Sniff Procedures & Pet-Friendly Airlines with Patience in Your Baggage

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The idea of overseas relocation can fill you up with new possibilities and hope. But for a lot of pet parents it becomes a matter of concern to relocate with their pets. Know more about the process of transferring a pet from India. –by Anand Vishwanath

Start Early
Start the process at least 4 months before the pet movement date.
Sizing Up Your Bundle of Joy
Measure your pet and procure an IATA-specified crate. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) does not approve any random crate or brand, so you need to be really careful. They merely give the specifications and it’s the responsibility of pet parent to choose a crate as per the specs mentioned. Certain brands are more preferred over others due to quality, popularity and international recognition. The most popular brands of crates are – Petmate, Varipet, SkyKennel for the sturdiness and safety they offer as compared to others.
Start the Acclimatization Process
Get your pet acclimatised to the crate. This is even more critical for pets who are used to sleeping on beds, sofas, and generally in open spaces. The earlier you start the easier and less stressful it’ll be for your pet.
Pup with a Microchip
Get a microchip inserted. This can be done at your local vet hospital. However please note that the microchip should be an ISO 11784/785 microchip (15 digits) and has to be inserted before Rabies vaccination as a blanket practice.
Spay/Neuter Your Pet
Although sterilisation of pets is not mandatory for most countries, it is highly recommended by most countries. Sterilised pets are often favoured over unsterilised ones in most dog parks, pet boarding places, day care centers and with pet sitters and dog walkers/caretakers. Restaurants, malls, public transportation, and even pet-friendly hotels are a lot more tolerant towards sterilised pets.
For the benefit of your pet and to ensure he has access to more facilities, please do spay or neuter.
Be Up to Date with Vaccines
Vaccinations need to be complete and up to date. Some mandatory ones are – rabies, DHLPPi (for dogs) and FVRCP (for cats) and de-worming and anti-tick/flea treatment. It is recommended to have the Corona and Bordetella vaccinations for the protection of your pet during travel.
Getting Rabies Titer Test
If your destination country requires antibody titration tests to be conducted, it’s recommended to draw a blood sample after at least 30 days and before the expiry of the anti-rabies vaccination to test for antibody titration (rabies titer test). Some countries also require pets to be tested for other diseases before they can seek entry. Please check with the appropriate authorities.
Depending on the specific regulations of the destination country, the sample must either be sent to an EU (European Union) approved laboratory or an OIE approved laboratory in India.
The acceptable result to seek enter into most countries’ is >=0.5 IU/ml. Please check with the updated regulations of your destination country.
On receipt of a successful titer result, apply for import permit and/or block quarantine space with the animal quarantine station of the destination country as applicable. Some countries have a mandatory quarantine period for pets arriving from India. There is also a mandatory ‘waiting/ cooling’ period in the origin country before the pet can enter into the destination country.
Finalise on the Type of Relocation
There are some options you have – accompanied baggage, manifest cargo, and premium.
Accompanied baggage is the least stressful of the options for your pet mainly due to lesser waiting times during check-in and check-out and/or transit times.
Talk to the Airlines
Talk to the airlines and book space for the pet according to the type of relocation. Choosing the right airlines based on their expertise of handling pets, acceptable sizes of travel crate, time to travel, route, layovers, and weather conditions is most critical. An experienced pet relocation specialist will be most helpful as they will usually have the updated and most authentic information.
Complete Health Check-up for Your Pet
A complete check-up by your vet
four weeks before travel and have the veterinarian issue/endorse the following documents:
• Health and fitness certificate
• Microchip certificate
• Sterilisation certificate
• Blood sampling certificate (if applicable)
• Rabies titer certificate (if applicable)
• Destination country specific health certificate (if applicable)
Getting Government Work Done
Take an appointment and meet the government veterinarian at the Ministry of Animal Quarantine & Certification Services, Government of India or equivalent government body in the city of embarkation. After the health check, they will issue a health certificate which is usually valid for 10 days.
Get the certificates issued 4-5 days before the travel such that there is enough buffer on validity in case of flight delays, etc. Use the help of an experienced pet relocation company if you are short of time and need help in meeting these timelines.
Make sure you have a back-up plan. Last minute changes in plan do not work when you have a sensitive traveler with you. Have everything in place and make sure to carry a lot of patience in your baggage. It’ll be all worth it when you meet your pet as the gates open and see them wagging their tales in love and joy!
Some Recommended Pet Friendly Airlines

Lufthansa Airlines, Air France, KLM, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, Malaysian Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, British Airways, Ethopian Airlines, Qatar Airways, All Nippon Airways Co (ANA), Royal Jordanian and Qantas Airlines.
(Anand Vishwanath, a telecom engineer, had taken a sabbatical from his corporate life in 2010 and started walking dogs as an informal service, giving him the satisfaction of doing ‘something he was passionate about’ and Anvis Inc. was born. He got certified as a behaviourist under John Rogerson of ‘Northern Centre for Canine Behaviour, UK’. Currently he is owned by 6 ‘Anvis Mascots’ who live at his Pet Centre in Bengaluru.)

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