Relocating to another country can be a daunting task. Bringing your pet can make this process even more challenging. The regulations vary greatly from country to country. We will discuss the process of what it took to ensure that Daisy made it to Paris safely and without risk of being quarantined. Our first stop with Daisy was to our local Seattle Vet, who was nice enough to weed through the required documents with us.
Step 1: Microchip
We needed to make sure that Daisy received a microchip compatible with ISO standard 11784 or 11785. A second option is to purchase the appropriate microchip reader and carry it with the pet. We opted to have the ISO standard microchip to avoid any complications with future travels. Our vet implanted Daisy with her new EU friendly Home Again microchip.
Important Note: Microchip implantation must occur PRIOR to rabies vaccination. Please see your vet or the USDA-APHIS regulations.
Step 2: Health Certificate
Complete a USDA certificate of health (which needs to be completed by an accredited veterinarian). You must complete the Bilingual health certificate with your vet. As another word of caution, your vet may be certified but this may be a rare request for them. Recheck the forms yourself. In our case we went through the forms a second time with our vet and found missing information. You will need to mail, Fedex, or hand deliver your forms to your state veterinary service office. In our case we Fedex’d our forms with a self stamped return Fedex to insure that we recieved them back in time.
Step 3: Airlines
Many airlines allow for pet travel: but not all. Check with the airline you intend prior to see any restrictions they may have. In some cases there may be retrictions on the time of year they allow pets to fly. For Daisy, she was not allowed in the cabin for this international flight. They informed us that the space in which she and other pets were housed would be climate controlled. Most arlines also reqiure that the kennel be IATA compliant. We chose the Petmate airline travel kit a complete set-up that includes everything needed for a comfortable and safe flight across the pond.
Step 4: Au Revoir Seattle!!
The day of the flight always brings a few anxious moments. You can make things a little easier for everyone by giving yourself additional time to check everyone in at the airport and get through TSA Security. Your airline carrier may have additional time requirements when traveling with a pet. We were asked to sign a form guaranteeing rabies vaccination. In addition, the airline had us put Daisy into the kennel after they had scanned it for clearance, then had us lock it with a plastic zip tie. This was provided at the ticket counter. We were also required to have our own pair of scissors to cut off the zip ties. The airline will not do it for you. TSA may also require you to remove your pet from the kennel when passing through. So be sure to bring your leash. You may inquire with the airport personnel to see where the pet relief area is located. Daisy checked in at baggage claim early just to make sure we had everything right. Then we were allowed to take Daisy with us then and gave us a specific time to return, so she wouldn’t have to be checked in any sooner than necessary. For Seattle Sea-Tac airport you will find several pet relief areas. You can visit your airport website to locate prior to arriving at the airport.
Step 5: Bonjour Paris!!
Arriving to your destination after a long international flight means getting through the airport as quickly as possible. Make sure you have all documents in hand should you be asked present them. For Daisy, there was no request to see her documents. Now she was off to see her new home in the heart of the city of light!!
Step 6: Pet passport
One additional item that we plan to obtain for Daisy is her EU pet passport. Yes, they actually have pet passports. The benefit is a much easier travel throughout the EU with your pet. We will update you on this process once we’ve completed the process.