Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Moving With Your Pets Abroad

Alina, our Nervous Nellie

Last year I blogged that we would be moving with our furbabies to Belize. You don’t want to wait until the last minute to make plans for moving your pets abroad with you. It takes time and careful planning. First, find out whether your dog or cat will be subject to quarantine. Belize falls under live animal importation rules and these rules are regulated by the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA). Dogs and cats can be brought into Belize without quarantine. Pet owners must have a valid import permit, and an international vet certificate within 48 hours before shipment. The vet certificate should state that the animal is free from infectious diseases and has been vaccinated for rabies not less than one month and no more than six months prior to departure.

Restrictrions or Acceptance Exceptions
You will also want to check with your airlines to make sure that they will carry your breed of cat or dog. I found that American Airlines will no longer accept brachycephalic, snub-nosed or mixed breeds of snub-nosed animals of certain dogs and cats. Also, check for any other restrictions or acceptance exceptions the airline may have.

Kennel Guidelines
Kennels must meet the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Live Animal Regulations. We have some really large doggies. Two of our dogs are between 75 and 100 pounds. The kennel must be specific to the height and weight of your pet. I told my husband this morning that we were putting our pets on a diet. NO more treats. Make sure you follow international guidelines when purchasing your kennels. 

Helpful Tips
1. Bring your leash and collar so that your pet can be walked if necessary.
2. Make sure you have attached ID tags with your name and phone number.
3. Never transport an animal with a choke collar or muzzle.
4. You may need to sedate your pet for travel. Our dog Alina we call a "Nervous Nellie", she gets very upset with change. So we plan on asking our vet for something to give her during the flight
5. Purchase the kennel in advance to allow your pet to become familiar with it. Hopefully this will ease some of the stress of travel.

You may also want to check out this Live Warm-Blooded Animal Acceptance Checklist.

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