Have you thought about taking your dog on vacation with you on your family vacation, but then thought “Pffft! Too much hassle.”
But it’s also a celebration of your pet, you know?
And it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task to keep a dog for the holidays. But you have to plan for it.
International travel with a pet, particularly a dog, is an exciting prospect, but it requires careful preparation and consideration. Many dog owners love the idea of exploring foreign countries and experiencing different cultures alongside their furry friends.
However, it is very important to understand the various aspects of dog travel abroad to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip. From understanding airline policies to navigating country requirements and making sure your dog is comfortable throughout the trip, there’s a lot to keep in mind.
Dog travel abroad
To begin with, it is important to remember that each destination country has its own regulations for the entry or import of dogs. High risk countries or high rabies risk countries, for example, may have stricter requirements. You will certainly have to vaccinate them against rabies (rabies in dogs is a terrible thing).
Most European countries and within the European Union require a pet passport that provides up-to-date health information for your dog, including rabies vaccination.
Other countries may require a rabies titer blood test or additional vaccinations. Be aware of the time requirements for this. some countries claim a 3 month delay before you can fly internationally. A great resource to help you understand country-specific requirements is the Department of Agriculture’s website, where you can find information about different countries’ animal policies.
To prepare for traveling with your dog, you should consult with your local veterinarian to ensure that your dog is healthy enough for overseas travel and international flying. They will be able to provide you with an international health certificate, also known as a veterinary health certificate, which is required by most countries and the policies of the International Air Transport Association (who run the animal and plant health inspection service). This veterinary certificate will confirm that your dog is up-to-date on vaccinations and in good health, so you can travel internationally with your dog.
International health certificate
Be sure to double-check the validity of these pet travel health certificates, as some countries require them to be issued within a certain period of time prior to international travel.
Before you decide to take your dog internationally, it’s important to research and understand the airline’s policy on pet travel. Many airlines will require dogs to travel in the cargo hold, while others may allow them in the cabin if they meet certain size and weight restrictions.
The cargo area can expose your pet to extreme temperatures and potential hazards. Therefore, ensuring your dog’s crate is safe, comfortable and well ventilated is crucial to reducing stress and avoiding heatstroke during flight.
Most airlines also have specific requirements for the furry friend box. It must meet the standards of the International Air Transport Association, ensuring that your pet feels safe and comfortable during the journey. The box should also have a water bowl attached and all relevant contact details should be clearly marked.
If you have a service animal, note that different rules apply and most airlines will allow such dogs in the cabin. However, it will be on a case-by-case basis, so it’s best to check with the airline beforehand.
Keep in mind that your dog’s travel may not coincide with your own travel, especially if they need to be in the hold or if a separate flight is required due to specific airline restrictions. In such cases, you must ensure that all the details of the connecting flight are matched so that your dog arrives safely at the final destination.
What mode of transport?
If you prefer to avoid air travel, consider options such as a cruise line that has a pet policy. Some cruise lines do accommodate pets, making for a less stressful trip for your pet compared to flying overseas.
Dogs being imported to some countries may need a tape treatment, usually given by a vet before travel. Always be sure to double-check these details when planning your luxury dog-friendly vacation abroad.
Traveling internationally with your dog can be a rewarding experience if planned well. With careful preparation and following the instructions of your veterinarian, Department of Agriculture, and airline or cruise line, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable trip for your four-legged companion.
Remember to consider all aspects of your trip, from making sure your pet is comfortable while traveling to understanding the requirements of your destination country, to ensure a hassle-free trip.