More on the adventures of moving a pet to Finland

Made some more calls in the wee hours of the morning (in spite of going to bed at 9pm, I still woke up at 3:55am. This is NOT a good thing.  But at least I was somewhat productive), and talked to USAirways, who is handling my CLT to YYZ leg of the journey. Long story short, Shiva can ride with me in the cabin as my ESA, as long as I have the proper documentation (which I have). I can check her empty crate to Toronto, but it counts as one of my 3 bag allowance, unless I want to pay the 4th baggage fee charge ($$$). But as along as I keep it under 70 pounds, I could theoretically place one of my suitcases IN the crate for the ride, and just take it out and recheck it in Toronto.

In any case, when I get to Toronto, I get the crate, and check it and her at the Finnair desk for the leg to Helsinki. That is going to be a heartwrenching part of this trip. 😦 But it’s just once, and then we’re done. And because I’m paying in Canada, I pay in Canadian dollars, so it saves me about $25. I’d rather have her in the cabin, but rules are rules.

Now, a bit of information for those of you going to take your dog to Finland. You need to go to the Evira website and download some forms. One of those is the Annex II form, which your vet will need to fill out. Here’s some more info from the email I got back from them:

When your vet fills in the certificate it must be sent to USDA APHIS for endorsement. This must be done in quite short timing because the echinococcus treatment is valid only 5 days for entering Finland.

You may send the health certificate to this e-mail and we can check everything is correct before your trip. The Customs checks the dog and the certificate at your arrival, you just choose the red line of the Customs. You don’t have to send the documents for the Customs in advance.

If you want more information, here is their website for non-commercial import of animals:–cats-and-ferrets/non-commercial+import/

So, in my case, I will have to take her to a vet in North Carolina for the echinococcus treatment right before I leave. My poor baby. I wish there was some way to explain to her what was happening.

My steps are to take her to her vet at Banfield, who is a an USDA-APHIS certified vet. Then I will send those forms to my local USDA-APHIS office (link) to be reviewed and certified by a vet there. They will send those forms back to me. I can then email them (as per above) to EVIRA to make sure that they are correct, and if so, I just hold them in my hot little hands until we get to Customs.

I did, however, look up information on dog parks and vet care, and it seems that the Helsinki area has plenty of both! I look forward to the long walks in the woods and staying active. Hopefully, in time, the trauma of the move will fade for her.

That’s all I have so far on the doggie subject. Now, to figure out how to juggle my medication coverage and what to do with my retirement account from work to cover the next couple of months. And I will be reporting on my attempts to navigate the Finnish social services system, as well. Wish me luck!

One thought on “More on the adventures of moving a pet to Finland

  1. I’ll tell you this, being a life-long dog-lover and (amateur) dog psychologist–being in the cargo hold will be HELL for Shiva. It’s loud, unfamiliar, cramped–BUT, when you get there, one of the first things you should do, as soon as you can, is send time with her. Hold her, reassure her, and accept her likely freaking out and being confused. Either Velli-Matti should take a back-seat for that time, or, even better, he should join in the comfort-giving. She WILL get over it, if you give her the proper attention and reassurance you’d give any member of your family who was freaking out. I happen to know you’re good at comfort-giving to freaking-out family-ish individuals, so I’m confident that it won’t be long before she’s worked through the plane ride. 🙂


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