Travelling with Pets

So many things to shuffle into some sort of order, but I’m getting really excited about the next leg of my journey. I’m less thrilled with the process of quarantine and preparing pets to travel. With two cats and a dog currently, it’s something I have to think about, but finding solutions hasn’t been easy.

I don’t plan to travel with the cats. My sister will take hers, and hopefully I can rehome my Amos with a friend so I can at least visit him, but I don’t expect to have a lot of spare time for care-taking once I’ve begun my studies.

The dog is a different story.

I adopted Finn at Thanksgiving, as a shy 4-month old. He’s half Boxer, which shows a lot in his build and personality. The other breed influences are Australian Shepherd and Border Collie. The combination is amazing, he’s a fabulous hiking partner, a wonderful home companion, friendly and excited by other dogs, gentle albeit exuberant with other animals, loyal and protective. I fell for him immediately, and it’s hard to think about leaving him behind. Taking him presents a whole new set of challenges.

To bring an animal into the UK, there is a 6 month quarantine in an approved facility. Since he’s 9 months old, I feel pretty adamant that any way around that would be top choice, especially considering his anxious behavior. So with the help of Google, I discovered this website that outlines the requirements to bring your furry loved ones.

http://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-pets/pets/travel/pets/

They have a pretty basic outline of steps to complete before travel. 1) Get microchipped. Done.  (2) Get a rabies vaccination. Well, he had that already, but since it has to be in this order, sure. We can do that. But that leads to (3) Get the rabies titer, which in my research proves to cost approximately $200. Not to mention, to get this kind of test he needs an exam ($60) and a health certificate ($35). (4) is a simple flea & tick treatment the day before travel. So, between steps 2 & 3 this could really run into money. Not to mention I have to pay for a pet ticket to fly him there.

Other considerations are licensing, since they’ll know he’s there, what to do with him when I travel (which I hope to do a lot of), finding a flat, which I hear are often furnished, that allows 4o lb dogs, and what to do with him during school and if I work. The more thought I put into it, the more I start to wonder if bringing him is for my own good, and not so much for his.

So I’m curious, what experience have others had taking pets with them on a move out of the country? Is it worth all the money and planning? Will it be as good of a situation for Finn once we’re there? The smaller scale of most things in England makes me concerned we may not be able to find a place with much of a yard, or even any if the economic situation requires apartment living. I’m interested in feedback on this topic.

Here are Finn, Amos (orange) & Alistair (siamese)

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