Traveling Abroad with Dogs

If you’re moving–or even touring–around the world, you don’t necessarily have to leave your dog behind. But before you go globe-trotting, you’ll need to find out about laws and regulations for each country on your trip.

What you need to know

Your best first step is to contact the consulate of each country you’ll be entering (see a list here) and find out about its pet importation requirements. A good place to start is the pet travel site where forms and requirements are available by country. Traveling around Europe?

  • Are dogs allowed in at all? Some countries won’t let in any foreign dogs; others will allow only those pups that hail from specific countries (and the list may not include the U.S.).
  • Is quarantine required? If you’re lucky, your destination has no quarantine laws. But long quarantines–up to several months–are common, so be prepared for a lengthy separation from your pet.
  • Will my airline take my dog overseas? Certain U.S. airlines won’t fly your dog to particular destinations, even if the host country allows canines to enter.
  • What are the rules at foreign airports? Some countries will let your dog in, but perhaps not at the particular airport you expect to fly into. Other airports require several weeks’ advance notice of your dog’s arrival.
  • What entrance forms or tags does my dog need? These can range from a simple veterinarian-provided health certificate to special identification tags to a document issued only by the particular country you’re entering. And some forms need to be dated within a specific number of days before your arrival, so make sure yours are current.
  • Is there a special entry fee for my dog? Fees may be part of the registration-form process, or there may be an “inspection” fee to be paid only after you’ve reached the foreign airport.
  • Can I bring in a puppy? Adult dogs only are welcome in certain countries; others require puppies to have reached a specific age, such as five months.
  • Is there a limit to the number of dogs I can bring in? Some countries limit arriving owners to two pets.
  • Can I travel only during certain months? Some airlines won’t take animals as cargo during hot summer months.

Bottom line: As with any type of travel–for humans or canines–planning well in advance is the key to minimal hassles when taking your dog abroad.