It is not always possible to have your pet stay with you during your journey overseas. It is best that you are aware of where you pet will be housed during the journey and if he will be comfortable with the arrangements.
With some airlines pets less than 10kg (including the cage) can travel with their owner onboard the plane. This has to be booked ahead of time and have the co-operation of the flight crew. For other pets they will have to travel min the hold and again this has to be pre booked. You will have to have your pet crated in a regulation crate that has to be of a suitable size for the pet. The company organising the trip will issue you with drop off details and also tell you how to recover your pet at the end of the journey.
It is possible for assistance pets to travel with their owners who will need their help during the flight. Again, the dog has to be booked in at the same time as the owner books their own ticket.
Pets are allowed to travel by ferry and in most cases will have to stay in their cages or crates in the family car. Some ferry companies allow the pets to be taken onto a special deck if they are accompanies by their owners and are not left unattended. These pets have to be moved to the deck before the ferry sets sail as owners Are not allowed to the car deck during the journey.
When travelling via the channel tunnel to and from France the family pet will be in the family car. It is not allowed out of the vehicle during this time. It is possible that on the return journey the animal will have to be removed from the vehicle for its micro chip to be scanned. Also, a ticket has to be purchased for the pet's return into the UK. No cat or dog will be allowed to re-enter the UK if it has not been treated for ticks or fleas between 24 and 48 hours before the return journey. You may think that it is a nuisance to have your pet go through this procedure each time you return to the UK but the tapeworm parasite, echinococous multilocularis can cause liver disease and the tick parasite, phipicephalus sanguineus can be equally as destructive. Neither parasite is yet known to have infiltrated the shores of the UK and by careful treatment of our pets at the borders it will hopefully stay away.
Do not feed your pet before a journey as the movement during the journey could very well upset even a pet that has an iron constitution. Water should be available to the pet during the journey but not so much that the bowl will tip over or the pet will urinate and make its cage un comfortable during the trip.
You will have to ask yourself whether your pet enjoys travelling in a cage or crate and whether a long journey, possibly without seeing familiar faces, will upset him. Perhaps it is advisable to let your pet stay at home whilst you have your holiday.
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It is possible to ship a pet overseas by air, and there are companies that specialise in this service. Most are very experienced and careful with animals. It means they don'[t travel on the same plane as you, and you'll need to have someone pick them up on the other end. Be aware, though, that it's a very expensive proposition, although it can be better than having the pet travel in thecabin with you (which will only work with small, docile animals, or you'll have cats yowling in the plane!).