Pet Travel, Relocation, and Some Weird Pet Laws – that will be the topic of today’s article.
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Pets become a very important part of our life and we get so attached to them.
It might be hard to imagine our lives without them once we have a bond. Most of us even consider them as members of our family.
In the year 2020, because of the pandemic, people started having more pets. Those who were struck in other countries did the same to deal with stress.
Now there are no barriers and people started going back to their countries.
One might not think of leaving their animal companion behind as it isn’t easy.
However, It often becomes an inconvenience when you wish to travel with a pet. I mean international travel.
Not only the travel, but it is also a hassle when you move abroad. Many people might not be aware of the procedures for pet travel or a pet relocation.
Nonetheless, it is not impossible to reunite with families while having a pet. It isn’t either hard to go on a holiday with your animal buddy.
In contrast to what most people think, it is possible to relocate with your pet.
To relieve you of all these problems, I am going to discuss such important information.
This information is targeted towards the pet parents making the process less complicated.
Most of the information is gathered from people who travelled along with their pets.
In this article, we will discuss pet travel, relocation, and some weird pet laws around the world.
Let us start by discussing how to travel along with your pets. Especially while travelling internationally. This will include what you’ll have to do while relocating as well.
First of all, it isn’t going to be a piece of cake to travel with your pet.
There may be different types of pets and the rules of travel differ based on your pet.
All the rules regarding pet travel entirely depend on airline policies.
Can my pet stay in the flight’s cabin?
According to most reports, several domestic and international airlines allow small pets. By allowing, I mean that you can travel while having them in the cabin.
For this, the pets should be in a container that fits under your front seat. The pet carrier should not be more than 20 pounds. Only one pet per customer might be allowed.
There is a good possibility for some airlines to prohibit the acceptance of certain pets. Even smaller ones.
Some pets like rabbits or birds are restricted in cabins on certain airlines. Besides the airlines, there might be strict pet policies in the destination as well.
When you have a Pomeranian or a Persian cat, it may not be a big deal. But what if you want to travel with your Great Dane or St. Bernard? That would pose some complications regarding your travel.
We will get to the travel with larger pets in a few moments. Now, some airlines have good services for travelling with pets.
In the United States, Alaska Airlines is considered the best pet-friendly airline. Having many pet transfers, Alaska Airlines has low fees and flexible pet policies.
Certain other airlines from the U.S. deemed to be the best for travelling with pets are:
• Delta Air Lines
• Swiss Air
• Air Canada
• Air Tahiti Nui
These airlines are the best when you have a pet weighing 10 pounds or less.
It is also okay to travel with pet fish while having them in a see-through container. The container shall be inspected by airport security.
You should note that these pet fish will be permitted in checked baggage.
What about large pets?
Larger pets cannot travel in the cabin along with you on any flight. They will have to be kept in the cargo section of the plane.
During this part, a health certificate from a veterinarian is mandatory. Additionally, you will also have to provide other documentation during international travel.
That doesn’t end there. There is a good possibility that your pet may not travel on the same flight as you. This depends on factors such as your flight, weather, airline policy, etc.
In some airlines, pets can be accepted as checked baggage. You can book a separate cargo transfer for your pet in this case.
It is a known fact that the temperature and pressure in a plane are controlled. The airlines may refuse pets when the temperature is below 20 degrees or above 80 degrees (°F).
What happens when there is a delay or a layover when you and your pet aren’t on the same plane?
Don’t worry! The relevant authorities will feed and water your pet. If they are kind enough, they might even clean your pet’s crate or take them for a walk.
You can know about these services through a prior inquiry. You can even let the authorities know that there is a pet on that flight.
For the best reasons, always attach a food packet to your pet’s crate.
Dogs like pugs, bulldogs, boxers, etc. (short-nosed dogs), aren’t allowed in some planes. This is because they tend to have respiratory difficulties.
Most airlines have a separate check-in area for pet-related instructions. You can provide bowls for food and water and provide feeding instructions.
You must also have your contact details mentioned on your pet’s crate. Most countries have strong policies against the sedation of pets while travelling.
Shipping your pet in cargo should be avoided unless necessary. According to many pet parents, freight travel can lead to mishaps.
If you are fortunate enough, opt for a pet relocation service to move to another country.
What’s the paperwork?
An important document required for pet travel is a certificate of veterinary inspection.
This certificate should ensure that your pet is healthy for travel. It should also state the details of immunizations given to your pet.
Vaccinations will have a waiting period, so aim for a process that suits your timeline.
Different countries have different pet policies regarding the necessary documents.
In the EU, you must:
— Have your pet microchipped
— Have your pet vaccinated against Rabies
— Have your pet vaccinated against Tapeworm
— Have an EU health certificate
In Australia, you must:
— Have an import permit
— Have your pet microchipped
— Have your pet vaccinated
— Go through a 10-day quarantine
If you fail to comply with these policies, your pet might stay in quarantine, be tested, or even be euthanized.
Therefore, it is of uttermost importance to know all the pet policies in the destination.
Now, let us have a look at some important tips while travelling with different types of pets.
Tips for traveling with dogs
— Consult a vet
Consult a vet and make sure that your dog is in a good shape to travel. Always be timely with your dog’s vaccinations.
— Know about the quarantine status
Not all countries in the world require your dog to be kept in quarantine. Only rabies-free countries have policies for doggy quarantine.
Understand the requirements of the destination country to steer clear of any problems.
— Find out about the pet import requirements
Some countries will have pet import policies, which might even restrict pet imports. You can know these details via the travel websites of the destination country.
— Booking your flight
Inquire about the pet-related details from the airline before booking a flight. Through this, you will get to know all the important details of your pet’s travel.
— Your dog’s needs on a plane
The dog needs food and water during the flight. Dogs on full stomachs might get upset during the flight. Walk him a bit before heading into the airport, so he can have a free stomach.
Make sure that you give your dog access to water during the entirety of the flight. Providing a portable water bowl will come in handy.
It might also need to pee. To take care of the pee problem, place a few puppy pads in your dog’s crate or kennel.
— Choosing the crate or kennel
Air travel itself will stress your dog, and not having a comfortable kennel will increase it.
Choose a crate or kennel according to the size of your dog. Nowadays, various online websites offer excellent kennels as per your dog’s requirements.
— Checking your dog
You must check your dog during three stages of your flight, i.e., before, during, and after.
Contact the airline staff regarding the safe boarding of your dog. If there’s been a layover, you can ask an attendant about the status of your dog.
Don’t hesitate to let the flight attendants know that you are travelling with your furry friend. You can even ask for the status after the landing before you get back to him/her (if delayed).
You can’t just go ahead and take your dog out of its kennel as soon as the plane lands. Calm your companion with soothing words. You can take out your dog as soon as you go outside the airport doors.
— Countries restricting dogs to fly in the cabin
Few countries restrict your dog’s travel in a cabin. They are:
• Hong Kong
• New Zealand
• Republic of Ireland
• South Africa
• United Kingdom
• United Arab Emirates
These countries have import regulations that restrict your pet’s travel in the cabin.
Tips for traveling with cats
Having discussed the tips for dogs, let us have a look at the tips to travel with cats.
These tips are for cats of normal size and can fit in a carrier for cabin travel. If you have a larger feline such as the Main Coon Cat, then it might have to go in the cargo section.
— Prepare for security
Your cat’s carrier would have to go through security screenings. You along with your cat are required to go through a human screening device.
Some cats are quite the escape artists, therefore put your cat in a good harness with a leash.
— Get a soft-sided travel carrier
Most airlines do allow a soft-sided carrier as well as a hard-sided carrier for cabin travel.
Soft-sided carriers might make your cat comfortable during the entirety of the flight.
— Make the carrier comfy
Besides the softer sides, you can make the carrier more comfortable for your cat. Throw in their favourite yarn or a ball to make them happy.
— Pack everything you need
You must be prepared in such a way that you can even deal with a worst-case scenario. Some of the important things you need to pack are a leash, harness, portable bowl, wipes, and food.
To avoid spills, separate the food and water and label your carrier with your information.
— Avoid feeding before travel
Do not feed your kitty prior to the travel as it may lead to any health problems. Hydrate your kitty and have puppy pads installed in its carrier.
— Contact the vet about medication
Like dogs, most cats don’t need any sort of medication. However, some cats may experience severe anxiety, and if they are left that way, they may be scarred for life.
Ask your vet whether or not your kitty needs any medication to travel. Medications may lead to health issues, so make sure your feline friend will be safe after using them.
Traveling with other pets
Some airlines allow birds in the cabin as long as the cage fits under the front seat. Larger birds might have to fly in the cargo section of the plane.
The same applies to fish. They are to be kept in a see-through container that fits under the front seat.
What if you have a Giant Koi, Arowana, or an Arapaima? Then it must be properly kept in a comfortable container and kept in the cargo.
Airport security will always check the pet carrier. Therefore, it is better to have a see-through container (for fish).
For small birds, properly pack the cage with food and water. As you have them in the cabin with you, you can take care of them.
For larger birds, the same rules apply. But make sure the water doesn’t spill in the cage. Nowadays, the water feeders for birds are so unique that you can easily avoid spillage.
For smaller fish, get a see-through plastic container, fill fresh water, and place the fish. Some people might suggest travel medicine but it would stress the fish.
For larger fish, get a see-through tub or something that has enough room for your fish to move.
At any cost, avoid glass tanks as they could lead to serious mishaps.
Don’t feed your fish for two days before your flight as it’ll contaminate the water. Most types of pet fish can live for a week without food.
So, two days without food might not pose an issue. But for better reasons, do some research about your fish on whether or not it can be without food.
Make sure you have a proper container or crate that’ll be comfortable for your pet. Know the details about vaccination, import restrictions, entry permits, and the necessary documents.
Get in touch with an airline support staff over the phone to get additional details.
Now, let us look at the steps for relocating to another country with your pets.
We already discussed everything regarding travelling with your pets. Let us make a checklist of what are the things to be done when relocating.
You should note that many countries have no restrictions on small pets. By small pets, I mean fish, songbirds, rodents, etc.
However, there are restrictions if you are bringing something bigger or peculiar.
For example, having a bird of prey is legal in some countries. However, in certain countries, it is illegal to have birds of prey as pets.
This includes birds like falcons, hawks, eagles, owls, etc.
At the same time, certain fish like Arowana can be imported to UK and Canada. However, they might be illegal in countries like US and Australia.
Rodents and civets may be allowed to be imported into your country. But you cannot import African rodents or civets into the US.
Adding to that, primates are also banned from being brought into the US. This applies even when you took your monkey from the US and are bringing it back.
In this way, various countries impose distinctive restrictions regarding pets.
Even if they are allowed as pets in your country, they might be illegal in the destination.
Do some research and make a few calls before you relocate your pet.
Apart from the import requirements, you must pay attention to some other aspects.
One of the main things you should do during relocation is to have your pet microchipped.
In general, the microchip is implanted on the back of your pet dog/cat. This process is completely harmless, painless, and can be done in a few secs.
The microchip implanted in your pet consists of important information. This info comprises your pet’s vaccination details, health records and contact info.
With this chip, the customs officer or a veterinarian can access this info.
In terms of pet travel, countries are categorized into three different types. They are:
• Rabies-free countries
• Rabies-controlled countries
• High-Rabies countries
When you are traveling or relocating between countries of the same category, it’s fine. However, when cross traveling between these categories, it’s problematic.
Particularly traveling from a high-rabies zone to a rabies-free zone is complicated.
In such a situation, it is better to opt for a pet relocation service. Even though it’ll cost a pretty penny, you’ll have the job done.
That doesn’t end there. Most of the rabies-free and rabies-controlled countries need RNAT tests.
This RNAT test stands for Rabies Neutralizing Antibody Titre test.
In this process, your pet will be given a rabies vaccination.
Then, your pet will be checked for the level of antibodies against rabies. This demonstrates whether or not your pet is immune to rabies.
This is a complicated test and takes around one to 30 days following vaccination.
The blood sample will be taken by an efficient vet and sent to an advanced lab for results.
Only the pets that pass this test are allowed to enter a rabies-free country. Especially from a rabies-controlled or high-rabies country.
During relocation, another step is to treat external and internal parasites.
In most countries, your pet must go through this treatment before relocation.
External parasite treatment is for ticks and fleas on your pet. Whereas, internal parasite treatment is for tapeworms, heartworms, etc.
Based on the destination country, your pet will need a health certificate as well.
This health certificate is to be obtained from an accredited vet in your country. The certificate shows your pet’s health and the medical treatments he/she received.
In several countries, the certificate should be presented in a prescribed format.
Yes! You heard that right. Pets do have passports. This is a document with information about a specific pet animal.
This means the pet passport contains its health records, ownership details, etc.
With the help of a pet passport, traveling and relocating can be made easy. However, it can only be done in the member countries while following regulations.
With a pet passport, your dog needn’t have to go through a test or quarantine in most cases.
This is highly helpful when travel is between the countries of the European Union.
The actual documentation might differ, information’s the same in other countries. A pet passport is generally issued to cats, dogs, and ferrets.
Many countries impose quarantine regulations on your pet. This is based on the rabies status of the country.
Some countries don’t allow pets from high rabies countries. On the other hand, some have quarantine regulations regardless of rabies status.
After all this fuss, you can have your animal companion in your destination country.
It’s not the end though. You still have some more work at hand and it can still be complex.
After relocation, the first step you need to do is to find the right type of accommodation.
For those planning a short stay, find a hotel that has a pet-friendly policy. For those staying longer, find a home that allows pets.
In most countries, various apartments and houses offered for rent don’t allow pets.
As usual, nobody cares about your pet goldfish or your pet songbird. Nevertheless, most restrict cats and dogs.
Some may even restrict your pet based on its size or breed. Don’t feel bad. With global travel going on, things have been changing drastically (related to pets).
If you search, you might find a good home for you and your pet. The next step is to find a local vet to attend to. As soon as you find one, take your pet to him/her for a general check-up.
After this, find a pet store where you can get all the things you need for your pet.
Finally, get to know about the pet rules in the destination country to avoid problems.
That’s all, folks!!!
Wait, there’s more.
Weirdest pet laws
Some countries around the world have some peculiar animal laws that you’ve never heard of. Let us take a quick peek.
In Little Rock, a city in Arkansas, dogs are prohibited to bark after 6 PM. You are accountable when your dog barks to an extent where neighbours are disturbed.
In California, if your pet bird flew away early in the morning, you can’t go whistling to search. You must wait until 7 AM to whistle to call it back.
In Wyoming, photographing rabbits between January and May is prohibited.
In Oklahoma, more than two dogs cannot gather on private property. You must get a signed permit from the mayor to do so.
Also in Oklahoma, you cannot make faces at a dog as it is illegal.
In Florida, it is illegal to imitate any animal.
In Idaho, spending a night in a dog kennel is considered to be illegal.
In Australia, once you name any animal, you’ll be required to keep it as a pet. It is illegal to name an animal or bird you plan on eating.
In Longburn (a rural settlement in New Zealand), pet cats that roam need to wear three bells around the neck.
In Saudi Arabia, it is illegal to take your dog out for a walk. Dogs are banned over there unless it is a working dogs.
In Norway, you cannot spay female cats or dogs. You can only neuter males.
In Switzerland, it is illegal to have a single guinea pig as a pet. This is because they are social animals and need interaction.
Again, in Switzerland, you must attend training classes for getting a pet dog. If you are a first-time dog owner, you’ll also have to attend theoretical classes as well.
In Turin, Italy, you must walk your dog every day for at least three times a day. In case of failing to do so, you’ll be charged with a fine of €500.
In China, no family is allowed to have more than one dog in their home. Adding to that, pet dogs should not exceed 1.1 feet in height.
In Germany, you’ll have to pay tax for having a dog, which is around €120 per year. For each additional dog you get, you’ll be taxed an additional €180 per year.
However, In Germany, any dog under 10 pounds will be taxed as per the rodent tax rate. This is 1/3rd of the dog tax rate.
All these animal laws sound weird, right? In the same way, the country to which you’re moving might have certain pet laws.
Thanks to the internet, you can get most pet-related information online.
If you find it hard to search, then try joining a Facebook group related to pets in your destination country. Maybe they can help.
That being said, we hope that you enjoyed reading this article on pet travel, relocation, and some weird laws.
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