Guidance & Personal supervision

how do I move my pets

Veterinary preparation

essential for pets relocating overseas

Pet travel crates

wooden travel boxes or plastic travel kennels

Pet protection plan

complementary cover for your pets while in transit

Traveller Welcome Pack

products that will ease the pet’s journey


care and love while you are away

Global Paws is one of the most reputable pet travel companies worldwide and we were the first IPATA member in South Africa.


1. Microchipping your pet

  1. The microchip is a rice grain sized personal pet identification device, normally situated between the pets' shoulder blades. The chip has a unique number that enables your pet to be identified should it ever become separated from you. The microchip is linked by its' unique number to an international database that holds all your, the owners, personal contact details and last known address. Any reputable vet has a scanner that enables them to locate and read the microchip. The vet will then contact the database holders who will then contact you to safely reunite you with your errant pet.
  2. Any local veterinarian should be able to implant the microchip. It is a very quick procedure that does not require anaesthesia or stitches; it is just a simple injection.
  3. The best kind of microchip is an ISO-compatible microchip, which means it will be able to be scanned in both the SA and outside of the SA.
  4. Microchips are designed to last the lifetime of a pet-a chip typically lasts at least 25 years. Chips do not need replacing.

2. Sedating / Tranquilizing your pet before travel

  1. The Ministry Of Agriculture and veterinary surgeons strongly discourage tranquilizing animals due to the pressurized conditions of an aircraft. Adverse drug reactions and breathing difficulties may occur due to the change in air pressure. Airlines may refuse to carry sedated pets, as they cannot detect their state of health. After the initial loading into their travel box, pets soon settle down to their journey and fall asleep.
  2. Nonetheless if you feel that your pet might need some relaxant we recommend rescue drops. These drops are available at pharmacies or pet shops. You can start administering the drops a day before your pet's travel in its water bowl or a few drops directly on its tongue.
  3. Saying that...all worried mummies and daddies should take these drops along with their furry babies.
  4. Great news for travelling pets...There is a new product on the market - Calming Collars. This product emits pheromones that mimic the pheromones that new mothers give off to relax their newborn. The collar lasts for a month, so put it on the travelling pet a week before departure and it will last well past your arrival date until you have finally settled into your new residence.

3. Grooming your pet for its travels

  1. Brush your pet coat before travel. This will remove a dead undercoat that will help keep your pet cooler and in the same way will make them feel more comfortable, especially in the summer months. Shaving double coated breeds does NOT keep them cooler.
  2. Do not wash your pet at least 3 days before its departure. Its better that you leave the washing of your pet until after their journey.
  3. Make sure that your pet's nails are clipped.

4. Puppy travel

  1. For puppies it's a big scary world out there so we would recommend a calming collar to make it feel a little less intimidating.
  2. They will have to be at least 8 weeks old before travel is permissible, this is because their eardrums may not have developed fully and the pressurised environment of an aircraft may harm their ears if they are not fully developed.
  3. Vaccinations; this is always the part that worries expectant parents, so here is the information in detail.
    1. If the puppy is under 12 weeks old it can travel to South Africa on its mothers' rabies vaccination. The mothers' vaccination will have to have been valid over the birth period. So ask the breeder for a copy of the mothers' vaccination booklet before you buy/transfer any funds.
    2. Puppies travelling from South Africa can travel on its mothers' valid rabies vaccination to certain countries such as The USA, Canada, Tanzania and Angola. However some countries will not accept mothers vaccinations and the puppy will have to travel on its own vaccination e.g. All EU countries and New Zealand. So please contact us to get up to date country requirements for your puppies travel.
    3. If the mother did not have a valid rabies vaccination the puppy will have to travel on its own rabies vaccination. The earliest that a puppy should be vaccinated for rabies is 12 weeks old. Remember that a valid rabies vaccination must be older than 30 days but younger than 12 months. This means that your puppy will be 16 weeks old before travel is permissible.
    4. The UK, Australia and New Zealand are rabies free countries so your puppy will be able to travel from there without a rabies vaccination but will have to be vaccinated once in South Africa.

5. Elderly pets

Obviously an elderly pet that needs to travel for the first time can be very worrying for the owners, but please let me reassure you that many, many elderly pets travel and arrive at the destination none the worse for the adventure. There are a few additional precautions that we advise, to make the journey a little easier for your elderly family member

  1. For pets older than 10 years, we recommend that your vet perform an extensive/ geriatric health exam on all vital organs (heart, liver, and kidneys).
  2. An elderly pet's hydration levels need to be up to par and remain normal without the use of medication. This is due to the fact that many animals will not drink the water provided while in transit.
  3. Another recommendation for elderly pets is to purchase a kennel larger than the minimum required and make sure there are ventilation holes in the back. This will allow more air to flow through the crate.
  4. Acclimatise the pet as much as possible to the travel crate environment. This may be the pet's home for up to 16 hours at a time (depending on the length of the flight).Stress levels have proven to drop dramatically for pets accustomed to their travel crates ahead of time.

6. High risk breed / banned breeds

  1. Most Countries and most airlines have a list of breeds that they have banned for import or flights.
  2. Countries have banned the import of aggressive breeds such as American Pit Bull, American Bulldog, Neapolitan Mastiff and Dogo Argentino.
  3. Airlines will also refuse aggressive dogs but also have restrictions on Snub nosed breeds such as, Bulldogs, Pugs, Boxers and Boston Terriers.
  4. There are also a few cat species that are banned such as Persians, Burmese and Himalayans.
  5. For up to date information please contact our office.

7. Travelling as Manifest Cargo.

  1. All pets travelling to South Africa must travel as manifest cargo. The only exception is if you travel in your own chartered aircraft.
  2. Pets travel under the passenger cabin in the cargo hold which is pressurised, dimly lit and heated. If anything the cargo hold will be more relaxing for your pet as opposed to traveling in the cabin. In the cabin you will have a hoard of strange smells and sounds that can unsettle your pet whereas in the hold your pet will be in a tranquil setting where they can just curl up and sleep.
  3. The owner does not have to travel with pets to most destinations
  4. The pet must be consigned to a person at the destination end who will pick up the pet.

8. Vets vs Pet travel agents.

Although vets have a hoard of specialised information with regards to your pets health they do not always have the most up to date travel information. Without offending your vet please contact us, who are specialist in pet travel, for the latest up to date requirements from an experienced and professional pet travel agent.

9. General Travel Tips.

  1. Your pet will feel more comfortable travelling with a smell it can recognise. We therefore recommend that you place a t-shirt that you have worn into the travel box. Please do not put an item of clothing into the box that has buckles, zips or buttons as these could be chewed off and become lodged in your pets' throat. Similarly do not put toys into the box with small parts that could be chewed off.
  2. No animal products i.e. hooves, rawhide chews or bones are allowed but please feel free to put a favoured nibble in with them to keep them occupied.
  3. Do not send your pet with their accessories i.e. feeding/water bowls, pet beds, boxes of treats or pet food containers. However a small quantity of their favourite dry food can be attached to the container. We will also take their leads and collars which we will attach to the travel kennel door by means of cable ties.
  4. If you have your pet bird travelling put a half apple into the water bowl.