International Dog Travel: A GUIDE To Flying Internationally With A Dog
International flights with your dog are hectic, unpleasant, tiring, and stressful for you and your furry friend.
Traveling to another country can take a lot of planning and work. Depending on the destination, you will need to arrange vaccinations, visas, and paperwork. This only applies to humans. If you are traveling or moving with your dog, you will need to do even more research and preparation. It’s not as simple as a pet passport.
There are no rules for traveling with dogs in the United States: each country has its guidelines for health checks and tests, vaccinations, medical care, and paperwork. This means you need to plan your trip carefully and find out what your dog’s needs are in each country on your trip.
However, Flying Internationally with a Dog doesn’t have to be painful. Although this article focuses mainly on international flights with dogs, there is a lot of information that can also be useful for domestic flights with dogs and cats.
Taking your dog or cat on an international flight? When traveling abroad, take your pet’s documents with you.
In this post, “International Dog Travel, you will learn everything about Flying Internationally With A Dog” without it being stressful to you and your dog.
International Dog Travel: A GUIDE To Flying Internationally with a Dog
First Step: Contact Your Veterinarian.
If you are going abroad, inform your veterinarian of your plans as soon as possible. Together you can ensure that your pet is healthy enough to travel and meets the requirements of the country you are going to.
It’s also important to remember that some breeds of dogs, such as pugs and other dressage breeds, cannot fly because their body structure makes it difficult for them to breathe.
Before visiting a veterinarian, check with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) (if you are in the US) or your local agricultural department to see if your veterinarian is licensed.
The veterinarian must be USDA approved or the procedures do not apply.
Ask them if they have ever worked with people traveling abroad with their animals. This can be quite complicated and if you work with an experienced veterinarian, the process will be easier.
Each country has different requirements, but here are some of the most common.
- International health certificate (which must be completed within a certain time frame, usually 10 days before the arrival date) and other documents required by the destination country (country of travel).
Depending on where you are traveling, a pet passport may or may not be useful (but is no substitute for a veterinary certificate). Also check the regulations of the country you are traveling through, as some countries allow pets to be transported. For more information on the requirements for traveling with pets in each country.
- Export documents issued by the government of your home country (i.e. the country you are traveling from).
- Microchip. Many countries require this permanent identification to ensure that the animal being transported is the same as the animal on the documents. In some cases, a microchip is also required before the rabies vaccination, which you should know about before renewing your puppy’s vaccination. In some places, a different microchip is required from the one your dog already has, so you will have two microchips.
- Current vaccinations. The current rabies vaccination is an almost universal requirement. In many countries, this means annual vaccination rather than every three years. Some countries also require other vaccinations (although these are not mandatory, it is often worth making sure you have the most up-to-date vaccinations to protect your dog). However, don’t wait until the last minute as these documents may be required 30 days before departure.
- Blood tests. This is especially true for rabies-free countries, where blood tests are usually required before travel to confirm that the rabies vaccination has been administered within a certain period. Some countries may require additional testing for infectious diseases.
- Parasite prophylaxis. Some countries have strict requirements that an up-to-date internal parasite control must be carried out and documented by a veterinarian within a specified period before travel.
It is never too early to start looking into the requirements for traveling with your dog. In some countries (especially in rabies-free areas such as Hawaii) this process can take several months.
Airlines and countries often have different requirements, so make sure you know the specific requirements.
Requirements For Dogs Leaving The United States.
The CDC does not have requirements for dogs leaving the United States.
However, if you plan to re-enter the United States with your dog, it must meet the same entry requirements as dogs arriving from abroad. If you plan to take your dog to a country with a rabies risk, you should check the entry requirements before leaving the US, as your dog may not be able to re-enter the US, even for a short visit, as there is currently a temporary ban on dogs living in the US that have traveled to countries with a rabies risk.
Flying Internationally with a Dog costs
It is not cheap to travel with pets. You must first reserve a place for your dog.
The fee is usually paid when you arrive at the airport, not when you book.
Possible additional charges: As your pet is considered luggage, you may not have to pay for it, unless you have free checked luggage through your elite travel status or credit card.
Pets traveling as cargo often cost more: on American Airlines, for example, they cost about $200 or more per checked as luggage.
A 75 kg kennel dog costs at least USD 450 for a domestic flight.
A pet surcharge may apply for stopovers of more than a few hours.
The surcharge also includes the cost of pre-flight veterinary checks and the cost of the pet carrier. Some experts recommend fitting a microchip in case the pet gets lost.
Video: HOW TO FLY WITH YOUR DOG / Preparing for an international flight as Pet in Cabin
Research Traveling Internationally With Your Dog
Take the time to do your homework before you travel.
Airlines have different rules about allowing pets on board. Depending on the airline, pets can travel in the cabin or the baggage compartment. Check with your airline in advance.
On airlines that allow pets, only small dogs and cats can travel in the cabin, provided they are kept in a special cage under the seats. Owners should keep an eye on them at every stopover. Some airlines do not allow them in the cabin but transport them as cargo in a heated and ventilated hold. According to the International Air Transport Association, dogs and cats travel and rest better this way, as it is quieter and darker.
Book Your Flight
Before booking your flight, you should call the airline to find out about their pet policy and check if your dog is allowed on the flight.
Airlines can only allow a certain number of pets per flight, so you will need to apply in advance. If your dog will be traveling in the cargo, ask if the cargo is air-conditioned. This is important for your dog’s health.
Remember that airlines have temperature restrictions and will not fly with a dog if the expected temperature is above 85℉ or below 45℉. It is best to find a flight that arrives early in the morning or late in the evening.
Many airlines require at least a three-hour layover for dogs traveling with children. Check your individual airline’s policy on dogs and stopovers.
During stopovers, staff will sometimes take pets to the dogs’ home, where they can be walked, fed, watered, and housetrained between flights. Check with your airline to see if this is the case (we can confirm that Lufthansa offers this service).
If you are traveling in the cabin, you can let your pet stretch its legs while on the layover. When your dog travels with you in the cabin, make sure you have puppy pads on hand so she could pee quickly at the airport without having to clean up.
Most US airports have pet areas. Ask the gate staff which one is closest.
Once you have booked your flight, call again to make sure they know you will be taking your dog on the flight. Calls are made too frequently.
How to locate airline and pet policies
It is important to verify directly with the carrier when you are arranging a vacation because airline details and pet restrictions differ greatly from one airline to the next. Here are links to major American airlines’ pet regulations and travel information:
- United Airlines
- Alaska Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- American Airlines
- Delta Air Lines
- Southwest Airlines
- JetBlue Airways
Find Out Information About Your Destination
Every country has its own rules and regulations for pet immigration. But no matter where you go, your dog must be vaccinated against rabies.
The date of your dog’s last rabies vaccination is important. Some countries will not accept your dog if it was vaccinated against rabies less than 30 days before the trip or more than 12 months before the trip.
Some countries also require that the dog has been treated for tapeworm between 24 and 120 hours before travel.
It is important to obtain the latest information from reliable sources and to follow precautions. Otherwise, the dog may be refused entry.
This may sound scary, but the good news is that many pet parents have gone through this process smoothly and successfully. It is just a matter of doing your homework.
The size of the crate required for an international flight with the dog.
Airlines have very specific requirements for dog owners when traveling with dogs on international flights. In general, the kennel or crate must be larger. However, it depends on the size of the dog.
Make sure you follow these guidelines carefully. They may refuse to accept your dog if the kennel does not meet their guidelines. Special rules for flying dogs. Check them several times before and after the trip. You can and should check with the airline that the luggage is the right size.
The crate or carrier should be well ventilated and large enough for the animal to stand, sit, turn around and lie down. Always check the new carrier at home before using it during the trip and read the instructions and information on carriers provided by the airline before buying new equipment. The Sherpa brand is well known and most US airlines allow certain sizes.
Weight Restrictions When Flying With Dogs
Some airlines set a weight limit for pets in the cabin, usually 20 or 25 kg.
“Travelling with my 40-pound dog Chilly Willy is very stressful,” says TPG reporter Clint Henderson. “I always worry that Chilly won’t make it onto the plane, but luckily Delta and Alaska don’t have official weight limits.
If you have a large dog, it might be harder to find an airline that will allow you to take him in the cabin. But there are some options.
International Dog Travel: Food And Water
If you fly on a full stomach, your dog may become upset. Therefore, it is recommended not to feed the dog more than 4-5 hours before the flight.
Continue to water your dog until departure and walk him outside the terminal before going through security, so that he is as exhausted as possible.
Take a small portable water bowl with you so that your dog always has access to water.
Don’t forget to take your dog’s favorite toy or blanket with you. A relaxing blanket or familiar toy will reduce your dog’s stress level when you cannot be with him.
Check Your Dog Health Before, During, And After The Flight.
Do not be afraid to ask the airline staff at the gate to check your dog’s condition. Be sure to inform the captain and cabin crew that you will be traveling with your dog in the cargo hold, so that they are aware of any problems with equipment such as air conditioning or cabin pressure during the flight.
The owner of a pet must take care of it. Do not be afraid to ask questions about your dog or cat, because you do not want to appear to be a nervous person. Especially when traveling with pets can be long and stressful.
Accidents and injuries
Traveling internationally involves risks. If you’re traveling with your four-legged friend, it’s a good idea to think about how you’ll look after your dog if he or she gets injured or ill and needs to go to the hospital.
Medical travel insurance will cover you in the event of an unexpected injury or illness abroad and help your dog get home safely in an emergency.
Prepare For Emergencies With Your Pet
Additionally, pet owners should think about the likelihood of emergency conditions abroad that can necessitate a hasty departure or transportation of a pet.
Spend some time considering the supplies your pet(s) would require, as well as possible in-country shelter choices and short-notice travel arrangements. In the event of an evacuation from an embassy or consulate, the Overseas Briefing Center provides useful information to U.S. government foreign affairs staff. You can Email the OBC. Also make sure you have pet insurance
Countries In The World Tnon-ESAhat Are The Most Pet-Friendly
If you’re going on holiday with your pet, choose a destination that’s fun for your four-legged friend. Whether your pet will need to be quarantined on arrival, whether you will need to sit around to get to your destination, whether the country is generally friendly to your pet or its breed, whether you will need to keep your pet on a leash or put it in a cage when eating in a restaurant, etc. You should discuss these aspects with your vet and take into account your pet’s comfort level (taking into account his reactions to long delays, stops, loud noises, and new surroundings).
When pet parents are asked about their favorite travel destinations, Europe is often mentioned. Martz chooses France, Italy, Switzerland, and Germany. Jennifer Dombrowski of Luxe Adventure Traveler praises France.
“France is known as the most dog-friendly country and dogs are welcome in many places, from restaurants (indoors and on terraces) to attractions. There is a wide range of hotels and accommodation, from budget to luxury, where pets are welcome.”
If you choose a European country, you and your faithful four-legged friend are likely to have a great experience. In the UK, it’s trickier because you can’t travel with your pet in the cabin (lack of documentation can lead to quarantine), but you can take it by car or by sea.
Dombrowski, who has traveled with his dogs for two decades, brought his pets from the US to Europe. He says they were in the cage longer than expected because of a mechanical problem: “In the future, I’ll consider using the Queen Mary 2 instead of planes, especially when I’m doing pleasure trips.”. The cruise had cages and a deck where the animals could walk and bathe every day. The cruise lasts seven days and sails between the UK and New York. Although the trip is longer, it is more comfortable and less risky for the animals who cannot travel in the cabin.
Avoid Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, and Iceland for holiday trips.
Book A Pet Friendly Hotel
Choose a hotel facility that accepts and does not tolerate pets.
Do some research before you travel and make sure you choose a pet-friendly hotel before booking. In addition to special services and programs, be aware of the prices that may be associated with sleeping with a pet.
Ask for a room near the exit on the ground floor so you can easily walk your dog, and be aware that some hotels do not allow pets on the furniture. You should always follow the rules, but if your pet doesn’t, you can take an extra towel and place it on the furniture to avoid scratches and scrapes. Even if your dog is housebroken, he may be anxious and get into accidents in unfamiliar surroundings. Put a potty mat in the room for safety. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Landing After Flying Internationally With A Dog
Resist the urge to let your dog out until you’ve cleared customs, as airport staff will ask you to put your dog back in the kennel.
On arrival, collect your checked baggage and proceed directly to the airline’s designated loading area. According to the airline, dogs are usually available two hours after arrival and must be picked up within four hours, otherwise, they will be taken to a vet or animal shelter.
The dog is likely to be frightened, overwhelmed, and confused.
Praise your dog with reassuring words, and if your dog is motivated by food, you can give him treats from a local dog shop.
At customs, you will be asked for all the paperwork, stamped and if everything is in order, you can leave. When you arrive at the airport gate, let your dog do his business and take care of his needs.
Requirements For Bringing Dogs Into The United States.
All dogs must be in good health before being re-admitted to the United States. The importation of dogs from countries identified by the CDC as having a high risk of rabies in dogs is temporarily halted.
Some countries may require vaccinations and veterinary certification. Check with the health authorities in the destination country before traveling.
Some airlines, cities, or countries have restrictions on certain breeds, so check before you travel.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has additional restrictions on bringing certain dogs into the country, such as working dogs and dogs for resale or adoption.
Illness Or Death Of A Pet During Travel
Despite the precautions taken, pets can sometimes become ill or even die on a plane. Health authorities must ensure that the animal has not contracted a disease that can be transmitted to humans. They may have to perform necropsies or other tests at their own expense to determine the cause of death. After these tests, they often cannot return the animal to you.
Useful tips and where to find more information
What Is A Health Certificate For Traveling With A Dog?
Most countries require a health certificate for your dog before it can enter the country. This document is also known as an international health certificate, export certificate, veterinary certificate, or veterinary health certificate. In all cases, the health certificate is issued by the local veterinarian after he or she has examined the dog and performed or checked all vaccinations, medications, and tests required in the destination country. The vet must complete the certificate before signing and dating it.
If you are planning to visit several countries, please note that your dog’s veterinary certificate is not valid in all of them. As each country has its requirements, there is no standard certificate. The dog must have a valid health certificate for the first country of destination. The requirements for subsequent countries depend on the mode of transport, e.g. car or boat. The length of the dog’s stay in each country may also be important. It is up to you to find out what is required at each border. You can contact your local APHIS veterinary service for help if you are traveling with your dog to more than one country.
The company transporting your dog, whether it is an airline, cruise ship, or pet transport company, may have requirements in addition to the destination country’s veterinary certificate. For example, there may be transport and crate requirements. Remember to consult with all parties involved in your dog’s journey to ensure that all requirements are met en route. You don’t want your trip to get complicated before you leave the US.
APHIS Health Certificate For Your Dog
Although not required in all destination countries, many require APHIS to validate the health certificate once the veterinarian has completed their portion of the documentation. This is the last check that APHIS officers can make to ensure that the health certificate is correct and meets the requirements of the destination country.
It is not necessary to take your dog to the APHIS office, but they will need the original veterinary certificate and any other documents such as test results and vaccination certificates. You can send the documents to your local APHIS office for veterinary approval or make an appointment in person. There is a charge for veterinary approval.
If APHIS approval is required, the veterinarian issuing the health certificate must be accredited by the USDA. If your regular veterinarian does not meet these requirements, you must find a USDA-accredited veterinarian in your area before proceeding.
Veterinary Help With Dog Travel
Once you’ve done some research and consulted your vet, you should know what steps you need to take to complete your dog’s health certificate. For example, does the dog need vaccinations, treatments, or tests, and does it need a microchip? You may need to make several appointments to get everything sorted. This is why you need to allow plenty of time for each task. You may need to start planning for several months.
You will also need to take into account any deadlines imposed by the rules of the country of destination. For example, the dog must undergo a medical check-up within a certain time before departure. Vaccinations may be required several weeks in advance. Some treatments may take time to take effect. All these factors point to the need to visit a vet and start the procedure as soon as the details of the trip are known.
Also, take into account possible diseases and parasites that may be present in the destination country. Products may be available to protect your dog, for example against heartworm. Although heartworm prophylaxis is recommended all year round, many owners of dogs with snowy winters limit heartworm treatment to the warmer summer months.
However, depending on the country you are traveling to, you may need to consider preventative treatment regardless of the time of year. Inform yourself and contact your vet to find out if your dog is at risk of developing the disease while traveling.
Please note that in most countries, the veterinarian will require the original signature in ink on the veterinary certificate. In this online world, it’s no surprise that APHIS also has a system for digital health certificates.
It is up to the country of destination to determine whether the veterinarian can use the digital system. To clarify each country’s requirements, APHIS has developed a color-coding system for its national lists. For example, red is the primary color of the certifying veterinarian and APHIS representative. The system is clearly explained on each country’s pages. When looking for a country of destination, you should therefore check what should be on your dog’s certificate.
International Dog Travel: Pet Passports
Although some people use the term ‘pet passport‘ for all the documents needed to travel with a dog, the European Union (EU) issues official pet passports. These documents can be obtained from an official veterinarian in an EU Member State or other designated country. The aim is to facilitate travel between EU countries. It should be noted that it is not possible to obtain a European pet passport in the United States.
Assistance with dogs’ travel needs
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is an excellent source of information on travel requirements for dogs. Their website provides useful information and answers to frequently asked questions. Their checklist on international travel for pets is a good place to start.
APHIS also provides a list of travel rules for each country. Since there are no universal rules, this checklist will help you figure out what to do in each destination you visit with your dog. For example, one country may require your dog to have a microchip, while another may not. Your dog may also need to be treated for tapeworms in a particular country. Don’t forget to check these requirements every time you travel, as they can change frequently.
You should also check with the consulate or embassy of the country you are visiting to make sure you have not missed anything. It is your responsibility to ensure that your pet meets all the requirements of the new country, not those of the vet or travel agent. If you don’t meet the requirements, you may not get the necessary health certificate beforehand and risk problems when you arrive at your destination.
International Pet Travel On US Airlines
There are three ways to transport your animal by air:
1. You can take your pet on an airplane with you (either in-cabin, as accompanied baggage, or as cargo). There will be an appropriate fee for your pet. Some airlines no longer provide this choice, and some nations don’t permit pets to travel in cabins.
2. You can reserve a separate flight for your pet. The freight rate, which is significantly higher than the extra baggage rate, will be applied. Pet owners may no longer directly schedule their animals as cargo with the majority of flights, nevertheless.
3. You can use a certified commercial shipper to have your pet sent. The cargo rate plus the pet shipper’s fee will be added to your bill. Unless your pet is small enough to fit in the cabin, many airlines now demand that you use this approach.
In general, even if they fly on the same airline as you, animals weighing 100 pounds or more (including the weight of the cage) will be taxed as cargo. Whether your pet is nearly that weight, check with the airline to see if their policy deviates from the standard 100-pound limit.
Video: How to fly with a dog in the Cabin
International Dog Travel Frequently Asked Questions
Can I bring a dog on a plane internationally?
You can take your pet on an airplane with you (either in-cabin, as accompanied baggage, or as cargo). There will be an appropriate fee for your pet. Some airlines no longer provide this choice, and some nations don’t permit pets to travel in cabins. Your pet might be booked on a different flight.
How much does it cost to fly a dog internationally?
About $800 to $900 for you and your pet.
It may be expensive for you to fly a dog internationally, according to Huntington, depending on where you’re traveling and the size of your dog. “It will cost you about $800 to $900 on the inexpensive side, but it might cost as much as $7,000. Pet travel internationally is highly expensive.”
Can you buy your dog a seat on the plane?
There isn’t an extra seat available for your dog on the plane, but some airline does. It normally costs less to transport a dog in this way, effectively as carry-on luggage, than to place it in the aircraft’s cargo hold. Also, a pet in a carrier counts as one of your carry-on bags.
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