Shipping Your Pets - Guidelines
Regulations and Suggestions
Shipping pets long distance can be a traumatic exercise both for the pets themselves and for their often already anxious owners. Regulations concerning the relocation of pets are constantly changing and the most valuable piece of advice that can be given to any pet owner is to plan at least six months ahead so as to avoid unnecessary hassles and disturbances.
Air travel is the safest and most common way of international pet shipping – purely because of the fact that pets can be relocated faster via air than via any other form of transport. While tranquilizers may be necessary in some instances, the general consensus is that whenever possible it is best to avoid them, especially in the case of smaller animals.
The best way to prepare your pet for airline travel and ensure that they are not completely traumatized by the whole experience is to purchase a pet travel crate a few months before your pet is due to travel. These can be ordered from specialized pet shipping companies and are manufactured specifically for on board travel.
If at all possible, taking your pets on outings in their container or allowing them to sleep in the container is highly advised. Familiarizing them with their traveling environment well in advance will ensure that they will be more comfortable during their relocation flight.
Regulations concerning quarantine, inoculations and travel documents vary from country to country. It is best to contact a local embassy or consulate of the country you are traveling to a couple of month before the planned move to find out exact details and make sure that you have everything covered.
Professional pet shipping companies will also be able to give you advice, and in some cases are even willing to take care of some of the details for you.
In most cases, animals need an identification micro chip which should be implanted into their ears by a veterinarian at least six months prior to the planned move. Most countries also require at least one rabies inoculation and antibody test a minimum six months prior to departure. Provided all necessary regulations are strictly adhered to, certain countries such as the UK are willing to allow pets entry without a quarantine period. Countries in the East and Far East are often more stringent with their entry protocol, requiring at least two rabies inoculations in the six months prior to departure. Officials in these countries often also require notice of the planned entry at least six weeks prior to your pet’s arrival.
Pet shipping services such as Pet Taxi will usually be able to supply you with a variety of services ranging from full door to door delivery to basic airport to airport transfers.
When you obtain a price estimate from a shipping company, make sure that you are aware of precisely what is included in the quote. Details to enquire about include relevant documentation, import permits, pick up and delivery, boarding prior to and after the flight as well as quarantine specifics. Comparing quotes and taking the time to find a company that you are comfortable with will definitely be worth it in the long run – both for you and your pet.