Travelling with man's bestie
I am going for a holiday and I want to take my dog with me. How to travel overseas with pets?
A. The main concern of most countries with importing/exporting pets is the potential transmission of diseases. By far the biggest concern is the spread of rabies and of Avian influenza, which can spread from birds to humans. A certified rabies vaccination is required in most countries, sometimes even a blood titer test to make sure your pet is free of rabies.
Make sure to find out if the country of your future residence requires a lengthy quarantine—which could last up to six months. The problem is not only the high cost of quarantine, but also the fact that your pet won't be living with you during that time. In addition to strict import requirements for dogs and cats, there are widespread import restrictions for a number of other animal species that could transmit viral diseases. Among them are birds, turtles, and a number
of small mammals. To be able to take your pet abroad with you, most countries require that you get a health certificate stating that your pet is in good health and free of parasites.
Contact the appropriate consulate to get the necessary forms required for the importation of your pet. Make sure that all vaccinations are up to date and that you fulfill the documentation requirements of the country you will be moving to. This may include translation of health certificates that may need to be notarized at a foreign consulate in your home country.
How your pet will be transported to your new overseas residency is an important issue. Some airlines allow pets to travel in an airplane's cabin, provided their cage is small enough to fit under your seat. While some airlines allow small birds to travel in the cabin, tropical birds such as parrots are usually not allowed in the cabin.
If your pet's cage does not fit under your seat, you will have to ship it as checked baggage, which raises a few health concerns for your pet. Since the outside air temperature also affects the temperature in the cargo bay, airlines may restrict the transportation of pets during certain times of the year. Make sure you get detailed information about the temperature and air pressure in the cargo bay before booking a flight. In general, the shorter your flight and the more direct your route, the better it will be for your pet. Airlines have special requirements for containers in the cabin and cargo bay. Make sure you get detailed information from your preferred airlines before purchasing a cage or kennel. Also keep in mind that some airlines only transport dogs and cats, while others also ship birds and other animals.
Make sure your pet gets acquainted with the kennel or container well ahead of your flight. Add some familiar toys or some of your clothing items, so your pet has a sense of familiarity during the transport. Sedation of your pet during the trip is generally not recommended and should only be used as a last resort. Finding a pet-friendly airline is another challenge for pet owners who want to take their pet with them overseas.
If you would like to take your pet overseas, but do not have the time to figure out all the details on your own, you might want to consider a pet relocation service. This will be expensive, but you can be assured that your pet is transported in a safe and professional manner.
For more information-
a. IATA (International Air Transport Association) provides information about air transportation of live animals, and information about travel containers for pets.
b. IPATA (Independent Pet and Animal Transportation Association International) is an international trade association of animal handlers, pet moving providers, kennel operators, veterinarians and others who are dedicated to the care and welfare of pets and small animals during domestic and international transport. The site provides information about how to find a pet shipper online.
However specifically regarding India, do not take your dog abroad as he will not be allowed back in. Indian rules do not permit tourists with dogs even if they are us just returning to our own country. The only dogs allowed into the country are those that have been with the family which was posted abroad and which can be proven to be part of the family when they left, if they are returning after a minimum of two years abroad.
(Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org)