International Pet Travel
Rover.com is the nation’s largest online network of 5-star pet sitters and dog walkers. It is available via web, as well as Android and iOS app.
Heading abroad and don’t want to leave your furry friend behind? You have a few options. However, it’s important you be in the know so your traveling experience is easy for both you and your pet.
Talk to your vet as soon as you know your travel plans. You can work together to make sure your pet meets all the requirements for the country you’re traveling to. They may need blood tests, vaccinations, or an updated microchip. Not every country has the same requirements, so the farther in advance you know your plans, the more time you have to research everything you’ll need.
Your vet should also have a good idea on how often your pet will need to eat or drink and what types of food to avoid when in transit. Some airlines do not allow tranquilizers but for those that do, your vet can provide a sedative if necessary.
Depending on the airline, your pet may be able to fly in the cabin or in cargo. Usually, only animals small enough to fit in a carrier below your seat are allowed to travel in the cabin. However, a registered service dog is allowed to fly with you regardless of typical regulations. Also keep in mind that if you have a layover or a connecting flight, the new airline may have different rules.
Some animals may travel on a separate flight as an air cargo shipment. If this is a requirement of the country or even just your preference, practice putting your dog in the shipping kennel leading up to the travel date so that they can get used to it ahead of time. Start out putting them in there for a few minutes, and slowly increase the time leading up to the day.
Your pet’s comfort is a top priority, so avoid as many layovers and connections as you can, pick travel times that don’t coincide with extreme weather conditions (a night flight to a hot destination is better than a day flight,) and take them on a long walk before leaving home.
Traveling To The United States
Whether returning or coming to the U.S., your dog is required to have proof of a rabies vaccination. Dogs must be at least three months old to get this vaccination, and if it’s the first vaccination, you have to wait thirty days before traveling for it to take effect. If your adult dog’s booster is current, you can travel without waiting the thirty days. The vaccination certificate must be valid for the entirety of your trip.
Cats don’t need rabies vaccinations to enter, but many other countries require them. Be sure to check your destination’s regulations. Other kinds of animals have different rules. For instance, all primates and some rodents won’t be allowed back in the U.S., even if they originally came from there.
Leaving Your Pet At Home With A Sitter
As great as it sounds to take your animal with you, sometimes the safest and best thing you can do is leave them at home with a trusted sitter or board them with your vet or at a kennel. Make arrangements well in advance so that you can find somebody who is willing to be with your pet long-term, whether that means weeks or months. Inform them of your travel schedule so they know where, when, and how to reach you, and write down important information like medications and dietary restrictions. Also provide an emergency number of another friend or relative in case the sitter or vet can’t get in touch with you.
There are lots of things to keep in mind when preparing for traveling abroad, and your pet’s safety should be at the top of the list. Luckily, you have lots of options, you just need to do your research to find the best situation.
Author byline: Written by Greer Grenley, Rover.com community member.
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