Relocation is not an easy affair, especially if you are shifting continents and that too with a pet. It is quite understandable if you are worried about how this is going to happen. All pet parents have similar queries when it comes to shifting this huge. That is why we are here to guide you and satiate all your inquiries and questions. Pet travel from USA to India is quite possible and not as difficult as it may seem to you. Of course, there is a lot of paperwork to do but that is all regarding the safety of your pet and ensuring that nothing about your pet comes as a surprise to the authorities. Let us understand how to go about it.
Pet Vaccination- The first thing you need to do is keep in order all the vaccination certificates filed up date-wise. Ensure that your pet has not missed any vaccination and that you have the relevant papers to prove it. Both the airline authorities and if you avail the services of a relocation agent will need it. Your dog or cat must be vaccinated for rabies at least 31 days prior to entry if not currently vaccinated. The three-year rabies vaccination is recognized.
Consult your vet– This may not seem very essential to you because you feel your pet is fit and strong, but consulting your vet should come as a priority task. Let your vet know about the relocation and he will do the necessary check-up deemed fit, to allow your pet to fly or not. You may require showing the vet’s approved health certificate to the concerned authorities to confirm that your pet does not suffer from any illness and that his organs will support him for the necessary steps that have to be untaken in the process. The health certificate is valid for 30 days if entering from the United States.
Also Read: 7 Tips to Remember When Flying with Dogs
Crate training- Most probably your pets will be traveling as manifested cargo on an international flight. This would mean that they will be spending an extended period of time in their crate. It is best to purchase a crate well beforehand and train your pet to use it. This way staying in their crate for such a long period of time won’t come as a shock to them. If they already think of the crate as their safe haven and get used to it, chances are the long flight will be less uncomfortable due to the familiar crate. When you buy a crate, ensure that it is IATA-approved.
Size of the pet- Many airlines are pet friendly and let pets travel as accompanied baggage in the cabin. This is subject to their size and only if your pet is not larger than the prescribed size can they travel with their owners in the cabin. For that, the pet has to be carried in a crate and kept under the seat in front of that of the owner. They should not be blocking the aisle and in most cases need to be mildly sedated and properly leashed to make their trip less uncomfortable both for themselves and the co-passengers.
Airlines and Covid-19- There are a lot of airline services that are pet friendly like Air France and Delta Airlines to name a few. But you need to make sufficient enquiries in advance because owing to Covid-19 regulations, there have been some changes in the otherwise existing rules. These rules keep changing in accordance with the severity of the outbreak of the disease from the place of boarding in the United States and the place of arrival in India. Keep in touch with the airline messages and you will know if there has been any alteration in the travel scheme.
India pet passport regulations- While relocating your pet to India, there are certain regulations set by the Government of India that one has to abide by. If you are a citizen of India wishing to travel with your pet to the country, you must have been abroad for more than two years and any short visits to India must not exceed more than 180 days during this time. If you are a foreign national of Indian origin, you must have an OCI or PIO card to import your pet to India. Other Indian citizens looking to visit India on a short Visa can obtain a DGFT license to bring their pet to India as long as their pet departs with them. If you are a foreign national not of Indian origin, you must be relocating to India to work or live for a minimum of one year to import your pet. Unaccompanied dogs and cats cannot be imported to India unless associated with their owner who is transferring residency to India. The owner must enter India within 30 days of their dog or cat. Dogs are not permitted to enter India for breeding or commercial purposes.
Quarantine holding area- Depending upon the health of your pet entering India, they may be subjected to 14 days of government-supervised quarantine or 30 days of home quarantine. Generally, if it conforms to all pet import regulations under transfer of residency, then a home quarantine is imposed. Up to two dogs or cats can enter India per person. More than two pets per person can only be imported under a License from the Director General of Foreign Trade.
Upon entry to India– All domestic dogs and cats need to be examined at the port of entry to India. They must be free of evidence of diseases communicable to humans. In those situations when it is found that your dog or cat is apparently not in good health, a licensed vet may be required for further examination. The cost of this has to be borne by the owner of the pet. All pets entering India with their owners must be issued a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Animal Quarantine Station in India, prior to their entry into the country.
If meeting all the regulations and getting the necessary paperwork done sounds cumbersome to you, there are various pet relocation services that will do the necessary documentation on your behalf for a fee. They arrange relocation services with boarding facilities at both the place of departure and arrival. In any case, the owner is liable to assume all the risks of injury, sickness, or death of the pet accepted for carriage. A trained dog or a service dog to assist blind passengers is usually carried free of charge in addition to the normal free baggage allowance. In other cases, pets are carried at an additional charge even if the owner has no other cabin baggage. For the latest updates on travel systems, it is best to get in touch with the airline authorities or your service agent. Wishing you a hassle-free and happy relocation to India with your fur friend!
Reference: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service