Traveling with pets
Many nomads like carrying pets, like dogs, cats or ferrets. While there are many advantages in traveling with pets - company, keeping unwanted sexual advances away, security as you sleep outside at night - traveling with pets over borders, be it while hitchhiking or using a transportation service, can be a major hassle. Therefore, when travelling with your pets, the rules you must follow depend on the country you’re going to or coming from.
What to carry
Many nomads will not bring anything except their pet, pet food and accessories (collar, clothes, bowls, carriers and so on) It's important however to remember that every country has different requirements when it comes to exporting and importing pets, much like there are requirements for entry and exit of humans. You should always check the health services (or other appropriate departments) of the country you plan on visiting for valid information. However, some of the universally required features are:
- A subcutaneous (below the skin) microchip implant that meets the International Society of Pharmacovigilance (ISoP) specification.
- A pet passport or official third country veterinary certificate tapeworm treatment (for dogs only)
- Certified rabies vaccination, with some kind of prior period of time or evidence the vaccination is working.
- i.e. For pet travel in Europe, the rabies vaccine should be administered by a Vet with a minimum of 21 days before travel.
At the same time, some countries my opt to request additional features like:
- Vet's letter or certificate confirming fitness to travel and/or no obvious signs of disease.
- Government certification that the vet's export documentation and certificates are in order for travel.
- Sometimes the countries will refuse entry if you use an unauthorized carriers or unauthorized import/export points.
- Animal treated for ticks, fleas and tapeworms between 24 and 48 hours before boarding the outbound transport. The time limit is usually enforced strictly.
- i.e. No less than 24 hours and no more than 48 hours before check-in
Travelling with more than five pets?
The number of pets that can be moved between EU Member States is limited to five per person. If there are more than 5 pets moving with an accompanying person, the following rules apply:
- The movement of the pets should be as a consequence of the move of the owner – there should be no transfer of ownership involved.
- Each pet animal will require particular documents or certificates (not one for all) supplied by an official veterinary surgeon from the country of origin.
- Pets entering with this certificate will travel on an approved route and be subject to pet checks at the point of entry.
- Couriers may transport more than 5 pets if meeting the above conditions.
Flying with Your Pet
The US Air Carrier Access Act defines emotional support animals as “any animal that is individually trained or able to provide assistance to a person with a disability; or any animal that assists persons with disabilities by providing emotional support”.
Faking Service Dogs
- A Quick Guide to Faking a Service Dog - USA. You can get emotional support animal (ESA) cert online from the Dogtor and CertaPet. However, "service dog fraud" is making it more and more difficult for genuine owners to be taken seriously.
- Travelling the world with cats and a dog. BBC, March, 2017.
- Furry Nomad section on Squat the Planet.
- Prescription pets: 'I got a doctor’s note to fly with my dog'
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