So you want to fly to an international destination with your dog! Going to a new country with your dog can be a great experience, as you can support each other and laugh through jet lag.
In new countries your dog can also help you make friends and stick to a routine, which can be great when everything else is unfamiliar!
Different countries have different import requirements for bringing a dog from (and back to) the U.S.
Since this varies so much by country, it’s important to do your research and planning far in advance. Start your research a minimum of six months before you plan on leaving.
What’s the easiest place you can go with your dog (in terms of paperwork)? Canada.
The second easiest would be most countries in the European Union, as most of the paperwork is the same, and these countries are even more dog-friendly than the United States.
If you’re looking for a great vacation destination for you and your dog, check out Italy and France.
As said before, a lot of what goes into getting your dog into an international country is research and timing.
Before you pick a flight, you will have to research whether they take in-cabin pets (or checked or cargo, if you’re flying that way). If you’re transferring airlines, you have to meet the requirements of all airlines on your route.
Also research what shots and paperwork you need, as the requirements vary by country.
If you stop in a country during a layover and want to take your dog out to the bathroom, you have to meet the import requirements for that country as well.
Keep in mind that most island nations have a quarantine period for pets that can be up to six months.
You can get the international standard health certificate on the USDA APHIS website. It must be filled out by you and your vet and certified by the local USDA office.
When you arrive at your destination, make sure to stop by the customs office to declare your dog and present your paperwork.
After this, you can visit the dog relief area on the other side!
Since much of the EU is so dog friendly, you can usually take your dog on the public transportation that leaves the airport AND to most hotels. Some will even allow you to bring your dog for free if they ride in their carrier!
Enjoy your destination!
Having your dog by your side will help you make new friends, overcome language barriers, and get adjusted to a new schedule. If in the EU, you can often even dine with your dog by your side!