It’s common for people to leave their pets with friends or family members when they travel, especially internationally. But you may not always have that option. You may be moving abroad permanently or have no one to watch your pet while you’re away. Whatever the reason, travelling internationally with your dog can be stressful, not just for you but also for your pet. Here are some tips to make it less stressful and more enjoyable:
1. Know the Rules
Like human travellers, every country has different rules and regulations for travelling pets. Therefore, your first step should be to research the pet travel laws in your home, as well as your destination country and get all the required documents and permits in order. You should also check the rabies status of your destination, the procedure you’ll have to follow to confirm your pup doesn’t carry a risk of spread, and pet entry requirements at the airport you’ll be landing at.
Knowing it all beforehand will ensure you have all the documents and know the procedure you’ll have to go through to take your dog to the new country.
2. Visit Your Vet
You don’t just need your vet’s advice on keeping your pet healthy and stress-free during travelling, but your dog may also need some additional vaccinations. Your vet will also issue a health certificate, without which you won’t be able to travel internationally with your dog.
Make sure you go to a certified/accredited veterinarian and get documented proof (paperwork) for everything they do.
3. Make the Flight Comfortable for Your Dog
While you may not be able to control everything your dog experiences on a flight, you can take certain measures to make travel more comfortable for your canine friend. These may include booking a direct (or the shortest available) flight, getting a big enough and comfortable kennel, choosing an evening/night flight to avoid the heat, or making your dog wear a jumper or hoodie to protect from the cold weather. The carrier should have enough space for your dog to comfortably stand and turn and adequate ventilation.
You may want to add some dog toys to the kennel, but check the airline’s policy before you do that because they may not always be allowed. Don’t forget to add some of your dog’s favourite food, though. You may also place an empty dog water bowl in the carrier for the airline staff to fill before the flight and during layovers. Lastly, make sure your dog wears an identity tag.
4. Prepare Your Dog for Travel
You may not be able to tell your dog what they are going to experience, but the best thing you can do to prepare your pet for the trip is to make them used to the carrier they will be travelling in. If you have a small breed dog or a puppy, taking them to a place they like in their carrier can also help them develop positive associations and stay calm on the flight. Feed them well a few hours before the flight and take on a potty break just before boarding.
5. Keep Your Dog on a Leash in the New Country
Dogs can get nervous, stressed, or afraid in new surroundings. So, no matter how trained or well-mannered your pooch is, always keep them on a leash in the new country to avoid any unwanted encounters or losing your dog.
The Sum Up
Whether you’re taking your pet on an international trip because you want to experience travelling with your dog or because you do not have the option to leave them behind, these tips will help ensure everything goes smoothly. For dog travel accessories, like a collar, harness, and leash, and high-quality dog clothes, check out our amazing product range For Dog Lovers.