Traveling with Dogs Internationally
Whether you’re a jet-setter or you only travel once in a while, bringing your canine companion on an international trip can be a lot of fun. Whether you want to show him the sights around the world, you would like to introduce your four-legged family member to loved ones that live across the globe, or he’s going to help out with a cause, before you travel, you’re going to want to make sure that your plan ahead.
If you’re traveling to a neighboring nation or a country that is thousands of miles away from home, here are some tips to keep in mind before you travel internationally with your pooch.
LEARN THE RULES
Not all countries have the same rules regarding dogs. While some countries welcome canines with open arms, others have very stringent policies in place. To you, a loving parent to a beloved dog, these rules might not seem fair, but they exist for a reason: to protect other people and animals.
Find out what type of regulations are in place, and do so several months before you travel. Your pup might need to have certain inoculations within a specific timeframe before he’s allowed to enter your destination country. Also, you’ll likely need to show the proper documentation. Make sure that you know exactly what your pet needs – and what you need to bring along – before you travel to another country together. If you don’t, you’ll likely have a very difficult time getting through customs.
GET A MICROCHIP
If your dog doesn’t already have a microchip, make sure that you plan to have one put into place before you travel. While every country has different rules, most of them require dogs to have a microchip before they can enter. Plus, if your pet breaks loose from his leash or dashes out of a door while you’re traveling, a microchip will help you find him. Studies have found that dogs that are microchipped are far more likely to be reunited with their owners than those that aren’t.
Worried that it will hurt? Don’t! They’re smaller than a grain of rice and are inserted just underneath the surface of the skin in the scruff of the neck with a syringe, much like a routine vaccination. It will be over before you know it, and most dogs don’t even bat an eye.
FIND OUT IF YOUR DOG’S BREED IS BANNED
This might sound crazy, but in some countries, certain breeds are banned. If your pooch is a banned breed, he will not be allowed to enter, under any circumstances. If that’s the case, your pup will likely be sent back home (at your expense). Depending on the location, there’s even a chance that he could be euthanized.
While every country is different, the breeds that are most commonly banned include Staffordshire Terriers, Pit Bulls, Neapolitan Mastiffs, and Rottweilers. It’s far better to check ahead than to bring your dog along and find out that he isn’t allowed.
CHECK WITH YOUR AIRLINE
You’ll also want to check in with your airline to find out what their rules are regarding traveling with pets. Some airlines allow small breeds to ride along with their owners in the cabin, while large breeds will have to ride in the cargo area; however, on some planes, dogs of all sizes are required to fly with cargo. In either case, you will definitely need to look into different travel crate options. It is also important to confirm you have approval to transport food containers and other maintenance materials. Make sure you know what your airline’s rules are so that you – and your pet – are prepared.
By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be able to ensure that you and your four-legged best friend will be able to travel safely and soundly.