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Four Money Saving Tips on How to Take a Pet Abroad

Pet  requirements for moving animals overseas are pretty easy now days and there’s only a few things to do to prepare your cat or dog for going abroad on the cheap and easy.  With just a little effort you can take your best friend with you to keep you company at your new destination. Its not expensive to do it so why leave him behind?

First there are a few things you have to do to prepare for departure. Start by checking with government websites in the country you are going to for Pet Requirements. Every country has its own regulations for pets entering the country and some have special vaccination requirement or test. It’s a good idea to be sure you know what they are. If any required documentation is missing regardless of where you are traveling, the kennel at customs will hold your pet and provide the service to you at very expensive rate. Your pet may not be released until all fines are paid. Don’t let that happen be prepared and informed ahead so you don’t have to loose a lot of money.

Step One:

Get your pet micro chipped: If your pet is being transported through an airport micro-chips are a standard requirement. It is the fastest way your pet will be identified and returned to you should something go wrong. My local city government runs a reduced cost micro chip day two times a month to promote the prevention of lost animals. I was able to get my pet micro-chipped at $10 which is normally a $75 service. Call you local animal shelter in your city and ask what vaccination and micro chipping promotions they have available.

Step Two

Make an appointment with your veterinarian:   Two things need to be done.  You need to vaccinate your pet and you need a certificate of animal health signed by a veterinarian. Don’t rely on the vet to know what vaccinations you need they are not always knowledgeable about regulations for pet travel. You can choose to let your veterinarian take care of both of these requirements or you can get your vaccinations done on your own to save a little money. If you let your vet provide these services it is quick and easy but it will run you around $75 to $150. Another way to save money is to find the veterinarian services pretty cheap through your local pet store or city government. I found an ad for a local pet supply store offering a free rabies vaccination day. The cheaper offer saved me about $28. Just make sure you get proper vaccination documentation and take it to your vet during your animal health inspection appointment.

Plan vacations a month ahead of time. Some vaccinations can not be given in one visit and need to be given in time spans of two weeks. Rabies vaccinations for example, must be done 4 weeks before you travel or you may be held up in a kennel in customs or denied a pet passport. If you do this just over a month ahead of departure you should be ok.

Step Three

Book a pet reservation: Book your pet with your airline in advance. Airlines have limited space for pet kennels. You can generally do this when you book your own flight. The average flight ticket for your pet can range from $50 to $125 per pet depending on the kennel size and weight of the animal. Some small dogs and cats can be brought on the plane with you as a carry-on baggage. This means if they fit in a travel size handbag made for pet travel, they can be brought on the plane in place of your carry-on allowance. Some airlines such as Delta  have pretty easy pet requirements check Delta Airlines pet requirements. Delta will allow you to place your pet on your lap for the duration of the flight. Check with your airline ahead of time if they offer a carry-on option. You may not have to pay for the extra ticket and your pet can fly for free.

Step Four

Pet Passport: Get a government approved verification or pet passport of animal health and vaccination. For US citizens departing to another country, this is done at the local USDA office.  Check their site for information and make an appointment on their website. You must first have your vaccination records, animal health inspection certificate and a micro chip done before requesting a pet passport. The USDA office is the last appointment. Once they verify that the animal is healthy and suitable to travel, your all set. I found it pretty quick and easy and affordable. The last time I paid for my pet leaving the US it was roughly a $20 fee for a passport and took about 15 minutes.

On the downside, there are a few countries that require quarantine. Australia, New Zealand and the UK have quarantine requirements and the owner is responsible for all fees associated with the kennel stay during quarantine. Check all regulations to these countries carefully. Again, missing paperwork or vaccinations can result in heavy fees and long waiting room times in customs. For these countries you may need to leave your pet temporarily in quarantine kennel for a few weeks, arrange that as far as possible in advance. Kennels can often be over booked during peak seasons. For information about taking a pet to or from the UK you can find it under the UK Pet Travel Scheme. For Australia you can find a participating quarantine kennels and information from the Austrian Government Pet Travel guidelines.

There is an easier way to move your pet. If you are short on time you can hire pet travel services that can safely do everything for you and move your friend door to door. This is particularly handy if you have more than one pet or type of pets that you would like moved. All you do is just call them up and they will get all vaccinations, paperwork, quarantine or what ever is needed arranged.