Hints to make travelling with your pet easy as child's play

October 16, 2014

Wish travelling with Fido was easier? Or that Fluffy fussed less? Even if you've done it before, here are hints to make travelling with your pet easy as child's play.
Did you know that you need to have special travel documents to travel with your pet across most international borders? The Government of Canada recommends you contact the embassy of the country you’re planning to visit to enquire about bringing pets across their border.

Travelling with your dog or your cat

If Fido or Fluffy is travelling with you, you may need to obtain a Canadian international health certificate.

  • First, find out if the country you’ll be visiting accepts this certificate.If they do, have the document filled out and signed by a government-employed Canadian veterinarian.
  • This certificate is not required if the country you’re visiting has its own health certificate, or if you’re travelling in an area that has an agreement with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
  • Having your pet’s vaccination papers with you is essential in every case.

Travelling with an exotic animal

Parrots, turtles, hybrid cats, certain lizards, fish and snakes are considered exotic animals.

  • To travel with them, you need a permit from the ConventiononInternationalTradeinEndangered SpeciesofWild Fauna and Flora (CITES). There is also such as thing as a pet passport. (For more information, contact Environment Canada.)

Travelling by plane

If you’re thinking of travelling with your pet by plane, the animal might be allowed to fly in a crate right in the cabin or cargo hold. It all depends on the size and weight of the animal and the crate. It could also be that your pet will have to travel on his own. Contact the airline company for more details. Here are a few additional tips.

  • Prior to your departure, make sure your animal is healthy enough to travel.
  • Choose direct flights whenever possible.
  • Travel in the morning or at night during the summer, and during the day in the winter.
  • If possible, avoid travelling during peak periods, such as the Christmas holidays. When airports are busy, your pet receives less attention.
  • Make sure that your pet and his crate are properly identified.
  • Make sure the crate is comfortable.
  • To prevent choking, don’t leave anything in the crate.

Travelling on the road

  • Start with short trips to acclimatize your pet.
  • Feed him at least two hours prior to leaving to prevent vomiting.
  • Don’t allow him to move around freely in the car, as it could be distracting for the driver and dangerous for everybody.
  • Make sure he has enough food and water.
  • Make regular stops to give him a rest or to allow him to walk around.
Hints to make travelling with your pet easy as child's play
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