Pets in Tunisia

Many people have pets in Tunis. Veterinary care is good and quite inexpensive. Many teachers have either arrived with cats or been adopted by cats while here. Currently, there are eleven teaching families with dogs, although two of them will be leaving in June.

Libby is one who is leaving. She has loved Tunis because there are big open fields near her house where she can run. Lib finds the summer heat a bit hard, but the house is air conditioned, and three seasons of the year, the weather is dog perfect. Because the trip home is plus or minus 24 hours, Libby spends the summer here in Tunis with the housekeeper while her person travels. They all like the arrangement.

There is no quarantine in Tunisia, so bringing your pet in is easy. That said, the airlines will require documentation from a vet that your animal’s shots, especially rabies, are up to date. See your vet well before you leave. Tunisia does not require that the animal be chipped, so don't worry about that either, unless you're making a stop-over in Europe. Some airlines are very strict about crate sizes. I recommend taking your pet to the airport with the crate and making sure everything meets their standards well before you leave.

More on flying.
· Feed your pet four to six hours prior to departure and no closer.
· Give your pet water right up to the time of travel. Be sure to empty the dish at check-in and leave the dish in the kennel so that airline personnel can provide water.
· Alternatively, freeze water right in the dish the night before. It won’t spill during loading, but will melt gradually en route to refresh your pet.
· Tranquilizers and other medications are not recommended. Consult your veterinarian.
· Cover the bottom of the kennel with a blanket or towel. Put an extra towel in your hand luggage in case you need to throw the first one away at a connection. You know what I’m talking about!
· Do not lock the kennel door as airline personnel may need to access your pet in the event of an emergency.

Things that are hard in Tunis: Many people react to dogs with fear and/or loathing - even if the dog is gentle. The up-side of this is that you are very safe when you are walking your dog! There are sicknesses here that do not exist in the USA. Be sure to check with your vet. You need to make sure you get a house that has a secure back yard with a lawn. I emphasize this because Libby's was all poured concrete when I arrived – nowhere to pee! Local staff can't be expected to know that dogs need grass.

I brought an electronic dog door with me and had the school carpenter install it. Libby can get out to do her business when there is no one home. There are lots of stray cats for your dog to chase, and a surprising number of sheep and goats. Be very security conscious. Traffic is fast and erratic and there are also stray dogs that wonder around in some parts of Tunisia. Finally, the street cats get into garbage cans and leave tempting trails of edibles around that may not be healthy for your pooch.
Milo relaxing on the grass

Libby at the beach

Touring a castle in France

Georgina taking her 10th nap