I’ve been reading your blog for the last year and really, really enjoy it and I wanted to know if you could help me out? I have a question in regards to traveling and need some advice. You see I’ve travel a little bit, I usually go up to my grandmother’s house a couple of times a year, when my owners go away, so I am a little experienced on staying over at other peoples homes.
But this time, I found out that the whole family is going to be moving from Florida to Frankfurt, Germany in the New Year. Can you help me prepare for the trip?
A new wagging fan
You lucky dog, off on your first adventure and will become one of the millions of traveling dogs from around the world! Trust me, you’re going to love it, it’s going to be an exciting experience for you and the whole family. New places to explore, new scents to sniff, new squirrels to chase, what bliss. Germans love their hunds and you will be warmly welcomed. Also Germany is very dog friendly, so don’t be surprised seeing dogs in pubs, shopping in stores and even traveling by train. In fact once your in Germany, you’ll be able to explore all of the European Union (* U.K. has an extra requirement) and spend even more time with your peeps.
You have plenty of time to prepare for your trip to your new home and country. Here are things you can start doing right now so that you will be well prepared.
1. Make an appointment with your Vet
Okay, not the most exciting thing to do, but it’s necessary that you start getting your paper work in order. When you see your Vet, explain to him that you are going to be traveling abroad, and need the required paper work and vaccinations so that there isn’t any problems when you arrive in Germany. You will need to follow these guidelines to enter the European Union.
2. Book a Pet Relocation Company or Do it Yourself?
Now this depends on your peeps and how comfortable they feel of doing all the paper work themselves and preparing you to arrive at your new home. Sometimes your peeps may be too busy, getting everything else ready that is required to move a family, and might feel more comfortable having professionals take care of you. They also might have to travel at a different time than you to make sure everything is all set at your new location. Hiring a special pet relocation company is going to cost more than if you did it yourself, however the benefits and time saving may be worth it.
Now a relocation company will do everything to get you to your new home.
- They help you purchase the right crate for air travel.
- Coordinate with your vet.
- make sure all your paper work is in order.
- Deliver you to the airport all ready for travel.
- Pick you up at your new country’s airport and get you through customs.
- Whiz you to your new home.
Now if your peeps have the time, it really isn’t that hard to do it yourself. Just make sure that your peeps
- Get you certified as a healthy dog and that your vaccinations are up to date.This must be done by a veterinarian that is certified by the US Dept of Agriculture. Check with your own vet first and if she doesn’t have this credential, they should be able to direct you to someone who does. You must have this done within ten days before you arrive, not sooner!
- They then need to send the form to USDA for stamp & signatures.
- Make sure you are micro-chipped and micro-chipped for Europe. (Different parts of the world use different microchips, so make sure you check)
- Microchip implantation must occur PRIOR to rabies vaccination. Any rabies vaccination that occurs prior to microchip implantation is not considered valid regardless of whether the animal was up-to-date on its previous rabies vaccines. In this case, the animal must be re-vaccinated. 21 days must have elapsed after the first (primary) vaccination after implantation of the microchip before the animal is eligible to enter the European Union
- They will need to reserve a place for you on an airline either in cargo or as luggage. (I know it’s awful, but as bigger dogs that is the only choice we have when flying) Also make sure that you can fly in the winter. Some airlines will not take pets when the weather is too cold or too hot.
- When they pick you up, make sure they bring you some water, due to you’re going to be a little thirsty. A snack is always good too! I know the crate has water, but I’ve never touch it, in fact I usually watch it swish around.
For forums and more information on taking your pet to Germany click here
If your not use to being in a crate, I suggest that you start training now. The first thing your peep’s need to do is get an airline approved crate in the proper size for you to stand up comfortably.
Next grab your favorite blanket and toy and put them in your new crate. Now if you’re still feeling a little nervous on entering, have your peeps reward you with some treats that they put in the crate for you to enjoy. Make sure when you start training that they leave the door open at first, and give you lots of praise.
Then over the next few weeks spend a little more time in it, try it with the door closed for a little bit of time and work up to longer. Make sure your peeps reward you with each step with more praise and treats.
The next thing you’ll know, is hey, I really like this little home. It’s not nearly as scary as I thought it was.
4. If your traveling as an Ex-Pat dog due to your people are relocating for a new job. Check to see if you can be part of the contract
More and more companies are now offering packages tailored just for pets who travel with Ex-pats. How cool is that!
5. Day of the Trip
On the day your leaving, have your peeps take you out for a nice long energizing walk, and give you a nice light meal a couple hours before you travel. Stay away from any drugs, you don’t need them and they are just not safe. After the long walk, have your peep toss his sweaty shirt in your crate, fill your water bowl with an ice-cube block and keep you happy and cheery. The sweaty shirt will make you feel comfortable and have sweets dreams of your peeps!
Next make sure your crate is properly labeled. It should have your name, your peeps contact numbers in both locations, your address to your new location, arrows pointing “this way up” and “live animal”. Trust me, we want to keep everything a simple as possible for all the people who will be guiding you on your journey. Your going to be a flying dog!
6. When you get there
Whew, what a journey! No worries, your people should have your new home all set up for you. If your peeps are picking you up directly from the airport, make sure they bring all your paper work and their passport when they come to collect you. At home they should make you feel really welcomed by having your favorite bed out, bowls ready for food and water, and some of your favorite toys and treats. The next thing they should do, is take you for a nice little walk around your new neighbourhood or near by park so that you can start scenting out your new home. Now remember the time difference may make you feel a little groggy or hungry at strange times. No worries, it’s just jet-lag and after a day or two your feel terrific and ready to rumble!
7. Send me a photo
Once you’re there, we’ll be basically neighbours, so why not shoot me a photo of your new home and tell your peeps that now that your in Europe, you want your own pet passport!
Happy Travels, you are now a traveling dog!