Traveling Internationally with Pets

Traveling across international borders with pets can be challenging. You have to contend with the rules of different countries as well as the rules of airlines or whatever type of transportation provider you’re using. On top of this, you have to keep your pet as safe and comfortable as possible.

Airlines and Pets

Each airline has its own policy regarding animals. Most airlines will allow you to travel with cats and dogs, though there are certain restrictions. That’s why it’s essential to ask about this when making your reservation. Airlines often impose a limit on the number of pets that can fly on a given flight.

There is also the question of how the pet will be traveling. Most airlines allow pets to be checked as baggage and kept in cargo. Restrictions on this are common during summer, when animals are in danger of experiencing heat related problems. Certain breeds of dogs, such as pugs, boxers, and bull terriers are especially prone to breathing problems. For this reason, airlines may not permit all breeds of dogs to fly in cargo. This is something you should know for the safety of your pet as well.

If you have a pet that is small enough to fit in a carrier under your seat, you can usually take it into the cabin with you. In this case, you must use a carrier that is approved by the airline. Typical fees charged by airlines is between $100 and $200 for either bringing a pet into the cabin or having it fly in cargo.

You will need a health certificate for your pet if you’re going to take it on board a plane. This is to ensure that your cat or dog is healthy and is up to date with vaccinations. You can get a health certificate issued by your veterinarian. Make sure you do this well in advance of your trip.

Restrictions Imposed By Nations

You also have to consider the policies of the nation or nations you’re traveling to. Not all countries allow pets. Some countries require special permits or customs brokers. In some cases there may be quarantines. If you are traveling to the state of Hawaii, your pet must travel via cargo. The airline you’re traveling with can inform you about any restrictions imposed by governments.

Preparing Your Pet For Travel

Travel is seldom pleasant for pets. Long flights, especially if the animal is traveling in cargo, can be quite stressful. You have to consider several factors when making plans. If your pet is old or has health problems, a long trip could be dangerous. You should ask your veterinarian for guidance on this. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Place a favorite toy or blanket in the crate with your pet. This will provide some comfort.
  • Pets should be well exercised before travel.
  • Don’t feed your pet for at least six hours prior to the flight. Pets do need access to water, though.
  • If your pet is flying in cargo, don’t be dramatic about parting with it, as this will only make things worse.
  • Certain aromatherapy oils, such as lavender, may help to keep pets calm. You can massage a little oil into the animal’s coat.
  • Most veterinarians don’t recommend medicating animals for travel unless they normally take medication for other reasons.