Traversing with the furry member of the family: Tips for traveling with your pet

Traversing with the furry member of the family: Tips for traveling with your pet

Our pets are an important part of our family and, if you are planning to travel abroad to relax or work for any particular length of time, undoubtedly your pets will be part of your entourage

After Frederick the Great of Prussia called his precious Italian greyhounds "a man's best friend," the phrase stuck with dog lovers who agreed to his sentiment. Whether it be your loyal canine, your beloved feline or your furry ferret, leaving behind your cherished pet is out of the question for many people.

Planning in advance of traveling with a pet is key to avoiding problems when entering a foreign country. Regulations are specific to each country worldwide, and pet owners should be familiar with these rules. Knowing pet import rules will help make traveling with your pet safer, more enjoyable and ultimately stress free. Here are some key points to consider before traveling with your pet.

Pet Passports

The term "pet passport" was originally popularized in the EU where dog, cat or ferret owners could get a blue pet passport from their veterinarian and travel freely through EU member countries. This is still true today for people living in the EU. It will last for the lifetime of the pet as long as the rabies vaccination is kept up to date.

However, for pet owners residing in countries outside of the EU, a "pet passport" is simply a term used to represent all of the pertinent documentation needed to take your pet to other countries. Customs officials will need to see these documents in order to clear your pet, and the inconvenience caused by losing them can be significant.

Your veterinarian can help you create a pet passport for your pet to enter almost any country in the world. All countries require a minimum of proof of good health and a rabies certificate, although the rules for additional testing vary widely from country to country. You should have a Health Certificate completed by your veterinarian. This certificate can also be referred to as a Veterinary or Sanitary Certificate.

Airline Pet Carriers

Once all documentation is sorted out, it's time to select an airline carrier for your pet. This will provide your pet a safe and comfortable place to be when taken out of its environment. There is nothing more important than your pet's safety and a good quality pet carrier will provide that. Pets can travel on a commercial airline in one of three ways: In-cabin, checked baggage, and manifest cargo. Generally, airlines will only allow one carrier per passenger, one pet per carrier (unless small puppies) and a maximum of two to three pets per flight.

Your pet's carrier must fit under the seat in front of you and must have the following features:

A waterproof bottom - be sure and also get some good pet pads.

Adequate ventilation - at least two sides of your carrier should have mesh ventilation.

Security (zippers, not snaps)

Must enclose your entire pet - your pet's head cannot stick out of the carrier.

Most airlines departing from Turkey accept in-cabin, checked baggage and manifest cargo pets on flights, but checking and double checking is necessary. Once your pet is calmly tucked in under your seat and ready for takeoff, you should start considering your accommodation options upon landing.

Pet Friendly Hotels - Pet Hotels

Many hotels in Istanbul offer pet friendly accommodation for their guests. Finding the best option is important because not all hotels have the same pet policy. The W Hotel Istanbul allows small dogs only and one pet maximum while the Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus allows up to two pets, including large sized dogs.

For those who have important business to attend to and cannot find time to take care of their pet can resort to a pet hotel. Seven minutes away from Atatürk Airport on the European side of Istanbul is a three story villa housing lucky cats and dogs for pet owners. Zen Pet Otel offers many great features for your four legged companions such as 24/7 camera control where you can watch your pet from your mobile phone or tablet computer whenever you want. Special beds and play areas are provided and veterinarian assistance is available during the day.

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