Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

With Pets Travel Series -10 Tips For Bringing Your Pet Overseas – Part IV

When my husband and I adopted our two puppies (Molly and Jack) everyone told us that would be the end of our carefree travel days.   This summer we will be flying to Madrid and living in apartment in the Chamberi area for three months.  Our two dogs?  They’re coming with us.

Here are the top ten tips, if you want to take your furry buddy overseas:

1.  Plan ahead. Some countries like the UK require special tests 4 months before you arrive.  This site, www.pettravel.com lists the entry requirements by country.

2.  What’s in a breed? If you have a pug or other short nosed breed, many airlines will not allow them due to increased difficulties breathing on the plane.  Sorry, that’s the rule.

3.  Check or Carry? Determine if you are going to check your pet as cargo or bring them on the flight with you.  If your pet is less than 25 lbs, it’s up to you.  If your pet is over 25 lbs then they must be checked in the cargo area.  Doesn’t count against your luggage total—thankfully! Take weather and time of year and time you are flying into consideration.  (Domestically checkout the new Pet Only Airlines and Internationally checkout some of other transport services.)

4.  Call ahead. Some airlines require you to call and make a reservation for your pet; others do not, to avoid confusion call ahead and find out their policy.

5.  Calculate total cost. In our case, the cheapest flight at $2000 roundtrip charged a whopping $1600 in fees for our dogs (Total: $3200).  A more expensive flight at $2500 roundtrip was with an airline that only charged $200 for the dogs (Total: $2700).  Note: Go non-stop if you can.

6.  Make sure Fido Fits.  When buying a pet carrier we brought our dogs with us into PetSmart and had them test out sizes.  Your pet should be able to stand up, turn around and lay down comfortably.  Note: The carrier label should say “Airline Approved”.

7.  Get your shots.  For most of Europe, you just need to have a USDA certified vet fill out a form stating your pet has the appropriate rabies shots.

8.  Forget sleeping pills.  While you may want to pass out with some Ambient on the flight over, don’t do your pet the same favor.  Any type of tranquillizer is discouraged as they can make it difficult for your pet to breath in the pressurized cabin.

9.  Food and Drink.  Don’t forget to tape food and a water bowl to the top of your carrier if you are checking your pet into cargo.

10.  THIS SIDE UP.  Be sure to label your carrier with lots of warnings and all needed information including your contact information in case you get separated.  Have contact info on carrier and pet.  (If your pet is micro-chipped make sure it is the correct type.)

By Christine Gilbert – 04/27/08

Posted:  Just One More Pet

Related Posts:

September 29, 2009 Posted by | animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Travel, Pets | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

With Pets Travel Series: Ten Tips for Traveling with Pets Part III

Although bringing your pet when you travel may seem impossible, in most cases it’s surprisingly easy as long as you plan ahead. Please read these ten tips to help get going. Your dog (or cat) will thank you.

10. Check your destination country’s pet health requirements several months in advance.

Every country has its own requirements regarding required health vaccinations, inspections upon arrival, and, sometimes, quarantine. It’s important that you know exactly what the requirements are several months in advance. For example, certain countries specify that your pet must have a rabies vaccination less than a year old but at but no less than 30 days from date of flight. Don’t get stuck having to change your ticket. Prepare for all of the requirements before you go by calling the consulates of the countries you’ll be visiting and asking about their requirements or checking USDA website here.. If you’re going to be traveling between two or more countries without returning to your home country, you may want to locate a vet in the areas where you’ll be staying so that a new pet health certificate can be completed if necessary.

9. Make sure your pet has a clean bill of health.

Regardless of the destination, most travel into another country will require that you present a pet health certificate to confirm that your pet’s vaccinations are up to date. There are typically strict requirements that establish how far in advance of your trip the certificate needs to be completed—usually no more than 5 to 10 days before your departure.

8. Check your carrier’s regulations.

Almost all airlines, trains, and buses have specific regulations that apply to pets on the go, and those regulations can vary greatly from one carrier to another. Check online or call the carrier to ask about pet regulations. Some of the questions to ask include: How many pets can be on-board at once? What are the boarding requirements? What are the pet carrier or crating requirements? Do you need to show up at the airport earlier if you’re traveling with your pet?

7. Prepare your pet’s carrier.

First, make sure that your pet’s carrier fits the transportation provider’s requirements for size, type (hard side vs. soft side), and interior (lined vs. not lined). If it’s allowed in the cabin, make sure that the pet can fit in the carrier comfortably and still fit under the seat. If you’ll be traveling by air, ask for an aisle seat; middle seats are typically storage sites for electronic equipment, and it’s unlikely a carrier will fit well under that seat. Make sure that your pet’s leash and some plastic bags, paper towels, and handwipes are stored in or near the carrier for quick access if needed.

6. Prepare for security screening.

Most U.S. airports require that you remove your pet (if it is a dog or cat) from its carrier and place it in your arms while passing through the security checkpoint. If your pet is unaccustomed to loud noises, you may want to practice a few times before arriving at the airport by exposing your pet to some high traffic places so he or she won’t be scared or startled.

5. Make sure your pet has ID.

Even if you don’t tag your luggage, make sure you tag your pet’s crate or carrier, whether in the cabin or in cargo, and make sure your pet is wearing a tag on its collar with its name and your contact information.

4. Carry contact information.

Note your pet’s health information and vet contact information among your documents. This seems simple, but lots of people forget to take their vet’s contact information with them. Your home vet can be a great resource while abroad, though, so don’t forget!

3. Check the pets-welcome policy for your lodgings

Increasingly, non-pet friendly lodgings are cracking down on enforcement, some charging a “heavy cleaning” or “convenience fee”—in many cases non-refundable—if they discover that you have a pet. Be sure to ask about the pet policy for the places where you plan to stay. Check out www.petswelcome.com for a list of places around the world that are pet friendly.

2. Get to know your pet’s travel needs.

If you’ve never traveled with your pet before, you may be surprised to see how different he or she is on the road. After your first trip, you’ll begin to get an idea of your pet’s specific needs and plan for them accordingly. If you have a dog, be sure to walk it before arriving at the airport. Keep a few plastic bags in your bag for disposal of waste.

1. Last call checklist:

Check your bags once more before you go: Leash? Meds (if liquids, are they stored appropriately)? Food? Water? Water/Food Bowls? Vet record? Blankets? Toy? and Contact Information?

Julie Schwietert Collazo – Matador & Boston.com

Posted:  Just One More Pet

September 28, 2009 Posted by | animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Travel, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments