How To Travel With Your Dogs Internationally

Dogs travel fairly well so there's no reason why you can't travel with your dog, even internationally. Customs restrictions on animal entry vary from country to country; some are quite strict and require a lot of preparation, while others are not. Do your research well in advance to ensure that international travel with your dog will go smoothly.

Researching Pet Travel Requirements

Begin your research at least seven months in advance of your trip. Many countries, such as Australia and the UK, have very strict laws regarding the importation of animals! If you don't follow your destination country's guidelines to the letter, your dog will be denied entry.

The first thing you should do is contact the nearest embassy for your destination country. The embassy can give you detailed guidelines for dog travel into and out of the country. Make sure you specify that you are transporting a dog through customs. Most countries have different import and export regulations for different species of animals.

Next, check your airline's pet policies. Also, schedule a veterinary exam; your vet can tell you if your dog is healthy enough for air travel. If you're going to Britain, Ireland or Continental Europe, your dog will need an identifying microchip.

Make Your Preparations

Preparations for international dog travel should begin at least six months ahead of the trip. Contact your local Veterinary Services Area to ensure that your dog meets the veterinary requirements of international travel. For some countries, blood tests, examinations, and vaccinations must begin at this point.

If you have any questions about daily life with your dog in the destination country, you can also pose those to the embassy. You can also begin acclimating your dog to his travel carrier. Make your airline reservations as soon as possible, because live cargo space is limited on commercial flights.

Two months before your trip, you should make the necessary veterinary appointments. Your dog will need an exam to verify his health; you'll also need to ensure that he's properly vaccinated and identified. The exam will need to occur ten days before travel.

At least one month before the trip, you'll need to order any medications your dog might need during the trip or upon arrival. Don't forget the final veterinary exam ten days before the trip! Your vet will issue certificates verifying your dog's health.

Treat your dog for tapeworms, fleas, ticks and any other parasites the day before the trip. Some countries may deny entry if your dog has a parasitical infection.

At The Last Minute

Attach enough food to the outside of your dog's carrier to last him the duration of the flight. Also attach a manila envelope to the outside of his carrier. This envelope should include all the documents your dog will need to pass through customs. You won't be there when he's inspected; you'll pick him up at the baggage claim afterward.

You can affix a photo of your dog to the outside of the carrier for identification. Put one of your dog's favorite toys and an article of your clothing that smells like you into his carrier to soothe him during the voyage.