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Why is it important to follow all pet import regulations during international pet transport?

Many pet parents hesitate to travel internationally with their pets because of the complex pet import regulations. Different countries have different rules, and these regulations change depending on the country your pet is travelling from. Add flight uncertainties and airline regulations to the mix, and international pet transport was never going to be simple!

Pet transport has numerous rules and regulations, and every single rule is highly critical. If you are travelling to an international location with your pet dog or cat, here’s why it is essential to follow all the rules and not skip a single one.

Why are pet transport regulations necessary?

Though international pet travel rules are different in every country, most countries follow the same broad framework of microchipping, vaccinations, health checks and official documentation. Pet parents must necessarily follow all these steps accurately and in the prescribed order for their pet to travel to the destination country.

Pet import regulations are in place to correctly document your pet when they travel to a new country. The vaccinations and the health tests are to ensure your pet is healthy before they travel.

Vaccinations keep your pet healthy and safe from life-threatening diseases. They prevent the spread of zoonotic diseases such as rabies and leptospirosis from pets to humans. Vaccinations check the spread of infectious diseases such as rabies, parvovirus, canine distemper, bordetella, feline leukaemia, hepatitis, parainfluenza, and others among the pet population. When your pet travels from one country to another, vaccinations are important to prevent the spread and introduction of these pet diseases in the destination country.

Microchipping your pet before pet travel is mandatory in almost all countries. Customs officials use the information on the microchip to match it with the documents presented to ensure that your pet cat or dog is the same as described in the records. 

What happens if the pet import criteria are not met?

There are several consequences when a pet dog or cat does not meet all pet import conditions. Most countries will not accept a pet that has not fulfilled pet import criteria, while some other countries will quarantine the pet till all the requirements are met satisfactorily. It is, therefore, very important to make sure you are aware of and follow all rules before your pet begins their journey. Here are some common consequences your pet might face if pet import regulations are not met:

  • Extended quarantine – Pet dogs and cats that do not fulfil pet import criteria often have to face extended quarantine till all documentation and tests are complete and satisfactory. The extended quarantine will be at your expense and can be expensive, depending on the country.
  • Pets will be returned – Not all countries have quarantine facilities for pet dogs and cats; when pets travelling to these countries fail to fulfil pet import conditions, they will be returned to the country of origin at the pet parent’s expense.
  • Extra tests and documentation – In some countries, your dog or cat will have to undergo additional tests and documentation when entering the country if their paperwork is not satisfactory. Pet parents will have to bear the expense of these tests and procedures.
  • Stress and discomfort for pet and pet parents – International pet travel is extremely complex; the rules and regulations are time-consuming and sometimes difficult to follow. However, not adhering to the rules can cause you and your pet additional stress and discomfort when you arrive at the destination country. Not being able to collect your pet or even see your pet till all the pet import discrepancies are sorted can be highly stressful for you and confusing for your pet.
  • Euthanised – Some countries take the extreme step of euthanising pets that travel without proper documentation if the pet parent cannot return the pet to the country of origin. Euthanising pet is not the norm usually and will only be done if all other options are unviable.

Call the international pet transport experts.

Travelling to an international destination without the proper paperwork or failing to comply with all the requirements is an extremely risky way to travel. It compounds the stress of the international move and puts your pet in unnecessary discomfort.

If the thought of organising international transport for your pet dog or cat sounds daunting, you can make it simpler by partnering with an IPATA-member pet travel agency. An experienced pet transport agent knows the pet import requirements of different countries and will guide pet parents with the proper process.

If you are planning an international move with your dog or cat, reach out to Petraveller for more information on zero-harm travel and a free pet travel quote