Travelling with a service animal

PublicationsChecklist for travelling with an assistance animalAdditional requirements

Travelling with Animals that Provide Disability-Related Assistance

Take Charge of Your Travel: A Guide for Persons with Disabilities

Space for Service Dogs (Implementation Guide)

Reservation checklist

Travel documents for animals

Security screening at Canadian airports


What should you do if you're travelling with a service animal?

Before your trip

Before travel, you should:

  • Find out what information the carrier needs from you. You can consult a carrier's website or printed materials, or contact it directly.
  • Ask the carrier about its policies for assistance animals. Find out whether it requires any additional information or written documentation regarding the use of the animal.
  • Talk to the carrier at least 48 hours in advance. Let the carrier know that you plan to travel with an assistance animal. Companies are expected to meet disability-related needs for you when you give them at least 48 hours notice. With less than 48 hours notice, they should make a reasonable effort to help you. 
  • Ask about space for your animal.  You can ask the company to make sure that there is enough floor space for your service animal to remain at your feet, without extreme discomfort to you or your animal.
  • Confirm how far in advance of departure you should arrive at the terminal or station. You need to allow sufficient time for check-in, boarding, and individualized safety briefings or orientations, if required.
  • Find out where the relieving area is located. You can check the terminal's or station's website or contact them directly.
  • Find out if you need travel documents. Check to make sure you know about the different regulations for your service animal when travelling, especially to another country.

Note: Learn more about accessibility standards for travelling with animals that provide disability related assistance.

 Additional information carriers may require:

Carriers may need more information about your requirements. You should be prepared to explain that your animal provides disability-related assistance. You might need to provide additional information or medical documentation.

Carriers may also need information about the animal’s training and behaviour in public settings. You should be prepared to provide proof of any training or assurances about the animal’s behaviour.


Note: You should have control over your animal at all times.

At the airport

  • Ask to be guided to an area where the animal can relieve itself if necessary.
  • Be aware that the screening of passengers entering the secure zones and boarding areas may involve special procedures for assistance animals.

 Are you travelling outside of Canada?

  1. Find out about any regulations or restrictions related to the type of animal, travel, quarantine, or permit requirements that may apply in your destination country for travelling with an assistance animal.
  2. Find out whether your animal requires an international health certificate and/or proof of vaccination.
  3. Always carry all available certification for the animal, such as an international health certificate or a training certificate.

What are the responsibilities of service providers?

For persons with disabilities travelling within the federal transportation system, service providers must:

  • ensure that persons with disabilities have equal access to federal transportation services;
  • accommodate persons with disabilities, up to the point of undue hardship;
  • provide accommodation in a manner that respects the dignity of persons with disabilities; and
  • provide accommodation which considers persons’ unique disability-related needs.

Learn more about standards for accessibility.

How the Agency makes transportation accessible

It’s the Agency’s responsibility to ensure that all Canadians enjoy the same access to travel. 

The Agency ensures that any undue obstacles to the mobility of persons with disabilities are removed from transportation services and facilities under its jurisdiction. This includes airplanes, trains, and passenger ferries and buses that cross a provincial or Canadian border.

The Agency removes undue obstacles in three ways:

  1. on a case-by-case basis by resolving accessibility complaints; and
  2. on a systemic basis by developing regulations, codes of practice and standards and monitoring compliance.
  3. on an on-going basis by educating persons with disabilities and service providers about their right and responsibilities.
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