Among expats and travellers alike, America represents one of the most popular destinations of all for Brits heading abroad. It’s hardly surprising; both a shared language and culture make integration simple while the standards of living are understandably very high. A large country like the USA also means such a diversity of States, climates and environments that there really is something for everyone here.
That said, this very same diversity can make taking your pet to the USA rather challenging. Each state can have different rules and regulations when transporting animals so it’s essential to fully do your research before you travel. Failing to carry out the necessary research could result in your pet being declined entry into the USA so these rules should not be taken lightly.
That said, most experts claim that it is easier to take pets into the USA than many other popular destinations, and in general should present very few problems. This is especially so for cat and dog owners, though travellers attempting to transport birds, reptiles, small mammals and so on may face rather more regulation.
Taking Your Dog to the USA
America is a nation of dog lovers. As a result, plenty of dogs pass across the border each day, and the process generally goes without a hitch. In addition, standards of welfare in the USA are very high indeed, meaning that infectious diseases are fiercely controlled and so your pet should be just as safe in the USA as it is at home.
Broadly speaking, good old Uncle Sam likes to see dogs vaccinated for rabies. There are some exceptions, such as in cases where a dog is arriving from a rabies-free country where they have lived for at least six months. Overall though you should expect that a rabies vaccine will be required – and that it should be administered at least 30 days before arrival in order to be effective.
The USA also expects that dogs undergo a thorough veterinary examination before travelling in order to ensure your pet is not suffering from any communicable diseases which could post a threat to the American canine population. This must be carried out no more than 10 days before travel.
As a reminder, these are general rules and some States – Hawaii being a perfect example – maintain their own stringent quarantine rules in order to protect themselves from diseases brought into the region.
If you are in any doubt you are advised to contact a pet transportation expert who will be able to advise you on the latest rules and regulations relating to your specific destination.
Taking Your Cat to the USA
Exporting your cat from the UK to the USA is arguably even easier than taking a dog, thanks to the fact that the USA as a country does not require cats to be vaccinated against rabies, nor to have a general certificate of health as with dogs.
That said, once again each State has its own rules and regulations so there are exceptions to these rules. It is therefore important to ensure you check with the specific state you plan to visit to ensure that you meet all their guidelines.
Pet-Friendly Flights to the USA
Most pets travelling between the UK and USA understandably travel on planes rather than ships. This is not only more practical for their owners but also means that a dog or cat won’t need to be cooped up in a travelling crate for longer than necessary.
While not all planes are suitable for transporting pets to the USA, an increasing number are. These days it is possible to transport your pet to virtually any state on a plane, assuming you’re willing to take internal flights if necessary.
If you are in any doubt about how to transport your pet on a plane then you are advised to contact a pet transportation expert who should be able to offer you qualified advice on the best travel arrangements for your beloved pet.