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Travelling with or without your furry friend?

By Dr Silvia Zayadin , Family Flavours - Jul 24,2022 - Last updated at Jul 24,2022

Photo courtesy of Family Flavours magazine

By Dr Silvia Zayadin

Summer is finally here and it is time to plan for your next vacation. While checking dates and reservations, you’re worrying about your pet.


Travelling abroad with your pet

Different countries have different regulations for pet travel so do your research first. Remember that this process might be more demanding for certain countries than others; thus, you’ll need to start planning for that in advance.

Vaccines for your pet

First, your pet needs to be fully vaccinated; this includes the rabies vaccine. A microchip implanted in your pet’s skin for identification is also a must. Some countries such as the European Union, the United States and the United Arab Emirates require a rabies titre test. This test measures the number (titre) of antibodies formed after receiving the rabies vaccine. 

The test is not done in Jordan as it must be done in an international licence reference laboratory. In this case, a blood sample is taken from your pet and sent to a certified laboratory abroad. The results usually take a few weeks to be ready. Still, some countries (like EU countries) require that 90 days pass from the day of sampling before the pet can enter the destination country. 


Veterinarian visit


A few days before the travel date, your pet needs to be examined by the veterinarian; your pet will get its deworming and external parasite control prevention. Then the vet will issue a health certificate, which acts as your pet’s passport.

Discuss your pet’s behaviour with your veterinarian, as some pets might suffer from anxiety during the trip or have motion sickness. Your veterinarian will advise if you need to use certain products and medications to help your pet during the journey. 


Pre-booking tips


Ensure that the airline you choose is pet-friendly and that the aircraft is appropriate for live animal transportation. Every airline has its own regulations, so ensure to ask about all the details and follow all instructions. Failing to complete all the requirements can deny your pet the right to enter the destination country.

You also need to check that the facilities at your travel destination are pet-friendly. You don’t want unpleasant surprises that can turn your dream vacation into a nightmare. 

Keeping your pet in Jordan?

If you decide to leave your pet in Jordan, you can either leave it at home and ask a family member to take care of it, use professional boarding facilities, or keep it at another family’s home.

Professional boarding facilities in Jordan are available. You can choose one based on your preferences. When trying to decide which facility is the most appropriate following:

•How long you will be using the services of the boarding facility

•The species, breed and age of your pet

•If your dog is well trained and gets along with other dogs

•If your pet is friendly with people

•If your pet has any behavioural problems such as separation anxiety

•If your pet is on any medications for any health conditions

•If your pet is on any special diet

•The location of the boarding facility

•Your budget for this kind of service

•If your pet will need additional training or socialisation


Once you get all these questions answered, you can go and visit the boarding facilities that meet your needs. It is always good to see where your pet will be staying while you are away. What is suitable for one person might not be good for you, so always choose the facility based on your own preferences and judgement.

Before leaving your pet at the boarding facility, ensure your pet’s vaccinations are up-to-date, given the internal and external parasite preventive medications and healthy.

Notify the facility if your pet is not spayed or neutered so the staff will take precautions to prevent accidental mating. Report any medical conditions and bring all the medications your pet takes so the staff can continue giving them as prescribed.

If your pet is on a special diet or has specific dietary routines, discuss them with the staff so your pet’s diet won’t be changed.

Always leave one or more emergency contacts and provide the name and address of your veterinary care provider (clinic) in case of any medical emergency your pet might suffer during its stay.

Most boarding facilities will provide daily updates on your pet or even share a live stream during the pet’s stay at the facility. Ask about those options and discuss the pros and cons with your family, veterinarian and service provider.

For more details on pet travel requirements, you can check and choose the country you’ll be travelling to, or call your veterinary clinic to help you with the process.


Reprinted with permission from Family Flavours magazine

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