How to Ship a Dog Overseas
Dogs are one of the most common household pets, and like other household things they may occasionally need to be moved from one place to another.
Perhaps you’re moving overseas or you’re visiting family in another country.
Whatever your reason, you may find you need to ship (or fly) your dog overseas.
Shipping an animal such as a dog overseas requires a lot of preparation, however, and is not something that can be sorted out the day before your trip.
You’ll need to get the proper paperwork together, have the right checks done on your dog (by a veterinarian) and find a ship/airline who will transport your dog for you.
Shipping a Dog Overseas
Take a Trip to the Veterinarian – Because dogs can occasionally carry diseases (such as rabies) your first action should be to take your dog to the vet and get him/her checked out fully. The country you’re traveling to will require proof that your dog has had the required shots/injections, and failure to provide this may result in your dog being quarantined for up to six months upon arrival.
Some vets may advise you to sedate your dog before their trip. This can be very dangerous for your pet, as they will be unable to properly regulate their own body temperature, and many pets have died while traveling as a result of this.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) advise strongly against sedating your dog before a long trip whenever possible. For more information, go to www.avma.org.
Get Your Paperwork Up to Date – The new country you’re going to will often have a set of requirements/instructions you must adhere to when bringing a dog into their country. These can often be found on their website, and may require you to get special paperwork/health checks done on your dog.
Find an Approved Crate – If you’re flying your dog overseas, you’ll need to check with the airline to find out their restrictions on crates. Airlines will only accept crates within a certain size range, and usually prefer plastic crates with a metal door (as these are the sturdiest kind).
Attach Tags – Make sure to attach a tag to the crate with your name, your pet’s name, your phone number and your new address. Make sure also that you dog has a tag on his/her collar so that you can be contacted if your pet gets loose.
Give Them a Familiar Smell – Dogs rely strongly on their smell, and are able to identify their owners/familiar people by their scent. If your dog has a favorite blanket/toy, make sure to put this in the crate with them to calm their nerves. Another option is to wear a pair of old clothes for a day (so they smell of you), put them in a bag and then in the crate.
Prepare Food – It is not usually a good idea to feed your dog a big meal right before they travel. Instead it is better to put something in their crate that they can eat during the trip. For example, a large (uncooked) baking potato with some honey on it can be eaten at any point during the trip and will give your dog plenty of energy.
Remember – shipping a dog overseas will be a very stressful experience for them, so it’s something that should only be done when absolutely necessary.
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