Living and working overseas

Traveling with pets overseas

Traveling with pets can add an extra strain - both mentally and financially - to what can already be a stressful time at best. Whether you’re taking your pets with you on a domestic flight or if you’re migrating to another country, there are many things you should consider ensuring that your journey, and theirs, is more comfortable. Here are some tips to make the journey comfortable for all…

Give your pet a check-up by your local vet prior to traveling to make sure that they are ok for traveling. When traveling overseas, in most cases the airline will need a certificate of good health issued by a registered vet no less than 10 days before the departure of the animal.

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Some pets won’t take kindly to traveling, or won’t have the health to do so, and you should respect the decision of your vet if it is advised that you shouldn’t take your pet with you. There are also some breeds of dogs various species of animals that airlines will refuse to accept for air travel. You should consult with your airline or agent well before departure date.

Make sure you or your agent are totally familiar with quarantine and other importation requirements in both the destination country and any, or all, intermediate countries that the aircraft (or animal) will transit through. In addition to paperwork there might also be fees payable to transit airport staff to take care or handle the animal while passing through transit airports.

Do not tranquilize the animal unless advised to do so by your vet – and only by a vet who has knowledge of your pet. Do not insist on tranquilisation unless your vet recommends it.

Give your pet as much exercise as possible prior to traveling – where possible try to tire them out.

Use commonsense when booking flights – don’t travel with pets when the temperatures are at extreme highs or lows and try to take the most direct flights with your pets where possible to cut down on the traveling time.

Make sure that the container that the animal is traveling in is well marked and labeled. Put personal labels on the crate like ‘Hi, my name is …., please look after me’ This makes the animal more attractive to those who are handling the container during transit.

If you’re traveling on board the aircraft with your pet, have some consideration for your fellow passengers. Some people are highly allergic to domestic pets.

Check, double check, and triple check all the documentation that is required for the animals to travel. Get the documentation ready well ahead of time and have it checked over by airline staff or third-party agents.

Be comfortable in your own mind that the animal will be taken care of by airport staff at the departure airport, the destination airport, and any transit airports in between. Ask whatever questions you feel necessary to allay any fears that you might have. There’s no need for you to be stressing on the flight also.

Take possession of the shipping container, take it home, and get the animal used to the container long before the departure date. Try to get your pet to sleep in the container at home if at all possible.

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