Off to travel the world but can’t bear to leave your furry best friend behind? No problem! At Auto Europe, we’re here to help with our tips on travelling with pets. With jet-setting being so enriching for us, it’s hard to imagine that it won’t be as equally exciting for them. Animals are known to benefit us in a range of ways and offer us companionship, comfort, fun, and most importantly – love. For some, this means that they simply are a part of the family, and for others, they may be a service animal and assist us with therapy and everyday life. Picture Gigi happily laying in the warm sun next to you as you dine in a quirky Parisian cafe or imagine Fido bounding towards you, stick in mouth, along the edge of a pristine Bavarian river in Munich. Before jumping on your next adventure, it is vital to familiarise yourself with the destination’s policies on pets.
First of all:
Each country will have a different set of rules regarding bringing your pet in. These rules
vary immensely, so be sure to research them and take all necessary steps before you leave to ensure that the travel is smooth for both you and your friend. Countries will need to make sure that animals brought across their borders are healthy and non-threatening. Certain countries will also have restrictions on some breeds, depending on where you are travelling to. The second thing to consider is that air travel is not easy for pets. Some airlines allow certain types of pets to travel in the cabin with you, but not all. If your airline does allow pets on board, there are breed and size regulations, and they might charge a fee for the additional cargo. The cargo bay doesn’t pad against noise, regulate pressure or temperature quite as well as the cabin, and will also be away from human contact.
Familiarising yourself with the airline and country regulations in advance is crucial, as there may be mandatory veterinary requirements that need to be addressed months beforehand. Helper and guide animals may enjoy travel to countries in the European Union, as certain animals don’t require quarantine as long as they have all the correct paperwork.
Pet Policies – Be sure to research:
Most countries have a rule that means that a dog or cat must be implanted with a microchip and vaccinated. A pet passport is generally required and can be used to organise key documents.
Oceanic nations will be stricter than European nations when it comes to pet travel, as invasive species or animal diseases could have a huge impact on local agriculture and ecosystems. Dogs or cats brought into Australia will require at least ten days minimum of quarantine. It is also forbidden to bring your cuddly pet snake or spider, they’ve got enough already! New Zealand is proudly snake-free so don’t even think about bringing them here. Fees for bringing animals to these countries are also notoriously high. It is cheaper for humans than animals to travel here. Certain dog and cat breeds are also banned including Argentinian and Brazilian Mastiffs, Japanese Tosas, Pit Bull Terriers, Presa Canarios or mixed breeds that visibly contain any of these.
In the United Kingdom, dogs used to go through six months of quarantine to reduce the risk of rabies. Thankfully, this law has now changed and they bear rules similar to the more relaxed European nations. Pets need to have vaccinations up to date plus a blood test proving no sign of disease.
Costa Rica has unique rules concerning animals. When entering the country, owners must carry a personal letter stating their pet’s market value. Striped skunks are allowed and so are birds BUT once you’ve entered Costa Rica with your feathered friend, it is not allowed to leave, even if you do!
In Korea, similar rules exist like any other country. If bringing a pet over, it is important to remember that you will need to bring an official health certificate from a veterinarian. The certificate MUST be in either Korean or English, no exceptions!
Animal importation policies must always be complied with. Failure to do so could mean that your pet could be shipped back home immediately, quarantined at your expense or the worst case scenario, destroyed, which certainly would not be something that you would like to happen. These rules are set in place for good reasons though. As much as the country cares about animal welfare, it is necessary to protect animal and plant life and an undocumented animal might bring problems. This will protect not only your pet, but all other pets in your country of travel, when you comply with animal travel policies.
Getting around on holiday will be easy for you and your pets with a hire car. Go at your own pace and see what you want to see, just be certain to check the rental company’s policies beforehand.
Car Hire with your pet:
It is crucial to check that your rental car is okay for pets to travel in. Pet policies can vary by supplier or location, with Europe generally being the most lenient. Some will allow it, but others may require that the pet be kept in a carrier when travelling. At times, a pet fee or security deposit may be required. If the vehicle is returned with damage from the pet, or excess hair, they will charge a vehicle cleaning fee. Other than that, a rental car could be the purrrfect way to get you and your fluffy friend around your destination with ease. In a quiet and comfortable rental vehicle, you can forgo the stress, cargo loading and strict scheduling and rules involved with public transportation.
Bringing your pet is best suited for those planning to live as an expatriate for an extended stay, or for those that require the daily support of a helper animal. It is very possible to bring pets abroad but depending on your destination, it can require a fair amount of effort and money. Be sure to ensure their care and safety as you travel and experience the world together. If you need your travels to be simple, it is recommend that you show your affection when you select a trusted and loving care taker to watch over your pets while you are away. Friends or family members are a good choice, as well as trusted kennels. Your pet will eagerly anticipate seeing you on your return, just as much as you will want to see them!
For more information, visit our website or call 0800 358 1229 to find out more!