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Tips for travelling with your pet

1st November 2011 Print

Though the new laws will make travelling with pets easier come the New Year, the process will still require planning to save on cost and ensure a smooth journey., the online leader in travel deals comparison, helps owners navigate the new rules with its Top 10 Tips on Flying with Pets for a stress free flight for pet owners travelling with their animals.

"The UK's adoption of the more relaxed EU pet movement scheme is sure to create an increase in pet travel due to less time in quarantine and lower costs for those bringing pets into the country as well as those taking them out," says Nadine Hallak, Travel Expert for

"However, without the proper planning and knowledge of security procedure and different airline rules things can get complicated which is where our tips come in handy," adds Hallak.

Here we explore the first five of the top 10 tips for pet travel.

Contact the embassy

In spite of the new, more relaxed rules it's important to note these do not encompass all countries, so you should contact the authorities (e.g. the embassy) of the country you wish to enter and check requirements before you travel. Please note you should always contact the embassy of the destination country concerned within the UK, rather than getting in touch with the British Embassy in the country you are travelling to.

Calculate the costs and call the airline

The charges associated with carrying pets onboard, whether checked or in the cabin, add up quickly. Research airlines' rates ahead of time and factor the pet fees into the total cost of airfare - both yours and your pet's. Also check the airline's website for regulations and get confirmation that you and your pet are set to fly. Many airlines limit the total number of animals allowed within the cabin on each flight, so it's important that a reservation be made sooner rather than later and confirmed as soon as possible.

Rehearse nearby

First-time flyers are sometimes overwhelmed by a 35,000-foot ascent, so it's important to schedule trial runs before the big day. Practice with a car, bus or train journey to familiarise your pet with the movement and the crowds.

Visit the vet

Currently, the Pet Travel Scheme allows pet owners to take their dogs, cats and ferrets to other countries in the European Union and some non-EU countries (about 50 countries including Andorra and Vanuatu), and return to the UK without the need for quarantine. If you're taking your pet to countries outside of this safe zone, you'll need to comply with the rules of that country. You may need to get your pet vaccinated against rabies although Sweden does not require this for pets travelling directly from the UK. There may also be a need for the pet to stay in quarantine for six months. However, these rules are changing in January 2012 to bring the UK in line with the rest of the EU. NB: There are no requirements for pets travelling directly between the UK and Ireland.

Prepare the kennel

Ensure that the kennel you purchased when your pet was tiny is still roomy enough for them. Can they stand up without hitting their head on the top of it? And does it comply with IATA regulations? The airline should run these checks before accepting your pet for travel. In the vast majority of cases, your pet will travel in the aircraft hold and not in the cabin with you. Seek out a spill-proof water container, a container for food and enough absorbent bedding for the flight.

For the full top 10, visit:

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