The Jet-Set Pet: Understanding International Pet Travel
Whether you are making a residential move overseas or simply taking a much-deserved vacation, bringing along your pet is an involved endeavor. But, because many pet guardians do not want to be separated from their furry BFFs, it makes sense that the trend in international pet travel is growing.
However, there are challenges to tackle before you go and others that may come up en route with your pet. To avoid delays or unexpected problems, we are addressing the major concerns to consider plus pre-travel requirements.
Pet Travel: Health and Safety
To make matters confusing from the get-go, every country has its own health requirements for animals being brought in. This may even mean a month or longer in quarantine, which obviously wouldn’t make sense for a two-week vacation.
Before you do anything, thoroughly research your destination country, making sure it is both safe and sensible to bring your pet.
The next matter will be acquiring a certificate of health from a USDA approved veterinarian (such as the Pet Experts at Springbrook Animal Care Center!). Essentially, this certificate will act as proof of your pet’s health, and that he is vaccinated and parasite-free.
Another great benefit of the pre-travel examination is that it will help determine your pet’s readiness for such a stressful situation and give you the chance to learn how to increase your pet’s comfort during travel.
Please call us for more information and a recommended timeline to begin this process.
What You Will Need
The first and most important requirement will be the carrier or crate. If your pet is able to fly with you in the cabin, you will likely need a soft-sided carrier that can fit comfortably under the seat. This is perfect for teacup breeds, puppies or kittens, and most adult cats.
If, however, your pet must travel as cargo, it is very important to select a sturdy crate-type carrier, such as Petmate’s Airline Cargo Crate, since sometimes things can shift and move during flight.
Other essential items to pack for the trip include:
- Your pet’s health records and certificate or a Pet Passport, now required by many countries, which conveniently contains all medical records and necessary information
- Current medications
- Supply of pet food, treats, and bottled water with a collapsible bowl
- Favorite toy and blanket
- Collar, leash, and identification tags
- Grooming supplies
- Waste bags
Other Travel Considerations
In order to make your pet’s experience as stress-free as possible, try and implement the following travel tips:
- Whenever possible, book a direct flight or one with minimal layovers
- Try to time departures and arrivals to avoid especially hot or cold times of day
- Feed your pet a very light meal prior to leaving
- Keep your pet hydrated by bringing along a few bottles of water or freezing water in a bowl to slowly thaw during the journey
- Take an extra-long walk before the flight to burn off energy and to get it all out
- Ensure you understand how your pet will be handled during the flight, at any layovers, and once landed
- Consider using a professional pet travel agent for additional security and convenience
While traveling abroad with a pet can be challenging, it can also be a rewarding opportunity to bond with your pet while enjoying new sights and experiences. To make the trip itself as worry-free as possible, contact the Pet Experts at Springbrook Animal Care Center.
We can help you attend to all of the requirements, so you can be sure to have a blast with your jet-setting fur friend.