Traveling with your pets can be an absolute blast. After all, pets already make regular life so much better. Bringing them along for an adventure can be a deeply memorable and enjoyable experience.
However, what many travelers don’t realize is that you can’t simply bring your pet with you wherever you go. There are many rules and regulations to navigate when moving your pet across borders. Moving across state and country lines unprepared can quickly turn your would-be adventure into a bureaucratic nightmare. Worse still, you risk getting your pet detained, leaving them afraid, confused, and alone.
It’s up to you to travel responsibly with your pet. Getting everything you need to do so can be difficult. But it’s worth it to keep your companion safe. Read this article to avoid giving yourself and your faithful friend an unnecessary headache when navigating import and export regulations.
1. Have Someone Do The Work For You
Traveling with a pet without preparing is a recipe for disaster. But preparing effectively is no small task. To be honest, it’s a difficult process because of all the paperwork you need to organize and submit. And getting all the appropriate paperwork can take lots of time doing research and going to appointments.
All that extra work can make your upcoming travel feel like, well, work. You can make things easier for yourself by hiring someone to do it for you. Pet transport service companies pride themselves on their ability to get your pet to your destination in good health. They’ve been through this process thousands of times before and know all the twists and turns. They can drive your pet to your final destination, and you just have to meet them there.
You’ll still have to lend a hand by providing necessary documents and taking your pet to its appointments. But the company will ensure your companion arrives safe and sound. That way you can feel confident about your travels and save yourself an organizational headache.
2. Prepare The Proper Documents
Did you know that you’re not always the only one who needs a passport? Your little buddy will need the correct paperwork prepared in advance to cross international borders legally. Even when traveling within the same country, some forms of transportation require a health certificate. This comes from a veterinarian and ensures your pet is healthy and free from contagious diseases.
Pets can carry bacteria, viruses, and other harmful microorganisms to foreign environments unprepared to defend against them. So getting your pet checked out isn’t just a formality. It’s a process that can have serious ramifications if not completed correctly. To get a certificate of health, you’ll need to schedule the proper appointments with your veterinarian. They’ll check the status of your pet’s general health and update their vaccines.
Additionally, you’ll need your vet to fulfill any other species or country-specific conditions. Depending on your pet’s species and your destination, you may also need to acquire transportation permits from that country’s import office. Research your destination’s pet import requirements to understand what their specific rules and regulations are.
3. Expect To Quarantine
Depending on your destination, your pet may also need to quarantine after you’ve crossed the border. Again, pets can bring with them foreign contaminants that can seriously compromise an ecosystem’s stability. So countries with particularly sensitive ecosystems may require set periods of pet quarantine. This is especially the case if you’re traveling beyond cities and going out into nature.
It will likely come as no surprise that undergoing quarantine can be stressful for pets, just as for their owners. Quarantine can last for a few days to several weeks depending on the place and the pet. It usually involves your pet staying in a specialized facility and undergoing daily health checks. These checks are observations carried out by a specialized on-site veterinarian.
Pets in quarantine are provided with routine exercise, food, and basic care. However, the quality of this care can vary dramatically. There’s no guarantee of standardization from one facility, state, or country to another. An already daunting experience for your pet can lead to traumatization if they’re not cared for properly. Read up on your destination’s pet quarantine requirements to make sure you fully understand what you’re signing your pet up for.
4. Consider Microchipping
Whether or not your pet has a microchip can significantly affect your travel plans and experience. In fact, you may be surprised to learn how many countries require pets to be chipped. If your pet gets lost, it can cause danger to environments beyond just importing foreign contaminants.
Pets like cats, dogs, and other hunters can harm native wildlife populations unadapted to defend against such predators. Additionally, instinctual habits such as digging can damage sensitive vegetative ecosystems. These natural safety concerns are why many governments require microchipping to track lost pets. Retrieving them sooner than later mitigates potential harm to native ecosystems.
Microchipping can be personally valuable as well. Consider the emotional stress you and your pet would experience if they got lost abroad. There’s no guarantee you’d ever be reunited. With a microchip, you’ll be able to find your pet much more easily and quickly. Like with quarantine, research your travel destination’s microchip requirements before you embark on your adventure.
Put Your Pet First
Navigating pet import and export regulations can be a lot to wrap your head around. But keep in mind that it’s for your pet’s own good in addition to your destination’s. Just like filing taxes, there can be a lot of paperwork to work through. So it may be worthwhile to hire someone to help guide you through it. No matter how you approach your upcoming travel plans, do what you must to prioritize your pet’s happiness and well-being.