Monday, June 18, 2012

On the Road to Fame and Fortune: Traveling to International Dog Shows

For individuals leaving their home country to show their dogs internationally the first step is to make sure you are familiar with the visa process and the importation restrictions (if any) of dogs. You need to determine if your dog requires specific vaccinations or a health check within a specified period of time by a qualified veterinarian and is micro-chipped. Most likely there will be a stack of formal papers requiring formal signatures and lots of important stamps.  

For participants in shows who wish to visit the USA and who are not USA citizens visa information can be found here

Then of course you will need to be certain that your dog has the appropriate kennel for flying and is ticketed in a timely fashion as many airlines limit the number of animals on board public carriers. 

The next and most important concern is to keep the dog healthy and in good show condition, ready for the flight and the show upon landing. As I write this section we nervously wait for tomorrow's doctor visit to see if Natasha will require surgery to remove a wart-like tumor that seemed to spring up just to plague our first attempt at an international showing in her homeland in Argentina. Unfortunately, flight tickets have had to be pre-purchased, regrets given by our handler to other dogs who also wished to attend, and now at nearly the eleventh hour we cross our fingers and hope for a small miracle with  fast healing and a replenishing of any fur shaved for the procedure. Yes the hobby of raising and showing dogs is at best break even proposition at and a gamble at worst while you always must be ready to face cutting your losses.

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