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Overseas Travel With Dogs

dogFor those jet-setting Aussies who can’t bear the thought of leaving their furry family members behind, travelling with your dog is a viable option. Although it’s a costly venture, the price of pet travel has certainly come down in the last five years and can be much less costly than professional pet sitters or leaving your pooch at a kennel. Many Aussie pet-owners are taking their pets along now on extended overseas adventures. There are a number of things to consider when preparing your pet for overseas travel.

Choose Dog-Friendly Accommodation

It’s now relatively easy to find an accommodation option that caters for dogs. Dog-friendly hotel suites can offer your pet special services including his own bed, a selection of play toys, food and water bowls, and a special menu of delectable doggy treats. Some places even have dog-walking and dog-sitting services in-house. Even if the accommodation is advertised as pet-friendly, specifically mention you will be bringing along a furry accomplice. Investigate accommodation options in close proximity to parks, beaches and walking tracks for daily doggy exercise.

Choose Dog-Friendly Destinations

Just because your accommodation is pet-friendly, doesn’t mean your broader destination is. Some countries and cultures are more accepting of domestic pets than others. Europe in particular is known for its pro-pet attitude, especially in the countries of France, Austria, Great Britain and Germany. In North America, much of the U.S. and Canada is tolerant of pets in public places, with New York in particular being renowned as one of the most pet-friendly places in the world. Many countries in South America also embrace dogs, including Columbia, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil and Chile.

Pet Travel Must-Do’s

First, investigate the requirements surrounding the importation of animals for your destination of choice. All countries will have strict regulations around vaccinations, so ensure you do your homework and meet the requirements. Rabies and tapeworm are very real threats in some overseas destinations, so it’s not just process for process’ sake. You will also need to obtain a “Pet Passport” in order to qualify for the “Pet Travel Scheme”. The Pet Travel Scheme is a system which allows animals to travel back and forth between member countries, including the U.K. and other EU countries, Australia and New Zealand, relatively easily. Thanks to the PTS scheme, your pet may avoid quarantine entirely. At the very least, the time will be significantly reduced. Your pet passport will contain specific information related to your pet’s vaccination and health history, and confirmation of their microchip number for identification. It might also be worth attending a handful of refresher obedience classes in the weeks before going. A well-behaved, patient pet will make the entire experience far more pleasurable.

Packing for Your Pet

Include pet first-aid kits, any required medications and lots of food, more than you think you’ll ever need. Although pet-friendly accommodations might provide beds, bowls and blankets, sometimes it’s more settling for your pet to be surrounded by familiar things. It also pays to be prepared just in case your hotel doesn’t provide these items. Other items that are worth packing include a portable water dispenser and a portable litter box.

Preparing for Flying

To ensure you actually get on your flight, check that your travel cage meets the requirements specified by your chosen airline. Most airlines list this information on their websites and many also have a hotline specifically for enquiries about pet travel. When it comes time to fly, ensure your pet is well-hydrated, but not over-hydrated, fed and has access to sufficient water to last the entire journey. It might also be worth exploring options around sedation with your vet.

About the Author: Tamera McQueen is a blogger and proud owner of a toy poodle, Steffy. In the last seven years, Steffy has seen more of Europe than the average Aussie ever will in his or her whole lifetime!

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