Pet travel in the 21st century

With the advent of the global village, airconditioned cars and pet friendly hotels, the average pet may reasonably expect to get further than the local convenience store. The inclination to travel with a pet does however place a burden of responsibility on the owner and some planning is called for.

Irrespective of how far you are going to travel with a pet, there are some basic requirements that you need to consider. Not all of these will apply to all journeys but the relevant ones should be addressed before departure.

1) The comfort and safety of the animal during the trip. 2) Feed and water requirements 3) Environmental Temperature control within the mode of transport. 4) Planned regular “comfort” stops for especially dogs if going by car 5) How you will control the pet during routine stops/unplanned interruptions 6) Relevant paperwork (vaccination certificates, permits etc) if crossing any political boundaries.

International pet travel involves crossing at least one international border and regardless of the method of transport, you need to be aware of some basic requirements that you need to adhere to.

1). The country of destination determines the pet health requirements.

You must therefore establish what these requirements are before you travel with your pet to another country. The requirements will almost certainly include a variety of vaccinations against common diseases and perhaps a veterinary health certificate. This certificate can only be issued by a qualified veterinarian after he/she has examined your pet.

2). Quarantine measures

Some countries will insist that your pet spends some time in quarantine. The purpose of quarantine is to allow the pet to be monitored and to satisfy the authorities that your pet is not carrying any disease.

Most countries have specifically designated quarantine facilities that are registered with the Veterinary authorities. In other words, your pet cannot be held in quarantine just anywhere. In addition, you will be responsible for all boarding costs incurred during the quarantine period.

3) Long distance travel requires some preparation

International Pet travel may sound glamorous, but in reality it will be a stressful undertaking for the pet and as a responsible owner you need to do everything possible to minimise the level of stress.

A thorough health check up and the provision of an approved and correctly labelled pet carrier is a good starting point. Also, if your pet is going to be separated from you for the trip then check out the credentials of the company that will be responsible for your pets health, comfort and safety during the trip.