The Logistics of Travelling With Your Pet Abroad

Dog in the snow by John Talbot (Creative Commons)

Dog in the snow by John Talbot (Creative Commons)

As travelling across the globe becomes easier and more accessible, then if you’re a seasoned traveller, you may want to take your beloved pet with you. However, the logistics of doing this may initially seem complicated or a lot of hassle, but in reality it could be cheaper than paying someone to look after your pet while you’re away.

Get your pet chipped and vaccinated

One of the most important things you are required to do when taking your pet abroad is to make sure the pet is microchipped and vaccinated against rabies. In addition to this, if you’re travelling with a dog, then you’ll have to worm your pooch too. After your pet has received all of their vaccinations, your vet can issue them with a pet passport, allowing them to travel within the EU and to certain other countries.

Train, plane, automobile?

Decide on how you’re going to get to your destination. If you’re travelling long-haul then there maybe be no option but to fly your pet as cargo, however this can be the most expensive option. Many third party companies will happily arrange the transfer for you, but you will have to pay them a small commission in addition to the airline’s fees for transporting your pet.

Travelling with your dog (creative commons)

Travelling with your dog (creative commons)

If you’re travelling within Europe it may be worth considering driving, or travelling via train. Ferry companies connecting the UK to France will usually charge a nominal fee for transporting pets, and many train companies within Europe allow pets on board. In addition to this, if you want to take a cruise to your final destination, many big liners will have areas for pets and dog walking. It’s worth considering the latter option if you have dogs as depending on the type of dog you have, some air cargo services will not allow flat-faced dogs for air transport due to their breathing problems.

Taking your pet via sea or rail if you can is usually the most preferable option, as you can keep in contact with your pet and calm their nerves. Also if you travel by car, it may be a more familiar surrounding, especially to a dog and will help to further calm your pet down.

Protect your pet

In addition to getting your pet microchipped and vaccinated, be sure to get some insurance. Companies such as Pets At Home offer a range of pet insurance which covers your pet at home and abroad, meaning that if your pet has an accident while abroad, you won’t be out of pocket.