International Travel Documents for Pets
Are you planning on traveling with your pet? Did you know that most airlines and countries require you to provide the proper international travel documents for pets so you can travel safely with your furry friend? Whether you are simply traveling for pleasure, have a service dog, or are looking to ship an animal for sale, you will need to have the proper documentation for travel.
Prior to planning your trip you should check to make sure your destination allows the import of animals, even if it is just your companion pet. You can check here for more details on where you can and cannot travel with your pet(s). If you’re able to travel with your pet across international borders, a health certificate will be required.
No matter the reason you are flying with your pet, the airline will need to have a health certificate also called a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection. This must be completed by an accredited veterinarian no more than 10 days prior to your travel date for most major airlines to accept it. When you are going to the vet, be sure to tell them where you will be traveling to, so they can make sure your pet is up to date on all necessary vaccinations and requirements for travel to the foreign country. Your vet should be able to find out which vaccines are required for your travel destination, but it is wise to educate yourself as well to be sure your pet is ready to travel. Once you have the health certificate, you will need to check your airline’s pet policies to be sure you are prepared. All major airlines have pet policies which vary depending on the size of your pet, breed, age, etc. You will need to make sure that if your pet will be shipped with the cargo that your kennel is airline approved and you have paid the fees associated with animal travel. If you want to bring your pet as a carryon, you must be sure that you meet the airlines requirements about size, age, and breed as well.
Another certificate that may be required for travel by some airlines is an Acclimation Certificate. This helps make sure your pet’s travel is in compliance with animal welfare regulations. Some flights may put animals at risk of being exposed to dangerously high or low temperatures. This certificate will tell airlines at what temperatures your animal can safely fly.
It is important to note, that if you have a service animal, you will not be required to go through the same process as someone simply flying with a pet. According to the Federal Airline Administration, service animals will be able to board the plane without a health certificate and they do not need to be crated. It is highly recommended that you still call the airline and view the countries’ policy on traveling with animals to ensure you don’t run into any unexpected problems upon arrival.
When you are flying with your pet or service animal, be sure to check your airline’s animal policy prior to planning your trip. This will help make sure that you are in compliance and help reduce any stress when preparing your pet for safe travels. Once all of your pet’s international travel documents are in order, you can sit back and enjoy your trip with your best friend at your side the entire time!