When it comes to understanding every country’s restrictions for pet travel it can be mind-boggling. Most countries can have different regulations regarding the weight of the pet accepted on-board, breed of pet or they may simply not be accepting any pets at all. The coronavirus has made it increasingly difficult to narrow down what is allowed and what isn’t when it comes to making journeys with your pet.
On top of all this, there’s the normal stress of flying which is bad enough. Sometimes flights are delayed, cancelled, or may be affected by other issues that make your life that much harder. Let’s take a look at some important information when it comes to travelling with your pet.
Why Are Pet Regulations in Place?
Most countries will follow a pattern when it comes to the requirements of travelling with your pet. They want to see up-to-date information regarding any health conditions your animal has. They also need to see the breed information, the microchipping details, and the manufacturer. This is all important to ensure your pet is travelling in the most secure and protected way. Not just for you, for other pet owners in that country as well!
Some countries may be battling a threatening disease for pets such as rabies. So, having all your vaccinations present and accounted for will give you the best chance of not encountering any critical problems on your trip. It’s not just rabies either, there are other things to watch out for such as:
- Feline Leukaemia
- Canine distemper
All of these are extremely dangerous for your pet. It’s important to make sure you have discussed any potential risks of these with your veterinarian and done your research on the place you want to visit.
In the UK, it is against the law for your pet not to be microchipped and in many other countries, this is no different. In the regrettable situation that you might be separated from your best friend, having your pet microchipped and its microchip website up to date will allow the other person the best chance at reuniting you with your pet.
In addition to microchipping, many travellers like to carry a recent photograph of you with your pet so that you can ask people if they have seen your animal if you happen to get separated. It’s advised to have a look at the website of your microchip manufacturer to make sure you have updated all the details before you travel.
What Happens if I Don’t Follow the Rules?
Mistakes do happen. If you miss a step when it comes to following the country’s pet regulations, it can mean that your pet will not be allowed to travel. Some countries will be more lenient if you forget to provide something and allow the pet to be quarantined until you are in a position to provide the missing information. Whilst still not ideal, it will allow you to carry on with your journey once this is completed.
However, not all countries will be able to accommodate a quarantine procedure. This will mean that your pet will be shipped back to the country of origin which can certainly cause complications. This may lead to your plans being terminated and you may find yourself with some additional expenses for the inconvenience to the airline provider.
On top of the extra costs, if your pet is returned, this could cause some unnecessary stress for your furry friend. This could lead to long-term health complications such as separation anxiety and overall behavioural changes.
If your pet’s vaccination documents are out of date or some important ones are missing, some countries will reserve the right to carry out additional tests on entry. As you can imagine, this may cause delays to your plans and again, you might be expected to pay some additional costs for the inconvenience.
Most airline providers that you are travelling with will make sure that every step is taken to ensure you are complying with the connecting country’s regulations. However, you should always ensure that you are researching the country’s restrictions and procedures by getting in touch with a local flight office or reviewing them online.
It all seems a bit complicated, can I get any help?
Sometimes having to make your own travel arrangements can become confusing, especially when there is disruption. If you feel you need some support when it comes to travelling with your pet, it may be worth considering speaking with a pet relocation service.
A pet relocation service is made up of professional agents who will be experienced in communicating with different airline providers and they will have religiously studied most, if not all the restrictions present in different countries.
Pick an pet moving expert, someone like www.ferndalekennels.com who has flying pets since they opened in 1994 and became IPATA members in 1997. They have shipped thousands of pets all over the world so have a great track record and you can read their testimonials or their facebook page for details.
As to be expected, the cost for using one of these services can become expensive so it is best to make some calls to see what price they can offer you. Depending on the weight of your pet and the route you are taking, a longer trip is likely to cost you that little bit more. But the peace of mind of using a professional experienced service for moving your furbaby is invaluable.
Whilst there is a lot of information to take in, if you research the country you are travelling to well in advance and check with your airline provider for any layovers, you should be fine. Please be aware that regulations can change with short notice so it’s best to give your local airline provider’s office a call before travel to see if anything has changed.
Now, more so than ever, people are desperate to get on holiday with their furry friends. To ensure you have the smoothest journey possible, make sure all your information and pet passport are up to date and this will minimise the stress involved with international travel. You might want to consider checking on your airline provider’s website for a checklist before travel. You should also look on the IATA (International Air Transport Association) website for the latest news and changes.