Here at Animal Travel we’ve transported everything from domestic pets like cats, dogs, and birds to wildlife like bears, wolves, and baboons. We’ve even transported earthworms and on one occasion, a very beloved goldfish. Each animal requires different documentation and transport arrangements.The only restriction is puppies and kittens, who can’t yet regulate their body temperature and must be older than 8 to 10 weeks to fly.
Contact our Animal Travel consultants for breed and country specific advice.
All animals travelling to South Africa will need veterinary documentation from your country of origin, a South African import permit and customs clearance on arrival in South Africa.
Exotic animals may require a Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITIES) permit.
Dogs and cats coming from Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Swaziland and Malawi don’t need an import permit, but do need veterinary import permits.
Animal Travel’s team of consultants are on hand to offer more breed and country specific advice.
Dogs arriving from certain countries require compulsory quarantine at a state quarantine facility. Animal Services will be able to transport your four-legged friend from the airport to the quarantine facility; and then to your home after the quarantine period has ended.
Cats aren’t routinely quarantined.
Dogs and cats coming from Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Swaziland and Malawi must be flown to Johannesburg or Cape Town and are subject to 14 days of quarantine.
Birds will need to spend 30 days in quarantine before entering the country and another 30 days on arrival.
Contact our Animal Travel consultants for a full list of countries that require quarantine.
Because of varying specifications and guidelines in different countries, it is always best to speak to an animal travel expert before preparing your fur child for travel.
Ideally, you’ll want to start preparations as soon as your travel plans have been booked.
Almost all international pet travel cases require microchipping, rabies shots, and up to date vet certificates. Birds will also need an identification ring.
Most animals will be transported in a “sky kennel” or container.
Animal Travel offers its own containers for these purposes but for pets coming from abroad, any rigid, strong container with ventilation holes will do the trick.
Plastic and plywood crates work well. The container must be big enough for your pet to comfortably stand, sit, turn around and lie down in. The container also needs to include space for a water bowl and a comfy blanket.
Animals are transported by air in temperature controlled and pressurized cargo compartments that are specially designed for their needs.
First, you’ll need their length. Measure the length from the tip of their noses to the tips of their tails. Height should be measured from the ground to shoulders.
You’ll also need your pet’s standing height. This can be measured from the ground to the top of their head, when they’re standing up right. Width refers to the distance between your pet’s shoulder blades and you’ll also need their weight.
You’ll want to get your pet used to their travel container before they leave you. A week is usually enough time to make it feel like home.
Help ease your “pawtner” into his or her new environment by feeding them in the container and letting them sleep in it. A favourite toy or blanket will also help them feel more at ease.
Don’t feed your pet any later than eight hours before their departure. An empty tummy will help them avoid motion sickness and messing in their container.
For the same reason, it’s also wise to let them exercise and do their business before their trip.
Unfortunately, pets cannot be sedated or tranquilized, but skittish or nervous pets may benefit from herbal calming products like Rescue Remedy. This can be administered for a few days leading up to the flight and on travel day.
All animals traveling to South Africa need to be microchipped. These need to be inserted well before the compulsory rabies vaccination.
Rabies vaccinations must be no older than a year and no younger than 30 days. Dogs and cats are also subject to specific inoculations, depending on the country they’re travelling to.
Rabies antibody blood TITRE will also need to be carried out 90 days before travel.
Animal Travel’s consultants can give you more specific information, depending on the country you’re travelling to or from.
It’s best to avoid washing your cat or dog for at least three days before they travel. Save the grooming for when they get to their destination. That way, they can relax at home after.
Brushing your pet’s coat before travel will remove excess hair, helping your fur child stay cool and comfortable. Make sure your pet’s claws are trimmed gently at home or at the vet before travel.
We’ve got a team of standby waiting to assist you with all your pet travel needs!