We found it challenging when we have to think about traveling with our pets. International travel for pets has been a much-discussed issue nowadays. International travel for pets turns inevitable when we are not in a situation to skip. As family members, the pet will have to travel with us. Therefore, international travel for pets requires some attention. This article intended to share seven steps to make sure international travel for pets.
According to CDC, effective December 1, 2021, all dogs, all dogs that have traveled to a high-risk country in the previous six months must enter the United States through an approved port of entry, which includes all 18 airports with a CDC quarantine station: Anchorage (ANC), Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW), Detroit (DTW), Honolulu (HNL), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), Minneapolis (MSP), New York (JFK), Newark (EWR), Philadelphia ( (IAD).
All canines brought into the United States must be in good health when they arrive.
Dogs that have not traveled to a high-risk country in the previous six months are not required by the CDC to present a rabies vaccination certificate or a CDC Dog Import Permit and can enter the US at any port of entry. However, they must be healthy upon arrival, and rabies vaccination is recommended.
International Pet Travel on American Carriers
The following information applies to both cats and dogs. Other pets may be subject to different airline restrictions. For further information, contact the airlines directly. The regulations of United States airlines regarding the transportation of animals are subject to change at any time.
If your pet needs to be sent as cargo, contact a commercial shipper as soon as possible via IPATA. The following information simply serves as a guideline. Check with the airline and, if required, the pet shipper you want to utilize about all of your concerns. OBC advises that you get formal confirmation of any bookings you make for your pet’s shipment.
You may transport your pet by aircraft in one of three ways, according to the State dot Gov:
- Your pet is welcome to fly with you (either in-cabin, as accompanied baggage, or as cargo). Your pet will be charged the appropriate amount. Some airlines no longer provide this service, and some nations do not let pets travel in cabins.
- You can book a separate flight for your pet. The freight rate will be applied, which is significantly higher than the extra baggage rate. Most airlines, however, no longer allow pet owners to schedule their dogs as cargo directly with the airline.
- A qualified professional shipper may transport your pet for you. The pet shipper’s fee will be added to the cargo rate. Unless your pet is tiny enough to fly in the cabin, many airlines now mandate this option.
- Even if they fly on the same airline as you, animals weighing 100 pounds or more (including the weight of the cage) will be taxed as cargo. Whether your pet is near that weight, check with the airline to see if their policy differs from the usual 100-pound guideline.
Only active-duty U.S. military and U.S. State Department Foreign Service members traveling on formal instructions are allowed to check their dogs with American Airlines. Up to two dogs may be checked, and they must fulfill the destination’s minimum age and health standards. Because space is limited, we only accept checked dogs on a first-come, first-served basis.
When inspecting a pet, you must:
- Contact Reservations at least 48 hours before your trip and check in with your formal orders at the ticket desk.
- Allow additional time for check-in (at least 2 hours and no more than 4 hours before your flight)
- With the help of an agent, complete a checklist.
- Please provide a medical certificate.
To protect your pet’s health and safety, the health certificate you give must be provided by a veterinarian within the following time frames:
- Your journey will last ten days.
- 60 days after you’ve returned (travel on the same ticket)
- within ten days of your return (travel on a separate ticket)
International travel for pets: Steps
1. Find out if you are in a rabies-free country or a rabies-controlled country
The reasons for entering the country with pets are so stringent (and why Australia was so mad at Johnny Depp) that all the downfall. Drop-free countries must keep their country dehydrated, while de-controlled countries need to prevent the disease from spreading further.
If you are traveling from a rabies-controlled country to a rabies-free country, there is not a very easy time getting past your dog’s rituals. But if you live in a country free of rabies, the process of entering countries with dogs is much less understood. You can see a list of rabies-free and rabies-controlled countries here.
2. Get your pet microchipped and vaccinated
Although each country has different rules, the majority (if not all) of your pets need to be transplanted with 15 digits and non-encrypted microchips. Then, if you live in a rabies-controlled country, you must be vaccinated for at least 30 days before your pet enters the country. It is important to note that dogs that were previously vaccinated but not microchipped will need to be vaccinated again after the chip is implanted.
In some countries, more vaccinations are needed than just the vaccine. For example, the UK, France, Spain, Germany, and Italy all require pets to be vaccinated for decompression.
And in Australia, your dog must be vaccinated for para-influenza, bordetella, canine influenza, and treated for brucellosis, Ehrlichia Canis, leishmaniasis, and leptospirosis.
So before leaving, it’s a good idea to check what your destination’s vaccine requirements are. You can find a list of these requirements for each country through the US Department of Agriculture’s website.
3. Request a veterinarian’s health certificate and/or pet passport
All countries must meet the Veterinary Health Certificate before departing, and each one is slightly different. If you are unsure about what documents you need, contact the Embassy of your destination country to get a copy of all required veterinary papers (usually a bilingual health certificate).
After receiving one, complete it within 10 days of your veterinarian’s entry. Traveling from the US or Canada, the certificate must be approved by a USDA or CFIA-approved veterinarian.
Traveling with pets is ten times easier if you are in Europe. European dog owners can bypass mandatory health certificates for pets’ passports instead. That’s right, a genuine passport for your dog (with a picture and everything!).
Those with pet passports can travel freely inside the European Union with a puppy, meaning that dreams of riding a bike in Paris with a basket full of dogs and baguettes are now a reality.
4. Find out if quarantine is mandatory
Separating pets is the scariest part of international travel and it is the part that makes pet owners the scariest. The good news is that most countries do not separate pets if steps 1-3 are followed.
However, stricter rules have madness requirements for countries that can last from seven days to less than six months (thanks, Japan). To find out if you have quarantine requirements in your destination country, consult the USDA website or contact the country’s embassy.
5. Is your dog banned?
There are some species of countries that will not allow them in their countries because they have been considered “hysterical”. These varieties will not be allowed to enter the country without following steps 1-4.
Most countries will send the dog to your expense or return, even in the worst of circumstances they euthanize the dog. Although each country is different, the most banned varieties are the Pitt Bulls, Rottweilers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Dogo Argentinos, Japanese Toss Ins, Phila Brasileiros, and Neapolitan Mastiffs.
6. Other Miscellaneous Requirements
After researching the requirements for your destination country, you will realize that they require additional steps, such as import permits and blood tighter tests. Countries like France, Australia, and the Bahamas need import permits.
If you are traveling from a rabies-controlled or high-rabies country, most countries will also require your dog to have a blood test. Import permits and blood titer tests are not always mandatory, so be sure to do your research first.
7. Coordinate logistics with your airline
Last but not least, call your airline and ask them what steps you need to take when traveling with your dog. Depending on the size of your dog, your dog may be allowed to ride in the cabin with you.
Otherwise, your dog will ride in the cargo hold. While flying to other countries, some countries have stringent requirements for the adoption of animals, especially if you are moving through a country with more strict rules than your destination country.
It is also important to note that some international airports do not accept pets, which means you have to make sure you arrive at an import-friendly airport. There are lots of rules and red tape that are specific to each airline, so the easiest way to navigate it is to just call and ask.
Take into account your pet’s comfort
The most stressful component of travel for animals is loading and unloading. Consider the following suggestions:
- Before the flight, get your pet acquainted with its carrier.
- Select flights that have fewer connections or layovers.
- To prevent excessive heat or cold, choose your departure and arrival times carefully. For example, arriving at a hot place late at night may be beneficial for your pet.
- Make an appointment with your veterinarian. Sedatives or tranquilizers are not recommended by the International Air Transport Association because they may injure animals while in flight.
- Before leaving home and again before checking in, take your pet for a walk.
- Check-in as late as possible if your pet is allowed in the cabin to prevent stress.
- If your pet is being carried as cargo, arrive early so it may be taken to the plane’s quiet and dimly lighted cargo hold.
It’s possible that your destination country has certain health standards that must be completed before your pet may enter. Because each country’s export rules are different and can change at any moment, you’ll need to double-check them every time you plan a trip with your pet. Please keep in mind that airlines may have their own set of criteria. Check with your airline to see if they have any special requirements.
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