So i have been asked by many people to please share the process of traveling with dogs. Well here is what i remember. There are a few options depending on where one wishes to go.
As you can imagine it is not easy. Each country is different and the process will be different for each. With saying this i will also say that there are pet travel agents that deal with all of the hassles for you.
I took the difficult way. I did everything on my own. This is how i had to go about it.
First you need to have a pet passport that is issued at most vets, in the passport you need to have a microchip number which is given once your dogs have been chipped. Four the chip i would use “virbac back home” you will also need to have up to date vaccinations, rabies is the most important. This is a legal requirement in South Africa.
So we have done all of this and now we need to get our rabies titre. This is a test that shows how resistant your dog is to the viruse. This is to be done at least 30 days after the last rabies vaccination and the rabies titre test needs to be done at least 3 months before you intend to leave. These time periods are for Germany and do change depending one where you going.
After all this you are done with the expensive tests. From here you will need to either use a pet travel agent or look at the travel requirements of the airlines and buy a travel crate for the dog. There are requirements with regards to size and materials. I suggest spend more then less as you don’t want your dog breaking out and running around the airport. All the requirement you can find on the airline cargo sights. I do suggest you spend alot of time training your dogs to love the crates as they will be a lot more comfortable, i will post an article on how to do this soon.
Book your flight. Look carefully as there are certain flight times that don’t allow dogs. Don’t fly on thursday or friday as you might get stuck for the weekend in the airport. Save the hassle and go talk to the people at the cargo department.
I recommend at this time you also contact an agent in the country you are going to and have them sort out the arrival papers and clearances of the dogs. If not you may find yourselves running around for hrs in an airport without seeing your dogs.
From here it gets interesting. You need to wait till 14 days before departure. Some countries require 10 days before. In the 14 days, you need to get a vet clearance from a local vet. Tell them where you are going as they need to get the export permit. Once this is done you take the permit to the government or state vet. They stamp it and you are ready
Go to the airline and get the airwaybill 24 hrs before you leave, then take that to the customs office at the airport and have you dogs cleared, bring all the papers with you.
Go back to the airline and pay for your dogs and go get ready. The day of departure you will need to get to the airport at least 5 hrs before. You drop your dogs off at the cargo section of the airport and say your goodbyes. Please attach water to the inside of the crates, i used 1litre yoghurt containers and i froze the water so that it would defrost in the plain. I also cable tired the containers with water to the door of the crates. Also attach copies of all the dogs paper work to the outside of the crates in a plastic sleeve. Just a a precaution.
Once they have been dropped off then they get taken to the flights holding center and you go to sort yourselves out. Remember to pack some food in your bag as you not sure when you will get home and find food.
Once boarded the pilot will make an announcement that all the bags and animals have been loaded, they need to sign for them so they usually make an announcement.
Doors close and you must try relax.
When you arrive at your destination, go the the office of the agent you are using to do all your clearing and paperwork for your dogs and just relax there.
Enjoy your trips.