TRAVELING INTERNATIONALLY WITH YOUR BEST FRIENDS
The two questions I get asked the most are: “How did you get your dogs here?” “Did you fly with them on the plane?” People are always curious to find out how to travel with their pets. Invariably, dog owners are saddened to find out that with a little preparation and planning, they didn’t have to leave their loved at home because they didn’t know how to travel with them or that they were allowed to travel with them. Your dog can go pretty much anywhere with you on your trips. It just takes a little planning and investigation. This blog will help you gain the confidence you need to travel successfully with your dog.
6 KEY STEPS TO PLANNING A TRIP WITH YOUR PET
Check The USDA’s Requirements For Exporting Your Pet Into A Foreign Countries
This is the most important tool and tip for international travel. Each Country has their own set of requirements. The following link lists the specific requirements for each country:
*Note - if you plan on traveling internationally with your dog the first thing you need for almost every country is a microchip and a valid rabies shot (most countries require rabies more than 21 days prior to travel).
If your pet does not have a microchip and you are planning an international trip, its best that you have it done.
The rabies vaccine needs to be given to your pet after the microchip is inserted for it to be valid for international travel.
Set Your Appointment With Your USDA Certified Vet
Set your appointment for the travel health certificate which must be issued within a certain amount of days before traveling.
As a rule, you want to make sure this appointment is set at least 7 days before you fly. This varies depending on the country that you plan to travel to. Some countries do require a USDA stamp that needs to be mailed in so make sure you leave enough time for mailing and processing.
Always a good idea to take a moment to double check the USDA site a few days before you fly to make sure the country’s requirements have not changed.
Check The Airline availability For Pets In Cabin And Pet Policy
Some airlines restrict the amount and type of pets allowed in cabin.
Emotional Support Animals (ESA)and Service Dogs are not included in their restriction.
Depending on where you are flying to, the airline may not be able to put your dog on the record until they have a pre-approval letter from the country you will be visiting.For example, the UK requires a pre- approval letter, the Heathrow Animal Reception Centre (HARC) prior to getting on the plane and into the country
Make Sure There Are Pet Friendly Hotels Available
Use a reliable hotel booking site that has a search engine that filters hotels that are pet friendly. One that we commonly use is hotels.com . If there are none available, it may be a good sign that the city or country itself isn't very accommodating to your pet. Be sure to check the fine print as some hotels have an extra charge for pets. This extra charge may not be accounted for in your travel budget. The last thing you want are hidden surprises
Call The Hotel And Inform Them That You Are Bringing Your Dog With You On Your Travels
This will help make your check-in at the hotel be as smooth as possible.
The hotel will add this information to your registration and will include any pet amenities they have like a dog bed, toys and water and food bowls. You want to make sure your travel companions are just as happy and comfortable as you are when you check in.
Things To Keep In Mind
As your trip gets closer, be sure to remember your friends’ needs when packing. Take a moment to consider each of the portion of your travels. For example, if your dog is a tiny dog make sure to pack a sweater for the plane. Jackets, rain attire, or sweaters come in handy with the sudden weather changes.
If you are going somewhere warm and you may be at the beach, do not forget a lifejacket, doggles (sunglasses for dogs) and dog SPF spray. If you are going for a road trip, remember the safety of your pet. Pet friendly harnesses that buckle into the seat belts or car seats are important.
While the harness is smaller and more portable, car seats come in many different versions and some even collapse to fit nicely in your dog luggage.