International Travel with Pets: FAQ

If you’re like many people, your pets are considered part of the family. They do everything with you, from walks at the park to road trips and sometimes even international travel. Sometimes leaving the family pet back home while you travel simply isn’t an option. Whether you’re unable to find a reliable sitter, don’t want to leave your pup or cat at the boarding facility, or you happen to be moving abroad, you have several things to take into consideration. Traveling abroad with a pet doesn’t have to be a stressful experience and we have some great tips for international travel for you and your pets.

International Air Travel with Pets – FAQ

Q: Do I need a passport for my pet?

A: A Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) is a passport program for your pets used by a group of participating countries. The United States, Australia, New Zealand, and nations in the European Union are some of the locations included, but you’ll want to check into your destination location’s requirements. The PETS program allows your pet to travel easily between the participating countries without undergoing quarantine. Not all countries follow the PETS program, so regardless of where you’re going, ensure you’ve read up on what is required of you to follow the appropriate regulations. For countries not included in the PETS program, most generally follow guidelines similar to the requirements set forth by the PETS program.

Q: What kind of documentation will I need if I’m traveling to a country that does not require a Pet Passport?

A: Start by checking with your destination location’s requirements. Traveling with pets overseas usually requires a vaccination record that includes Rabies, and some countries may require documentation your pets have been treated for worms or other parasites. The time frame for treatment before travel may vary from place to place and there are generally age restrictions for pets traveling domestically and internationally. Certification requirements will vary, but they are fairly easy to obtain and may only require a quick visit to your veterinarian.

Q: How will my pet be traveling on an international flight?

A: International flights with pets are handled in a few different ways. You’ll need to check with your airline on specifics such as weight and size requirements for pets, which may determine whether they can ride as carry-on or be transported in the luggage hold area. Most airlines require your cat, dog or other pet riding as carry-on be able to fit underneath the seat in front of you, utilizing a pet carrier in which they are able to stand up and turn around. There are also associated fees that accompany traveling with pets overseas. To learn what the fees and restrictions are for your situation, be sure to contact the company you’re traveling with well before your scheduled travel date.

Q: Are there different requirements for traveling with service animals internationally?

A: The same requirements regarding certifications and health restrictions apply to service animals, but where they’re allowed to travel in the plane may differ.

Now that we’ve given you some basics, you’re well equipped to start your trip planning. Knowing how to travel abroad with your pet will take the stress out of getting from point A to point B. While you’re planning out logistics for all your family members, don’t forget to get the necessary personal certified documents in line for yourself. They won’t be going anywhere with you if you don’t have your own passport!

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