I was recently on a flight with a dog that appeared to use the mid-cabin lavatory for mid-flight relief. Is that appropriate?
Is It Appropriate For A Dog To Use Lavatory On Commercial Airplane Flight?
Midway though a four-hour flight, the woman across the aisle from me got up carrying her dog, with a “service” vest on it (“emotional support” dogs are now more closely regulated, but so-called “psychiatric service animals” can still fly for free and represent a huge loophole).
Three things suggested to me that the dog was not really a service dog. First, the passenger was speaking to the dog in baby talk, telling him that it was “potty time.” Thus, it seemed clear to me that this was not the way a trained service dog would be spoken to nor was it just the woman who was taking the dog with her while she used the restroom. Second, isn’t it true that service dogs are specifically trained to “hold it” for long periods of time, so a true service animal should not have needed to use the lavatory? I will add that as far as I could see, she was not carrying a mat or other absorbent pad. Third, are service animals carried like a baby? I thought they were trained to walk beside their people.
About five minutes later the two emerged from the lavatory. No, I did not go up and inspect its cleanliness.
I will add that the dog was very cute (reminded me of Ben and Ford’s dog, Winston), but I do wonder whether it is appropriate for a dog to use a passenger lavatory for mid-flight relief, assuming (for argument’s sake) that is what the dog did.
Certainly, going on a pad or directly in the toilet is far better than going on the floor or in a doggy diaper. But I tend to think that if a dog cannot hold it for a domestic flight, it probably should not be flying in the passenger cabin.
A dog appeared to use the passenger lavatory on a recent flight to take care of business in the middle of the flight. Is this appropriate if properly cleaned up? For me, I always come back to the point that somehow in Europe and Asia and the rest of the world we rarely see dogs on planes…only in the USA.