More than ever before, our pets are considered part of our family. Since a recent survey from AAA and Best Western International shows 51 percent of Americans take their pets along when they travel, here is some helpful information about traveling internationally with pets.

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Check the Airline’s restrictions.

Airlines like AirCanada, AirFrance, Delta, JetBlue, United and Virgin America allow small pets to travel with you in the cabin with certain restrictions. Requirements differ from airline to airline with a limited number of in-cabin pets per flight. Some pet-friendly airlines like JetBlue even offer frequent flyer miles for pets.

Check the visiting country’s requirements.

Each country has its own restrictions for pet travel. Unlike your passport, which allows you to easily travel from country to country, pet travel rules vary from country to country (rabies vaccination, tapeworm treatment, micro chipping, etc.).   Find out what forms the country requires, what vaccinations your pet must have, and any other restrictions the country places on pets.  This information can be found at the consulate or embassy of the country you are traveling to.

Visit your veterinarian before your trip.

Have a USDA certified Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service veterinarian give the vaccines and complete the health certificate. Have the health certificate endorsed by your state’s USDA Veterinary Services center. Include all necessary documentation like a signed certificate for the rabies vaccination and documentation of any lab work.

Make sure to travel with the country’s specific veterinary documentation before travel or your pet could be denied entry. Your pet could be sent home immediately on a departing flight, or placed in quarantine – at your expense – if they do not have the appropriate paperwork.

Plan ahead for international travel with your pet.

Recently Justin Bieber’s pet capuchin monkey, Mally, didn’t have the necessary documentation to enter Germany. Mally was confiscated by customs officials and is now being held in quarantine, fate undetermined. Make sure that doesn’t happen to your pet. Follow the pet immigration rules of the country where you and your pet will be traveling.

RushMyPassport.com offers expedited passports for adults and children. While an express passport for pets does not exist, there are websites that offer pet passports with the correct documentation forms and travel requirements for your specific destination country to help simplify the process.