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    And Your Little Dog, Too: Pet Travel Advice from Auto Europe

    Traveling with your dogPets. We love them. We love their furry little faces, their fluffy tails and their endless devotion. Day after day, our lives are enriched by the inclusion of pets. And, for some people who benefit from the assistance of a therapy, companion or service animal, our connection to our pet is a fact of daily necessity. As you make your travel plans, you may include fantasies of Bijou eagerly lapping fois gras at your feet in a stylish outdoor Parisian café. Or perhaps you envision Bingo, at a crystal clear Alpine lake near Zurich, running toward you, proudly, with a giant stick in his teeth. With such a close connection to our animal companions, it's hard to imagine that the travel that enriches us won't be equally thrilling for them.

    Where to Start

    Cat CarrierThere is a lot to consider before you pack your furry family member in a pet carrier for travels abroad. First, every country in the world has certain rules and regulations about which animals can be brought across their borders, and what must be done to ensure the animal is healthy and non-threatening enough. Second, air travel is not easy for pets. If you find airplanes loud or cramped, consider that the cargo bay doesn't pad against noise or regulate pressure or temperature quite as well as the cabin. Some airlines allow certain types of pets to travel in the cabin with you, but not all. If your airline does allow pets on board, there are breed and size regulations, and they might charge a fee for the additional cargo. Because regulations often involve veterinary care timelines, you will need to familiarize yourself with both the regulations of the country and the airline many months before you embark.

    Research Pet Policies

    Service DogThe European Union will require that the dog or cat is implanted with a microchip and vaccinated. A pet passport is also required by the European Union and can be used to organize key documents. In general, island nations will be stricter about pet travel because invasive species or animal diseases could be devastating to local agriculture and eco systems. New Zealand will require ten days of quarantine for dogs or cats. Australia will require a 30 day quarantine and you absolutely can not bring your dear pet snake or spider, they've got enough already! Wherever you are traveling, you should research and comply with animal importation policies. Failure to do so could mean that dutiful Max, with his soulful brown eyes, could be shipped back home immediately, or quarantined at your expense. And that's the best of all possible scenarios. It's unfortunate and disturbing, but necessary to mention that some countries may even employ more final solutions for dealing with the attempted importation of illegal animals. It's not that those governments don't care about animal welfare, they simply need to be prudent in protecting their own animal and plant life and an undocumented animal might bring disaster. You protect your pet (as well as all pets in your country of travel) when you comply with animal travel policies.

    You should also check to be sure that your rental car is OK for traveling pets. Pet policies can vary by supplier or location. Most will allow it, but may require that the pet be kept in a carrier when traveling. Some might ask for a pet fee, or security deposit. If the vehicle is returned with excessive fur or a soiled interior, they will charge a vehicle cleaning fee. With that said, a rental car might be the perfect way to get you and your faithful friend around your destination with ease. In a quiet and comfortable rental vehicle, you can forgo the stress, cargo loading and strict scheduling involved with public transportation. If you're going to spend an extended stay in your destination, you might also consider a Peugeot lease with Auto Europe!

    Many people do travel with their pets. My jet setting aunt takes her cat Himay everywhere, and with the help of pet calmers and a posh designer carrying case, the sweet kitty seems to have adjusted well to runway life. Bringing your pet makes the most sense if you are planning to live as an expatriate for an extended stay, or if you require the daily support of your helper animal. You can show love and appreciation for your furry friend by ensuring their care and safety as you travel and experience your locales together. This will take some research. Or, if you need your travels to be simple, you can show your affection when you select a trusted and loving care taker to watch over your pets while you are away. This could be a friend or family member, or if you need, you may be able to find an exceptionally comfortable kennel in your area. Both the pet-sitter and the pet will eagerly anticipate your return, as well as your exotic gifts from overseas!

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