What You Need to Know If You’re Traveling to a Different Country With Your Pet
By: Dr. Clayton Greenway, B.Sc., DVM | Nov 2, 2016
Dr. Greenway discusses everything you need to know about traveling to a different country with your pet. Topics covered in this video include, importing, exporting a pet, vaccinations, parasites, deworming, rabies titer, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, United States Department of Agriculture, travel documents, sedation, customs and border security.
I’m Dr. Clayton Greenway with healthcareforpets.com. I get a lot of questions from people when they have to move from one country to another and they want to take pets with them. They often don’t know where to start in this process or what it entails so here’s some information about it.
There are some borders you can cross simply with proof of vaccination so going from Canada to the United States, that’s all you really need to show that all the vaccines are up-to-date and that the rabies vaccination is up-to-date.
That’s probably one of the most common border crossings I hear of but then there’s lots of people that are moving to another country and they need to know how to go about that process so they’re actually importing their pet into that other country and there are strict guidelines and rules that go along with that.
The first thing I would encourage you to do is contact the governing body in your country to look at exporting a pet to another country. For instance, in the United States you would contact the Department of Agriculture. In Canada, you would contact the CFIA which is the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. If you go on their websites, you’ll actually find a list of countries where you can import your pet to and what rules you have to follow to get there. Often what has to happen is a series of tests and physical exams and treatments leading up to that date of exportation. Here’s a couple examples, sometimes they’ll require that you do certain dewormings, certain days leading up to the actual date of departure.
They’ll also be vaccinations that you’ll typically need to have and proof of those vaccinations on certain days leading up to that date of departure. You may have to have a physical exam, again on a certain day before your departure and in some cases you may need to actually confirm that one of the vaccines has worked in your pet and is protective. For instance, there’s a lot of countries that require something called a rabies titer test. What this is is a blood test that confirms that your pet has received the vaccine, has enough antibodies in its system to consider it protected against rabies. Sometimes these tests take quite a while to get back, in fact, in that case it can take six to eight weeks to get that answer so you’re going to want to start as early as possible. You can get this information and essentially build a timeline leading up to the date of your departure looking at the dates when you have to do things like the physical exam deworming, vaccinations, or any particular blood test that you require. Keep in mind they’re going to take time to come back, so you’re going to want to plan this out far in advance of your actual departure date.
And the last thing I’ll mention is that if you don’t have this stuff in order and these documents prepared, you could find yourself arriving at a certain port where they actually are going to quarantine your pet and not allow it into the country. It’s the last thing you really want to happen. Let me tell you that I know in these cases, what they really look for is a well organized person so get your documents in order, make sure that they look official, they’ve got the proper signatures and the proper stamps on them and the better organized you look, the more serious they’re going to take your application to move that pet into their country.
So try to start early, get well prepared, and be prepared for that interview when you arrive at your destination and you can take a look at our video about traveling with your pet and advice about that to help you out during the process because what’s most important to us is your pet’s health here at healthcareforpets.com.
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