The Hidden Costs Of Travelling With Pets

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Currently, the total veterinary bill for preparing your animal for travel to Ireland or any EU nation from the UK, could be over £300. After Brexit that cost is probably going to increase significantly. Some 45% of the population are pet owners, yet surprisingly only 8% of them have pet insurance.

Having your pet covered could eliminate the costs of the consultation, vaccinations, and blood tests, not to mention ensuring your pet has the medical care needed in the event of the unexpected. When shopping for either pet insurance or travel insurance, explore what options there are under both policies.

Your Pre-Brexit Visit To The Vet

Schedule a visit with your trusted vet. Have them make certain your pet is microchipped with an ISO 11784/11785 compliant 15 digit pet microchip. This is the only kind of microchip the Border Inspection Posts can scan. If you’re not sure if your pet’s microchip is compliant, have your vet verify it. If you don’t have the correct microchip then have your vet implant a new one. There are ways around this, but it’s far more headache than it’s worth. Besides, this expenditure might be covered under your pet insurance as well.

Make sure your animal is caught up on all their vaccinations, the most important of which is the rabies vaccine. Currently, it can be the three-year rabies vaccination, as opposed to the one-year. You’ll have to have your animal dewormed as well. Ask your veterinarian for all the paperwork, including an EU Pet Passport. Some airlines even require a certificate from your veterinarian that your pet is healthy and safe to travel.

Your Veterinary Bill Post-Brexit

After Brexit, your vet bill could increase substantially. The government has warned that whether there is a Brexit deal or not, the UK will be considered an unlisted country. When that happens, every time you travel to Ireland, you’ll have to schedule a visit with an EU-approved veterinarian. That means you may have to find a new vet, pay for a one-year rabies vaccine each time, wait 3 weeks, then get a rabies blood titer test and have it sent off to an EU-approved blood testing laboratory. Afterwards, you’ll have to wait 30 days for the results, which must show an antibody level of at least 0.5 IU/ml. Then you’ll have to wait 3 months, pay for another vet visit, and purchase an EU health certificate. The EU pet passport issued in the UK will no longer be valid for travel to the EU after Brexit. If any of the new rules aren’t precisely followed, all your efforts could be in vain, and your animal could be seized and quarantined for up to three months. Without pet insurance, that’s a lot of money out of pocket, a lot of planning, and a little too much stress.

Flying By Air

Check with the Border Inspection Posts at the airports you’re travelling to, and inquire what airlines are approved by them for pet travel. Then determine which airline is the right one for you. Most charge fees to travel with pets, and only allow a pre-set number of animals on each flight. A few airlines allow you to bring your pet in the cabin, yet most only allow transport in the hold, if at all. Each airline has its own individual rules when it comes to travelling with your furry friends. Make sure your carrier is compliant with the policies of the airline you book with. Buy a new bed for your pet’s carrier to make the trip more comfortable. Whether you have a favourite method of ordering pet supplies online, or you prefer to go to your local pet shop, prepare for your trip with ample treats and toys so they have a positive association with their adventure. Explore over the counter calming treats as an option to make their travel less stressful. You might also look into absorbent pads for their carrier in the event of any messes.

Are your lodging accommodations animal-friendly? Will you be able to spend enough quality time with your little ones once you’ve reached your destination?  Leave no stone unturned in your preparations. Travelling with your pets can be challenging, which is all the more reason to make sure your furry friends are tended to and cared for every step of the way. Wanting to have your animal companion along is great, yet making them feel comforted and loved through the duration of your travels is the part of the journey that matters most.