We thank David Gray of Dog Desires for his interest in sharing this article with Expatclic, and for his passion for dogs, of course!
When you are travelling out of America with your dog there are a lot of things you should consider before ever beginning the process. There are a host of requirements that must be thought through and put in place before travelling with your dog.
Below I am going to cover 5 essentials that you should look into more deeply and exactly why each of them is important.
#1 First Consider Your Destination Country
One of the first things you should probably look into is the country you are travelling to. Each and every country has their own rules and regulations for allowing a dog to enter. As an example, if you are travelling to the UK you will need your dog to be identified by a microchip, been given a rabies vaccination & tapeworm treatment just to name a few things.
Different countries have different requirements and it’s usually the first thing you should look at when considering exactly what is needed when taking your dog to another country.
#2 Choosing Your Airline
Something that can sometimes be a little overlooked is your choice of airline. Similar to different countries different airlines have different laws & regulations for travelling with dogs. For example, some airlines may allow you travelling with your dog in the cabin whereas others require your dog to be kept in the hold (that is heated and ventilated).
If your travel has a layover and the dog is kept in the cabin you will be expected to take care of your dog as you would assume. The difference here is if your dog is kept in the hold they will be transferred to the connecting flight and taken care of by the relevant personnel for the airline and airport.
#3 Your Pets Comfort
When considering your pets comfort when travelling there are a host of things that can be looked into. For starters obviously travel with less layovers or ideally direct would be the best option if possible.
I would also recommend taking your pet for a walk directly before the flight or just before you hand them over to the airline. This is important because they will likely not be able to move around much or get much exercise until the travel has been completed.
If your dog is traveling in the hold you will need to have them kept in a crate which you need to provide. Try to choose a spacey crate so they have enough room to move around a little during travel. Also keep in mind their are often requirements to the crate size depending on your dog.
Another thing to think of is avoiding extreme temperatures, for example if you are travelling somewhere hot, it would be better to arrive at night time when it is cooler.
#4 Consider the Cost
Sometimes when travelling with your dog the costs can really start to rack up. You may even be surprised to find out that your pet will cost you more to travel than yourself!
When you consider the likes of pet passports, vaccinations, microchips and more the cost can sometimes get exceedingly high.
The best thing to do in this situation is to break everything down and work out how much each part will cost. This way you can at least roughly work out how much it will cost you to travel with your dog and that way you won’t be shocked by the price than if you hadn’t considered it beforehand.
When travelling to certain countries it is a requirement that a dog get microchipped. The point of a microchip is so that your dog can be easily identified if he goes missing and so they can be easily identified when travelling.
I personally recommend getting the microchipping done regardless if it is deemed necessary or not. That way if you dog does become lost there is a good chance that microchip will help you find him again.
The important thing to note in regards to that is that you will want to register the ID to a national pet recovery database. When you register the ID it is important to include your contact details so you can be easily reached if your dog does happen to go missing. You can use a service like AKC Reunite which searches hundreds of registry databases to help find your dog.