May 2014 – Have you ever thought about taking your pet abroad with you? With the relatively new Pet Travel Scheme it’s now easier than it ever was. AFerry.co.uk has a great guide on what to do and how to do it so including Fido in this year’s holiday plans is as easy as ABC.
43% of us in the UK own a pet of one kind or another. For many people, a pet often becomes part of the family. So, what could be better than to share our holidays with our animal companions? A family holiday is not the same without the family pet, AND you don’t have to worry about how he might be treated if you left him alone in a kennel while you were off enjoying yourselves.
One thing to note is that, despite having their own passports, most pets still aren’t allowed to travel on their own! And there are a few countries that still do not accept pets even with passports but the most popular destinations for the British certainly do.
Once you have decided on where to go, the next step is paying a visit to your vet to get all the vaccines and tests. Don’t worry though, they’ll be well aware of what you need. After that you’ll need to get your pet’s passport sorted out.
In the UK you will need to find a government-authorised vet known as a local Veterinary Inspector (LVI). There is a good chance that your local vet has a resident LVI but if not, they should be able to tell you where the nearest one is. You can also contact your local Animal Health Office to find the nearest LVI to you. DEFRA doesn’t charge vets for passports so if you are charged a fee for this, it shouldn’t be too steep.
Once you have your Passport you’ll need to get it filled in. Sections I-V of the passport are the ones that you’ll need to get your vet to complete.
Tips for taking dogs on board
◾ Whatever environment your pet is in make sure that it’s not too hot. Excessive panting and drooling may be signs that your dog is too hot.
◾ Never leave your dog alone with closed windows in the car and never when it’s very hot. Remember your car can become like an oven in hot weather.
◾ On long journeys your dog will need plenty of water and regular walks.
◾ If going on a short journey it may be a good idea not to feed your dog too close to the departure.
◾ Some companies require you to have a muzzle but even if they don’t if you have a large breed dog it may be a good idea to have one with you anyway – especially if you will come into contact with other people. Remember you may come across very small children and some cultures are not too fond of dogs.
◾ Don’t let your dog stick his head out of the window as passing vehicles could injure him, his eyes or ears could be damaged by particles in the air or he could try to jump out.
◾ Only sedate your dog if completely necessary and as a last resort. Only use sedatives that have been prescribed specifically for your dog by your vet.
So now you know the ins and outs of taking your pet abroad and on board. Now there’s no need to leave your dog or cat at home – real family holidays include the family pet.