Having a pet is like a child. Whoever has a cat, dog, bird, fish, any of these animals that can be raised in a domestic environment makes this statement. But what about when we decide to have a better life outside of Brazil? How do we take our pets abroad together?

Pets are part of the family. Anyone who owns them knows our love for pets and all of our feelings. However, when traveling or moving to another country, the question arises: should I bring it or not? We are concerned with the entire documentary process, costs, adaptations and the long flight of the aircraft.

How to buy an airline ticket for my pet

It must be taken into account that the entire process of releasing your pet for travel will take at least 4 months, therefore, mathematical calculations must be performed before the ticket is issued. My suggestion is to issue a serological certificate at least 90 days before. Therefore, there will be no accidents and your pet’s travel will be guaranteed. Before purchasing a ticket, check the restrictions and whether the required airline transports animals. Ç

Step by step to take your pet to Europe

Traveling with pets abroad  needs to be carefully planned to ensure that there are no problems and that you cannot board the plane with your pet. Remember that the whole process will take at least 4 months and will be costly.

1 – Microchipping

It all starts with you taking your pet to put a microchip. Nowadays, animals are generally microchipped shortly after birth, especially when buying pets at large breeding sites or at pet stores.

2- Rabies vaccine

Animals must be vaccinated against rabies every year. However, this time is different. If the vaccine is received after the microchip implantation date, the vaccine is only effective for you and can be used when traveling in Europe. That’s it! If your pet has already taken it, you should repeat it. Pay attention to the dates in the veterinary records, as if he loses any of them, you may have problems issuing the international veterinary certificate.

3 – Serology exam

This is the most expensive part of the whole process and deserves a lot of research. The EU requires that all pets (dogs, cats and ferrets) in Brazil be subjected to serological tests to prove the effectiveness of the rabies vaccine. Basically, it is a blood test that can detect whether the animal has developed antibodies against the disease.

The serological test can only be performed 30 days after the rabies vaccination. Only the TECSA laboratory in Belo Horizonte, in the EU, is eligible to take this exam in Brazil. But rest assured, you don’t have to go to the capital of Minas Gerais. Many laboratories in your city and even your favorite pet shop have already taken the exam. What they need to do is collect blood and then forward the platelets to the BH for analysis.

It is important to consult the chosen laboratory to find out if a medical order is necessary for the examination. On the day of blood collection you must bring the animal’s vaccination card and the microchipping certificate. The pet must be fasting for 12 hours.

4 – Result of serology

The result of the serological test will be released in 30 days. The inspection laboratory will contact you to retrieve the certificate issued by TECSA, essential for your trip. The expected results should indicate that the level of neutralizing antibodies to the rabies virus in the serum should be equal to or greater than 0.5 IU / ml. If your pet does not produce antibodies equal to or greater than 0.5 IU / ml, you must redo the entire vaccination process, wait 30 days and do a new serological test, and then pay.

5 – Health Certificate

Up to 10 days before departure to Europe, it is time to visit the vet again. Your pet will be consulted and a health certificate will be issued to them. The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply has provided a model of attestation . The veterinarian will also instruct updates on anti-flea, deworming and application status. Veterinarians do not recommend giving sedatives to pets on the day of travel, at most treat with some floral.

6 – Issuance of the  International Veterinary Certificate – CVI

Once you have all the documents, it is time to issue the CVI . You should look for the Department of International Agricultural Surveillance-Vigiagro at the international airport of departure. Find the nearest unit here . Generally, you should make an appointment to obtain complete Vigiagro documentation and more: microchip certificate, vaccination card, serology certificate, animal health certificate, ticket and owner documents. But, due to the pandemic, the entire process was done by email and followed the guidelines of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply.

7 – Communicate the destination country

It is interesting to find information on veterinary surveillance in the country of destination. It can usually be obtained from the airport website or from the airline. In some cases, local authorities require notification of surveillance within 24 to 48 hours prior to the animal’s arrival. In Portugal, there is a document to be filled out, and the animal’s document must be sent by email to the veterinary authority of the landing airport.

8 – Day of travel

Throughout the document processing process, it is legal to familiarize your pet with the shipping box. I put the box in the room and let him sleep there. Before your flight date, it is best to take your pet to bathe. On the day of travel, follow the animal’s usual procedures. Take it for a walk and feed it. In the box, you can only put hygienic diapers. Blankets are not allowed in the box because they suffocate animals. As the cabin of the airplane can be a little cold, it is recommended to put some clothes on the animal. The shipping box must be tightly closed. The airline uses adhesive tape to seal and prevent the box from opening. Check in, and the pet has been sent.

9 – Landing in Europe

When arriving at the destination country, you must remove the box and your pet in a reserved pick-up area next to the suitcases. Then just look for the veterinary surveillance service and present the CVI. The documents are inspected and a certificate is issued releasing your pet’s transit. In Portugal there is a fee to be paid of 40 €.

Transport of animals on airlines

Most airlines carry pets in the cabin or in the luggage compartment. The rules differ in weight and price. For Portugal, Azul is the only one that does not transpose pets. Below are details of some companies that transport animals to Europe. It is worth mentioning that the transport of short-headed animals in the cargo hold is not reserved (“braqui” means short and “head” means head), that is, dogs and cats with short, flat noses.

Transporting animals on Air France

Cabin

You can transport a dog or cat whose weight does not exceed 8 kg in the cabin, with the authorization  of Air France Customer Service (bag included). The animal must be at least 10 weeks old and its vaccines must be up to date. The cost is 125 €.

Luggage compartment / Basement

Cats and dogs weighing more than 8 kg up to 75 kg are accepted. The transport in the hold is limited to a maximum of 3 animals per passenger. The company requests that the passenger already communicate the transport of an animal in the hold when booking his airline ticket. The cost is 200 €.

Short-nosed animals, such as pug, boxer, bulldog, shih-tzu or Persian or Burmese cats, are prohibited from being transported in the hold.