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How to take your pet across the Pond

If you weep at the mere mention of leaving Fido or Whiskers at home when you travel, then you need to know what to do before you can set foot or paw on international soil.

Once you decide it’s worth taking your four-legged friend overseas, you will have to meet your destination’s strict health, quarantine, and customs requirements. The E.U. pet passport is available from your veterinarian, and makes travel a lot easier in most countries. However, there are still places that need a recent health certificate from a vet, with proof of all necessary shots, and a micro-chip for easy identification.

Plus, some places may require a quarantine time to ascertain the animal is free of disease. Ireland currently has a six-month quarantine time to check for rabies, but will waive this for those coming from low-risk rabies countries, such as the U.S., with an E.U. pet passport.

It’s imperative that you contact your destination’s foreign embassy and consulate before you leave, just to be certain it’s feasible to take your furry pal. The U.S. State Department website provides a full list of websites for each country’s foreign embassy.

Keep in mind that pets are not allowed in the cabin on all transatlantic flights, but instead will have to be stowed with checked luggage. If you have the time and money, you can avoid this by crossing the ocean aboard the Queen Mary 2. If you must fly, check with the airlines for policies before booking.

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