How to Travel Abroad with Your Dog
By Ashley Bennett
Traveling is especially fun when you can bring your dog along, but you will need to do some planning first. When it comes to travel, the dogs are easy to deal with, but the people are not because there are a lot of rules and regulations when it comes to animals in general being transported to other countries.
Many of these issues will greatly depend on which country you are going to, because they all have different requirements. Here are some things to know before you go.
Review the Customs Laws
It is essential that you know exactly what the requirements are in the specific country that you will be visiting because customs laws vary greatly by location. Unfortunately, some countries do not even allow any foreign dogs to enter. Some of the ones that do may require a quarantine process of up to several months.
The quarantine will force you to be separated from your dog for quite some time, so be prepared if the country has that requirement. It can also be a challenge to travel with more than one dog, so check to see if there is a limit to the number of pets you can bring with you. In general, most western countries will allow dogs, but you will have to provide proof that they have been given, and are current on, their rabies vaccination.
Give Your Dog a Checkup
If your dog has not already received all of their vaccinations, now would be a good time to do so because some countries will ask for their shot records. A quick visit to your veterinarian for a checkup is also a good way to discuss your concerns and make sure that your dog is fit to travel. You may want to ask your veterinarian to write a note stating that your dog is in good health and has had all of the appropriate vaccinations.
Find Pet Friendly Travel Accommodations
Finding the proper travel accommodations for your dog can also be tricky. If you are visiting another country by car, then you can ask if the car rental company allows pets. If you are traveling by plane, then it will depend on the airline, when you are traveling, and which country you are going to.
Certain airlines do not accept pets at all, so your first objective is to find a pet friendly airline. Traveling with pet cargo in high temperatures can be risky, so some airlines will not accept them at all during the summer months. Also, check the requirements of the airport where you will arrive abroad, because some airports in other countries do not accept pets or they may require that you provide them with advance notice that you will be arriving with a pet.
Obtain Pet Friendly Living Accommodations
Once you have made it through customs, you will need to find living accommodations that accept pets. You will probably have your accommodations ready before you arrive, but make sure that you let the hotel, hostel, or apartment management know that you will have your dog with you.
Make Sure Your Dog Is Comfortable
As you go on your journey, consider the mental and physical comfort of your dog. Do the best you can do to let your dog know that traveling will be safe, fun, and comfortable. Invest in a quality carrier for your dog, because they may be in there for a while. Keep your dog calm when dealing with customs officials so they will know that your pet can handle the transition.
Planning is key when it comes to traveling with your pet. Everything really depends on where you are going, so be sure to understand the customs laws before you arrive. Visit your veterinarian for a checkup and vaccinations, buy a nice carrier for your dog, and let them know what to expect before you leave. Have a safe and happy trip!
Have you ever traveled abroad with your dog? What was it like? Share your experience with us in the comments.