Flying with my 1 year old Havanese - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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Flying with my 1 year old Havanese

We need to go out of country for 4 weeks and are hesitant to leave our Buddy with pet sitter for that long. Can anyone in this forum know that we can travel abroad with Dog. Total travel time including stop over is about 24 hrs. I appreciate your help!
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by sunkara View Post
We need to go out of country for 4 weeks and are hesitant to leave our Buddy with pet sitter for that long. Can anyone in this forum know that we can travel abroad with Dog. Total travel time including stop over is about 24 hrs. I appreciate your help!
I haven't done it, but we have had several people on the forum in the past who have travelled internationally with their dog. You do have to know the rules where you are going however. Places like GB, which are Rabies-free, sometime have draconian quarantine periods, so it wouldn't be worth it. Other places only require up to date vaccinations and a health certificate from your vet.


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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-21-2017, 02:14 AM
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Originally Posted by sunkara View Post
We need to go out of country for 4 weeks and are hesitant to leave our Buddy with pet sitter for that long. Can anyone in this forum know that we can travel abroad with Dog. Total travel time including stop over is about 24 hrs. I appreciate your help!
Ok, so this is going to be sort of long

I'll assume that Buddy is a good size to fit in a carry on travel bag - I won't go into options on that (right now) but let me know if you need recommendations, or search the forum because we had a conversation on different bags not that long ago.

Perry (my Hav) and my husband and I live in Uganda and travel to the US a couple of times a year (25-29 hours door-to-door, depending on if I overnight in DC on the way before driving to PA), so I understand the long distance traveling. Some of the advice will depend on where you're going, which airports, how old Buddy is, how he does in the bag for long periods, etc., but I'll go for the basics below.

1) Good travel bag - enough room, enough air flow. Bonus if the zippers are in a good place for you to easily stick your hand or even your foot inside during the flight.
2) Something to keep him occupied. I've been lucky (so far) in that Perry is pretty patient in his bag and doesn't fuss. However, it's a long time in a tiny bag so I also bring some toys (don't give them to him all at once) and, on our next trip at the end of the this week (Kampala-Addis-Washington DC, few days there then drive to PA), I'll be packing a lightly filled Kong (I'm hoping airport security doesn't fuss about a little almond butter in it) to be able to give to him toward the end of the flight, in case it gets too long for him.
3) Where to sit - I'm playing with this right now - on our flight to Uganda we flew business so we didn't have this problem, but on the flight next week I'm flying economy, so I'm looking at sitting further back - hopefully it will be less crowded.
4) potty pads - I put one in his bag, but he ignores it. I also have a few with me (and some paper towels, and poop bags) so that I can also take him (bag and all) into the bathroom on the plane to be able to let him out and stretch (and pee if needed, though he's never seems to be that much in need).
5) Food and water - I don't feed him before we go (well, since our flight is at 6pm, I will feed him in the morning, nothing after that). I don't feed him on the flight (except this time will bring the Kong but that's less about food and more about distraction if needed). I do bring a small fold up dish to be able to give him water - but only a little at a time every couple of hours, just enough to keep him hydrated but not let him drink a lot.

During your layovers - again, depends on the airport, there are often pet relief stations (at IAD it's a small room that has artificial turf on the floor and an underfloor flushing system) where you can let them out. Also depending on the airport, you can possibly let him out of the bag and walk between gates so that he can stretch his legs (I do this at IAD, but not in Addis during our layover there). Where you can't or don't want to do that, I take him into a bathroom and let him out of the bag there. Again, I can't seem to get him to pee or do anything during that time, but at least he can move around.

For the actual travel (you may already know most of these things, so feel free to ignore) - Karen's right, the requirements depend on where you're going. For some rabies free countries you can (if you plan in advance) work it so that you don't have to quarantine. For example, the UK has a pet entry system which takes 6 months to do (microchipping, rabies vaccine, titer, filling out papers, flying specific airlines I think) but then means you can enter without quarantine.

It also depends where you're going, what vaccines etc you will need (it might only be rabies, but it also might include others). Also, some countries require some kind of entry permit which you have to get from the country you're visiting, so I would check on that and work with your contact in that country to have one (though in my experience the two places I've traveled that need one, only 1 checked it at the airport, the other didn't even ask for it). You will almost always need to have a valid rabies certificate (again check because some don't accept the US 3 year rabies and require the annual vaccine), health certificate from your vet, again depending on where you're going they may also require a USDA certificate validating your health certificate (not hard to get, if you do it in person it takes under an hour). Check with the country you are visiting re: how long before you travel that you can get the certificates.

On returning to the US, the basic requirements are a health certificate and valid rabies certificate (within 10 days of travel). That does mean that you'll need to find a vet in the country you're visiting to get the health check/ certificate. Coming from some countries, the vet also has to certify that they've inspected the dog for screwworms and that it is not infected (I think this is within 5 days of travel). You can find a list of countries on the CDC website. You also might need, from some countries, an exit permit in order to leave the country with the dog (even if you brought it with you).

For example, for Uganda, we need an entry permit, health certificate, DHLPP and rabies vaccines to enter (but don't seem to need the USDA certificate) and a health certificate and exit permit to leave. We also need the screwworm certification to enter the US when arriving from Uganda.

You do need to make the reservation with your airline in advance because they only allow a certain number of pets to travel on any one plane (on the airline we use the most it's 1 in Business and 2 in economy, plus a certain number in cargo). Also check on the specific requirements of the airline - mostly it's the same as entering the US, but some airlines have different requirements and some airlines don't allow pets in the cabin or in cargo if the flight is over a certain amount of time (for example, Emirates doesn't allow pets in cabin). Check as well with the airline about the specific airport regulations. For example, a couple of years ago Kenya changed their regulations so that you are no longer allowed to travel into Kenya (and maybe out of?) with a dog in cabin or traveling with you in cargo - you could only ship a dog there. A friend of mine who has brought a dog (or more than 1) into Nairobi actually flew into Kampala and then drove to Nairobi.

And, of course, you need to ensure that the hotels you've booked are dog friendly (a difficulty in some countries). If you are going to have to leave him in a hotel, I would certainly bring his crate as well (you can't guarantee, for example, that even if you put the do-not-disturb sign on the door that someone might not open the door, for example, so you want him to be safe in the crate and not running around the room and possibly out the door), in addition to wanting to ensure that he doesn't get into anything in the room or does any damage when he's alone. Perry's plastic crate fits inside one of our suitcases so it's easy enough to travel with though it does take up space.

Re: food and treats - I'd check customs regulations where you're traveling. Some countries you can bring food with you as long as it's sealed in a commercial package. In others you can as long as the packages don't contain meat products. The US, for example, is pretty strict about anything that contains meat products of any kind. Some places it's not clear so you can try, but be honest with declaring it and know that they might take it from you. If you can't bring his food with you, then you have to figure out what's available where you're going.
We've been lucky (so far) in that we have been able to bring Perry's food with us to Kampala (even though we live here, we can't get a good quality of food here, so I pick up enough in the US to last us til the next trip back and bring it with us.)

All of this sounds daunting, but it's certainly do-able. I don't actually (or haven't yet) take Perry on vacations where we're doing touristy things - it's usually from our house in Kampala to my Mom's house in the US - but I have met people who bring their dog on vacations. AND where ever you're going might be a lot easier - I have tended to live in more difficult countries .
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