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
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.
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
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
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