You love your pet, and you like to travel. Once mutually exclusive, these two passions are now celebrated together as pet owners learn to travel with their pets. With a growing number of travel-related companies catering to the needs of pet owners, there’s no reason to leave your beloved pet at home when traveling abroad. Instead, pack up your pooch or jet-setting feline and enjoy the sights together. West Chelsea Veterinary is internationally accredited and can prepare your travel paperwork and will assist you in obtaining the necessary certification from the United States Department of Agriculture before travel.
“Many of West Chelsea Veterinary’s patients are seasoned international travelers!” notes Dr. Michael Farber, DVM, founder and Chief of Staff of West Chelsea Veterinary. “While it can be relatively easy to travel abroad with your pets, some countries have stringent rules and lengthy procedures to comply with before pets can travel. Therefore, it takes careful planning and preparation to ensure your pet is ready to go safely and comfortably.”
Proper Certification Ensures International Access
While most countries accept international pet travelers, owners must research their destination of choice before booking their travel. Many countries require simple health records signed by your veterinarian, but others may ask for specific test results or even import permits. Often these requirements have a time limit (such as within ten days before arrival) so make sure to carefully time your trip preparations. Aspiring pet travelers should also be clear on pet by-laws of the countries they intend to visit. For example, some areas may ban specific breeds of dogs such as Pit Bulls or Rottweilers.
Pet Protocol in Place at a Pet-Friendly Accommodation
A growing number of hotels are making it easier to travel with pets. However, whether you are staying in a budget hotel or posh penthouse, traveling with your pet still requires pet-friendly etiquette. When booking your accommodation, double-check that the hotel allows your breed of pet to stay on your desired dates and be clear on any rules in place, such as special fees. While it can be tempting to step out for a café au lait while your pet snoozes, it’s best to avoid leaving your pet alone. Lastly, make sure to pack plenty of their food, treats, toys, and blankets. This way, both you and your pooch can get a good night’s sleep.
Is Your Pet Healthy Enough for Travel?
When planning to travel with your favorite furry friend, you must first take the overall health of your pet into account. Not surprisingly, healthier pets are better travelers. While travel can be an exciting time to bond with your pet and enjoy new experiences together, it can also be a stressful time for your pet. If your pet is overweight, aging, or suffering from health-related issues such as diabetes, kidney complications, or cancer, they may not be able to withstand the rigors of travel and an unfamiliar environment.
Emotional Support Animals (ESAs)
For people with registered emotional support animals (ESAs), a number of airlines and countries will allow a traveler to fly with their pet in the cabin. ESA's fall under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and most countries will agree to accept ESA's on that basis. However, airlines have become increasingly strict about what they will consider an ESA after a woman arrived at the airport with an emotional support peacock. Another traveler arrived with a small alligator that he claimed was his ESA. There have also been recent incidents involving ESA's attacking service dogs who were on the same flight. Most airlines now require that ESA's be trained and that owners attest to their good manners while flying.
Make sure to check with your West Chelsea Veterinarian on whether your pet is a good travel candidate before planning your next pet-friendly getaway or move.
West Chelsea Veterinary can help with your pet travel needs. If you have any upcoming travel plans, please call us at (212) 645‑2767 as early as possible so that we can make sure your pet meets all travel requirements.