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Traveling Internationally with a pet.

Updated: May 26, 2023

As much as we would all love to bring our furry friends along when we travel internationally, the thought of navigating the process of traveling with pets on an airline can seem daunting. But fear not, with a little bit of preparation and research, you can ensure that your pet travels safely, comfortably, and legally to your destination.

Puppies are easier to travel with than our cats for sure!
Its a safe bet to have one single bag set up with just pet items.

Step 1: Check if Your Pet is Allowed to Travel Internationally

The first step before you even start planning your trip is to check if your pet is allowed to travel to the destination country. Many countries have strict rules and regulations for allowing animals in and out, so it's important to do your homework. Check out the embassy or consulate website of the country you're planning to travel to for details on what's required. Some countries have a quarantine period for animals upon arrival, which means that your pet may be separated from you for a few days or weeks.

Step 2: Check Your Airline's Pet Policy

Different airlines have varying pet policies, so make sure to check with your airline on their requirements and restrictions. Some airlines may not allow pets at all, while others may have restrictions on pet size and breed. Additionally, check if there are additional fees for traveling with a pet and how much it would cost.

This carrier would not work for Delta airlines!
Double check 3 days before your flight that the airlines' carrier policy has not changed!

Step 3: Prepare Your Pet for Air Travel

Air travel can be stressful for our furry friends, so it's important to prepare them ahead of time. A month before travel, take your pet for a visit to the vet to get all their vaccinations updated and to get a health certificate. Ensure that your pet has a microchip with your up-to-date contact information, and make sure they're wearing identification tags with your cellphone number in case they get lost.

You'll also want to invest in a sturdy and comfortable pet carrier that's airline-approved. The carrier should be large enough for your pet to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably. The carrier should also be well-ventilated and have a secure locking mechanism.

To help your pet adjust to the carrier, start getting them used to it a few weeks before travel. Leave the carrier out in their play area with the door open and put treats and toys inside so they can explore it on their own. Once your pet seems comfortable with the carrier, start closing the door for short periods of time and gradually increase the duration.

Lastly, do not sedate your pets. While it may seem like a good idea to keep them calm during the flight, sedation can actually put them at risk during a flight.

Have your harness on your pet beforehand for ease of security
Most airports require you to remove your pet for a scan through security!

Step 4: Finalize the Travel Arrangements

When you've checked that your pet is allowed in the destination country and that your airline accepts pets, you can start finalizing the travel arrangements.

Book your flight and ensure that you have the necessary documents and health certificates for your pet. Keep these safe and easily accessible throughout your travels. Remember that some countries might require additional paperwork completed at the embassy or consulate before travel.

On the day of the flight, make sure your pet has been fed and watered, but not too much to avoid messes in the carrier. Walk your pet before entering the departure terminal so they can relieve themselves and be more comfortable during the flight. Make sure to check with your airline on any special instructions for checking in with your pet and the gate you'll need to go.

During the flight, you should also keep your pet's physical and mental well-being in mind. Ensure that your pet has enough water during this time and that they are comfortable in their carrier. If there is a layover, the airline should have a dedicated space for pets to relieve themselves. If you're traveling during extreme temperatures, make sure to plan for additional measures like cooling vests or jackets for hotter places or special bedding to keep your furry friend warm during cold weather.

Try having an opening to place your hand on your pet to calm them
Your carrier must be able to fit under the seat in front of you for the entirety of the flight.

Final Thoughts:

Traveling internationally with a pet can be a stressful experience, but with proper preparation and research, you can ensure that your furry friend travels safely, comfortably, and legally. Remember that the success of the trip lies in your preparations, and taking the time to make these preparations is the best way to avoid problems down the line and make sure you and your pet can fully enjoy the adventure ahead.


I have traveled to many countries, but my job is to protect families and investors. I am licensed in Life & Annuity as well as Accident & Health.

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Tammy Case

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ND 91258640

NY IA-1554890

TX 2623053



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