Our dogs are precious to us. And the thought of leaving them behind when we take a rather extended vacation abroad has us even considering canceling the trip altogether. Take a breath. There is no reason why your furry family member cannot go with you. It’s just a matter of some research and serious pre-planning for travel with your dog.
There are several steps involved here, and missing any of them can mean your pooch will suffer, even staying in quarantine during your visit. You will suffer too if this happens. Follow these steps.
- Research the pet entry requirements for each country you will be visiting. They do differ, especially relative to the inoculations that are required. They may also differ according to the timeline involved for these vaccinations; some may be as short as 30 days prior to entry into the country.
- Once you have the list of required vaccinations, set up appointments with your veterinarian to get all the required shots.
- Also required for most entries will be a microchip. You need a 15-digit non-encrypted chip if you don’t already have one. And once that chip is inserted, another rabies vaccine is usually required.
- To be on the safe side, the following inoculations should be given in order to “cover” your pet for any country: rabies, distemper, parainfluenza, Bordetella, canine influenza (2 shots, 2-weeks apart), Brucellosis, Ehrlichia Canis, leishmaniosis, and leptospirosis.
- Be certain that you get a certified copy of all the vaccinations from your vet. You will need to find a certified translator online to translate the document and certify its authenticity. It will need to be translated into the languages of all countries you intend to visit.
- Be certain that all accommodations you book are pet-friendly.
The Airline Travel and Checkpoints
Individual airlines will differ regarding pet travel. You want your pooch to be as comfortable as possible during the trip, and you want to reduce your anxiety as well. In general, small dogs (less than 18 pounds) may travel in the plane with you, in a cage, and with their own seat. Larger dogs must go in the cargo hold, and temperature will be a factor, especially at high altitudes where it will be cold. Prepare the cage accordingly, with a warm blanket, in addition to food and water of course. Here are other considerations.
- Have multiple copies of your documents for each country you enter. You never know when an inspector may take the documents, and you will want extras.
- If you have all the correct documents, you will avoid a quarantine period, something you don’t want your pet to endure.
- You will want a copy of the entry approval, just in case your hotel wants to see it.
Consider Your Needs for Local Needs Once in a Country
If your pre-planning has been done correctly, you have no doubt booked accommodations that are pet-friendly. But there are other potential issues that you should also plan for once you are in-country.
- Where will you find dog food or other necessary items (e.g., poop bags)?
- What areas are available for walking your dog?
- Where might you find a local vet if there is an emergency?
- What local restaurants will allow a pet?
- If you decide to take a last-minute side trip, how will you find pet-friendly accommodations?
All of these questions can be answered if you have downloaded the following 7 apps for the best travel experiences. These include Google Translate so that you can ask those questions in the native language, Uber and Lyft transport, last-minute lodging options from rooms to hostels, and more.
It’s All About Preparation
International travel with your dog does not need to be a stressful experience. The key is to plan for what you know will be required and for any eventuality that may occur during the trip. A key piece of the preparation will be those documents that will streamline your entry into your destination countries.
Author Bio: Elizabeth Baldridge is a researcher and writer, focusing on diverse cultures of the world. As a frequent international traveler, she often contributes to a number of blogs on travel.