It’s that time of the year again: holiday travel! So if you’re taking a plane to get to your destination and want to bring your pup along, don’t worry! Pets can travel just as easily as you do and here are some tips for flying with pets to a foreign country.
First Things First
Check with the American consulate in the country to which you’re moving or traveling. There are some countries which ban certain species of dog – like Pit Bulls and Rottweilers – and others that have no restrictions at all. Make sure you know what happens at the end of the flight. Call the receiving airport and find out where you pick up your dog. If you have a friend or relative in the foreign country, find out what the climate is about pets. Ask about vets and how difficult it is to get an appointment – Japan apparently has a huge backlog and it’s hard to get in to see a veterinarian.
Timelines are Important
Find out if your pet needs to be on a schedule of vaccines and blood tests before traveling. Some countries require a 6-month waiting period after vaccines to come in without being quarantined.
Check with the airline you’re planning to use to find out what their regulations are. You may need a pet passport for your dog. Like your own passport, this will identify your dog with a photo and other pertinent information.
This is part of the Pet Travel Scheme or PETS that permits travel between member countries (European Union and Canada and the US) without having to go through quarantine.
You will be asked to microchip your dog which is another fail safe for pet identification. It’s a painless procedure where the vet slips a small microchip under her skin that has a number that can be scanned and that number is part of her passport.
Your furry friend needs to be crated and if you have a large dog, it’s important that you have an airline-approved crate that lets her sit up and turn around.
For the most part, airlines do not want pets to be sedated for the flight because altitude can effect medication and if your dog has a health issue as a result of that, you can’t get to her to help out.
Make sure the hold where your dog will be kept is heated and pressurized and find out what happens if that pressure is lost. Having her fly in an unpressurized and freezing hold could be fatal.
In addition to this, check with the airline to see if they have weather restrictions. Some airlines won’t permit animals to fly if the weather is bad.
As soon as you possibly can, get your dog out of the crate for a bathroom break and treats. Make sure she knows what a great traveler she is with praise and a toy.
Photo Credit: istockphoto.com
Have you had trouble flying with pets?