International Travel with Pets

shutterstock_3007526Johnny Depp’s Yorkshire terriers basically got deported from Australia recently. Depp brought his dogs into Australia on a private flight and did not place them in a mandatory 10-day quarantine. Australia has strict guidelines that prevent certain illness and parasites from entering. Depp faced an ultimatum – get the dogs out of the country or have them destroyed. Traveling abroad with your pet is possible in many cases, but prepare yourself and your fuzzy companion before you even make your final travel plans.

First, check with the country you intend to visit to determine if you can bring your pet. Most countries require a health certificate to prove that your pet is in good health and is vaccinated. Some countries also require quarantines for your pet. Make sure your fuzzy friend won’t spend your entire vacation away from you. Make sure your veterinarian is federally accredited (required by some airlines and countries) and work with him or her to ensure that your pet has been vaccinated recently enough to meet requirements. Be aware that some countries require that your pet be examined no more than 10 days before travel.

Second, check with the airline you intend to travel on to make sure you will be able to bring your pet on board. Are you going to carry your pet on board or are you going to place him in the cargo area? Be aware that all airlines limit the number of pets on board, so be ready to purchase your ticket well in advance. Contact the airline directly in order to make sure you are aware of any requirements it has, and to be certain you will be able to board with your animal.

Third, check with rental car agencies and hotels to make sure your pet will be allowed to be with you.

Fourth, think long and hard . . . would your pet be happier if you left him back in the US while you are vacationing abroad? Think of the happy greeting you’d get when you return.