Subject: Re: Transporting Animals

We travel with our Dachshund extensively in the USA both by driving and flying. As far as flying in the USA, check with your carrier (some airline do not take in cabin pets!), get a Sherpa Bag--soft-sided carrier, have your vet check the pet out just before you leave making sure you receive from the vet a certificate that his shots are unexpired (take the pets rabies certificate with you too) that the pet is in good health, both internal and external pest free and "OK" to fly.

If you're going to be away for a bit, before you fly home go to a local vet and repeat the above. No problem. The in- cabin pet ticket should be reserved when you reserve your ticket as there are an extremely limited amount of in cabin pets allowed--one to two, again depending on the airline. When traveling internationally, things are a bit more involved but it can be done as we are leaving with our Doxie the end of July for 3 months in Europe.

We are flying into Amsterdam as the flight is the shortest from NYC to mainland Europe. There is no quarantine for pets but you must have the proper documentation. Go to the countries web site that you will be flying in to and check with the Embassy. I found the Netherlands to be the easiest.

While they do not require that we have an International Health Certificate for him, we will have one! The do prefer the EU Pet Passport which can be downloaded from the countries web site. Since we are coming from the USA it only requires that our pet be chipped (ISO standard 11785) which he is and the relevant rabies information. The shot must given be no less than 21 days (I prefer that it be no less than 30 days because that seems to be the constant with other countries) and not expire prior to your departure. To return to the USA, all that is required is that the rabies vaccination is still unexpired and I prefer to once again go to a local vet at the end of our trip and have them fill out a form that shows our Doxie is in good health, internal and external pest free, etc.

When entering the USA I produce all the information including the International Certificate which shows all of his shots, chip, etc. If you go to the APHIS web site you can locate the nearest certified USDA official in the USA which will stamp/endorse the International Certificate filled out by your vet.

Also, when you contact the APHIS Office to make an appointment--I schedule the appointment at least 2 to 3 weeks before--ask them to give you the telephone number of the Public Health Office related to APHIS. This office will give you any and all information concerning your return to the USA from an international destination with your pet.

Remember that each country has its own requirements! When we brought him with us to the Bahamas this New Year he needed a special shot (Leptospirosis) and a permit too!

Sounds involved but if you do your homework you'll have no problems. The most important thing is to have your pet LOOK healthy when you arrive at your destination, be it Europe or back home! Therefore, I even have the vet add to his travel documents that it is OK for him to be administered a small sedative to help with the flight! This way as we pass through customs, if he isn't quite awake yet, the officials will understand that it's just his sedative wearing off! As a final note, we don't take him with us to the British Isles because it's even more involved with their new PET Policy.

Any questions, let me know! Have fun and go!

Regards, Jane