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Should my pet travel with me internationally?

Published on: August 4, 2023  |  Author: Starwood Pet Travel

senior dog laying on a blanket

Imagine this - you're presented with a life-changing opportunity - the chance to relocate internationally. However, you have a dilemma that weighs heavily on your mind: what about my pets? It's a question that demands careful consideration. Should your cherished furry family join you on your international journey, or is it better for them to stay behind?
As pioneers in the field of pet transportation, Starwood Pet Travel has been assisting families in relocating their beloved pets to every corner of the globe for decades. With a team of experienced pet transport specialists who are also devoted pet parents, we truly understand the deep connection you have with your dog or cat, which is why we fully support and facilitate their relocation, even if it means moving abroad.

Should my pet travel with me?

Determining whether your pet should travel with you is not always straightforward. Some pet owners may have concerns about the safety of air travel for their furry companions. However, it's important to note that air travel is generally safe for the majority of pets. While rare mishaps do occur and receive significant attention, they are indeed rare. Each year, hundreds of thousands of animals travel by plane without any issues.

That being said when considering whether your beloved pet should relocate overseas, there are several other factors to take into account. Firstly, you need to look at what breed your pet is. Certain countries have restrictions on dog breeds that they consider to be dangerous. Pit bulls and similar breeds are often included on the list, and in some countries, Rottweilers and German shepherds may also be restricted. Similarly, some countries restrict the import of certain exotic cat breeds (like Bengals), unless you can provide their pedigree documentation. It is crucial to check if your destination country has any restrictions on your cat or dog.

Additionally, some dog breeds (and individual pets) may struggle to adapt to extreme weather conditions in their new home. For example, dogs with heavy coats, which are more suited to colder climates, may struggle in tropical or very hot desert climates like Abu Dhabi. On the other hand, dogs with short fur and minimal body fat, such as greyhounds, may struggle in very cold environments. You must evaluate whether you can make the necessary adjustments in your new home to ensure your pet's comfort and safety.

Another consideration is that brachycephalic (snub-nosed) cats and dogs face increased risks during air travel due to breathing difficulties associated with their breed. Some airlines may have specific rules regarding the transportation of short-snouted pets, or may not accept them for travel at all.

Furthermore, travel can be more challenging for elderly pets, just as it can be for elderly humans. Even under the best circumstances, flying can be stressful for pets. Your dog or cat might be frail or at an age where they may not want to deal with a significant change to their environment.

Air travel can also potentially worsen chronic health conditions in cats and dogs. However, if your pet's condition is well-managed and under control, they may be perfectly fine to fly. It's important to have a serious discussion and review your pet's medical history with your veterinarian to ensure it is safe for them to fly.

Lastly, it's essential to consider the availability of veterinary care in your destination country. While pet ownership is increasing worldwide, not all countries have sufficient access to well-trained veterinarians. If you are uncertain, it is advisable to research the veterinary situation before finalizing your decision to bring your pet with you.

Sometimes the most loving answer is no

Ultimately, the decision of whether your pet should travel with you or stay behind is a personal one that requires careful consideration of all the pros and cons from both your pet's perspective and your own. While it may be difficult to think about, it may be kinder and safer to let them sit this one out. However, rest assured that there is a high likelihood that your pet will be perfectly fine to make the move. If you have any concerns or questions, consult your veterinarian and reach out to us at Starwood Pet Travel. We have extensive experience in safely relocating pets overseas and can assist you in making the best decision for your furry family member.

With our expertise, we can navigate the complexities of airline regulations and weather obstacles, simplifying and streamlining the process of pet travel. Our top priority is to ensure that each journey is safe, comfortable, and as efficient as possible. We partner with the best airlines for pets and meticulously monitor every step of your pet's travel on your behalf.

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Starwood Animal Transport has rebranded to Starwood Pet Travel. We are still the same great company with the best team, just now with a slightly different name.