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International Travel with your Small Pet

International travel with your small pet is possible if the proper steps and preparation are taken. First, do not even attempt to take your pet on a flight longer than 12 hours, it is against the USDA regulations for a pet to be on a aircraft any longer than this time.

It is imperative that you check with your airline carrier prior to leaving for all of their rules and regulations. One of the most important steps you need to take is to research the rules and regulations regarding the entrance of your pet into your destination country. All countries have specific things that need to be done prior to your pet’s acceptance. Finding this out will help you schedule your veterinarian visit. Some countries require a health certificate signed no more than 10 days prior to travel. Other countries require you to have your vet submit paperwork that will take more than six months to process.

An International Health Certificate is required in all cases. Most countries have their own, which you can find on their consulate websites. These certify that your pet is in good health, not a carrier of any disease and up to date on vaccinations. If your destination country does not have a specific form, the USDA has a generic form. All of these forms take time to process and require a fee.

Many countries require a quarantine period. If your destination country requires this, you may be leaving before your small pet is cleared. Australia, for instance, has a quarantine of anywhere from 30 days to 120 days. Every country is different, but for those with quarantine it is a minimum of 30 days. Travel to the United Kingdom should be researches especially close. Rules and regulations have been changing and at the moment a 6 month quarantine along with a microchip id is required.

International travel is more complicated with pets. Not only do you need to be sure to follow the rules of the airline, but you also need to follow the rules of your destination country or countries. If at all possible, leave your pet with a friend or family member. International travel is stressful on small pets. If you must travel with them, take several months to prepare. Try to only travel internationally with a small pet if you are moving to your destination country.