Howdy dog lover!

So, you’ve decided to take your furry pet on an international trip? That’s great! Because dogs are awesome travel companions.

That said, traveling with a dog means you must consider several factors.

To travel internationally with a dog, research your destination. Then, apply for a pet passport and choose a pet-friendly airline. And don’t forget to get your pet vaccinated.

Traveling Internationally with a Dog – Checklist

Here are 10 points or tips for flying internationally with a dog.

1.Research Your Destination

Many countries have breed restrictions. For instance, some European countries have banned bull breeds.

Countries also have regulations for pets to travel. Non-compliance means your pet can be denied entry or sent back.

Get destination-specific information from a trusted source before you plan your travel. You can visit the country’s embassy or the city’s website.

Here is a source for information on pet documentation and other requirements for traveling to any country in the EU.

2.Get a Pet Passport

A pet passport for international travel includes its date of birth, description, picture, information about the owner, and the microchip number.

  • The microchip number comes from the small chip inserted into the pet’s skin or neck. The chip can be scanned for the owner’s details and has a unique code, which is listed on the pet’s passport.
  • A certified veterinary doctor can help you obtain all the certificates and issue you a pet passport.
  • You will typically need export paperwork from the related Ministry with the passport.
  •  Vaccination and health certificates are also required along with these documents.

Don’t forget to read our article about how to get a dog passport in US

Dog with suitcase and passport

3.Choose Dog-Friendly Airlines

When you’re traveling with a dog, choose an airline that is accommodating. Examples include American Airlines, JetBlue, Air Canada Delta, and Air India.

  • In-Cabin Travel

Dog-friendly airlines for international flights allow owners to keep their pets with them. When booking your tickets, check in with them for carrier type and size requirements.

  • Checked Baggage

Some dog-friendly airlines allow pets only as checked baggage or cargo. But the cargo compartment is also temperature-controlled, so your furry pet babies are comfortable throughout the flight.

4.Vaccinations and Health Certificates

The destination country will have specified the required vaccinations and health certificates for international pet travel. The requirements vary for every country, so you need to research beforehand.

But for an idea, here are some common international travel regulations for dogs:

  • Up-to-date Vaccinations

Most countries require you to show proof of vaccinations. However, don’t leave it to the last minute since many countries require you to get your pet fully vaccinated at least 30 days before travel. Some countries also require additional vacations on top of the universally required rabies vaccine. If you need more information about the rabies vaccine, don’t forget to check our ultimate guide:

  • Export Paperwork from the Ministry

As mentioned above, you will need to get export paperwork from the concerned ministries. For most countries, this refers to the Ministry of Commerce.

  • Blood-titer Tests

Blood titer tests are typically required by rabies-free countries. They also specify the time frame before the departure date within which your pet needs to have the titer tests done.

  • Microchip Insertion

Microchip insertion is a common requirement in most countries. However, some countries require the chip to be inserted before the rabies vaccine. Some countries also require specific chips. So even if your dog has one, they must get another one, depending on the destination.

  • An International Health Certificate

A dog passport is important, but it is not useful unless you have a health certificate. Many countries require that the health certificate be issued a few days before the departure date – 10 days prior is a common requirement.

5.Preparing Your Dog for the Journey

If your dog hasn’t traveled before, they might fear the sudden changes and react negatively. Here are some preparation tips for flying internationally with a dog:

  • Since airlines don’t allow dogs to travel without crates or carriers, you must familiarize your dog with it beforehand.
  • Make the crate comfortable with blankets and familiar toys.
  • Gradually increase the time your dog spends in the carrier, so they don’t create disturbances during the flight because they are confined to a small space.
  • Acclimatize the dog to travel-related stressors like loud noises at the airport, security checks, and the presence of other animals. Gradually expose your dog to these elements in the weeks leading up to your trip to help them become more comfortable.

6.Packing Essentials for Your Dog

Your furry baby will be quite anxious if they find themselves in an unfamiliar environment and even more so with unfamiliar items. To make them feel calmer, consider packing their essentials like

  • Food and water
  • Treats to reward good behavior
  • First aid kit
  • Waste disposal supplies
  • Leash and collar with identification tags
  • Familiar toys and blanket

7.During the Flight

The in-flight experience with pets can be quite different from traveling solo.

  • If your pet is in the cabin with you, you must have their essentials at hand.
  • If they are traveling in cargo, give them some comfort items like your shirt with your scent to keep them calm during the journey.
  • In both cases, don’t overfeed your dog as it might cause motion sickness during the flight.
  • Consult the vet before you depart for specific care instructions regarding your pet.
Travelling with pet. Dog on plane board near window. Airline pet transportation service

8.Arrival and Adjustment

The new destination will be unfamiliar for your pet. They might get homesick or feel too excited seeing new attractions. Here are some tips to help your dog adjust to this new environment:

  • Allow your dog to discover the new place at their own pace.
  • Take them out for walks when they are in their best mood.
  • To comply with local regulations and etiquette, consider reinforcing with pet treats.
  •  Create a quiet and cozy space for your dog in your accommodation where they can rewind if they feel overwhelmed.
  • If your dog is social, take them to parks to socialize with other dogs and ease anxiety.
  • Keep your dog on a leash when exploring unfamiliar areas. They might get scared of new places and end up giving you a run.

9.Pet-Friendly Countries

Italy, France, Switzerland, and Canada are the best countries to visit with dogs since the people there are quite welcoming to pets, and they have amazing pet-friendly amenities to discover.

Vancouver even has eight dog-friendly beaches and a pet-friendly ski resort. These countries also have their fair share of off-leash areas that you and your furry baby can enjoy.

If you’re internationally traveling to these places, there’s no reason to leave your dog behind, unless they have health conditions that don’t allow them to travel.

10. Common Challenges and How to Overcome Them

When you’ve traveled abroad with your pet for leisure or for good, you will face some common challenges. Here are three of them and their solutions along with:

  • Quarantine Requirements – many countries have imposed quarantine requirements for traveling with dogs. So, it is better to research and plan than to be held up by airport security when you’ve reached the destination.
  • Jet lag – You and your pet both might experience jet lag if you’re traveling to a country with a huge time difference. You must gradually set a routine for your pet according to the time of the day.
  • Language barrier – a language barrier might keep you from discovering pet-friendly places or learning about local pet regulations.


We’ve presented a 10-item checklist for you to follow if you’re planning to travel internationally with your furry baby. Every item on the checklist is important because traveling with a pet comes with a fair share of challenges – documentation and vaccination requirements are only a first step.

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