Summer is a great time families to travel and it is getting more commonplace to bring all of the family. Whether the family is going to the lake or traveling to Laos, it is important to prepare your pet for travel.
For travel within the United States, it is best to be sure that you take a copy of your records with you. It is important to know that your pet’s vaccines are current and to have a copy of records in case something should happen and or if you get pulled over in your car. It may be a good idea to have your veterinarian complete a health certificate, also known as APHIS Form 7001, which would be a more official record that your pet is healthy and safe for travel.
Travelling outside of the United States gets a little more tricky! Make sure you have a handle on all your dates, locations, and requirements of each country and airline. Out of country travel can require more than just the APHIS Form 7001, but a much more extensive health certificate that needs to be completed within a certain number of days prior to travel.
Once you have your dates of travel and your plane tickets booked, check with your airline. There are restrictions on what type of travelling container can be used, if you pet can travel in the cabin with you, and if certain sedatives are recommended or allowed. Travel rules and regulations may be different from Delta to United Airlines.
Next, check the pet/animal export rules for your destination country and what type of vaccines are required for entry. Here in Georgia, pets are required to have an appointment with a USDA veterinarian, which is located in Conyers,GA, within a week of travel. They will go through your forms to make sure everything is ready to go. Try to get it all done the earliest date possible in case there are issues with the paperwork and nothing gets in the way of your well-deserved vacation.
Make sure that everyone is on the same page with the necessary forms for travel when making an appointment with your regular veterinarian. If everyone knows the needed documents, your visit will be much less stressful for everyone involved.
What if your pet gets sick or injured on your trip? Try to do a little research ahead of time to know find where the local veterinarians are, what emergency pet care facilities are nearby, and what illnesses or potential risks are native to your vacation destination.
It takes a little time and effort to take your pet with you on your trip, but it is worth it to have the whole family enjoy it together.