Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cruising Necessities - Dog Potty!

Dog Potty.  This is, of course, one of the most important tasks to sort out with the cruise line. 
Cruise Provisions.  Each cruise will provide some facility for your service dog to “go” in.  While I’ve attempted to gather relevant information from across different websites, you should check directly with your cruise line, as things do change. 
Here are some notes on various cruise lines, thanks to the Cruise Critic message board:
·         Celebrity uses a 4x4 wooden box (sturdily built) and filled with cyprus mulch. They placed it on deck 4 (starboard, forward), where the public does not go (unless it's an Alaskan cruise.)
·         Princess uses a 4x6 sturdy box (sturdily built) filled with cyprus mulch. They place the box in variable locations, but typically close to your cabin.  They may place the box on a deck that used by smokers who drop their cigarette butts in the box. You should request that it be moved.
·         NCL uses a 4x4 wooden box (sturdily built), with a plastic liner and wood chips (the kind you see in gardens). It is typically placed close to the cabin.  One cruiser noted that the box was place 20 feet from her cabin, in a laundry room that the crew used for washing their mops. It had the words "crew only" on the door and it was most convenient.
·         Holland America uses a 4x3 wood box (smaller than the rest), (sturdily built), with sod, (the kind used for lawns.) Be careful where it is placed! If on the "wrap around" deck, where people would do their jogging or walking, it may be a bit distracting for your dog.
·         Carnival uses a 4x4 wooden box filled with paper pellets.
·         Cunard 4x6 plastic box (sturdily built) with cyprus mulch on the bottom.
Cunard provided this nice dog potty!
Alternative Provisions.  In addition to what the cruise line provides, you may want to bring your own dog potty.  Especially, if your cruise is on the longer side, (over 10 days) you may want to consider bringing your own to put on your personal deck (if available).  Asta is trained to go on artificial grass here at home.  My mom lives in an apartment with a large balcony, so the dog potty stays outside, where she can go when she wants.  Put a disposable pee pad under the artificial grass, and clean up is easy!    Pup-Head makes a small 20" x 20" plastic tray with decent quality artificial grass - good for travel.  There are other smaller versions (such as Pee Wee Potty), but these are for really small dogs (under 7 pounds, I’d say), and the quality of the artificial grass and drainage aren’t as good.  As I mentioned, clean up is easy if you put a pee pad under the grass.  It is a good idea to hose it off every few days, if you can.

If your dog is trained to go on artificial grass, this is potty by Pup-Head
is a great alternative for a smaller dog!

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