How to travel abroad with your pets

Date posted: 27 July 2015

Helpful information on travelling aboard with your pet, passports, government regulations, flights, pet crate sizes and regulations, insurance and inoculations.

All pet owners need to be aware of the entry requirements for your pet dog, cat or ferret for the country you’re going to or coming from. Otherwise you will be responsible for any vet treatments or quarantine fees.

When travelling abroad your pets will require a pet passport. A pet passport can be obtained from your vet by fulfilling various criteria set out by the EU. Remember you can travel to non EU countries, your pet will require additional noculations.

For EU countries  your pet will be required to have been  microchipped,  to have a rabies vaccination and a pet passport or third country official veterinary certificate in addition to this a tapeworm treatment (for dogs only).

Be aware that from a non EU country the requirements vary slightly in as much as your pet will also be required to have a  blood test – the vet must take the blood sample at least 30 days after the rabies vaccination (the date of vaccination counts as day 0 not day 1).

You must wait 3 calendar months from the date the blood sample was taken before travelling. The vet must give you a copy of the test results. These must show that the vaccination was successful.

You don’t have to wait 3 months if your pet was vaccinated, blood tested and given a pet passport in the EU before travelling to an unlisted country.

You must also use an approved transport company and an approved route unless you’re travelling between the UK and the Republic of Ireland (all other rules still apply). These routes obviously vary depending on whether you are coming and going by sea, rail or flying.

A routes travelling into and away from the UK include.

When returning to the UK; check with your pet carriers to see if they also require a ‘fit to travel’ certificate. Most airlines require a health certificate for any animal they are transporting, whether in the cabin or as an unaccompanied shipment. Health certificate is delivered by your veterinarian and stipulates that the animal is healthy and fit to fly.

There are numerous pet couriers and companies that can help you move your pets here is who move animals exclusively for Thomson travel. I would recommend that you shop about for the courier that suits you.  You can send Aiapets an enquiry and they get back to your very quickly. Each carrier will have special requirements as to how to ‘package your pet’; for example placing a puppy pad in with your dog, to catch any spills. Securing documentation to the exterior of the cage and making sure your pet has access to food and water.

When preparing your pet for its journey, we would recommend that you train your animal to its new surroundings (the crate)

Let it become familiar with the crate or kennel a few weeks or months before your planned departure. Purchase one in advance and get your animal used to being confined in it. Remember taking an animal out of its natural environment or surroundings is by definition stressful.

Animals behave perfectly fine when accustomed to the kennel or crate they are transported in. As a responsible pet owner, this responsibility is often overlooked. So sad as it is, confine your pet to the crate for small periods of time, increasing this time span as you get closer to the date, so that your dog will know that it is only a temporary period of time.

Consider reducing the quantity of food the day before but make sure your pet has enough water.

Take your dog for a walk before leaving for the airport and again before check-in

A light meal 2 hours before tendering the animal to the carrier will help to calm it and is a legal requirement in the United States.

It has been a long standing practice of IATA and its constituent carriers to discourage the use of sedatives and tranquilizers in animals to be transported either as cargo or as cabin baggage due to the potential for adverse effects during transport.

Do you have a suitable container for your pet?

It is important you purchase the right sized container for your animal. Airlines use the following indications to ensure the animal has enough space to turn about normally while standing, to stand and sit erect, and to lie in a natural position.

Download the container information (pdf) applicable to cats and dogs (CR1 LAR 2015)

It is equally important to ensure that all locking mechanisms function properly and that the animal cannot distort, gnaw at or push in/out the wire mesh or the pieces holding the mesh of the door. So, the mesh must be firmly attached to the door, not stapled.

Food and water containers (troughs) accessible from outside the container are required. The carrier, or government agency, may require that additional food be provided in a pouch attached to the container with feeding instructions.

I found this Doggie Solutions offered a good selection of crates which are in accordance with airline Regulations.

So you are all ready to head off, well almost, don’t forget your pet insurance. When purchasing pet insurance please ensure that it covers your trip to that particular destination and that repatriation and quarantine fees are also covered.

If you have anything further helpful information about how to travel with pets and you would like to add to this blog article please do make contact.

Meanwhile we do have Static Boat Holiday accommodation in various locations around the world, the majority of them are pet friendly especially in the Canary islands where you might wish to go for a couple of months.

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