Travelling with Pets

Travelling with pets can be a stressful procedure. Where do you begin? How do you get your pets over to your new posting? What is needed? How can you prepare your pet for travel? These are all excellent questions, and although there may not be one broad answer to them all, there are steps you can take to be prepared for when that time comes.

Let’s start with vaccinations. These are very important both for your pet’s health and also because they are required by almost all countries. The most important one is Rabies vaccination and this one is required to be at least 30 days old in general with a yearly booster done. Other vaccinations required are the yearly cat and dogs vaccinations.

Another mandatory requirement for pets leaving or entering the UAE is a Microchip. This Microchip will act as your Pet’s identification number and is required so when your dog/cat lands in it’re respected destination, the officials who check the paperwork can correspond the Microchip number to that of the legalised travel documents.

Some countries require an additional blood test and other to be done to exclude exposure to certain unknown diseases in their country and for these specific time frames have been dictated. It is, therefore, important to inform yourself as much as possible half a year before the travel date on the requirements.

Special timeframes are also set up for certain countries to ensure anti-parasite treatment (both internal- & external parasites) is done to warrant animals are free of those parasites.

Lastly, you need a health Certificate to state the pet is in good enough health to travel.

The Ministry of Environment and Water,  here in the U.A.E. is the controlling authority who regulate pet import and export. This government department requires all pets to be vaccinated and can only issue an Export Permit if the vaccine status of your animal is between 21 days – 365 days.

Tip 1.: It is worth noting that after, if your animal is receiving a vaccine for the first time OR you have missed the annual window, the first day the vaccine is given/re-given, it takes 30 days for most countries to be allowed to travel your pet.

Tip 2.: The Microchip must be implanted before the Rabies vaccine is given. It is, therefore, important that your Veterinarian who implants the Microchip also dates the Microchip implantation underneath the bar code and signs for it with a stamp to proof. Most vets will give you a correct order certificate stating that the Microchip was implanted and checked before the rabies vaccination was done.

It is important to liaise with an expert should you have questions. We understand that transporting your family pet to another country is a big step and at ABVC, we will answer any questions you may have about the process on how things work. Some of the questions below are just one of the many to consider when transporting your pet:

•    What are the vaccination regulations?
•    Are there blood tests required?
•    Do I need to get an Import Permit for my destination country?
•    Can my pet fly with me inside the cabin?
•    Are their specific types of Travel Carriers required for transporting my pet?
•    Is there quarantine upon arrival of my pet?

Your own emotions play a big part whilst preparing your pet for his/her travel and as animals have a sixth sense and they know when something is going on. It is understandable to be slightly worried and concerned for your loved one(s) and this is why it is good to ask questions at the start so you are well prepared for when the day of departure comes. Be confident, act like it’s just another day with your dog/cat. Don’t change the whole routine of your pet’s daily life. Ideally, food should be taken away 4 or so hours before your flight departure time. Allow time for the food to digest and walk the dog 30 minutes before you’re due to leave and put him/her in th Travel Carrier. If taking an animal to the airport, many noises and smells will interact with one another and cause stress for your animal, whilst this is something you cannot control, you can do your best by talking to your pet in a soothing voice. After all, it is your voice they know best.

Tip 3.: Look to arrange the collection of your Travel Carrier a few weeks before you fly. This will help get him/her used to the surroundings inside the box and they will feel more at ease when they are put inside it for their journey ahead.