international pet transport

International Pet Travel – Bringing Your Pets on Vacation

For many people, pets are a part of the family – they go wherever we go, do the things we do and provide great companionship along the way.or for some of us, international vacations wouldn’t be the same without them. While it may seem odd to those who don’t have pets at home, international pet travel is a popular way to keep your four-legged family members with you while you’re overseas. USDA pet travel guidelines and regulations are in place to ensure safe and healthy international pet transport based on your destination location. If you’re curious how to go about booking your dog or cat (or other pet!) for a trip abroad, or you’re planning on relocating outside the U.S., here are some tips to help your pets travel in comfort.

USDA pet travel requirements

USDA pet travel requirements are strict and thorough. Be sure to research your destination location if you’re planning an international trip.

International Pet Travel – Documentation and Restrictions

Depending on where you’re planning on visiting, flying with pets may have some stringent restrictions and regulations you’ll need to consider. First, it’s important that you’ve done extensive research on your destination location requirements on bringing animals into their country. You can start by contacting the local embassy to learn about their international pet travel requirements.  You’ll be instructed on any necessary paperwork you’ll need to have like health certificates or any other documentation you might need to gain entry to your destination. Every country varies on their requirements, so this important first step will get you started on the right track.


While some countries require extensive health and vaccine records, import permits, titers tests, declarations or even microchips, others are a bit more lax and merely require a current health certificate.You may be able to put together a pet passport based on your destination well. You can learn more about Pet Passports here.  Websites like Bring Fido are a great resource to learn about most countries international pet travel requirements. They even give you access to necessary forms and applications required by each country. Keep in mind that things like recent pregnancy, or breed types can restrict traveling with your pets to certain locations.

learn about international pet travel

Sometimes you just really need the pets to come along! Learn about international pet travel and what you’ll need to bring your four legged family members with.

Shipping Pets – International Pet Transport

Once you’ve done your homework, researched your destination’s international pet travel requirements and you’re on your way to getting all the important paperwork from your vet, it’s time to start planning just how your pet will travel. Different airlines have different rules and options available – some carriers allow you to check your animals as cargo, while others have requirements stating that if your pet doesn’t fit in the cabin with you, you’ll have to ship them utilizing an international pet transport service. While these services can be a bit pricey, many of them offer full service planning. They will handle health certifications, quarantines, permits and transportation to and from both airports. If you’re only planning a vacation, these services might be a bit over the top, but if you have an international move in mind they’re well worth the cost.

Tips for Flying with Pets

Now you’ve got your pet’s documentation in order, you’ve planned out how you’ll be transporting them – now you just need to prepare them for travel. Here are a few tips to make their trip comfortable, and hopefully cut back on some worry for you while they’re on their way.

Flying with pets

Bringing your pets along on an international vacation doesn’t have to be hard – just make sure your pets are ready and comfortable for their international flight!


  • Consider a travel itinerary with fewer connections or layovers – it may cost you a bit more, but it means less time in a carrier for your furry friend.
  • Speak to your veterinarian about sedatives or means to help your pet stay calm during travel.
  • If you’re planning on bringing your pet in the cabin, get on board your flight as late as possible – mitigate worry and stress by spending less time on the plane.
  • Make sure your pet has the opportunity to go to the bathroom and get some energy out right before boarding/check in.
  • Consider the weather and elements when booking your trip – some airlines don’t allow pets to travel in the heat of the summer. Consider flying in early morning or late evening if the temperatures will be high.
  • Let your pet become familiar with it’s carrier or kennel before the trip.
  • Do not feed your pets solid food for approximately 6 hours before a flight – make sure they have a moderate amount of water.
  • Upon boarding, be sure to mention to the staff that you have a pet in the cargo hold – while they should be aware, it never hurts to mention it again.
  • Write your name, address and other important information on your pet’s kennel.


With enough careful and diligent planning, your pet will have all the required documentation it needs and will travel with ease and comfort. Whether you’re just going for an extended overseas vacation, or you’re planning to stay awhile, some families just aren’t complete without their pets. With your pet all squared away for some international travel, we can focus on you! Learn about the travel documents you’ll need by visiting Official Travel Documents to get started!


  1. Wow, these tips will help those are planning for relocating the pets outside the U.S and keep them in comfort. Thanks for sharing the great post.

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