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Traveling Overseas with Your Pet? We’re Here to Help!

Are you planning to travel or move with your pet to another country (or Hawaii or Guam)?  This process can seem very overwhelming as regulations are specific to each country worldwide when bringing a pet across their border. Let us help you! Our Patient Care Advocate will help you navigate this sometimes complicated process to make your trip or move as smooth as possible. This service is included in the cost of your international health certificate, so be sure to take advantage of this benefit! We advise contacting our clinic at least 6 months prior to travel, as some countries have testing requirements that are time sensitive.

Several things to keep in mind as you get started on your journey: 

Disease Testing & Quarantine

The main concern of most countries with importing/exporting pets is the potential transmission of diseases. By far the biggest concern is the spread of rabies and a certified rabies vaccination is required in most countries, sometimes even a blood titer test must be performed several months before travel. Make sure to find out if the country of your future residence requires a lengthy quarantine—which could last up to six months. The problem is not only the high cost of quarantine, but also the fact that your pet won’t be living with you during that time. 

Health Certificates

Most countries require that you get a health certificate stating that your pet is in good health and free of parasites. Many countries now require that your pet’s health certificate from your local vet is certified by a USDA veterinarian – the closest to Indianapolis is in Louisville, Kentucky.  You will need to have the certificate signed and sealed prior to your departure, either by appointment or by overnighting the document to their office.

Microchip Transponder

Most countries of the European Union and a growing number of countries around the world now require dogs and cats to carry an implanted microchip transponder, which identifies them and can be linked to vaccination and health certificates you file when entering the country.  The microchip will need to be ISO compliant.

There are three ways you can ship your pet via the airlines:

Your pet can travel on the plane with you (either in-cabin or in the cargo). In either case, your pet will be considered excess/accompanied baggage and charged accordingly. Some airlines no longer offer this option.

You can book your pet on a separate flight. In this case, you will be charged the cargo rate, which is considerably more than excess baggage. Some airlines no longer offer this option.

You can have your pet shipped through a licensed commercial shipper. You will be charged the cargo rate plus the shipper’s fee. Several airlines require this method unless your pet is small enough to fit in the cabin.

Airline policies regarding other pets may vary; contact airlines directly for additional information. For information regarding the regulations of service animals/service dogs in air transportation, check the website http://www.iaadp.org/airline.html.  The travel policies of U.S. airlines with regard to shipping animals are subject to change at any time. These policies are much more restrictive than in past years.

While the process of traveling overseas with your pet can seem daunting, we have experience and are here to help! Contact our Patient Care Advocate directly at patientadvocate@citywayanimalclinics.com to get started.

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