Whether you are moving to a different country or simply taking an extended vacation, taking your pet with you can be a challenge. Many pet owners feel anxious that their pet would not fare well on an international flight, or that it may even be lost along the way. However, safely transporting your pet to your new home is very possible if you are prepared. Here are a few tips to help your pet's journey go as smoothly as possible.
Confirm That Your Shipping Company Will Ship Your Pet
The first step in shipping your pet overseas is confirming that the shipping company you choose will be able to transport your pet. While some airlines have a strict no pets policy, others will have specific lists of allowed and prohibited animals. However, the animals that are prohibited by most airlines will have a few factors in common.
You will not be able to ship any animal that is a threatened or endangered species. You also will not be able to find many companies that are willing to ship animals that are venomous or threatening to humans, or insects that are considered pests. Some airlines also prohibit birds, reptiles, or arachnids.
Understand Your Pet's Route and Read Weather Forecasts
Your pet will most likely not be taking a door-to-door trip from your current home to your destination. Instead, it will be making stops at several airports along the way to change flights. In order to make sure that your pet will be safe and comfortable throughout the trip, you need to make sure that it will not be exposed to excessive heat or cold at any of these stops.
When you make your reservation for your pet to be shipped, your airline will be able to tell you where it will be exchanging flights along its route. To make sure your pet will be comfortable, you should look up the forecasts for these cities on the websites of their local weather stations. Remember that if you are shipping a cold-blooded pet, you should insulate its container and provide heat and cold packs in accordance with the IATA Live Animals Regulations.
Make Sure Your Pet is Kennel Trained
Because your pet will be taking its entire journey inside its kennel, you need to make sure they are as comfortable in it as possible. For dogs and cats, this can take a good deal of patience and kennel training in the days or weeks before you are ready to move, but it will be worth it for the extra comfort and reduced stress that your pet will experience during the flight.
Not all kennels are a good idea for shipping your pet. You want to make sure that your pet's kennel is constructed from solid plastic or metal, and is secured by screws instead of snap locks. Be sure to put a "live animal" tag on the outside of your pet's packaging so that airport employees know to handle it with additional care.
Take Your Pet to the Vet Before Traveling
Some airlines will require a written certificate from a licensed veterinarian before they will ship your pet. Even if this is not required by your airline, it is a good idea to take your pet to the vet to make sure it is healthy enough to handle the stress of travel. As hard as it can be, it is sometimes necessary to leave your pet with a trusted friend or family member or find them a new home if shipping them would damage their health.
The right amount of research and preparation before international shipping of your pet can turn the experience from a frightening one into the start of a new adventure. Follow these guidelines carefully so that you can be sure your pet will meet you happy and healthy at your new home.