Guide To Traveling Abroad With Your Pets

International Pet Travel

Taking your pet abroad is not as complicated as you might think. With careful planning, you can ensure that you and your pet have a safe and successful trip. There are no standard requirements for traveling abroad with your pet. It varies from country to country, so make sure you check out what is required for your chosen destination.

Speak to your veterinarian

Certain medical checks and procedures may be required before your pet can travel, such as blood tests, vaccinations or microchips for identification. If you are returning with a dog to the US from a country with a high risk of rabies you will need documentation to show your dog has been vaccinated in order to be allowed back in. So keep your documents safe. Cats don’t need to be vaccinated against rabies to return to the US, but they may need it for other countries so check before you book.

Other pets

Some animals cannot be legally brought into the US even if they had already been living there as a pet. Keep this in mind if you are traveling with more exotic creatures including primates and certain types of snake as they may not be allowed back in if they leave.

Flying with your pet

Check out the regulations for your chosen airline before you buy your ticket as they can have different rules. It can even depend on the time of year. Some US airlines don’t allow pets on flights during the hottest months of the year for their own comfort and safety. The Uk has restriction on pet travel and so does the EU so it is always best to go to a top rated international pet travel company for advice before you make a decision.

Choosing a pet container

You will also need to buy a  suitable pet carrier. Remember your dog or cat may be spending a long time in it so be sure that it is sturdy and spacious enough for them to stand, sit, turn around and sleep in a comfortable position.

Flying in the cabin or the hold

Some airlines allow small pets in the cabin if the pet container can fit under the seat. On other flights, they may have to be transported in the hold. Although you might prefer to keep your pet close by, traveling in the hold can be less stressful for the animal as it will be quieter and darker.

The hold for pets will be heated and ventilated to ensure your pet is safe and comfortable. Alternatively, animals may be carried as air freight on a different flight and you will need to pick them up.

Tips for an easier journey

  • Let your pet get familiar with being in their container beforehand
  • Book direct flights if possible
  • Your pet may be calmer flying at night
  • Sedatives and tranquilizers are discouraged by the American Airline Association for safety reasons, so be advised by your veterinarian.


With good planning there is no reason why your pet should not have a safe flight. However, if you have any doubt your pet may not be up to the journey, you should consider alternatives such as kenneling or  hiring a house/pet sitter.


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