How to prepare your pet for travel

If you can do without a pet on a trip, then it is better not to take it with you. Even for a well adapted animal, a flight or a trip in a car, being in a noisy airport or train station is a huge stress. But if you have no choice, try to create conditions so that the pet is at least less nervous.

What you need to transport a pet

First of all, portability. Cover the bottom with absorbent diapers. And be sure to keep wet wipes on hand in case of excesses. If you are bringing a cat, you can put a ball of catnip on the bottom of the carrier, lay a soft blanket there or even your old T-shirt – the smell, which is familiar to the animal, will calm him down. If it’s a dog, put her favorite bedding or toy on the bottom.

It cannot be guaranteed that the animal will not be lost during transport. Therefore, put on a collar with an address book on your pet in advance, where your name, the pet’s nickname and your contact phone number should be indicated. So there will definitely be a chance that the animal will be found and called.

Dogs will also need a harness, leash and muzzle. The first two items may be needed by the cat.

What medicines will help the animal to move the road easier

Many homeowners prefer essential oil-based sedatives, which come in the form of sprays, drops, and diffusers. On sale you can even find collars treated with anti-stress impregnation. Another option is products that include synthetic pheromones.

To reduce stress, artificial cat pheromones can be applied to the edges of the carrier, so take them with you. The volume of the bottle usually meets the requirements for carrying liquids on board.

Marina Zherebilova

Felinologist, zoopsychologist

True, there is no consensus among veterinarians about the effectiveness of such drugs. There is no confirmation of their sedative effect yet. However, as evidence of harm, so many owners use them just in case.

What will definitely help a nervous pet to endure a trip well is prescription sedatives. But about their appointment, you must definitely consult with a specialist in advance.

If the animal is severely motion sick on the road, it can be given an injection of an antiemetic drug before the trip. But be sure to check with your veterinarian before doing this. The effect of such an injection lasts approximately 24 hours.

How to transport a pet on an airplane

What animals can not be taken on a plane

It all depends on the carrier. For example, earlier Aeroflot forbade taking on board dogs of brachycephalic breeds: pugs, boxers, bulldogs, Pekingese, Shih Tzu. It is believed that due to the structure of the muzzle, such animals can suffocate during the flight. But in June 2021 these rules softened.

Some carriers also do not allow potentially dangerous dogs to fly. So, on board Turkish Airlines will not fall American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Tosa Inu, Dogo Argentino, Brazilian Fila.

Sometimes they may refuse to transport cats of brachycephalic breeds. Also, not all airlines allow ferrets, turtles, rabbits, hares to be taken on board. Therefore, first make sure that you can transport your animal with this company at all. The list of allowed and prohibited pets is usually on the website, and if in doubt, just call the call center.

Also, many airlines carry kittens and puppies only if they have reached a certain age. Usually it is 10-12 weeks. For example, the same Turkish Airlines won’t allow on board animals under 10 weeks of age, as well as pregnant dogs and cats.

What documents does a pet need for a flight

To find out what documents your cat or dog will need specifically, you can use online forms on the Rosselkhoznadzor website. But you will absolutely need the following papers.

1. International Veterinary Passport

If your animal has been vaccinated, it probably already has an international veterinary passport. It doesn’t matter if you have a thoroughbred pet or a “nobleman” – this document is necessary for everyone. You can buy it at any pet store – the main thing is that the passport is correctly filled out and contains all the necessary data and stamps. Your veterinarian will help you with this.

The document must contain marks about chipping, vaccinations and deworming. In Russia, animals are not often microchipped, but this is required when entering most countries. Be sure to check that the chip is of international standard. By the way, it must be installed strictly before the rabies vaccination.

For most countries, vaccination against this disease must be completed no later than 21 days before the flight. This is done so that antibodies against the virus have time to develop in the blood. But it is better to play it safe and get vaccinated at least 30 days in advance. It is also worth paying attention to the vaccine itself: it must be approved in the country you are going to.

Most rabies vaccinations are valid for no more 12 months.

2. Veterinary certificate form No. 1

This is a certificate of the condition of the animal, which is free issue in any state veterinary clinic. You will need to come there with an international passport, where there should already be marks about chipping, vaccinations and deworming, and the animals themselves.

Please note: the certificate is valid for 5 days, and then “burns out”. If you are late even for one day, the pet will not be released from the country.

Already at the airport, a certificate of form No. 1 to you re-register for an international veterinary certificate No. 5a, according to which the animal can enter back into the Russian Federation. This certificate is valid for 90 days.

If you have been in another country for too long and the allotted time has expired, your pet can import back according to the veterinary certificate No. 15.

If you are traveling to Europe, then instead of certificate No. 5a, you should be issued an EU veterinary certificate (Euro certificate).

How to buy a ticket for a pet

As a rule, the possibility of transporting animals in the cabin is limited. Therefore, first of all, you need to call the airline you are flying with and clarify which flights have free places for animals. And only after that reserve tickets.

Cat and dog can not let together in the salon, even if they belong to the same owner. Accordingly, if another passenger has already informed the carrier that they will fly with a dog in hand luggage, you will have to check in your cat or choose another flight.

Restrictions regarding the joint flight of animals of different species also apply to birds. For example, by rules Turkish Airlines cats cannot fly with birds and dogs on the same flight. But the dog can become a bird’s companion, but at the same time they should be as far apart as possible.

After making sure that the quota for animals has not ended, redeem the ticket. Then call the airline again and ask how you can pay for your pet. Sometimes this can be done immediately, online, and sometimes already at the airport.

Just in case, warn the airport veterinary service that you are flying with an animal. This can be done by e-mail or by phone, which is available on the website of each airport in the appropriate section.

Also, 15 days before departure, write a letter in English to the veterinary control of the airport of the country to which you are going. In it, indicate the date of arrival, flight number and the fact that you are with a pet.

What rules to follow when transporting animals on an airplane

Be sure to make sure that the dimensions of the carrier are suitable for the requirements of the carrier, because each company has its own.

The material of the bag also matters. If you are going to carry a pet in a soft carrier, it cannot fly in the luggage compartment – there take only a rigid plastic container. Sometimes airlines in general forbid use soft bags.

Different carriers have different rules regarding the weight of animals. Most companies lets pet in the cabin only if, together with the carrier, it weighs no more than 8 kilograms.

Sometimes the rules allow the owners to put the carrier with the beast on their laps. But still much more often ask placed under the seat of the passenger in front.

Under the rules of most airlines, take your pet out of the carrier or put it on your lap during the flight it is forbidden. Feeding animals on the way is also usually not allowed. Sometimes flight attendants make an exception, but if you were not given the go-ahead, then just drink or feed through a syringe with the needle removed.

Animals that, together with the carrier, weigh more than the norms, unfortunately, will fly in the luggage compartment. Therefore, think twice whether it is worth taking them with you at all. Traveling for pets is already stressful, and in luggage it is double.

If this cannot be avoided, insulate the carrier. In that part of the cargo compartment, which is equipped for the transportation of animals, as a rule, the temperature is quite comfortable. But it cannot be ruled out that it can be cool there.

Carefully check all locks, clasps and fasteners: the animal may try to get out of the cramped space due to excitement. Some restless dogs may even chew the lock off from the inside.

How to transport a pet on a train

Usually, traveling abroad means flights, but you can also travel to another country by train. The path will be long, but at the same time more comfortable for the animal, because it will definitely not have to be separated from you.

What documents does a pet need to travel by train abroad?

1. Veterinary certificate form No. 1

It is in any case need for issuing certificate No. 5a. When traveling to Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia or Kyrgyzstan, a veterinary certificate of the Customs Union Form No. 1 is sufficient, which is also issued at the regional animal disease control station.

2. International veterinary certificate No. 5a or European certificate

When crossing the border by train, you will need an international veterinary certificate No. 5a, but you need to issue it have to on one’s own.

The procedure is as follows: first you get certificate No. 1 in the state veterinary clinic, and then you are going to the territorial bodies of the Rosselkhoznadzor, where it will be changed to an international certificate.

How to buy a pet ticket for a train abroad

Be sure to read the rules of the railway companies whose services you are going to use. Sometimes a pet needs to buy a separate ticket, which, when boarding the train, will need to be presented along with a veterinary passport. If you have a large animal, be prepared that for him have to buy the whole compartment.

Often, special places are allocated for passengers with pets, and their number is limited. When buying a ticket on the website, pay attention to which carriages are suitable for traveling with animals. Usually they are marked with a special icon.

You can learn more about the nuances of traveling with pets to a particular country at the Russian Railways help desk at 8 800 775‑00‑00 (toll-free within Russia).

What rules to follow when transporting animals on the train

Go to the station in advance so as not to scare the beast in a hurry. On the platform, try to stay away from noisy companies and other passengers with animals. Be among the last to enter the car, behave as calmly as possible.

The rules most often do not prohibit feeding and watering animals on the train. The main thing is to carefully read the conditions of a particular carrier or, if in doubt, ask the conductor for permission. When you feed your pet, keep in mind that when moving, water from the bowl may spill. Therefore, it is most convenient to give water through a pipette or syringe with the needle removed.

If you are traveling in a separate compartment, you can release the animal from the carrier. Just do it not immediately, but 10-15 minutes after the train leaves. If you are taking a cat, it should be on a leash or harness: this way it is easier to control its movements.

If this is a long-distance train, the pet will want to go to the toilet on the way. You will probably be able to walk the dog during the stop, but in case this is not possible, bring absorbent diapers with you. For a cat, you can grab a compact tray. Put it under the table in the compartment or, if you are traveling in a seated car, under the chair that the fluffy occupies.

How to transport a pet in a car

Borders can also be crossed by car. But now it’s an unpredictable way to travel. Cars can stand in line at the checkpoint for several days, and this is a difficult test for humans and animals. So it’s better to weigh the pros and cons and clarify in advance whether pets are allowed through at a particular checkpoint.

In any case, the algorithm for preparing documents remains the same as for the train: get veterinary certificate form No. 1 at the nearest state veterinary clinic, then change it at the territorial department of Rosselkhoznadzor for an international veterinary certificate form No. 5a or for a European certificate.

What rules to follow when transporting animals in a car

It’s good if your pet is accustomed to traveling by car in advance. If there is no time for this, follow simple rules. Do not use fragrances with a strong odor in the car, so as not to disturb the pet’s sense of smell once again.

If your pet is in a carrier, do not forget to secure it with seat belts: in no case should it fall. The pet can warm up and walk around inside the salon. But in this case, his movement should be controlled by someone who does not drive a car. In this case, the animal must have a harness with a leash.

Especially careful should be those who travel with a cat. A few seconds are enough for a frightened pet to slip unnoticed even into a small gap. Therefore, the doors and windows in the cabin must be tightly closed.
During the stop, the cat must not walk around the cabin: the animal must be closed in the carrier. And only after that, passengers can get out of the car. Tray hygiene should also be done only when the cat is securely closed in the bag.