We thought the process for entering Argentina was difficult while we were back in the states, but traveling with our little chicken strip from Argentina to Chile and then from Chile to Spain & France has proven to be even more difficult. It seems airlines aren't used to folks traveling one way with their pets and while some routes like Mendoza, Argentina to Santiago, Chile are travelled often and have clear rules, traveling between continents continues to be difficult. This has inspired us to be better about documenting Arya's journey so keep an eye on this category for new updates and be sure to send us a message if you have questions about traveling between regions with a pet.
Basics of Pet Travel
First of all most countries you will likely travel to will need at a minimum:
(1) An original Rabies Vaccine certificate
(2) A vet that is certified to provide a health check to prepare for international travel
(3) Internal and External pest treatments
(4) Approval from the certifying customs agency in the country of departure
Now many countries will require additional pieces of information and copies of certain documents, etc... but the first step in traveling to any country is to discuss with a vet what is required. Let them know you are looking to travel one way and where you are traveling to. Many of the customs entities have very specific time windows of when you can apply to leave and even restrictions around your vet's approval date.
Entering Schengen with your pet
So let's say I am leaving Chile and flying into Spain on June 19th, a Monday. The SAG, the customs authority in Chile for pet travel, requires you turn in paperwork to them 4 business days in advance. this means I need to talk to them no later than the 12th to ensure I get the approvals in time. However, they also require a vet approve your dog for travel and your pet be externally dewormed no earlier than 10 days before your travel date.
Simplified this means:
(1) I have between June 5th and June 9th to complete the vet visit, deworming and initial approval.
(2) I have between the vet visit date and June 13th to bring my documents to the SAG office.
Additionally, I should note that entering the Schengen region also requires you get a pet passport. Your vet can help you set that up but they do require some very specific things:
(1) Serial numbers and photos or certificates of all vaccines required to date including rabies. Your vet may have this info on file, but it is not required for American vets to track photos of serial numbers so you may need to administer some new vaccines. If you are prepping to leave the US with a pet, take these pictures yourself or discuss getting these certifications from your vet.
(2) Serial numbers and photos of your last internal and external debugging treatments
(3) Your contact info including destination address
This pet passport will help you navigate Europe in general more easily, but still do your research on what countries are in the EU or Schengen or both.
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