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USA to Portugal (and back) with a puppy: what am I, nuts?

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  • USA to Portugal (and back) with a puppy: what am I, nuts?

    My small furry sidekick and I are going to Lisbon just after the holidays, and returning to the U.S.A. about six months later. He's a rescue pup, a Dachsund mutt of some sort, approximately 3-4 months old as of this writing - but of course, the folks at the rescue shelter can't be 100% sure of his age. He still has his baby teeth, and that's all we know.

    I have several questions about making the trip with the pooch, and would really appreciate some guidance...

    (1) He will have had all of his vaccinations before the travel date. Exactly what documentation must I provide, what certifications of his health? Can any veterinarian administer these exams and complete the appropriate forms? Must the forms be bilingual, in English and in Portuguese, so that customs officials in both countries can read them?

    (2) Internet research suggests that both the U.S. and Portugal are "Third Countries," and my understanding is that the pupper will therefore NOT need to be quarantined either on entry to Portugal or on re-entry into the United States. Is this correct?

    (3) Even when fully grown he will be small enough to travel in the passenger cabin with me: he won't likely get bigger than 15 lbs or so. This is great - but I really need some advice for a long flight. (A) How do passengers and airline staff deal with a dog's needs to eliminate, exercise, etc. during an overnight flight? (B) I've heard about sedating pets for long flights, but am nervous about this - particularly in the case of a puppy. Are there safe, natural sedative or calming options? (C) He can stay with me during the longer leg of the journey, with Iberia, from New York to London. But apparently he must go into the cargo hold during the brief leg of our journey with British Airways, from London to Lisbon (about 2-3 hours in flight). They say that the cargo hold in which pets travel is maintained at the same air-pressure and temperature as the passenger cabin. Can I trust this? Will he be all right there? Any tips to ease this leg of his journey?

    Any other thoughts you have will be appreciated! I know that travel between the U.S.A. and most European Union countries is similar in many ways, so your experiences may be translatable even if you've never been to Portugal specifically...

  • #2
    Re: USA to Portugal (and back) with a puppy: what am I, nuts?

    To take your pet into Portugal it must first be micro chipped with the ISO 15 digit microchip and then vaccinated for rabies. About two weeks prior to travel your veterinarian will complete the EU form 998 veterinary certificate for Portugal which you will then have certified by the USDA.

    You mention having the pet in the cabin. Pets cannot enter the UK in the cabin of the aircraft - only as manifested cargo. For the rest of the trip it should be able to travel in the cabin with the advance approval of the airline.

    You should limit the flight times to under 10 hours if at all possible.

    The airlines will not allow prescription tranquilizes as they can cause breathing problems. There are pet calmers which will help.

    I suggest you visit this online store as they have the pet passport for Portugal, the pet carriers, pet calmers and everything else you will need for a safe trip.