How to Prepare Your Dog or Cat for International Travel

Are you planning on traveling internationally with your cat or dog? If so, it’s important to take the necessary steps to prepare them for the journey. International travel can be a daunting experience for pets, and there are a lot of things to consider before making the decision whether or not they should come along.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about preparing your pet for international travel!

Plan ahead of time.

If you are preparing to travel with your pet, it is important to begin the process well in advance of your departure date. This will ensure that your pet is able to have all the necessary vaccinations and paperwork in order. You will also want to start crate training your pet if they are not already accustomed to traveling in a crate.

First things first: Is your pet fit to travel at all?

This is one of the questions you first have to ask yourself. Not every pet is suitable for international travel – it depends on their age, health, and temperament. If your pet is elderly or has a chronic health condition, they may not be able to handle the rigors of traveling. Likewise, if your pet tends to get anxious or stressed in new situations, air travel may not be the best option for them.

It’s best to have your pet assessed by a veterinarian first before anything. If possible, do a full checkup and run the necessary tests your vet might prescribe before you launch the preparations of international travel, such as buying airline-approved carriers or your tickets.

What if my pet is not fit for air travel?

Your pet’s health and safety should come first, and if your vet advised against traveling by plane cargo, it’s most likely for good reason and air travel might put them at risk.

If your pet is not cleared for travel, try to find alternative modes of travel available to you, such as traveling by land or sea, if at all possible. This may take longer but will be less demanding on your pet’s health.

Another alternative is to have your pet recognized as an emotional support animal, which may allow your pet to stay in the cabin with you, depending on your airline’s policies. This will be less taxing on their health, but may not always be feasible. It’s best to check airlines available to you and their policies, as this may differ on a case-to-case basis.

My pet is cleared for travel! What next?

Get them vaccinated if you haven’t yet—or prepare their records.

If you do decide that your pet is fit to travel, there are still some preparations you’ll need to make. The first step is getting them up-to-date on their vaccinations. Most countries require proof of vaccination for rabies and other possible illnesses before entry, so check with the consulate of your destination country before making any final decisions.

Secure an International Health Certificate from a veterinarian.

You’ll also need to have an International Health Certificate from a veterinarian, as well as an Animal Export Certificate (or a Quarantine Permit, if required).

If flying internationally, getting a health certificate from your veterinarian within ten days of departure is usually required. International travelers will also need proof that their pets are up-to-date on their rabies and other vaccinations.

You may also need to have your pet treated for ticks and fleas before departure, as well as other pests that could potentially harm them while in transit.

Research your airline and travel destination’s policies.

Generally speaking, cats and dogs who are at least eight weeks old and weigh more than two pounds can travel by air. However, there are some exceptions; snub-nosed breeds of dogs and cats, for example, cannot fly in the cargo and may only travel in the cabin, if they are allowed at all.

Do a little research into the travel restrictions of both your destination country and the airline you’ll be using. Make sure you’re aware of any quarantine regulations or other requirements for entering the country you’ll be visiting, as well as what your airline’s pet travel policies are.

Some airlines or destinations may require specific vaccines, so check ahead of time just to be safe. You should also inquire about any sedatives or other drugs that could help calm your pet during the flight; it might not hurt them to have an anxiety-reducing medication on hand if need be.

Carrier-train your pet at least 3 months before departure.

Your pet will need to be crate-trained for air travel. Many airlines have restrictions on the type of pets that can fly in the cabin and which must fly in the cargo hold, so check with your airline well ahead of time about what is allowed.

In order to avoid your pet being denied to travel with you, it is important that you crate train them for the trip. This will ensure they are comfortable spending time in their carrier and reduce the chances of them becoming agitated or stressed during transport. Finally, make sure you have all the necessary paperwork in order – including copies of your pet’s vaccination records, ID tags, and any other pertinent information.

Airlines may deny boarding if your pet is unruly or does not display acceptable behavior before boarding or takeoff. Making sure that your pet is crate-trained may prevent this from happening.

Crate-training takes time and patience, and this is one of the major preparations you have to make for your pet if they have very little experience with traveling and being placed in a carrier.

You may also have to coordinate with your departure country and the travel destination’s animal quarantine or animal industry office beforehand.

For example, in order to take your pet dog to Australia, you will need to email the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources at least 30 days before departure. Australia also bars dogs from certain countries from entering the country at all because of the risk the dogs pose to the local dog population. In the US, dogs from certain countries are also not allowed to enter as part of their rabies control measures.

Hacked  to bring your dog to the countries with pet restriction

For some countries, such as Australia, you must have stayed in another “cleared” country for at least 6 months before entering the country with your dog. This adds a layer of protection for the local dog population, as outbreaks can happen if they’re not careful. However, for the pet owner, this may add a layer of complication.

Each country usually has a government body that handles the import and export of pets, and will have their own restrictions. It’s best to research these restrictions and plan accordingly.

You usually have to coordinate with these offices prior to your arrival. Otherwise, your pet may have to be quarantined or be denied entry at all.

Ready to travel?

If everything looks good and you’re all set to go, don’t forget to book with a reputable pet travel agency! They can take care of all the details – from booking airfare to arranging ground transportation at your destination – making the entire process a lot less stressful for both you and your pet.

In summary

When traveling with your pet, it’s important to be prepared for anything. Make sure you do your research and know the restrictions of the countries you’ll be visiting, as well as the airlines you’ll be using. And don’t forget to get all of your pet’s necessary vaccinations and paperwork in order! With a bit of planning, international travel with pets can be a breeze. Have fun on your trip – safe travels! International travel with pets can seem daunting at first, but if done correctly it can be an incredibly rewarding experience for both you and your furry friend. Each country usually has its own set of regulations when it comes to importing or exporting animals, so it’s best to note that as well.

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