Traveling abroad with your pet can be very rewarding and adventurous. However, depending upon the country of import, the requirements to bring your pet into that country can have many variables.
Some countries can take months of paperwork and planning. Countries like Australia or New Zealand have never had a reported rabies case. These countries have stricter requirements so it isn’t introduced via an animal from another country. Just to note, one of our 50 states, Hawaii, does not currently have rabies and it is also very time consuming to bring an animal into the islands.
Though these obstacles exist, it is possible to enjoy another country, or Hawaii, with your pets.
It is important to do your research before considering taking your pet abroad. Please never show up at your vets office 2 weeks before you are about to leave having no knowledge of another countries regulations and paperwork needed. This will result in frustration for all parties involved. Below are a few tips that will help prepare you and your pet for the start of an exciting journey together.
- Call your airline. Find out what you will need in order to allow your pet to make it on the initial airplane. Ask questions, if your pet is flying in cargo on a long flight, will they have access to food or water? Do you need to bring a water dish? www.bringfido.com is a helpful travel website with information on traveling with your pets, domestic or abroad.
- Go on the embassy website of the country you are visiting or moving to. Print out the requirements, make yourself a check list. Look at a calendar and the time requirements of all needed vaccinations and micro-chipping. These vary greatly among countries!
- Print out all forms that need completed and signed by you and your Vet.
- Coordinate the timed requirements and schedule your veterinary appointments in advance. If you know you will need to see your vet 3 times before you leave, schedule all 3 appointments at the same time. This way you know you have a spot on the schedule when you need it.
- Keep a Binder or Folder of all receipts, paperwork, etc…
- Make a back up copy
- Check off as you go.
The consequences of not having all your T’s crossed and your i’s dotted can result in the quarantine of your pet. This is almost always on your dime and again, depending upon the country, the time frame can vary between a few days and up to 4 months.
If all of this is a bit too much, don’t despair. There are Pet Travel Companies that will work with you from start to finish and give you good tips along the way. Companies can be found on the internet by typing in “Pet Relocation” in any search engine. However, like everything else, RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH! I cannot stress that enough. This can be a costly option, but well worth the peace of mind. Many of these companies also offer Military Discounts.