How to travel with pets!
First be sure you have no stowaways!
Now, some basic guidelines when traveling Internationally with your pets
It may seem to be a difficult task when you first decide to take your cat or dog on a flight, but becoming familiar with the general process will help take the stress away from owner and pet.
Breed restrictions; be aware of dog breed and pet age restrictions on certain airlines and keep in mind puppies under the age of 12 weeks are usually not accepted.
Almost all airlines only consider Dogs and Cats to be classified as pets. Reptiles, birds and others types are designated as “wildlife” and the rules and regulations for those are much more complicated. Border control may also consider anything that is not dog or cat, a special import and this will most likely require quarantine. Best to keep any animal they could be considered wildlife at home.
Give yourself a minimal of 6 weeks advance if you plan on taking your pets. Required immunizations have time restrictions and must be done before traveling ( e.g. Two weeks ) pets typically need to be micro- chipped. It is possible to take a trip including pets with as little as 2-4 weeks of preparation, however, last minute trips with pets is nearly impossible and not advised. Doing your research in advance on all airline’s rules and requirements of the country you’ll be visiting will help in preparing for a successful trip.
No food or water to be given 12 hours prior to flight. Although cats and dogs would most likely be reluctant to go potty in their immediate surroundings, having an empty stomach would make their ride much more comfortable. Helping keep your pet comfortable will make the flight easier on all, and the airlines happier that they will not have a mess to attend to!
Bones can be relaxing for dogs stressed by their crates, however, no meat bones or other organics, the can result in quarantine. Consider instead, a synthetic, flour- based bone and be sure to bring the packaging along. Also, do not line crates with grass, hay or anything organic.
Look into flights but do not book, remember to avoid layovers when flying with pets. Once you find a flight that fits your route and airfare, call the airline directly. Keep in mind that airlines typically have a limit on two animals per cabin, and a certain number in the amount that can be in the baggage hold and transported as cargo.
You want to be sure they have a vacant space for you pet before booking the flight.
Always remember to add an additional $100-$300 into your travel budget, because booking passage for your pets costs money.
Keep your return flight in mind, being sure to check the official government website of US state you’ll be flying into for any additional information. Your home country requirements may include blood tests to be done 3 months prior to your return which could mean a one month trip may not be possible. USA.gov provides a complete list of all official state government websites.
The rules apply to everyone so do not try to improvise on any of the specific rules when it comes to pet travel. This can lead to rejection or even quarantine at the border. Do your research on requirements from the airline and appropriate embassy and meet them to the exact specifications. Timelines are set in stone and two weeks means that exactly. You do not want to have to re-vaccinate your pet if their shots are already up-to-date. Although not complicating, the most time consuming part of the whole pet travel process is the vet visits.
Now you are through the hard part and are probably aware that with preparation, organization and patience, traveling with your pets can be a smooth and painless process.
Assuming you have your pet micro-chipped and all the paperwork is in order, You can now explore a new destination with your furry friend!