International Pet Travel Country Questions

Pet Passport for International TravelTraveling internationally with a pet? Have questions about country requirements for entering with a pet?

  • Will my pet be quarantined?
  • What vaccinations does my pet need?
  • Will my pet need a passport?

Post your questions here and we will respond within 24 hours. You can also find information on international pet travel here: international pet travel

Airline Pet Policy Questions

airline pet policiesFlying with a pet?   Have questions regarding airline pet policy?

Need to know what type of carrier you will need?

What does your pet need to fly as cargo?

Will the airlines transfer your pet from one plane to another?

Post your questions here and we will respond within 24 hours. You can also find information here: airline pet policies.

CDC Important Changes to Imports of Dogs from High Rabies Countries to the United States

Dog from High Rabies Country
Courtesy of Pixabay

On July 14, 2021, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), imposed an import permit requirement for dogs entering or reentering the United States after having been in countries classified as having a high risk of rabies (see list below). This restriction includes dogs who have resided in, have visited, or have cleared customs and entered a high-rabies country within 6 months of import. Pet owners must provide a verbal or written statement attesting that their dog has not been in a high-rabies country for the preceding 6 months even if it is entering the United States from an approved country.  

The reason for the legislation was to prevent the introduction of rabies into the country in light of a recent rabies incident. The legislation has been extended to January, 2023.

Initially, many restrictions were imposed on pet owners wanting to import their dogs to the United States. To qualify for these permits, vacation travel was not an acceptable excuse, nor was adoption or rescue.

A lot of restrictions have been lifted, and the purpose of travel is no longer relevant to the CDC. Additionally, pet owners have three options available to them when importing their dog.

Here are the most recent changes to this legislation:

Option 1: No import permit required.

Your dog will not need an import permit if it meets the following qualifications:

  1. Your dog must be healthy.
  2. Your dog must be more than 6 months of age.
  3. Your dog must have proof of a current rabies vaccination administered in the United States (rabies certificate – see below).
  4. Your dog’s microchip number must be on the rabies certificate.
  5. Your dog enters the United States at an approved port of entry.

Option 2: Apply for an Import Permit.

Pet owners can apply for an import permit from the CDC if your dog meets the following qualifications:

  1. Your dog is healthy.
  2. Your dog is at least 6 months of age.
  3. Your dog has a valid and current rabies certificate issued by a non-US veterinarian.
  4. Your dog has proof of a microchip recorded on the rabies certificate.
  5. Your dog has a valid rabies titer test administered a minimum of 45 days prior to import.
  6. Your dog enters the United States at Enters the United States at an approved port of entry. (Anchorage (ANC), Atlanta (ATL), Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW), Detroit (DTW), Honolulu (HNL), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), Minneapolis (MSP), New York (JFK), Newark (EWR), Philadelphia (PHL), San Francisco (SFO), San Juan (SJU), Seattle (SEA), and Washington DC (IAD).

Applications must be received online a minimum of 30 business days (6 weeks) in advance. Permits are valid for 3 or less personal dogs per permit. Denied permits cannot be appealed. One permit per person per year is permitted.

Home quarantine will be required for this option to arrange for revaccination within 10 days of arrival. Dogs are released at customs clearance. Violations will cause the denial of future applications for permits.

Option 3: Register your dog at an Animal Care Facility

To qualify for this option, you are importing 3 or more dogs per person OR your dog has a current rabies certificate that is not issued by a licensed veterinarian in the United States. Your dog must meet the following qualifications:

  1. Your dog is healthy.
  2. Your dog is at least 6 months of age.
  3. Your dog has a valid and current rabies certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian in a foreign country.
  4. The rabies vaccine must be administered a minimum of 28 days prior to entry unless it was a booster in which case, the 28-day wait does not apply.
  5. Your dog has proof of a microchip that is recorded on the rabies certificate.
  6. Your dog enters the United States at a point of entry where animal care facilities are available.

Dogs entering the United States under this option do not need to provide rabies titer test results; however 28 days of quarantine will be imposed if valid results of a rabies titer test is not available.

After entering the United States, the CDC will validate both the rabies certificate and the titer test results (if results are available). All dogs will be examined and revaccinated for rabies at the Animal Care Facility. Those dogs without titer test results or those whose titer tests are invalid will be quarantined for 28 days and retested. All reservations for quarantine must be made before entering the United States. (refer to URL in the bullet above).

Note that, in all three options, a valid rabies certificate must be provided*. If a valid, current rabies certificate is not available or the certificate is incomplete or invalid, your dog will be returned to the origination country on the next available flight.

*Rabies certificates must be issued in English or be accompanied by a certified translation and include the following information:

  • Name and address of owner
  • Breed, sex, date of birth (approximate age if date of birth unknown), color, markings, and other identifying information for the dog
  • Date of vaccination and vaccine product information (manufacturer, batch #, etc.)
  • Date the vaccination expires
  • Name, license number, address, and signature of veterinarian who administered the vaccination
  • Your dog’s microchip number

Countries that the United States has classified as having high risk of rabies:

AFRICA: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic,
Chad, Comoros, Côte D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt
(Temporary importation suspension of dogs from Egypt until further notice), Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini (Swaziland), Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania (including Zanzibar), Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Western Sahara, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

AMERICAS AND EASTERN CARIBBEAN: Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador,
Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela.

ASIA: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, China (excluding Hong Kong and Taiwan),
Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Moldova, Mongolia,
Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste (East Timor),
Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Yemen.

All pet owners should be aware that the CDC has made these important changes for the import of dogs from high rabies countries. Any questions regarding this post can be sent to [email protected].

Keeping your Pet Cool and Safe this Summer

dog in lake keeping cool
Image from Pixabay

Are you and your pets ready for the “Dog Days of Summer”? With the summer heat comes special considerations to remember when traveling outside with your pet. As responsible pet owners, most people know not to leave pets in hot cars or walking on scorching asphalt and provide plenty of water. But there are also some risks you might have overlooked. Here are a few tips on keeping your pet cool and safe this summer.

Avoid the high-noon heat: In-between the hours of 11 A.M. and 3 P.M. are considered the peak heat hours of the day. If you have an older pet or one with a thick coat, consider taking walks or engaging in activities before or after these times of day. Put your hand palm down on the sidewalk or street. If the asphalt is too hot for your hand, it is too hot for pet pads. Walk your dog on the grass whenever possible.

Groom your pet the right way: A dog’s coat is sometimes used for their protection so keep this in mind before your pets get a summer haircut. Trimming is good, but make sure your pet doesn’t get too close of a shave. Remember, dogs CAN get sunburned and the correct dog grooming technique is important!

Provide ample amount of shade and water: Hydration is key. Both inside and outside, pets should have a full water bowl at all times. Water left sitting in the hot sun doesn’t do much good. Pet owners should provide ample amounts of cool (not ice cold) water in shaded areas.

If your dog or cat spends time outside, give them shade and a cool place to lie down.? Trees can really cool down a summer backyard while also providing shelter from the sun as can awnings and umbrellas.

Know the symptoms of dehydration or overheating: monitor your pet for symptoms including excessive panting or difficulty breathing, excessive drooling, abnormally colored gums, increased heart and respiratory rate, body temperature over 104 degrees or inability to urinate. If you notice your pet in a stupor or being too weak to stand, bring it inside immediately and contact your veterinarian. Further symptoms can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomiting.

If your cat or dog is snub-nosed (brachycephalic), they are even more susceptible to dehydration because they need to breathe more to cool down that other breeds. Some examples of snub-nosed breeds are Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Pekingese, Pugs, Griffon Bruxellois, Japanese Chin, Boston Terrier, Shih Tzu and Persian, Himalayan and Exotic Shorthair cats.

Avoid flying unless your dog or cat is small: Most all airlines will refuse to fly a live animal in the cargo hold if temperatures exceed 85 degrees F (30 degrees C). This restriction can inconvenience your summer travels; however, it is for the safety of your pet. Danger from high temperatures does not come when your pet’s flight is airborne. Pets are most at risk when waiting to be boarded in airline luggage areas and cargo facilities. Know too that live animals are last to load and first to unload so they can spend time on the tarmac. High temperatures can cause their body temperatures to increase quickly.

Is your lawn pet friendly? In 2010, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center received more than 4,000 calls related to garden toxins. These include herbicides, plants (hydrangea, tulips, azaleas, and lilies), insecticides, mushrooms, fertilizers and cocoa mulch. Weed killers, herbicides, and fertilizers are toxic and can even cause cancer. All a dog or cat has to do is walk on the lawn and lick its paws to be exposed. Store all these products where your pet cannot reach them.

Monitor your pet around a pool: Some dogs like the water and others don’t. Regardless of which type of dog (or cat) your have, accidents happen and you always want to be alert to your pet’s actions when in or around a pool. If your pet becomes disoriented in the pool and cannot find the steps, then it can panic and tire itself out.

Watch for ticks, fleas and other critters: Hot weather can also bring parasites that can be a health hazard and certainly cause discomfort to your dog and cat. Be sure they are treated with products that protect them from both internal (heartworm) and external (fleas and ticks) parasites. Your veterinarian can help you with selecting the proper medication.

Now that summer’s in full swing it’s more important than ever to keep your pet cool and in the heat for only limited intervals. Remember your pet cannot tell you when they are overheated so make sure to watch their demeanor and keep your pet cool and safe this summer.

Now get outside and enjoy the summer with your pet.

For more info on traveling with your pet click here.

Traveling with an Older Dog – What You Need to Know

Traveling with an older dog
Courtesy of Pixabay

Dogs are the perfect companions for anyone at any age for many reasons. The company of a dog can help anyone cope with loneliness and also ease depression. Dogs can also provide people with a sense of purpose and structure. While you are feeding or caring for a pet, you are also doing something productive. And the love and devotion that they provide you is priceless, no matter how old they are. That said, if you like to travel, there are no reasons that you cannot bring your senior dog. Here are some tips for traveling with an older dog.

If you are a senior, a pet friendly senior living facility is one of the options that can help you stay connected with the present and a senior dog will be easier to handle. They are adopted far less than puppies, so consider adopting one if you do not have one already.

The Needs of Older Dogs

When is does a dog enter senior ranks? For small dogs, this can happen at the age of 7 and for larger dogs, they generally reach their peak at 6 years of age. This can vary according to breed, the amount of injuries a dog experiences and other breed or health predispositions that a dog may have.

Traveling with an older dog requires planning, care and attention. Most older dogs have passed the high intensity stage and are slower and more subdued which makes them great travelers. However, senior dogs can also be more anxious due to previous experiences, strong bonds or simply because it is typical of their breed. For these personality types, it is crucial that you acclimate your pet to travel.

Related: Acclimating your pet to travel.

As dogs age, they can develop physical problems such as:

  • Joint problems
  • Loss of eyesight
  • Loss of hearing
  • Dementia (Canine Cognitive Disfunction)
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Gastrointestinal and/or kidney problems
  • Incontinence
  • Heart problems
  • Insomnia
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer

Many of these ailments require medication at regular intervals and other attention that owners must plan for when traveling. Obesity can cause breathing issues as well. Try to get your pet in the best shape possible before travel.

Do Research & Plan Ahead

Visit your veterinarian when traveling with an older dog
Courtesy of Pixabay

Formulating a plan to address any disabilities that your pet may have with your veterinarian is the first step in traveling with an older dog.

If your dog is flying in the cargo hold, you will provide the airlines with instructions on the medical needs of your pet on a Shipping Declaration which is attached to your pet’s crate. The airlines will do what they can to attend to your pet while on the ground; however, once in the air, they will be unable to dispense any medication.

If you are driving, set an alarm on your cell phone to remind you of any medication or procedure that your pet will require while on the road. Remember that, unless your dog can hear well and is trained properly, never let them out of the car unless they are securely leashed.

Most importantly, find veterinary hospitals along your route and at your destination. Have contact information available so you can access it quickly in the case of an emergency.

Start Small

If your dog is not a regular traveler, it is best to plan short trips before embarking on longer endeavors. Trips to the park, pet store, friend’s house nearby are happy experiences that your pet will remember next time you say, “its time to go!” Then make the trips a bit longer. Each time you give your pet an experience, it will draw on that experience the next time you travel.

Be Organized

Travelling with dogs may be a bit challenging because they are your responsibilities. This is why you have to be organized. Make lists to be sure you bring everything you need when traveling with an older dog. This is also one way for you to make sure that you have brought all the things that you need. Better to be prepared than spend time on the phone with your vet getting a prescription filled when you are out of town.

You should pack extra medical supplies and pee pads especially when you know that your pet needs it. Being organized means you can locate all the things that you need for your dog whenever you need them. Consider packing a separate bag or backpack just for your pet.

Pack Medications Separately

Dog and suitcase
Courtesy of Pixabay

If you and your pet are taking medications , you should make sure that you pack your meds in a separate location. That way, you will not be confused when you look for the bottle that you need. It may seem like a very simple issue but when you are travelling, things may become a bit complicated. This is especially true if you are getting all your things from one suitcase.

Bring Familiar Things

Your pet may also feel anxious during the trip because of the unfamiliar surroundings. Should this occur, think of ways to make them feel comfortable even outside their comfort zone. One way to do this is to bring some familiar things that will let them feel like they are still in a place that is safe. If your dog sleeps with a blanket, bring it. You can also bring their favorite toy. And treats; don’f forget the treats. After all, every dog should be rewarded for good behavior.

Plan to spend extra time with them once you stop for the night or reach your destination. Walk them slowly around the surroundings and give them the opportunity to discover new smells and get grounded.

Make Necessary Arrangements for Pet Care

Pet care should be regular and, even if you are not in your hometown, you should not skip it. When traveling, you need to consider arranging this before your trip. By doing this, you do not have to be spending time driving around looking for a pet care center as opposed to enjoying your vacation.

Consider Pet Friendly Destinations

ad to say, there are hotels and businesses that do not allow pets. This is the major consideration that you must keep in mind if you are going to travel with your dog. You may be comfortable knowing that you will be able to get some perks for seniors, but don’t forget about your pet. Checking all the places you are planning to visit and asking about pet policies will save you from unnecessary expenses and unhappy experiences.

You should always request for a ground floor room whenever you go to a pet friendly hotel. This way, it would be more convenient for you and your senior pet to get outside quickly, and it would also limit exposure to other dogs.

Plan Laid Back Trips

When traveling with an older dog, it may not be a good idea to plan a trip where the focus will be strenuous activities like long hikes, bicycling or theme parks. Depending on your dog’s health, a pet friendly beach or small town where you can casually stroll down village lanes and enjoy coffee at street side cafes may be a better option. Remember that you can also enjoy your non-pet-friendly activity as long as you provide care for your pet while you are gone on your excursions.

Splurge on a Pet Friendly Jet Charter

dog traveling in private jet
Courtesy of one of our private charter clients

If you plan to fly with your dog, it is important to know as a pet owner is how commercial airlines deal with live animals. For pets flying in the cargo hold, dogs and other animals are confined to a special area that is pressurized and temperature controlled. However, if you have a senior dog, you may want to consider some other options.

If your dog is small, you can fly with it in the cabin in an airline-compliant pet carrier. You can discuss sedation with your vet or opt for an all-natural pet calmer if you feel that your dog will be overly stressed when flying.

Because your pet may have disabilities or medical requirements, it may be a bit difficult for you and your pet to fly on a commercial airline, This is why a private charter is safer and more comfortable for you both. With a pet-friendly jet charter, you do not have to worry about your pet flying in the cargo hold. They can fly right next to you or on your lap for that matter. When flying in a private jet, you and your pet can enjoy the amenities and the special treatment that comes with it. And, with your pet by your side, you can monitor their well being.

Traveling with an older dog is fun and challenging at the same time. Being well prepared will go a long way in enjoying each day with your dog. Always consider that your pets should also be comfortable while you go on vacation with them. This will save you from unnecessary stress and worry while you are trying to relax somewhere away from home.

Contributing to this article is Holly Kramer, a pet lover who owns a dog and loves to write about everything related to pets. She is a frequent writer and contributor to top online pet publications and blogs including Dog Breeds 911 and Pet Friendly Senior Living.

United States Ban Dogs from High Rabies Countries – What You Need to Know

IMPORTANT UPDATE FOR DOGS ENTERING OR RETURNING TO THE UNITED STATES FROM COUNTRIES CLASSIFIED AS HIGH-RISK OF RABIES

Dogs from High Risk Rabies Countries banned from US
Kim Hester – Pixabay

Effective July 14, 2021, the Center for Disease Control(CDC) imposed a temporary ban on dogs* entering the United States after having been in countries classified by the United States as having a high risk of rabies anytime within the past 6 months.  This includes dogs who have resided in, visited, or cleared customs and these countries within 6 months of import. Dogs intending to enter or reenter the US from these countries will have 3 options available to them.

*Cats are not included in this ban.

Click here for high rabies countries.

Why is the CDC banning dogs from high rabies countries?

Rabies is a serious disease that kills almost 60,000 people worldwide each year. Once symptons show, there is no cure. Government agencies responsible for the import and export of live animals take this disease very seriously. The US has been free of canine rabies virus variant (CRVV) since 2007. Since that time, only 3 dogs with CRVV have been imported to the United States. On June 10, a shipment of 34 animals, including 33 dogs and one cat, entered the United States from Azerbaijan at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. One of those dogs was adopted and, after showing tell tale signs of rabies, was diagnosed with CRVV. As a result, a large scale effort to track exposure of the dog to other humans and animals everywhere along the transport in multi cities and countries has commenced.

Ninety nine percent of all deaths in humans from rabies is as a result of a dog bite. In 2020, there was a 52% increase in the number of dogs that were ineligible for import to the United States, and 60-70% of all fraudulent/inaccurate rabies documentation were from dogs originating in high rabies countries.

When a dog is refused entry to the United States, it is returned to its origination country. The cost of returning the dog is born by the owner or the airline. In these cases, dogs are sometimes held in facilities that are not in accordance with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal Welfare Act, and are subject to lack of heating and air conditioning, warehouse equipment and machinery and sometimes the provision of sanitary needs is lacking.

When dogs are abondoned by their owners and the airline refuses to bear the cost of return, the responsibility falls on the Federal Government to bear the costs. The cost for housing, care, and returning improperly vaccinated dogs ranges between $1,000 and $4,000 per dog depending on the location and time required until the next available return flight. During the pandemic, airline service has been reduced, further increasing costs to house and provide veterinary care for these dogs.

How long will the ban last?

The CDC estimates that this ban will be in effect for approximately one year while plans to properly handle dogs who are denied entry are put in place. UPDATE: the CDC has just extended the ban until January of 2023.

Import permits will be approved on a very select basis and cannot be appealed. The CDC’s decision on whether your pet will be approved for a permit will be final.

Option 1 – No Permit Required

For all dogs entering the United States who have proof of a current rabies vaccination that was administered by a licensed veterinarian, an import permit is not required. Dogs meeting this requirement can enter the United States without if the following requirements are met:

  • Your dog has a rabies certificate* proving a current rabies vaccination administered by a licensed veterinarian in the United States.
  • Your dog has proof of an ISO-compatible microchip recorded on the rabies certificate.
  • Your dog is at least 6 months old.
  • Your dog is healthy upon arrival.
  • Your dog enters the United States at an approved port of entry.

Your dog will be inspected upon entry and released to you pending it has no health issues.

*The certificate must substantiate that the vaccination was administered to your dog not younger than 12 weeks of age and at least 28 days prior to import for primary vaccination (see below for definition of primary vaccination)

Option 2 – Import Permit

To qualify for this option, you must be importing less than 2 dogs per person and your dogs must meet the following qualifications:

  • Has a valid and current foreign rabies certificate*.
  • Has proof of a microchip recorded on the rabies certificate.
  • Is at least 6 months of age.
  • Has a valid rabies titer test administered a minimum of 45 days prior to import.
  • Enters the United States at an approved port of entry. (Anchorage (ANC), Atlanta (ATL), Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW), Detroit (DTW), Honolulu (HNL), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), Minneapolis (MSP), New York (JFK), Newark (EWR), Philadelphia (PHL), San Francisco (SFO), San Juan (SJU), Seattle (SEA), and Washington DC (IAD).

Home quarantine will be required for this option to arrange for mandatory revaccination within 10 days of arrival. Dogs are released at customs clearance. All dogs entering the United States with an approved import permit who are vaccinated outside of the US must be revaccinated within 10 days of arrival.

Violations will cause the denial of future applications for permits.

*The certificate must substantiate that the vaccination was administered to your dog not younger than 12 weeks of age and at least 28 days prior to import for primary vaccination (see below for definition of primary vaccination)

How can pet owners apply for an import permit?

Import permits will only be issued by the CDC on a very limited basis. Pet owners must apply for the permit online at https://www.cdc.gov/importation/bringing-an-animal-into-the-united-states/apply-dog-import-permit.html  

Applications must be received a minimum of 30 business days (6 weeks) in advance. Permits are valid for 2 or less personal dogs per permit. One permit per person per year.

The following information must be submitted with the permit:

  • Proof of microchip AND
  • Proof of age (must be over 6 months to enter the United States from a high-rabies country) AND
  • Photo of identification page of the importer’s US passport or Lawful Residence card AND
  • Photo of full body and face of your dog AND
  • Clear photographs of your dog’s teeth:
  • front view of upper and lower teeth
    • side view of upper and lower teeth
  • FOR PETS WITH PROOF OF RABIES VACCINATION ADMINISTERED OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES:
    • A valid rabies vaccination certificate from a non-U.S.-licensed veterinarian. The certificate must substantiate that the rabies vaccination was administered to your dog not younger than 12 weeks of age and at least 28 days prior to import for primary vaccination (see below for definition of primary vaccination). The certificate must be in English or accompanied by a certified English translation*.

      AND

      Serologic evidence of rabies vaccination from an approved rabies serology laboratory (RNATT – rabies titer test) with results greater than >0.5IU/mL. RNATT must be administered a minimum of 30 days after the primary vaccination (see below for definition of primary vaccination). Samples must be sent to approved labs in China, Korea, France, United Kingdom or Mexico. Test results must be in English. Test is valid for one year. Pets can enter the US no sooner than 45 days after the date the blood was drawn for the test. For dogs entering the US sooner than 45 days or without rabies titer test results, see option 3.

Option 3 – Registering at an Animal Care Facility

To qualify for this option, you are importing 3 or more dogs per person OR your dog has a current rabies certificate that is not issued by a licensed veterinarian in the United States. Your dog must meet the following qualifications:

  • Is healthy
  • Is at least 6 months of age
  • Has a valid and current rabies certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian in a foreign country. The vaccine must be administered a minimum of 28 days prior to entry unless it was a booster in which case, the 28-day wait does not apply.
  • Has proof of a microchip that is recorded on the rabies certificate.
  • Enters the United States at a point of entry where animal care facilities are available.

Dogs entering the United States under this option do not need to provide rabies titer test results; however 28 days of quarantine will be imposed in this case.

After entering the United States, the CDC will validate both the rabies certificate and the titer test results (if results are available). All dogs will be examined and revaccinated for rabies at the Animal Care Facility. Those dogs without titer test results or those whose titer tests are invalid will be quarantined for 28 days and retested. All reservations for quarantine must be made before entering the United States. (refer to URL in the last bullet above).

Primary Vaccination
There are two scenarios where your pet will receive a primary vaccination:

  • It is the first rabies vaccination your pet has ever received after a microchip was implanted.
  • Your pet’s previous rabies vaccination had expired when this vaccination was administered (even for a day).

If your origination country is classified as a high-rabies country, then the primary vaccination must be given at least 28 days prior to entry to the United States, not counting the day of the vet visit.

All subsequent rabies vaccinations are considered booster vaccinations. Booster vaccinations are not subject to the 28-day wait if they are administered in the United States before the previous vaccination expires. Be sure and have rabies certificates for both vaccinations.

*A licensed translator will issue a signed statement on professional letterhead incuding the name, address, and contact information of the translator attesting that the translation is true and accurate representation of the original document. The certified translation must have a signatory stamp or elevated seal with the translator’s license number included. A certified translator service can be found online.

Rabies Certificates

Rabies certificates must be issued in English or be accompanied by a certified translation and include the following information:

  • Name and address of owner
  • Breed, sex, date of birth (approximate age if date of birth unknown), color, markings, and other identifying information for the dog
  • Date of rabies vaccination and vaccine product information
  • Date the vaccination expires
  • Name, license number, address, and signature of veterinarian who administered the vaccination
  • Your pet’s microchip number (required if your pet received its rabies vaccination in a high-rabies country)

The certificate must be in English or accompanied by a certified translation into English.

What happens to dogs who do not conform with the new ban?

Any dog from a high-risk country arriving without advance written approval from the CDC will be excluded from entering the United States and returned to its country of origin on the next available flight, regardless of carrier or route. Dogs will also be returned to their origination country if they arrive at a port of entry without a live animal care facility (see above) or if the dog presented does not match the description of the dog listed on the permit or if the documentation proves insufficient.

Pet owners who are planning to return to the United States from high-risk countries should take note of this ban as it will affect their return to the States. Be sure your pet’s rabies vaccination was administered in the United States and does not expire during your visit.

More information can be found here.

Why it is Crucial to Vaccinate your Dog or Cat

Girl and Dog during travel

When you’re traveling with your pet, the last thing you want to think about is what happens if they get sick. But unfortunately, there are many pet diseases and illnesses that are incurable and can cause death if left untreated. This is why it is crucial to vaccinate your dog or cat, even if they are not traveling. The best thing you can do for your best friend is to vaccinate them and prevent these diseases in the first place.

If you are planning a trip with your dog or cat, then good health vaccinations are required to enter most all countries worldwide. All vaccinations must be administered in advance so planning is the key.

How will you know exactly what your destination state or country requires? And do those rules change when you’re traveling around? Here’s what you need to know about pet travel and vaccinations for your pet. 

Rabies

Rabies is the single most common vaccination required by all countries around the world. Why? Because rabies is a disease which kills over 59,000 humans in over 150 countries every year. Over forty percent of those bitten by a rabid animals are children under 15 years of age. And rabies is almost always contracted through a dog bite.

What is Rabies?

Put simply, rabies is a viral infection. It’s caused by a virus secreted in saliva. This virus gets into your dog’s or cat’s nervous system, including their spinal cord and brain, and causes them to lose control of themselves. Rabies is fatal once symptoms become evident.

This virus belongs to the order Mononegavirales. And while it’s preventable, thousands of people die each year from rabies, 99% of which come from the bite of an infected dog.

Rabies is a dangerous and unnecessary virus to catch. Early symptoms can include a fever, unusual tingling and pain, and a burning sensation at the wound site. From there, the brain and spinal cord become inflamed. These progress until death, about 1 week to 1 year later. And while humans can get a rabies vaccine, it’s also highly recommended that all domestic animals — including dogs and cats — be vaccinated as well. 

How did rabies prevention start?

Rabies vaccinations started with the intent to stop the virus from spreading to humans. Louis Pasteur, a French chemist, and microbiologist developed the earliest effective vaccine against rabies. It was first used to treat a human bite victim on July 6th, 1885. 

From there, rabies has been tested on many animals, including dogs, cats, and ferrets. But rabies vaccinations didn’t become common practice until well in the 1970s when states started passing laws against not vaccinating pets. 

In humans, if the vaccine is given immediately to someone who was bitten by a rabid animal, it is 100-percent effective. However, it works a little differently in pets. They should be vaccinated against rabies before they’re bit, as the vaccine is more powerful when it has a chance to be in their system longer. 

Now, all states in the United States have laws about rabies vaccinations and if they require them for your pet or not. The required frequency of rabies vaccinations varies from state to state, so it’s important to know your state’s law. And, if you move or travel, a kennel or hotel usually requires proof of vaccination before boarding or housing your pet. 

Why Your Pet Needs Their Rabies Vaccinations

Rabies vaccinations are a necessary part of a healthy and happy animal. Rabies is a fatal viral disease, and it’s easily transferrable. Since it can’t be cured, that’s why it is critically important it’s important to vaccinate your dog or cat to protect them from potentially getting it. 

If your pet isn’t vaccinated, and they get bit by a rabid animal, it will cause serious and dire symptoms. These will last anywhere from 10 to 42 days, and then your furry friend will die. It’s that serious. And this is why it is crucial to vaccinate your dog or cat. There’s no way to save their life if they become infected. 

It’s safer to vaccinate your dog ahead of time, and hope they never get bit than to try to vaccinate them after the fact. So don’t take the chance on your furry friend. 

Did you know that your dog or cat will also need to keep up with their rabies vaccinations? They’ll usually get their first one when they are about 3 months old, and then another one a year later. After that, they’ll need one every year or three years depending on what type of vaccine your veterinarian uses. 

SYMPTOMS:  fever, difficulty swallowing, foaming at the mouth, excessive drooling, staggering, seizures, and even paralysis.

Is A Rabies Vaccination Required? 

Yes, in most states, and even in all other countries, a rabies vaccination is required. Usually, your vet or adoption agency will give your dog or cat a rabies vaccination when they microchip them. But if not, it’s vital to ensure that your pet gets it as soon as possible, and every three years after that. 

Every pet traveling to a foreign country must be vaccinated for rabies between 21 days and 90 days prior to travel, depending on the country.

Related: Find vaccination requirements for over 220 countries worldwide.

Not sure what your city, county, state, or country requires? You can just search “rabies vaccinations + your state” and find the information you need. And, if you plan on traveling to a new state or country, and are taking your animal, check with them as well. 

For example, Hawaii has a unique set of requirements since they are a “rabies-free” state. You’ll need to prepare several months in advance if you want to take your pet with you. At a minimum, they require:

  • At least 2 rabies vaccines and the original rabies certificates (or signed carbon copies)
  • Rabies titer test
  • Microchip
  • 120-day waiting period after primary vaccinations 
  • A USDA-endorsed health certificate 
  • Tick treatments 
  • Submission of documents (at least 10 days prior to arrival)
  • Fee payments 

Of course, not all states and countries are this strict. But this is why it’s important to check in before you even plan on bringing your pet along with you. 

Many kennels also require that a vet administer your dog’s or cat’s vaccinations at least 24-48 hours before boarding. The most common requirements are a rabies vaccination, bordetella shot, and a distemper vaccine. But if you have a puppy, see if your veterinarian can space these out since too many at one time can be too much. 

However, if your pet has had their vaccinations within the year (or three for rabies vaccination), you usually don’t need to do this. Instead, you’ll just need to prove that they’ve completed the shots. 

One of the easiest ways to keep your pet’s information together, and to ensure that they are able to go where you go, is to get a pet passport and medical record. While not required, they do come in handy and can help keep all of your pet’s medical information in one place. 

Other vaccinations for your pet that may be required

Distemper Vaccination

First, distemper (also known as parainfluenza) is a contagious and serious disease caused by a virus, just like rabies. It is fatal and incurable. Instead of neurological damage, it will attack the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems of your animal. They will need 3-4 shots during the first year of their life. From there, a booster every year is recommended. 

SYMPTOMS: lethargy, nasal discharge, vomiting, coughing, reduced appetite and vomiting.

Hepatitis Vaccination

Another vaccination that may be required is the hepatitis shot. Like in humans, hepatitis in dogs and cats affects the spleen, kidneys, lungs, liver, and lining of blood vessels. If left untreated, it can lead to death. The best thing to do is vaccinate your pet. They will get their first shot during the first 7 weeks of their life, with recommended boosters every year. 

SYMPTOMS: Watery discharge from eyes and/or nose, slight fever, blindness, loss of appetite, increased thirst, enlarged tonsils.

Leptospirosis Vaccination (Dogs and Cats)

The leptospirosis vaccine isn’t a core vaccine for dogs or cats, but some countries require it. This is because this bacterial disease can affect both humans and animals. In humans, it can cause many symptoms, including damage to the liver and kidneys. Your pet will get two doses, once at a month old and one two to four weeks later. After that, they will only need this vaccine when traveling extensively. 

SYMPTOMS: fever, vomiting, refusal to eat, abdominal pain, diarrhea, inability to have puppies.

Parvovirus Vaccination

Parvovirus vaccines are part of the “core” vaccines that many vets recommend that your dog or cat get. Canine parvovirus is a contagious virus. So, it can be spread from dog to dog by direct or indirect contact. And while this disease isn’t always deadly, mortality affects 91% in untreated cases

SYMPTOMS: lethargy, appetite loss, fever, vomiting and severe diarrhea (sometimes bloody).

Vaccines can prevent this infection and are usually recommended for pups between six and eight weeks. From there, they will get two more shots, and these function more as “boosters”. This should protect your pup or kitten from parvovirus, but they may need boosters throughout their life if recommended by their vet or entering a new country. 

Viral Rhinotracheitis Vaccination (Cats)

Rhinotracheitis only affects felines but is still a serious (and contagious) condition. It’s a major cause of upper respiratory infections. It’s caused by an infection from feline herpesvirus type-1 (FHV-1). Luckily, it doesn’t affect other species. But cats who contract it will have a lifelong infection. These cats are susceptible to respiratory problems, long-term eye problems, and pneumonia. 

SYMPTOMS: sneezing, nasal congestion, eye redness, discharge from eye, loss of appetite, fever and lethargy.

To protect your kitten, they should receive their first FVRCP vaccination between six and eight weeks old. Then they will need a booster shot every three or four weeks until they are about four months old. 

Calicivirus Vaccination (Cats)

Calicivirus is another feline-only virus. This virus is a main cause of upper respiratory infections and oral disease in kitties. Symptoms will usually include sneezing, nasal congestion, and even conjunctivitis. 

SYMPTOMS: sneezing, nasal congestion, fever and discharge from eye and nose.

Just like with the other vaccinations, vets recommend that you vaccinate your cat against Calicivirus while they’re a kitten. Their first shot should be between four and eight weeks. Then, they will need two boosters between the ages of eight and 16 weeks. Last, they’ll need at least one other booster a year later. From there, they can move the booster to once every three years. Talk to your vet about the best schedule for your kitten to ensure they are protected from this disease. 

Feline Leukemia Vaccination

Feline leukemia virus is another virus that only infects cats. It depresses the immune system and can lead to persistent infections. It’s also a main cause of anemia in cats and can cause multiple cancers. 

There is no treatment or cure for FeLV. And the disease is fatal. So, preventing infection via vaccination is always recommended. This vaccine is usually part of a set of core vaccines, so it makes it easier for your cat to handle potential side effects. 

SYMPTOMS: Loss of appetite, weight loss, poor coat, fever, pale gums and skin, urinary bladder, and upper respiratory tract infections.

Your kitten will get two doses of vaccines administered one month apart. From there, your veterinarian may recommend a booster once every two to five years, depending on your cat’s lifestyle and needs. 

CDC Requirements

The rules and regulations for pets entering the United States are administered by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

While every state and country is different, the United States has a pretty straightforward policy on traveling pets that are flying back into the country. While their rules for cats and dogs differ slightly, they do keep it as close as possible. Of course, it is strongly recommended that your cat be vaccinated for many viruses, including the feline-only diseases as well as rabies. Dogs must be vaccinated for rabies unless they are entering from a country that is classified by the United States as having a high risk of rabies.

According to their regulations, based on 2022 traveling, your pet will need to; 

  • Have a valid US-issued rabies vaccination certificate
  • Have proof of a microchip
  • Be at least 6 months old
  • Be healthy upon arrival
  • Arrive at an approved port of entry

Keep in mind that expired US-issued rabies vaccination certificates will not be accepted. If the US-issued rabies vaccination certificate has expired, you’ll need to apply for a CDC Pet Import Permit, if eligible.

Pet Travel Tips

Before you go on your trip, there are a few things to keep in mind. These tips can help keep you from being stressed about your pet’s vaccinations and travel plans. 

Before traveling with a pet, you should; 

  • Make sure your pet is fit to travel (visit to your veterinarian)
  • Consider switching to wet food temporarily (or add as a topper) to avoid dehydration during traveling. Just remember to make the switch a week or two before traveling to give your dog time to adjust!
  • Look up the state or country you’re visiting, and their vaccination requirements for your animal
  • Talk to your veterinarian about any vaccinations they will need
  • Get your pet vaccinated well in advance of flying to your destination
  • Pack their vaccine information, plus other records if needed, in a clear pouch in a place that you know you’ll have access to 
  • Microchip your pet (if not already done) to ensure their safety and to meet requirements in certain countries and states 

This may seem like a lot of things to do all at one time, but they’re fairly easy to manage as long as you plan ahead. And remember, travel is stressful for animals too. So try not to add extra stress with their dog food, schedule (if possible), or daily activity. 

As soon as you decide if your pet is coming or not on vacation, you can follow these tips step by step. 

It can seem confusing and difficult to keep up with your pet’s needed vaccinations, especially if you plan on traveling often. But it’s crucial to keep them on the right schedule and avoid potential problems; including them getting sick or you being forced to leave them behind or being turned away at the border. 

Luckily, you can find vaccination requirements for over 200 countries here. This makes it super easy to learn what your pet will need and schedule a vet appointment to vaccinate your dog or cat with confidence. That way, you can travel with your furry friend, worry-free, and know they are fully protected.

Mark has a background in web publishing. He loves dogs and has a lovely young Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, named Steve. Mark’s wife is a dog trainer and so Steve is a good boy, most of the time. Steve likes to protect the house from the mailman, door-to-door salespeople, and anyone coming within visual range of the window.

Hydrating Your Pet for Travel – Why is it Important?

Dog drinking water for hydrawion

Let’s face it. Traveling can be stressful. No matter how much your prepare, you are always on edge on or before travel day. Well, so is your pet. Their anxiety level can run high knowing something is up but not understanding what it is. You are running around taking care of last minute details and you don’t notice your pet’s water bowl is empty. Rats! Another thing to think about! So, why is hydrating your pet for travel so important anyway?

All mammals need water, including dogs and cats. Water assists in regulating body temperature. It lubricates joints and helps eliminate waste. Every cell, organ and tissue in your pet’s body needs fluids to function properly. It is a known fact that many people don’t drink enough water and likely your pet may not either.

It is incredibly important to hydrate your pet before and during travel. Dehydration is very risky side effect of stress and more common in traveling pets than you would think.

How much water does my pet need?

The amount of water that your pet should consume for good health depends on your pet’s size, their body weight, diet, age and activity level. It also depends on temperatures around them. Generally, dogs with a low activity level should consume 1/2 to 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight per day under normal circumstances. A 10 pound dog would need about a cup of water a day and a 50 pound dog would need about 3-5 cups per day. Cats should drink about 3.5 to 4.5 ounces of water per 5 pounds of their body weight. A 10 pound cat would need a cup of water per day.

Puppies need more water than adult or senior dogs and offerings of water to puppies should be frequent.

But here’s where things get off the norm a bit for many pets. Considering the stress involved in traveling, especially when your pet is away from their owner in the aircraft’s cargo hold or even with an experienced ground pet transporter, breathing can be shallower and more frequent. Excessive panting caused by stress can quickly lead to dehydration if it continues for a long period of time and water is not available. Add summer temperatures and the need for water increases.

Owners of snub-nosed dogs should be the most sensitive to dehydration issues when traveling as these breeds are shallow-breathers, even at rest. This condition is exaggerated during travel which is why it is important that your French Bulldog or Persian cat be fully hydrated before the trip starts and travel with a larger than normal water bowl attached to the door of the larger than normal crate.

Senior and smaller toy breeds are also more at risk for dehydration than larger dogs.

On the other hand, many dogs can over drink when exposed to stress leading to water intoxication. Monitoring your pet’s activities prior to travel is a good way to prevent this condition.

How can I be sure my pet is getting enough fluid?

Although it is important not to feed your pet within 4-6 hours of travel, the same does not hold true for water. Pets should have access to water to and through their trip. Here are some suggestions to hydrate your pet before traveling:

  1. Always offer your pet multiple bowls of water and place the bowls in frequently visited places around the home like next to their food bowls, by the back door, next to their bed, by their crate, next to the TV, outside and anywhere else you can think of. Check the water levels often and change the water frequently.
  2. Keep water fresh and clean. Use filtered water if your city’s water is overly treated.
  3. Consider adding electrolytes to your pet’s water as dehydration can cause loss of electrolytes. (sodium, chloride, and potassium).
  4. Add ice cubes or unsalted chicken stock (or tuna juice for your cat) to your pet’s water to encourage them to drink.
  5. Offer your pet a treat after drinking. This training technique will establish a positive relationship between drinking and rewards.
  6. Get your pet a fountain water dish. The movement in the water will add interest to the drink (especially to cats) and keep water circulating.
  7. If you feed your pet dry kibble, consider adding wet food to its diet several weeks before travel. Granted, this is not as convenient as dry food; however, your pet will benefit from the additional moisture as wet food can be up to 80% water.
  8. Avoid long exposure to outside temperatures in the summer months leading up to travel.
  9. Keep your pet brushed, bathed and groomed. Dogs with thick coats should have their undercoat thinned when summer approaches.
cat drinking water

What are the signs of dehydration?

Here are the signs that your pet is dehydrated.

  1. Dry nose
  2. Sticky gums
  3. Thick saliva
  4. Excessive Drooling
  5. Loss of skin elasticity
  6. Sunken eyes
  7. Dark or strong smelling urine
  8. Vomiting
  9. Diarrhea
  10. Lethargy

The easiest way to test for dehydration is to lift your pet’s skin in the back of the neck like a mother grips its young, then release. If the skin returns to a normal quickly, then your pet is well hydrated. If the skin falls more slowly, then it is time to encourage your pet to drink or take it to the veterinarian for a drip.

What should I do if my pet is dehydrated?

If your pet is showing signs of dehydration, get your pet to your veterinarian as soon as you can. A drip is the best way to rehydrate a pet. If you can’t get to a vet, then offer them a big bowl of water, dip your hand in it and let them lick your hand. Lower your hand each time closer to the water. You can also wet down their coat or offer them chips of ice. Obviously, stay in air conditioning and keep the activity level low until they recover. Recovery can take hours or days.

What else can I do to ensure my pet is healthy and hydrated for travel?

A trip to your veterinarian is essential before traveling. Dehydration can be a sign of a more serious disease. Have your veterinarian verify that your pet’s vaccinations are up to date. Both Parvo and leptospirosis can affect dog’s appetite for water and also deplete water in their bodies. Conditions such as cancer, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, or kidney disorders can also cause changes in drinking habits.

Get your pet an oversized water bowl for its crate. If you have a smaller dog, here is a good water bowl. If you have a larger dog, here is a water bucket that you can attach to the crate door.

Freeze water in your pet’s bowl before travel. This will prevent excess spillage during handling and provide your pet a constant source of cool water.

Acclimate your pet to its crate. This is the single-most important thing you can do to reduce your pet’s stress level when traveling.

Travel in the Fall and Spring when temperatures are not at their peak levels. If you travel in the summer, then avoid the mid-day. Early morning or evening temperatures are a bit more tolerable.

Get your pet a good pet pad sized specifically for their crate that will keep them dry and comfortable for the trip. Blankets and newspapers are not meant to absorb enough liquid.

These are some of the reasons why hydrating your pet for travel is so important. This is one thing you should add to your pre-travel list. It may make a big difference in your pet’s health when traveling.

Pet Friendly National Parks in the United States

As the world slowly recovers from the pandemic and we tire of confinement, pet owners are planning for vacations their best friends. If fresh air and camping or hiking in a national park is your thing, and you plan to take your furry friend with you (of course you do because, for sure, it is their thing), then consider enjoying the wonders and beauty of nature by visiting one of the great pet friendly national parks in the United States.

Pet Friendly Parks in the United States
Photo Credit: Spencer Hurley – Pexel.com

While there are many parks that allow your pooch to explore trails and other park attractions with you, ignoring rules and regulations imposed on both pets and their owners while planning your travel is not wise. Keeping everyone safe and happy is important.  Don’t try to avoid park rules as they are posted for very good reasons.

The first rule to know when visiting any national park is that your dog must be leashed at all times. Federal regulations require all pets to be restrained on a leash no longer than six feet (2 m). This is for your dog’s safety as well as the safety of others. Why? Because you never know what type of animal you will bump into when hiking in national parks. Also, straying off trails can be dog-gone dangerous!  Make sure your dog as well as other dogs, people, and wildlife stays safe by obeying all park regulations.

As with bringing your dog any public place, make sure you clean up after your pet. No one wants to step in a smelly mess when walking along the trails. Outdoor activities bring fleas and ticks, so make sure you take proper precautions to protect your dog.

Acadia National Park – Maine

pet friendly arcadia national park
Photo Credit: James Wheeler – Pexels.com

At 3.1 million visitors per year, Acadia National Park is, not surprisingly, one of the top 10 most visited national parks in the country, and there is a good reason why. Referred to as the Crown Jewel of the Atlantic Coast, its rich cultural heritage and natural habitats make for a beautiful place for both you and your dog to be in summer or winter.

When bringing your dog to this beautiful park, there are a few limitations as to where they can explore.

The park has 158 miles of hiking trails total, and there are 100 miles (161 km) of hiking trails and 45 miles (72 km) of carriage roads in the park where pets are permitted. Make sure to check with park rangers to find exactly which trails your pet is permitted to explore with you.

There are also some areas that are off-limits to all dogs except for seeing-eye dogs and service dogs. 

  • All lakes
  • Some trails
  • Sand Beach – from June 15 to Sept 8.
  • Echo Lake – from May 15 to Sept. 15
  • Duck Harbor Campground (dogs are permitted in Blackwoods, Seawall, and Schoodic Woods campgrounds)
  • Public buildings 
  • Ranger-led programs. 

Cuyahoga Valley National Park – Ohio

Located only a short distance from Cleveland and Akron, Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a great place to escape. Its namesake, the Cuyahoga River winds its way through all sorts of surroundings, from forests to hills to farmlands.

There are some rules for your pup at this Ohio park. There are many trails your pet can walk with you on a leash, including 30 miles of the Towpath Trail. This trail follows a historical canal and was once used for mules to pull boats through the canal.

Even though your furry friend is like family to you, they will not be allowed in any public building, or the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad Train, or the East Rim mountain bike trails. 

There are no restrictions as to when you can bring your pets to Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Grand Canyon National Park – Arizona

Grand Canyon National Park
Photo Credit: David Mark – Pixabay.com

The Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most famous pet friendly national parks in the United States. There is no need to describe the beauty of the Grand Canyon. Its immense size, picturesque geologic color and amazing erosional forms are jaw-dropping, but it is extremely important that you follow all park guidelines for your dog to avoid any issues.

Your pets are allowed on the trails above the South Rim, Mather Campground, Desert View Campground, Trailer Village, and throughout developed areas. 

The Grand Canyon only has one lodge with pet-friendly rooms. That is the Yavapai Lodge. If you are planning a day trip to hike down to the Colorado River or the North Rim, boarding them at the South Rim Kennel may be the best solution as this hike is not suitable for our furry friends.

You and your pet can visit at any time, however, proof of vaccinations is required before entering this pet friendly national park. The North Rim is closed during the winter; however, the South Rim is open year round.

Hot Springs National Park – Arkansas 

Hot Springs National Park
Photo Credit: Mike Goad Pixabay.com

Something out of paradise is best used to describe Hot Springs National Park. Located just north of the city of Hot Springs in Arkansas, this national park has 143 degree thermal waters to relax and soothe your every aching muscle. The park even provides pet waste stations for your convenience. Amply nick named “The American Spa,” you will leave this park in a better frame of mind.

The only places pets are not allowed are the visitor’s center and other public buildings, and of course, the hot springs. Rest assured, your dog will be ready for a rest after exploring all of the trails in this park and so will you!

This is another park that welcomes you and your pet, and there are no restrictions on when pets can enter.

Mammoth Cave National Park -, Kentucky

Pet Friendly Mammoth Cave National Park

With over 400 miles of underground caves, Mammoth Cave National Park is home to the world’s longest known cave system on earth! But that’s not all. There are over 70 miles of trails, 13 back country campsites, three campgrounds, and a river that is over 20 miles long for you and your pet to explore and enjoy.

If you are thinking of bringing your pet to this park, you should know that service animals are the only pets permitted in any of the caves; however, there is a kennel for your dog available. You can crash with your pet at the Woodland Cottages.

Check the park website for more information. It looks like this is another pet friendly national parks in the United States that would love your pooch anytime!

Natchez Trace National Parkway – Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee 

Natchez Trace National Parkway
Photo Credit: M?d?lina Vl?du?? – Pexels.com

Natchez Trace Parkway is a 444-mile recreational road and scenic drive through Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. This historic road follows the “Old Natchez Trace” a road used by American Indians, European settlers, slave traders, soldiers, and even past presidents.

While you and your best friend cruise along this parkway, you can enjoy camping, hiking, biking, and horseback riding.  This is a great place for a vacation, and if you bring your dog, there are very few restrictions. You can enjoy the park trails and viewpoints with your dog; however, keep them out of public buildings. You must always keep your pet on a leash and remember to pick up after them.

Shenandoah National Park – Virginia

Two hundred acres of protected lands are awaiting you and your pup at Shenandoah National Park. This is a pristine place with cascading waterfalls, vistas, and wooded hollows and well worth a visit. It is a beautiful park and very pet friendly.

There are over 500 miles for you and your four-legged hiker to enjoy and only a mere 20 miles are off limits to pets. Check the website for exact locations.

The other pet-friendly areas in the park are the campsite and pet friendly lodging locations. Remember to always keep your dog on a leash and to pick up their mess.

Unfortunately, the Ranger family programs such as The Wild About Bears program and Shenandoah Kid Explorers are off limits to pets.

Although there are no limits on what time of year your pet can accompany you, keep up to date on the weather conditions, and make sure you have enough water for you and your pet at all times.

White Sands National Park- New Mexico

White Sands National Park
Photo Credit: John Howard – Pexels.com

Known as one of the world’s great natural wonders, the 275 square miles of white gypsum sand in White Sands National Park is truly worth your time to visit.

If you are heading here and are bringing your pet, there are a few things you should know.

Although there are not a ton of restrictions for your dog, you may not bring them into any public building such as the visitors center. Keep in mind that the temperatures may be high; so remember to bring plenty of water for both you and your dog to avoid overheating and dehydration. Of course, never leave your pet in the car unattended, not even for a minute. 

There are only a few simple rules, but these rules can make a huge impact on the safety of your pet. White Sands National Park would love to have your pooch visit any time of the year. Keep in mind the hot, dry climate, especially in the summer. 

Yellowstone National Park- Wyoming 

Yellowstone National Park
Image by Siegfried Poepperl from Pixabay

Yellowstone National Park is one of the most iconic national parks in the United States. Hosting millions of visitors each year, both winter and summer seasons offer an abundance of hydrothermal and geologic wonders. After all, who hasn’t heard of the famous geyser, Old Faithful?

As this park is so popular and your dog will be around many other people, park pet policies are very important.

Pets are only allowed in developed areas. They must remain within 100 feet from roadways and campgrounds to lessen the chance of getting lost. For the safety of your dog and others, it is necessary to keep your dog either on a leash, in a crate, or secure in your car.

Because this park hosts so many “look but don’t touch” natural attractions, and, because the park is full of wild animals, your dog will not be allowed on trails, in thermal areas, the back country or on the boardwalk. These rules are made for the safety of all people and animals.

There are no kennels in Yellowstone National Park. Pet owners will need to find accommodations for their pets in nearby communities should they want to venture into the back country or wander along the boardwalk.

Lassen Volcanic National Park – California

Pet Friendly Lasssen Volcanic National Park
Photo Credit: David Mark – Pixabay.com

Lassen Volcanic National Park is full of geologic wonders like clear mountain lakes, jagged peaks and, of course, many volcanoes. There are also fumaroles which are holes in the ground where steam escapes. (Who knew?)

Generally, your pet can go anywhere in the park in an automobile. It can be in the campgrounds, picnic areas, and along the shoulders of roads. Because the wonders of this park can also be dangerous, your dog is not allowed on any hiking trail, in the back country, or anywhere that is snow-covered. Swimming is also out, so if your furry friend loves to swim, best to distract them with other attractions. 

You need to keep your pets physically restrained overnight at your campsite. They may be left unattended in your vehicle, providing the temperatures are safe to do so. Your pet is welcome anytime; however, in order to get the full experience, it is probably best to come during the summer. Fewer snow-covered areas equals more exploring!

These are just a few of the pet friendly national parks in the United States. You can enjoy the wonders of nature with your pet in 61 recognized parks in the national park system. Just make sure you are aware of the pet policies beforehand. Remember, clean up after your pet, and keep them on a leash. It is respectful and makes for a better trip experience for all.

Marina Yoveva is originally from Bulgaria but she considers herself a citizen of the world. Having traveled to over 20 countries and counting, she loves writing about her adventures, experiences, and advice on her blog Exploreist.

Is Your Pet Transiting the EU on its Trip? Here’s Something Important You Need to Know

Courtesy of Adobe Stock Images

In January, 2021, the European Union (EU) adopted legislation to protect livestock and animals that enter or transit the EU in order to prevent and eradicate disease. This law also “allows greater use of new technologies for animal health activities – surveillance of pathogens, electronic identification and registration of animals (1)” according to the European Commission. The Animal Health Law otherwise known as Regulation (EU) 2016/429, applies also to the movement of companion animals like dogs, cats, small mammals, reptiles and the like. This is why, if your pet’s itinerary calls for transiting the EU and it is flying as air cargo, this law will apply and it is important that you understand it.

What is air cargo service?

There are 3 classes of service available that live animals can fly under on a commercial airline. Some commercial airlines may not offer all three services. They may offer only one or two or they may not be pet friendly at all. That is why it is important to research airline pet policies before booking your pet’s travel.

  1. In-cabin – your pet is a small cat or dog (or sometimes small bird or other pet) flying in the cabin with an adult paying passenger in an airline-compliant pet carrier.
  2. Checked Baggage – your cat or dog under 75-80 lbs (or sometimes other animal) flying in the cargo hold whose itinery is connected with an adult paying passenger on the same flight
  3. Manifest Air Cargo – for very large pets and otheranimals flying unaccompanied or flying to countries that require that live animals enter as air cargo (UK, New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, South Africa, etc.)

Currently, the Animal Health Law applies to all air cargo transports; however, the law will apply also to in-cabin and checked baggage transports in April of 2026. Depending on how you route your pet’s trip and whether your route involves a country that is classified as an Unlisted Third Country by the EU, this law will have significant impacts on how your pet is prepared to travel.

What is a transit?

A transit is when your pet remains on the same airline in and out of a layover airport. If the flight numbers on your itinerary remain the same on your itinerary on both legs of your trip, then your pet will remain on board the same aircraft. This is an uncommon occurance, especially if the layover is in the airline’s hub airport, but it does happen. As long as your pet does not need to depart the aircraft, then this new regulation will not apply. If your pet must change aircraft when transiting, as it will in most cases, then the new regulation will apply, even if your pet is staying on the same airline.

What is a layover?

A layover is when you have a non-direct flight, and your pet will be changing aircraft in the layover airport. If your pet is changing airline companies in the layover airport, (Lufthansa to Brussels Airlines, for example), then your pet will need to clear customs and enter the layover country to check it on the next airline. The reason for this is because airlines do not interline pets between airline companies. The new regulation will absolutely apply in this case. Your pet will need all documentation required to enter the layover country.

Comfort Stops

Your airline may mandate a comfort stop (kenneling) for any pet whose itinerary exceeds a certain length of time in the cargo hold. This mandate will vary from airline to airline depending on the animal welfare regulations in the country in which they are based; however, as an example, most US-based airlines limit the flight time for pets 8-9 hours. Airlines based in Asia are longer. The transit time can start at tender (check-in) time through recovery (which could be up to 2 hours after arrival at the layover airport or final destination). Basically, the amount of time your pet will spend in its crate. You should work with your airline regarding comfort stops if your pet’s trip will be lenthy. If your airline requires a comfort stop, then this new regulation will apply if the comfort stop takes place in an EU airport.

My pet is flying as air cargo and will be stopping at an EU airport. What documents will my pet need to conform to the new regulations?

If your pet’s itinerary includes only rabies-controlled countries, then your pet will need the following documentation to transit or layover in the EU:

  • all required documentation for your destination country
  • proof of microchip implanted on or before rabies vaccination
  • current rabies vaccination
  • Endorsed EU Health Certificate for the layover country
  • Tapeworm treatment (UK, Ireland, Finland, Malta and Norway)

If your pet’s flight plan originates, has transit, layover or comfort stop in or your pet terminates in a country classified by the EU as high-rabies, then, in addition to the above documents, your pet will need proof of a rabies titer test with results greater than 0.5 IU/ml administered more than 3 calendar months prior to travel. If your pet is traveling to a high-rabies country and will be returning to your country with a layover in the EU, you should get the test done before leaving the for your trip.

Let’s look at some examples.

EXAMPLE #1: Your pet is flying from YYZ (Toronto) > CDG (Paris) with Air France, then CDG (Paris) > AMS (Amsterdam) with KLM then returning AMS > CDG > CDG > YYZ

Requirements for YYZ > CDG > AMS

  1. All documents required for entering France including the Commercial or Non-Commercial EU Health Certificate for France (valid for 10 days after issuance)
  2. Proof of microchip implanted at the same time or before rabies vaccination
  3. Proof of current rabies vaccination

Your pet will be able to use the same health certificate to enter the Netherlands that was used to enter France.

Requirements for AMS > CDG > YYZ

  1. All documents required for entering France including a Commercial or Non-Commercial EU Health Certificate (new certificate)
  2. Proof of microchip implanted at the same time or before rabies vaccination
  3. Proof of current rabies vaccination

EXAMPLE #2: Your pet is flying JFK (New York) > FRA (Frankfurt) > BOM (Mumbai) then returning BOM > FRA > JFK:

REQUIREMENTS FOR JFK > FRA > BOM

  1. All documents required for entering India
  2. Proof of microchip implanted at the same time or before rabies vaccination
  3. Proof of current rabies vaccination
  4. Commercial or Non-Commercial EU Health Certificate for Germany (valid for 10 days from issuance)

REQUIREMENTS FOR BOM > FRA > JFK

  1. Import Permit (unless proof of current rabies vaccination in administered in the US is available)
  2. Proof of current rabies vaccination
  3. Export Health Certificate from India
  4. Proof of microchip implanted at the same time or before rabies vaccination
  5. Commercial or Non-Commercial EU Health Certificate for Germany (new certificate)
  6. Rabies Titer Test administered 3 months prior to transiting in Germany

All EU health certificates issued for transit as well as entry must be endorsed by the government agency in the departing country that is responsible for the import and export of live animals. Generally, veterinary services is a division of the Department or Ministry of Agriculture. Exporters should submit both the health certificate for the transit or layover country (marked TRANSIT) as well as the health certificate for the destination country. The certificate numbers for both forms on the health certificates should be the same, if required. Consignee information should also be the same including the destination address.

EU health certificates are only valid for 10 days after issuance, so, very likely, a new certificate will need to be issued in the departing country when returning home.

Remember that currently this new regulation applies for all pets transiting the EU as air cargo, even if both transit or layover country and destination country are located in the EU. Pet owners who cannot fly with their pet or flying with their pet to any country that requires pets to enter as air cargo should be aware of these new requirements for EU transits, layovers or comfort stops in the European Union.

Quick Tips for Preparing Your Pet for Auto Travel

Travel with a dog in the car
Photo Credit: Emerson Peters – Unsplash.com

Thinking of hitting the road with your pet in a car this spring or summer? Believe it or not, now is the time to start preparing your pet for that family trip, especially if it will be the first time that your pet travels with you. Here are a few good tips to preparing your pet for auto travel and making the trip easier for everyone.

Take short trips in the car – get your pet used to their restraining device. If you have a small pet, a carrier or bolster seat may be the right way to go. If you have a larger dog or a well behaved cat, a harness will keep them safe as well as other passengers riding in the car. The best way to protect any pet in a car is a pet crate or carrier buckled into the seat. Whatever you decide, your pet will need time to get used to riding in the car.

Take a trip to the vet – travel is stressful, not only for us but for our pets. Make sure that your pet is healthy and all vaccinations are current, especially rabies. Get refills of any medications that your pet is taking. A health certificate is always a good idea and may be required depending on your country and your trip.

Plan to stop frequently – although most older and larger dogs can last between 10 to 12 hours before a rest stop, it is advised to stop and allow them to stretch their legs every 4-5 hours. Puppies and kittens can last about an hour for every month of life, so a puppy that is 3 months of age can last 3 hours between breaks. As this can vary between breeds and puppies, planning more frequent stops is a good idea.

Route your trip carefully – if your trip will be long distance, then highway driving may be the best option as it will mean less time in the car. Try to avoid high-traffic areas where you may encounter bumper-to-bumper traffic. Coming to a standstill will trigger “it’s time for a walk” and your pet is likely to get restless.

If you are planning a relatively short trip or you are not in a hurry, then consider taking the back roads and enjoy the scenery with your pup or kitty. There will be more opportunities to stop and explore along the way.

Find a pet friendly hotel early if you will need one. Many pet friendly hotels reserve a fixed number of rooms for pets, so reserving early is important. After finding a pet friendly hotel, call them to be sure to confirm their pet policy. Make sure you have a room on the ground floor for easy access if this is possible. Ask if there are pet friendly amenities nearby.

Socialize your pet – take them to a neighborhood dog park or walk your dog so they are exposed to other dogs and people. You will be stopping along the way on your trip and you want to be sure that your dog will not be aggressive towards other dogs.

Pick the right place in the car for them – your pet will suffer less anxiety on the road if you position them where they can see you. It is safest to restrain your pet in the backseat of the car; but put them behind the passenger seat if you will be driving. Having you in their line of sight will reduce their level of anxiousness. Removing them from their normal environment is stressful enough. Knowing that you are with them will comfort them.

Related: Traveling with an Anxious Pet in the Car

Groom your pet – dog grooming is extremely important right before a trip. A bath and clip will make the trip more pleasant for everyone, especially your pet. Your pet needs to be accustomed to being groomed and handled so start early if you can. Be sure and treat your pet for ticks and tapeworm (dogs) as your pet will be exposed to new environments. Tick repellant collars may also be useful.

Get the right equipment and get your pet accustomed to using it prior to travel. You will need a strong leash at hand at all times. When stopping for a rest, be sure and do not let your pet out of the car until they are leashed and you have your footing. Do not use a retractable lead if possible as you sacrifice control with larger dogs. You will need portable water and food bowls, bottles of water from home, towels or wipes and a portable kitty litter tray if you are traveling long distances with a cat. Bring enough of your dog’s food to last the trip. Changing food can upset a pet’s digestive tract and may result in unpleasant consequences.

If you are crossing country borders, be sure and plan a trip to your vet to fill out the required documentation for the country you will be visiting. Have your pet microchipped and register the microchip so officials can find your contract information should your pet go missing.

Preparing your pet for auto travel will make your trip so much more enjoyable for everyone traveling. Your dog or cat will know what to expect and will be very happy to be included in your family trip. Safe travels!

Explore 7 of the Best Dog Friendly Cities in the World

girl with dog in pet friendly city
Photo Credit: Meghan Bucknall – Pexels.com

Is there anything greater than seeing a happy dog wagging its tail, playing fetch, and enjoying a day out? Even if you don’t have your own four-legged friend of your own, there’s no denying that even five minutes with a dog can make your day that little bit brighter. And the great thing is, with so many people out there who feel the same way, the world is slowly becoming a much more dog-friendly place. That said, some places are better suited for a day out than others. 

So, whether you’re a dog owner looking for a dog friendly place to take your pooch, or you’re just a dog lover looking for a city where you can see lots of happy pups going about their day, this guide is for you!

Read on as we’ve pulled together a list of seven of the best dog friendly cities in the world for dog lovers.

Tel Aviv, Israel

It is estimated that there are around 30,000 dogs currently living in the city of Tel Aviv, and the city has made it to the number one spot on our list for a very good reason. In August of every year, a huge festival called Kelaviv takes place, organized by the locals, dedicated to pampering your canine friends with massages, sushi, and other irritable treats!

Not only this, but an event is held at Gan Meir Park every Friday to encourage adoption and tempt passers-by to consider taking home their own furry friend.

The city also has a number of cafes where dogs are welcome, so don’t be surprised if you pop in for a latte and leave having made a new furry friend.

It is not difficult to import a dog to Israel, although a microchip, proof of rabies vaccination, rabies titer test and a health certificate are required. Good news is that there is no wait time after acceptable titer levels are received before your dog can travel.

Related Content: Pet import requirements for Israel

Toronto, Canada

From High Park in the west to the beaches in the east, Toronto has lots of off-leash play areas where dogs can explore and have fun together. But the Canadians have even taken it one step further, creating a massive dog-inspired fountain in the middle of Berczy Park to honor our furry friends.

Better still, there are plenty of nice places in the city for you to sit and do a bit of dog watching. For example, you could sit and enjoy a pint at Black Lab Brewery right opposite Berczy Park as you watch the neighborhood pooches go about their day.

Canada is super pet friendly. Pets entering Canada with their owners over 3 months of age will only need proof of current rabies vaccination. Check with your airline for the need of a current health certificate. It is always a good idea to travel with one, and your country may require it as a result of export procedures.

Related Content: Pet import requirements for Canada

California, United States

California, but more specifically, Huntington Beach in California, is a dog lovers dream. As well as your furry friends being able to play frisbee on the sand, they can also relax at Surf City Dog Spaw where a range of snacks, including Top Dog Barkery’s pup pastries, are on offer.

And as the home of the paw-some Surf City Surf Dog Competition, there is a good chance you’ll get to see a wave-loving pooch balanced on a surfboard – and who doesn’t want that!

And not far from the beach is Fred’s Mexican Cafe which hosts a regular Monday Doggie Date Night, as well as Sandy’s Beach Shack which serves meals for dogs, including delicious grilled meats.

Unless you are entering the United States from a country classified as high rabies, the export requirements for your country and your airline’s pet policies will apply.

Related Content: Pet import requirements for the United States

Sydney, Australia

The sheer amount of space across the nation makes Australia a great place for dogs anyway, but the city of Sydney is a particular highlight. This is because there is an abundance of open space for dogs to roam and play, and there are also plenty of dog friendly places to grab a drink and something to eat.

And have you ever heard of doga? That’s yoga + dogs… Yep, you read that right! Doga classes are available in the city, and if you don’t have a pooch of your own, that’s OK. You can always convince your friend that does to come down and take part with you (or just watch as others embrace their zen).

Then you can refuel post-workout with coffee at the Grumpy Baker or stop for brunch at the Laneway Cafe, where dogs are welcome, as they are in so many places across the city.

Although it is worth the effort, importing a pet to Australia is challenging and will take 6 months of preparation, so pet owners should plan ahead. The entry point to Australia for pets is Melbourne. After a short quarantine, you and your pet can head to Sydney.

Related Content: Pet Import Requirements for Australia

Kathmandu, Nepal

As part of the Diwali Festival celebrations (which is called Tihar in Nepal), the entire country comes together to honor dogs, and nowhere is this more prominent than in the nation’s capital of Kathmandu.

Throughout Diwali, dogs are given wreaths of flowers and a red mark on their heads to celebrate. And best of all, if you’re visiting the city at this time, you can watch pets and strays alike as they enjoy the delicious plates of food left out for them on doorsteps by lovely locals.

Nepal is not a difficult country to enter with a dog if it has proof of microchip, rabies vaccination and an endorsed health certificate. Know, however, that Nepal is classified as a country with a high risk of rabies, so pet owners should check the requirements to reimport their pet to their origination country if they intend to return after their visit.

Related Content: Pet Import Requirements for Nepal

Prague, Czech Republic

Although Prague is not traditionally thought of as a dog-friendly location, they have made lots of changes over the last few years and dogs are now welcome to explore most places. From the top tourist sites to local restaurants, dogs can explore the city just like their humans can. Some places are even kind enough to cook small meals, especially for your four-legged friend.

Not only this, but Prague’s Letna Park is a great place for off-leash walks where you can watch dogs play with one another, and you can enjoy a beer from the various beer gardens en route as you walk through the park.

What’s more, if you love the cinema, you’re in luck. For a truly unique experience, you can take your pooch along to see the latest blockbuster at the dog-friendly Aero cinema, where they even host a film festival each year. If you don’t have a dog, you can still join in and watch as other’s dogs get cozy and settle down, ready for the movie.

To import your dog to the Czech Republic, your dog will need proof of a microchip, rabies vaccination and an endorsed health certificate. If entering from a country classified as high-rabies, then your dog will need a rabies titer test 3 months prior to travel.

Related Content: Pet import requirements for the Czech Republic

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Last but not least on our list, we have Amsterdam. While the Netherlands as a whole has been praised as a dog-lover’s location, Amsterdam goes above and beyond. Throughout the city, dogs are allowed in most establishments apart from museums and galleries, which means you can pretty much get your doggy fix wherever you go, whether you have a dog with you or not.

Plus, dogs can ride most public transport for free, or you can buy a doggy day pass for the train for just €3! Which mean you can spend your days exploring the city with your dog and not have to compromise on where you both go or what you see.

Regulations to import a dog to the Netherlands are the same as they are for the Czech Republic. The good news is that pet owners can use their health certificate to visit all EU Member States for 4 months after entering the EU provided that their dog’s rabies vaccination does not expire during their trip.

Related Content: Pet import requirements for the Netherlands

No matter where you travel with your dog, be sure to visit your veterinarian for a health certificate and have your pet microchipped. There is no better way to protect your pet.

As the world opens up and travel restrictions for pet owners ease, it’s time to explore international destinations and don’t forget to bring your best friend along to some of the best dog friendly cities in the world.

Stuart Cooke is the Marketing Manager at MyBaggage.com. They are luggage shipping specialists who help travellers and home movers take the stress out of their journeys.