Times’ a’changin’ and that means there are more international travel options for pawrents to take their furkids along with them on their vacay. But first, you need to know what to prep to avoid any delays.

Destination House Rules
Get familiar with your destination’s animal immigration rules. Each country has different policies about pet entry. Do the necessary research to make sure you’ve got all your bases covered. Some will require a quarantine period, while others will waive it if your pet meets all the requirements. Pet Travel has a wealth of information on animal regulations in over 200 countries! Make sure to contact the embassy of the country you wish to travel to get necessary and accurate information as well.

Flight Options
Some airlines will let you carry your pawed pal in-cabin while others are limited to cargo transport. Ask your vet what is safe for your pet’s situation (older dogs and cats are sometimes advised to fly in-cabin, while snub-nosed dogs aren’t allowed in the cargo hold because they are more prone to respiratory problems), then check out which flights are traveling from your home country to your vacay spot. Airlines usually charge extra for pets–whether they fly in-cabin or in-cargo. In-cabin pet travel also has pet size restrictions. Only certain kennel sizes are allowed and a limited number of pets can be put in the kennel. Once you’ve determined which airlines suit your needs best, book your pet’s flight–the earlier the better! Airlines only allow a limited number of animals on board, so make sure you have a reservation before you buy your own seat.

While many hotels still don’t allow animals to check-in, more and more establishments are starting to provide guests this option. Check out Bring Fido for a list of pet-friendly hotels all over the world. Get your pet accustomed to new surroundings way before your trip so that he or she doesn’t bark his or her head off when you leave him or her in the hotel to go sightseeing.

Vet Vetted
Get your vet’s go signal before you book any flights or accommodations. Any serious illnesses may prevent your pet from being allowed entry into a country or, much worse, cause serious harm to him or her. Find out about any potential health threats the area might be known for such as endemic diseases, so you can protect your furball.

Choose a Pet Carrier
Make sure your pet carrier meets airline requirements. If not, you may have to go and buy one. Pets should be able to stand up, lie down and turn around with ease, with no potential injurious hazards that could hurt your pet in case of jostling due to handling, turbulence and the like. Don’t spring the crate on your pet the day you travel. Get him or her accustomed to being in a carrier, especially if it’s something he or she isn’t used to. Make him or her feel that the crate is a friend. Lure him or her in with treats, put his or her favorite blanky or toy, and help him or her associate the carrier with something good–like road trips!

Packing for Your Pet
You don’t like it when you forget something at home when you travel, so be considerate about your pet’s needs as well. Run through his or her daily routine and list down everything he or she usually needs when at home. Are all his or her vitamins ready to go? Is his or her dog food available at your destination or do you need to pack some for the duration that you’re away? Are you traveling somewhere cold? Get some sweaters and socks for your four-legged companion. Prep key docs like health certificates, medical records, grooming products and identification tools such as collar tags with contact numbers.

Lastly, enjoy this special trip with your furry ones! Take lots of snaps and capture the experience on video for you and your loved ones to throwback to.

PHOTO: Scott Kinmartin/Flickr Creative Commons; GIFS: Giphy

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