Pet Travel and Transport - Most Frequently Asked Questions
What is a pet passport?
We refer to a "pet passport" as the collection of documents required to import your pet to a foreign country. This can include health and rabies certificates, import permit (if required), rabies titer test results (if required), tapeworm certificate (if required) and any other documents issued by your veterinarian that customs officials in the destination country will require at customs clearance.
European Union (EU) Countries issue an EU Pet Passport booklet that are only issued to EU-resident dogs, cats or ferrets. If you are traveling to the EU and will be there for 4 months or more, you can get an EU Pet Passport for your pet.
How much will it cost to fly my pet?
There are 3 ways your pet can fly as long as your airline offers these services.
In cabin: your pet weighs under 8 kg (generally) including its carrier and can be stowed under the seat in front of you. Your pet is checked in at the terminal ticket counter. Cost for this class of service can range from approximately $95USD to $400USD if flying internationally.
Accompanied checked baggage: an adult passenger is accompanying your pet on the flight. Your pet is checked in at the terminal ticket counter and will fly in the cargo hold. Costs for this class of service are about the same as pets flying in the cabin.
Air cargo: this class of service is for larger pets, unaccompanied pets or those not permitted to fly in-cabin or as checked baggage. Pets are checked in at your airline's cargo facility which is generally located on airport grounds but only in very rare cases, the terminal. Cost for flying as air cargo varies depending on weight and size of your pet and its crate. It is very difficult to estimate costs for air cargo; we encourage that you contact your airline's cargo office for this information.
Is it better to spend the night in a layover country or book a direct flight for my pet?
The answer to this question depends on how long your flight is and applicable animal welfare regulations. Generally, it is best to get your pet to its destination as quickly as possible. The less handling of your pet, the less stress for them. However, if the flight is very long then a rest stop may be imposed by your airline. Many times, airlines will have facilities to care for your pet during the rest step without it having to clear customs in the layover country. If you decide to claim your pet and break up your trip, then you will need to clear customs and enter the layover country. This option is not advised when the validity period of your pet's health certificate is short. This will depend on your destination country.
My pet is taking a long flight. Who will take care of my pet during its journey or during the layover?
If your pet is flying with you in the cabin, get a good pet carrier and carry plenty of pet pads. Layer several pads\ in the carrier. In case of accidents, take your pet to the lavatory and remove the soiled pad. You will have a fresh one right below it. During layovers, ask for a closed space so you can remove your pet from the carrier and provide it with a pad. Also, ask about a pet relief area. Many airports are installing these for the convenience of in-cabin, service and ESAs.
If your pet is flying in the cargo hold, know that the crew cannot assist it during flight. During the layover, handlers will check on the level of water available to your pet and feed it if IATA regulations require that and you have taped a small bag of your pet's food to the top of the crate. Further service will depend on the length of the layover and the facilities available to the airline in the layover airport.
My pet's itinerary includes a layover in an airport in a different country before reaching its destination country. Is any documentstion required?
If your pet is staying on the same airline both in and out of the layover airport, then, if your pet is flying with you in the cabin, you will stay in the secure area of the airport until you board your next flight. If your pet is flying in the cargo hold either as checked baggage or air cargo, then your airline will transit your pet through the layover country. In this case, the layover should not be over 3 hours. Note: Air France is an exception. They will require that you claim and recheck your pet at all layovers.
Note: there are countries that require transit permits for pets flying in the cargo hold. Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and London are just a few examples of countries that require transit permits.
If you are changing airline companies in the layover country, then you will need to claim your pet and clear customs to recheck your pet on the next airline. In this case, you will need to provide all required documentation for the layover country. Generally, it may take 4-5 hours or more to complete this process depending on the layover country.
How do I know that my airline will fly my pet in the cabin?
You can find airline pet policies for over 160 airlines by clicking here.
Where can I get requirements to import my pet to a foreign country?
We have current regulations to import a pet to over 200 countries. Click here for requirements for your destination country.
Why do countries make my dog, cat or ferret wait after the rabies titer test?
The reason why some countries will require that your pet wait for a certain time after the rabies titer test is because, if your pet had rabies before being vaccinated and titer tested, the symptoms may not show up for 3-6 months. The rabies vaccination prevents an animal from getting rabies if exposed; however, it does not cure rabies if your pet had the virus before being vaccinated.
What if my pet cannot conform to import regulations of the destination country?
We would not advise you to transport a pet that does not conform to import policies. It is likely that your airline will not accept it as they will check your pet's documentation. If it does reach its destination, it will be either returned to the country of origin (at the owner's expense), put into quarantine (if facilities are available) or euthanized. None of these options are good, either for you or your pet.
How can I get around the regulations to import my pet to a given country?
Under no circumstances do we recommend that you try to avoid pet import regulations. This could result in confiscation.
Is my service or emotional support animal (ESA) subject to the same regulations as other animals?
Yes. Service and emotional support animals are subject to the same requirements as other animals of their species. In cases where quarantine is imposed, the destination country will likely have provisioms for home quarantine in the case of service animals. Know that ESAs are not widely recognized outside of North American and the EU.
According to regulations of commercial airlines, all live animals (except trained assistance dogs) must enter the United Kingdom as air cargo, if flying. How do I avoid this requirement?
There are a number of ferries that sail between the EU mainland to England and Ireland. Most of them will require that pets travel in a vehicle so you will need to make arrangements for that. DFDS sailing between Amsterdam and Newcastle will accept foot traffic. Click here for more information.
Le Shuttle will transport you and your pet in a vehicle between Calais, France and Folkestone, England. You can have friends or relatives pick you up in Calais or hire a service like Folkestone Taxi or Pet-Movers.
How will Brexit negotiations affect my travel?
If negotions between the United Kingdom and the EU fail, then the UK "could" default to a non-listed country. This would mean if you are traveling FROM the UK TO the EU after March 29, 2019, your dog, cat or ferret will need a rabies titer test administered by a licensed vet a minimum of 3 months ahead of travel. This test must be done no sooner than 30 days after your pet is microchipped and vaccinated for rabies. Click here for more information.