you have a dog. When people see a cane user, they seem to rush the other way.

 

We just had a little incident yesterday. We were at a farm market (outside) and a teenager who worked there came up and kind of stammered something about the dog, and I cut him off and said, "he's a service dog." My husband always says he wants to tell them the dog just likes to dress up funny in leather, but he generally restrains himself. Kind of like the second time we were cruising on Celebrity, we were walking into the terminal with Hero, and a man (official) came up to us, and asked if we were the people with the dog. No, that's our son, he has a hair problem, why do you ask. ;)

 

More power to all of you with service dogs.

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Quam: I truly appreciate your enthusiasm....it can be contagious! And who doesn't want that?

Rangeley: Thank you for your kind words!!!!! I think she is the most beautiful dog in the world!!!!

Quam: Please take this in the spirit in which it is intended; I don't think it's a good idea to judge each other on how effective or where it's best for our service dogs to be released/sit/work/play or how we, as individuals use our service dogs or how we adapt them to the public.

 

We all use our service dogs for various reasons and what works best for each one of us is what we ALL should feel free to do (within the guidelines of our service dog license.) Without being judged by each other.......

God knows, we have the general public who may judge and collectively make it more difficult for us.....

As far as costs are concerned for any tests that are required for a service dog....please contact the IAADP - International Association of Assistance Dog Partners..they have special programs that will help you defray any costs that are exorbinate for any person who has an assistance dog. Their website is www.iaadp.org. They do have a membership fee but it's minimal and the good that you will get from them, is well worth it!

 

In answer to the question about the litter used: HAL offered a potty box that was 4x3 (smaller than most) and they put sod in it. At first, the sod was upside down..and, Brenda didn't seem to mind to go on the dirt side....so, I left it that way.

 

Most ships will use whatever they want....it's very difficult to get that part of cruising, with Brenda, to change.....so, I bring my own bag of cedar mulch, it's not expensive, it's light in weight and if I don't use it...I just leave it there!

 

Princess uses a cardboard box...very light weight and they filled it with sawdust, I interspered the mulch with it and it was perfect for an 8 day cruise. It really would have been okay for a 14 day or longer cruise, as well!

I encourage EVERYONE to take their service dogs, wherever they go....that being said....do what works best for you, as an individual!

Be brave; be insistent; be a good caretaker and watchguard for these amazingly brilliant and wonderful workers!

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Roz, I'm glad you mentioned IAADP. We get glucosamine and fish oil for Hero through them. I'd encourage everyone to take a look at their website.

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My name got attached to the quotes about the husband not wanting to take the dog to Disney, flying or cruising....that wasn't me!

 

Whoops! Sorry 'bout that. I copy & paste the quote/name section and either I must've forgotten to re-copy the new name or my computer didn't copy it when I asked it to (sometimes it does that for some reason - I'll select something, do ctrl+C, then go to paste it and nothing will paste or something I'd previously copied will paste! Then I try it again and it works). This time I'll get it right. ;)

 

My husband is actually the service dog user in our family, but I would never object to the dog going anywhere with us. About the only place we do not take him is rock concerts because of the noise and the zoo.

 

I dearly love that dog, and I have told my husband that if we ever split up, I get the dog. He tells me it doesn't work that way, so I guess we have to stay together.:D

 

LOL!!!!! :D That's too cute!

 

Really I don't know how someone objects after they see the dog at work. My husband has been visually impaired his whole life, but it's gradually gotten worse as he's gotten older. He's very independent, and I used to worry about him all the time when he was off on his own. Since he's had Hero, I don't worry about him. If nothing else, we have found that people rush to help you when you have a dog. When people see a cane user, they seem to rush the other way.

 

Yeah, I've heard lots of stories of how family members were unsure of the person getting a service dog, but then after seeing the dog work and how it has helped the person, they're all for it! My family was like that, too, both with getting my dog at first and then getting the mobility harness (only took one use of the harness for them to "get it", though).

 

That stinks that ppl rush the other way when seeing a cane user, though!!! :(

 

We just had a little incident yesterday. We were at a farm market (outside) and a teenager who worked there came up and kind of stammered something about the dog, and I cut him off and said, "he's a service dog." My husband always says he wants to tell them the dog just likes to dress up funny in leather, but he generally restrains himself. Kind of like the second time we were cruising on Celebrity, we were walking into the terminal with Hero, and a man (official) came up to us, and asked if we were the people with the dog. No, that's our son, he has a hair problem, why do you ask. ;)

 

LOL!!! What? No dog here? Why do you think we're the ppl with a dog?! :p Haha, that is a good one.

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Please take this in the spirit in which it is intended; I don't think it's a good idea to judge each other on how effective or where it's best for our service dogs to be released/sit/work/play or how we, as individuals use our service dogs or how we adapt them to the public.

 

We all use our service dogs for various reasons and what works best for each one of us is what we ALL should feel free to do (within the guidelines of our service dog license.) Without being judged by each other.......

 

God knows, we have the general public who may judge and collectively make it more difficult for us.....

The last sentence is exactly why we have to follow service dog etiquette and be careful what we do. I'm guessing you don't hang around too many service dog lists/groups? I'm on several (and have had to quit others for lack of time to spend on them) and etiquette is always a topic there. Ppl who try to pass their pets off as service dogs just to bring them places don't follow etiquette, but usually in a crazy way, like somebody who saw a lady in a restaurant feed her dog the restaurant food from the restaurant's plate with the dog on the seat next to her. :eek:

There are a few good Web sites on service dog etiquette. One has a nice workbook (.PDF file) for free: http://www.paws-up.net/EtiquetteforSDHandlers.pdf (or, for Braille Reader users, it is http://www.paws-up.net/files/workbook.brf ). I think the Delta Society also has something and IAADP might, too.

 

As far as costs are concerned for any tests that are required for a service dog....please contact the IAADP - International Association of Assistance Dog Partners..they have special programs that will help you defray any costs that are exorbinate for any person who has an assistance dog. Their website is www.iaadp.org. They do have a membership fee but it's minimal and the good that you will get from them, is well worth it!

Yup, I am a member - just renewed my membership the other week (well, did it before that but finally got the new card in the mail then) - and they are great. You get MUCH more than the cost of membership in savings out of it! It's so great! (I wish that RuffWear hadn't discontinued their 50% discount, though! That was a great one!)

IAADP now has 50% off rabies titer tests from Kansas State, which saves you $20. If you use a VCA vet, you can save 10% on the vet fees, but it would still be expensive to do the blood draw and other required things. My vet quoted me $130+ for just the blood draw for the rabies titer. I do yearly titers for the other vaccinations and they certainly don't cost anything like that, so there must be something special about the rabies one that costs that much! (And, yes, I did make sure they didn't include the price of the test in that cost.) Add on the price of the visit itself (usually $25), the visit for the rabies vaccination plus the rabies vaccine and any disposal fees, plus the price of the tapeworm treatment and tick treatment that is required within 14 days of entering Cayman, and it is quite pricey!

IAADP can't help with vacation expenses; they only help with emergencies where the treatment will restore the dog to working form.

 

In answer to the question about the litter used: HAL offered a potty box that was 4x3 (smaller than most) and they put sod in it. At first, the sod was upside down..and, Brenda didn't seem to mind to go on the dirt side....so, I left it that way.

 

Most ships will use whatever they want....it's very difficult to get that part of cruising, with Brenda, to change.....so, I bring my own bag of cedar mulch, it's not expensive, it's light in weight and if I don't use it...I just leave it there!

I know pretty much nothing about mulch (can ya tell I don't garden?!), but I asked my father today if cedar mulch is the kind that is used on our properties and he said it was. So that's good, as that's the same stuff used elsewhere, I think, so my dog has used that type of mulch before. It's just the small area she'll have to get used to - she likes to sniff around to find the perfect spot, usually someplace she hasn't yet gone. :rolleyes: Too bad you can't train dogs to use the toilet!! :p

 

Princess uses a cardboard box...very light weight and they filled it with sawdust, I interspered the mulch with it and it was perfect for an 8 day cruise. It really would have been okay for a 14 day or longer cruise, as well!

 

I encourage EVERYONE to take their service dogs, wherever they go....that being said....do what works best for you, as an individual!

 

Be brave; be insistent; be a good caretaker and watchguard for these amazingly brilliant and wonderful workers!

 

The cardboard didn't leak at all? That is really good! Guess the sawdust must've soaked it all up well.

 

Hey, I just thought - do they put the boxes where they can be rained upon? 'Cause what happens if you get a huge downpour and the box fills up with water and is a huge mess and all?!

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Roz, I'm glad you mentioned IAADP. We get glucosamine and fish oil for Hero through them. I'd encourage everyone to take a look at their website.

 

Hey, we get the Dasuquin (just switched to it from Cosequin this week) and Welactin from them, too! :D Now if only they can work out a deal for free PlaqueOff, I'd be a happy camper! (PlaqueOff is a new product that is 100% natural seaweed of a certain type that actually fights plaque and stuff from collecting on teeth [they have a version for humans, too]. You just sprinkle it on the dog's food [the human version is a capsule you swallow]. But it is like $25 for a little bottle that lasts 3 months for a large dog, 6 months for a medium dog, and 12 months for a small dog. Worth it for the small dog users, but ouch for the large dog users!)

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TEETH/GUM ISSUES IN DOGS & CATS: During our classes and before I graduated from CCI (Canine Companions for Indepence), we were taught about teeth and gum maintenance.

We were given a bag of CET Chews (made by Virbac); they are a large "chew type stick", with a smell like a pot roast cooking. We were told by the Vet that these chews had a natural oral defense mechanism that dogs love. Once they start chewing them there is an enzyme that is released that will clean the dogs teeth/gums and breath and when the chew hits the stomach it literally dissolves. I can't believe how much Brenda loves them. You must be careful to be present when they're chewing them because the dog tends to want to swallow them too quickly.

We've been using the chews for over 5 years and guess what....every time we go in for a teeth cleaning the Vet wants to know how I keep her teeth and gums looking so good and sends me away!

You can't find them everywhere. I buy them from Entirely Pets.Com....look under "Dental Products!" We have a Vets office, near my office who sells them for twice as much as I can get online!

Now, my entire office and family uses them....they're a miracle! :)

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We were given a bag of CET Chews (made by Virbac); they are a large "chew type stick", with a smell like a pot roast cooking.

 

I think I've seen those before. Whoops, checked the site - guess I haven't. Thought the name sounded familiar, though.

 

They'd be a lot more expensive to feed than the PlaqueOff, though, if I fed one chew per day.

 

I'm thinking of getting the for-humans version of PO for myself, but I don't like pills/capsules, so that's my only hesitation.

 

Don't forget about brushing your dog's teeth, too! That's important. :) I like the Triple Pet (I think it is called) brush - it has three heads to surround the teeth so it cuts your brushing time by two-thirds. I use their vanilla doggy toothpaste, too. (Never use human's toothpaste on a dog!)

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Hi All:

 

So happy to find this thread and to read all the comments.

 

I have Canada's second smallest guide dog. He is a guide dog for the deaf. His name is Oslo and he is a miniature apricot poodle.

 

We have been on Princess, Carnival, Holland America, MSC and next month RCCL.

 

Princess, Carnival and Holland America provided a 4 x 4 box for Oslo on an outside out of the way deck. One box had the pellets and the others the mulch. They also provided assistive devices.

 

RCCL has already called me re the trip next month to ask whether Oslo would like grass or mulch.

 

 

People have also dropped their cigarette butts in the box. If there is no waste in the box, I think they assume it is for use.

 

Except for US ports, I don't take Oslo ashore. Very concerned about dogs on the loose. He has already been attached twice by dogs off lead.

 

I too find an out of the way place to take Oslo off lead, for him to run and play. He needs to expend some energy.

 

 

Again, so nice to find this thread and to hear everyone's comments.

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Hi All:

 

So happy to find this thread and to read all the comments.

 

I have Canada's second smallest guide dog. He is a guide dog for the deaf. His name is Oslo and he is a miniature apricot poodle.

 

Welcome to the thread! :) Your hearing dog sounds cute. I've seen apricot Mini Poodles before (though not as well-behaved as I'm sure your SD is!) and they are cute little dogs. Hey, so what kind of dog is the smallest, if yours is the second smallest? The Mini Poodles I've seen are pretty small!

 

We have been on Princess, Carnival, Holland America, MSC and next month RCCL.

 

Awesome! I'll be going on my first cruise on RCCL in the spring.

 

Princess, Carnival and Holland America provided a 4 x 4 box for Oslo on an outside out of the way deck. One box had the pellets and the others the mulch. They also provided assistive devices.

 

RCCL has already called me re the trip next month to ask whether Oslo would like grass or mulch.

 

Did your dog like the pellets, unlike one/some of the other dog(s) on this thread?

 

Did they put your box under a covered area? Or what happened when it rained - did the box fill up with water?

 

That's great that RCCL asked if you wanted grass or mulch! My dog is fine with either, but grass is her preferred surface. I hope they call to ask me the same question before my trip! It'll make picking up her "deposits" a bit easier, anyway. (The form RCCL gives you that calls it the dog "discharging" cracked me up, LOL!)

 

 

People have also dropped their cigarette butts in the box. If there is no waste in the box, I think they assume it is for use.

 

That stinks. That can be dangerous, especially if the dog handler doesn't see them in there! I will definitely be making a sign for the box for my trip!

 

Except for US ports, I don't take Oslo ashore. Very concerned about dogs on the loose. He has already been attached twice by dogs off lead.

 

That's too bad. :( I think smaller dogs get attacked more often. A neighbor here lets his two German Shepherds run amok off-leash - and one of them went on another neighbor's property and picked up one of their little dogs in his mouth! Thankfully, the little dog is okay!! You can bet that the owner was ticked, though! The owner of the Shepherds wasn't phased - a week or two later he was walking the dogs off-leash. I was out pottying my dog in our yard (she actually was on the driveway and happened to pee there, LOL - it isn't paved, but a bunch of rocks) and the dogs came right into the drive and surrounded her. Since she's not a small dog, though, they were just sniffing her, not attacking her. And the owner? Just kept calling for the dogs to come walk with him - not even attempting to go up to them and pull them by the collar off our property! :mad: And, yes, there IS a leash law here!!

 

I too find an out of the way place to take Oslo off lead, for him to run and play. He needs to expend some energy.

 

 

Again, so nice to find this thread and to hear everyone's comments.

 

It is great to have yet another SD user here. The more the merrier! If anybody else reading this who hasn't yet joined in has an SD, come join us! :)

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