When we’re planning to jet off overseas, the most important document we require for ourselves is a passport. When you’re taking your pet with you on the long-haul flight, there are certain documents they also require to allow them to legally travel overseas just like you.
A pet passport is something that varies depending on the country, but all pets require some sort of official documentation to go overseas. In the European Union, there’s an actual international pet passport that you have to apply for to get your pet on the plane with you, but for the US, it simply refers to the documents you need for their travel.
If you’re planning an overseas trip and are taking your dog or cat with you, what’s actually required? We’ll show you the documents included in a pet passport USA, how you can get them, and why they’re so important to have as a responsible pet owner.
What Is A Pet Passport?
Depending on the country you’re from, the definition of a pet passport could differ slightly. An EU pet passport for those in European countries will cover them for life, so you only need to apply for it once. Additional documents you need for travel in Europe and other areas may include:
Keeping them all together is what qualifies as having a pet passport, and in the areas where an official passport is required, you’ll need one of them too. For those traveling to more than one country, you’ll have a lot of research to do to figure out the exact documents that are required for wherever you’re going.
The rules and regulations regarding pet travel are changing constantly and because each country has its own it can get even more complicated. Check what’s required months ahead of your travel date so you can have it compiled correctly and ensure you’re in line with the current regulations regarding pet travel.
The PETS Scheme
If you’ve been researching pet passports, there’s a good chance you came across information about the PETS scheme. The Pet Travel Scheme was first introduced for UK and European Union animals as a way to safeguard against disease, but allow pets to travel freely within approved countries without a compulsory quarantine period.
Eventually, the scheme was introduced to other countries who are now part of the group. These include the United States, Canada, and Australia. Without PETS, some animals would face a six-month quarantine after international travel, so it’s been a huge bonus for overseas pet travel.
Why Does My Pet Need One?
It’s quite obvious why us humans need a passport and various other bits of information to travel, but what about our pets? The purpose of a pet passport is also safety, and more specifically, ensuring that the animal you are introducing to another country is free from disease and doesn’t pose any threats to wildlife or society.
A pet passport is a way to verify that your pet is free from disease and up to date with their immunizations. It also helps to track the animal and ensure it’s not being sold or given away and will remain a personal pet alongside the owner.
How To Get A Pet Passport
If you’re planning on traveling with your pet, you’ll want to start the process of getting them a passport a few months before you leave. The best way to learn about what’s required is by visiting your veterinarian and seeing what they recommend. They will also be able to give you a pet health certificate that is the most important part of the passport.
Secondly, you’ll want to check the regulatory body of animal travel for the country you’re visiting. They will have their own requirements that you’ll have to adhere to and possibly will need further documentation to add to the pet passport.
Finally, speak with the airline that you’re traveling with. There may be rules in place about what’s required, how to transport your pet and other information about the country you’re traveling to.
The entire process of getting a pet passport and ensuring they’re up to date with immunizations can take months of planning, so it’s not something you should leave until the last minute.
Responsible Travel With Your Pet
When you have the luxury of being able to visit another country and take your pet with you, you need to respect the rules and regulations of international travel. This means having all of your pet’s documentation in place to make the journey as smooth as possible.
Pet passports might sound like an absurd thing, but they’re a legal requirement for travel. Each country has its own requirements and simply not being aware of what they are is no excuse. As a responsible pet owner, we need to treat our pets like they were another human and have all of the right documents in line.
Pet passports are about keeping your pet safe and also the wildlife and population of the country you’re visiting. Just as we would want people to bring healthy and legal pets into the US, so too do we have to respect this desire of other countries around the world.