Traveling for the first time is intimidating. Traveling for the first time with a pet can be daunting. It is important to know how to sift through information and not get misled by the poor information spread throughout the net.
1) Do yourself a favor and get your dog microchipped NOW. The only vaccinations that count on your dog’s health certificate are the ones given after your dog is microchipped.
2) Get your dog vaccinated for rabies directly after he/she gets her microchip. The bare minimum of every country around the world is a rabies vaccination and microchip. In general, it is a 21 day wait after the vaccine was given before your dog can travel out of the country.
3) Buy a dog crate that meets airline standards. Some airlines are stricter than others. Sky Kennels by Petmate meet the standards of essentially all airlines. Their crates also include all the stickers and accessories you may ever need. Buy it for your dog now so they can sleep and adapt to their crate.
4) Check the embassy/consulate page of your destination country for pet requirements. Double check this information with your destination country’s Department of Livestock. Like mentioned above, only let other websites serve as general guides. Much of the information given is not exact and rules change often.
5) Check the cost of your pet’s ticket BEFORE you buy your airline ticket. Just because the airline accepts pets, it does not mean you can afford their price. Know if your pet will fly as cabin baggage, checked baggage, or cargo. Please see my post on International Dog Flights for more information.
If you do this prep work before you start planning trip dates, you will save yourself time and a headache.
Also see my post on cheap dog friendly airlines.
Feel free to comment below with questions. I will be happy to answer.