When the holidays arrive there are always some unknowns when traveling if you have pets. In order to travel with pets, a different forecast is necessary and bear in mind that certain animal health regulations must be followed to avoid the spread of diseases that may be potentially transmissible to humans and other animals.
The most common is to travel with dogs or travel with cats , there are also those who go on vacation with ferrets, rabbits or other small animals usual in homes.
In the transfer of pets on holidays, it is the receiving countries that establish the requirements that the animals they receive must meet. That’s why the first thing to do to transport pets (or export them) is to contact the Embassy or the Consulate of the country of destination to know their import conditions for these goods .
Veterinary passport to travel with pets
Normally, the first thing that is usually required is the health certificate or passport of the animal , issued by the veterinarian. It certifies that our pet has the current clinical health exams, that he is able to travel and has the required vaccination updates (usually the rabies vaccine) at least 21 days before traveling (the first administration).
This certificate will have a maximum validity of 10 days, since its objective is to validate the state of health of the animal at the time it travels, but there are countries that even ask that the good health status of the pet be certified 48 hours before departure.
Keep in mind that even in countries of the European Union there are differences in the requirements for the sending of pets . The common requirement is that the animals have a localized microchip implanted and are vaccinated, as we have said, against rabies. However, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Finland and Malta also require that dogs be treated against the Echinococcus parasite.
If you travel outside the EU, the disparities in the requirements of the recipient countries when traveling with pets are even greater. Canada, for example, does not import Pitbull dogs in the province of Ontario. China requires that animals be quarantined for seven days at the airport and 23 days at home isolated whether we travel with them as a pet or export them as merchandise and Japan can hold your pet for up to 180 days if it does not meet your entry requirements . In many countries having the updated animal passport avoids the quarantine period.
Generic export certificate
In the case of Spain, once there is already a veterinary certificate to be able to travel with the pet, the Spanish veterinary authorities will issue their own sanitary certificate of generic export of companion animals, in a language that can be understood by the country of destination, and which varies depending on whether the country of destination is on the list of Regulation 998/2003 or not.
Mexico, Japan, India or Brazil, for example, require a specific export certificate . In these cases, it is not necessary to attach to these specific export certificates the health certificate or passport, since the latter will have been issued based on the information of the former, generally leaving the health certificate in the possession of the Agricultural Agency that issues the export certificate.
In order to request the issuance of generic health certificates for export to third countries of live animals, it is necessary to register as a user in CEXGAN (Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment).
There are countries – few, already – that demand that the official export certificate of the Kingdom of Spain be legalized through the apostille of the Hague or consular recognition. The health certificate is not apostilled or consular recognition, only the export certificate.
More certifications to travel with pets
It is possible that some countries require the issuance of other types of certificates to travel with pets , such as a specific import certificate. In Australia, for example, dogs and cats need an import permit from AQIS (Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service), and in Israel an import license issued by the Director of Veterinary Services of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is required.
The Embassy or Consulate of each country will explain if there is a specific import certificate. In general, there is no systematic communication between the competent authorities of the different countries about their changes in animal import regulations, and sometimes sanitary authorities and animal health inspectors do not have the most up-to-date information on the procedures of other countries. That is why it is essential that we make the request for information to the Embassy or Consulate of the country of destination every time we travel with pets.
The trip with your pet
If you are traveling with pets by plane , you should bear in mind that in most airlines, animals can travel in the hold or in the cabin according to their size. The first thing to do is to provide them with a suitable carrier: comfortable for the size of the animal, resistant (to shock and waterproof bottom), safe (that allows to close it well) and with adequate ventilation. Hand-made receptacles are not served, such as holed boxes or containers designed for other purposes.
Before traveling, you must call the customer service of airlines or maritime to report their own regulations and conditions for traveling with pets. Some do not allow the transport of ferrets and other animals of the mustelid family, for example, and all are accustomed to charging fees.
Traveling with pets by car does not exempt you from fulfilling the same requirements to enter the country. They can stop you at customs and ask for the required documentation, and if we do not comply, they can leave our pet in strict quarantine for periods that can be very long.
If you follow these guidelines you should not have any problem when traveling with pets , which can accompany you so that you enjoy your company anywhere in the world.