Traveling internationally with a pet? Have questions about country requirements for entering with a pet?
- Will my pet be quarantined?
- What vaccinations does my pet need?
- Will my pet need a passport?
Post your questions here and we will respond within 24 hours. You can also find information on international pet travel here: international pet travel
Flying with a pet? Have questions regarding airline pet policy?
- Need to know what type of carrier you will need?
- What does your pet need to fly as cargo?
- Will the airlines transfer your pet from one plane to another?
Post your questions here and we will respond within 24 hours. You can also find information here: airline pet policies.
Last week, the European Union (EU) member countries passed legislation allowing groups of more than five pets to cross borders within the EU. However, the pets must be competing in a pet or sports event, not just on holiday. Keep in mind that this legislation does not affect pet owners traveling with their pets to Europe who have more than five pets with them. This is still considered a commercial movement and subject to more stringent regulations.
Having been in the business of serving traveling pet owners with transporting their pets for over 15 years, I have read a lot of articles about the risks of pets traveling in the cargo hold of an airplane. Although I do not intend to argue against those opinions here, I would take this opportunity to mention that there is risk in taking ourselves and loved ones, including our pets, out of our environment no matter how we decide to do it (drive or fly). The core of the issue is not the decision; it is thought and preparation that goes behind it.
Because your children can communicate with you, it is easy to explain to them what you are doing, what is going to happen, and why. However, our pets, and particularly dogs, look to us for communication and will never understand what is happening to them when traveling in an airline cargo hold unless they are prepared for it. As a pet owner faced with a relocation or long vacation involving great distance and necessitating traveling in an airplane where you cannot be with them, what can be done to help your pet understand what is going on and be confident enough to withstand the separation from you?
First of all, you need to evaluate your pet’s health and personality. Take your pet to your vet if your pet has health issues and discuss them. Will these issues pose a challenge to your pet, mentally or physically over a prolonged separation? If so, you need to adjust your travel so that you can attend to those needs. Plan a layover along the way; just know that you will need to accommodate the import requirements of that country.
You know your pet’s personality better than anyone else. If your pet is very dependent on you, then it will take longer to prepare them for the separation involved in travel. Is your pet shy and timid? That will also require lots of advance preparation. Is your pet protective, territorial, and possibly aggressive? This is a difficult personality to deal with when traveling and this personality may require special crates to contain them when they are being held and loaded on the airplane.
Preparing for a trip involving the cargo hold of an airline is not an easy thing. Pets that are exposed to this type of travel before reaching adulthood will be better travelers, but don’t we all learn better when we are young? If you are faced with prolonged pet travel and your pet has never traveled before, plan to start very early. Get the crate months in advance and bond your pet to it, whatever it takes. Replace your pet’s bed with it (unless your pet sleeps with you), put your unlaundered clothing in it, lie down next to it and encourage your pet to use it, again and again. Reward your pet generously. This crate will protect your pet both physically and mentally, so you can understand how important this step is.
The second step is to get your pet out of its environment while in the crate. Take them to the dog park, to a friend’s or relative’s house or somewhere else fun. Or just drive around; anything to remove them from their environment. Get them around other animals or people and observe their behavior if this is possible. The more peoples they are exposed to, the better they will adjust to being around strangers without you.
The third step is to separate yourself from your pet. This is the hardest part, but will help your pet the most. Leave them with a friend or relative for a day, then come back to get them. Leave them at the groomers for longer than necessary, then come back to get them. Take them to doggy day care, then come back to get them. Always have a joyous reunion and give them lots of love and hugs when you come back to get them. By doing this, they will know you will always come back to get them, no matter where they are. And they will function better without you for periods of time. This is exactly what you want them to be able to do when you travel.
This all may sound hard to do, but it is not impossible and certainly worth doing. And yes, there are more things you will need to do such as check your destination country’s import requirements, look up local vets and pet hospitals, accumulate your pet’s medicines, take toys and grooming tools, and don’t forget a good leash. Just remember that you must prepare your pet mentally in order to have a successful trip. And, instead of feeling guilty, do what you can to prepare your pet. It will pay off in the long run.
Presently, pets are not permitted to travel on Amtrak trains unless they are medically certified service animals. But that may change if a Federal bill just introduced in the house moves forward.
H.R. 2066, the Pets on Trains Act of 2013, introduced by U.S. Reps. Jeff Denham, (R-CA) and Steve Cohen, (D-TN), would require Amtrak, the national rail operator, to implement a pet policy to allow passengers to travel with domesticated cats and dogs on certain trains. Should the bill pass, there would be fees involved as well as a mileage limit. Additionally, pets would have to travel in carriers or crates.
Amtrak always defended its pet policy by citing that it was an interstate service in the US and it would be complicated to adhere to differing state legislation. However, Federal legislation may change all that. Hopefully, it will get some support. Pets can travel in trains commonly in Europe (not Eurostar, however). Why can we not change this pet policy and provide this service in the US as well?
Pet Travel Transport recently had the privilege of helping to save the life of an adorable pup who was 3 days away from being put down in a local shelter. We received a call from Jennifer who asked if we could help her get Angie ready for her trip to Italy from Miami. We routed her trip and arranged for all her paperwork and crate, then settled her in for the flight. Lufthansa did a great job getting her there.
We heard from Jennifer once Angie had landed safely and she was very happy to meet her new friend. It is stories like these told by people thousands of miles away who reach out and save a life that makes our day brighter and so fulfilling.
Thank you, Jennifer. May many others follow your lead.
Spring is here and summer is right around the corner. The time to start planning for a family summer vacation with your pet is now! Whether you travel by car, RV or plane, there are things you can do now to help make your trip easier and more fun.
Plan your route and make reservations: Many pet friendly hotels have a limited amount of rooms where they allow pets. Call the hotel to confirm their pet policy and book online for great rates.
Get the right equipment for your pet and get them accustomed to it: If you have a small pet, get a well made pet carrier or pet crate. Encourage your pet to use it and reward them for doing so. Take them for a short ride in the car to a dog park or someplace fun. Get them out of their environment early and often, and they will be better pet travelers.
Visit your vet: Make sure your pet is healthy enough for travel and free of ticks and fleas. If rabies vaccinations are due, have them done. Consider getting a microchip for your pet. If you should ever get separated, having a pet microchip will significantly increase your chances of being reunited. And it is required for many countries worldwide.
Don’t forget the basics: a very sturdy, non retractable lead, food and water, treats and toys, medical necessities and you and your pet will be ready to go! Don’t forget to buckle them up! Questions? We’re here to help. Just post any questions or concerns and we will respond promptly.
Happy summer travels to you and your pet!
There are many thing to consider when transporting your pet, especially when your pet is traveling internationally. Paperwork, possible quarantine, vaccinations and airline requirements are just a few factors. Also, your pet’s safety and the overall costs involved are important. Many countries require that specific steps to be taken prior to the pet transport which can be time consuming and very confusing.
Before you decide whether to hire a professional pet transporter, consider these advantages:
- Knowledge of the country requirements to import a pet.
- Experience with finding the safest and most efficient flights and routing for your pet.
- Provision of delivery and door-to-door service if needed.
- Preparation of all paperwork including import permits.
- The transition of pets to different airlines or airports.
- The provision of kenneling services.
- Assistance with clearing customs.
With many resources available such as the internet, we are in the age of “DIY” (do it yourself) but there are times when hiring a professional with experience in transporting animals makes good sense. Below is a list of factors to consider before you make your decision.
Without being properly prepared for travel, your pet can be stranded in a foreign country, held in quarantine, returned to its original location or put down. All of these actions are at the expense of the owner and the costs can be significant, not to mention the anguish and upset to both the pet and owner.
Time is Money:
Regardless if you are relocating for work, pleasure or military purposes, you most likely have a million things to do. Can you imagine the stress of preparing to move your family and belongings while preparing for a new place? Just consider the added stress in preparing your pet for transportl as well. For most travelers, this is just not a possibility. A pet transport company can handle all of the legwork for you while you can concentrate on other priorities.
Expertise in Special Circumstances:
Do you have a large breed of dog? How about an older animal, exotic animal or a brachycephalic (snub-nosed) breed? These types of animals can present more challenges. One quick search on the internet can get your head spinning trying to find the best possible way to transport your pet. Instead of being misguided by false information, leave these special circumstances to the pros.
Don’t Believe Everything You Read:
The internet is a great resource, but can also provide conflicting and incorrect information. Picture preparing all of your documents for an international transport and when you arrive at the airport counter they tell you that your paperwork is expired, incorrect or just plain wrong. This is a nightmare that can be avoided by hiring the services of a professional. Also, keep in mind that most documents must be completed and endorsed within a certain time frame. Don’t be a victim of incorrect information.
If you decide that a pet transporter can assist in moving your pet, you can get a free quote here: www.pettraveltransport.com .
You’re looking for a purebred dog or cat, bird or monkey, slider or pet pig. You answer a classified ad on the internet or post one of your own and you get an email back stating that someone has your puppy or kitten waiting for you. They send pictures and say that, for a very small amount of money, they will ship your pet to you at little or no cost. All you have to do is to wire the funds via Western Union or some other wiring service to Cameroon. They send you an authentic looking manifest with airline information on it, which is really cut and paste artwork with logos and pictures stolen from other websites without permission.
A day or so later, they inform you that your pet is in an airport someplace and needs either another crate, vaccination, pet insurance or medical attention and you will be held personally liable if you do not wire more money. If you send more money, they come up with another excuse why your pet cannot be delivered. They threaten that you will be held personally liable if you do not pay.
In reality, there is no pet and you have been caught up in an internet pet scam. Hundreds of people just like you have sent thousands of dollars to Cameroon in hopes of picking up an adorable pet they see in a picture. There are many warning signs. Read the full article on internet pet scams.
JetBlue Airways has announced a marketing program for pet travelers. (hope we see more of this!) The pet friendly airline, will offer an extension to its JetPaws program with the launch of its new “All Your Pet Can Jet” (AYPCJ) pass, an unlimited pet travel pass, for only $299. This will apply to pets less than 20 pounds accompanying their owners in the cabin of the aircraft (not cargo) for a unlimited amount of travel from September 7 to December 31, 2012. Of course, your pet must still fit under the seat in front of you and travel in an airline compliant pet carrier.
The pass is available through September 5, 2012 and nonrefundable and is not valid on alliance airlines. Customers traveling on JetBlue must book their pets by calling 1-800-JETBLUE (538-2583). The $25 booking fee will be waived. Pets cannot be booked online.
As fees are normally $100 each way, this is a savings for frequent pet travelers. Hopefully this program will be a success and we will see more of them. Marketing efforts like these reflect the airline’s interest in serving the pet travel industry.