How to Travel Internationally with a Dog

Girl and dog in Mexico City while traveling in Mexico from the USA

How to Travel Internationally with a Dog

Taking your furry friend on international adventures can seem a bit daunting at first but it's totally doable with the right prep. As a devoted dog parent, you understand that no travel experience is truly complete without your four-legged companion by your side. In this guide, we'll walk you through the must-knows of jet-setting with your dog, from the nitty-gritty paperwork to keeping them comfy on the go.

Looking for something specific? Jump to a section using the links below.

Disclaimer before we get started

Is it possible to travel internationally with a dog?

What dogs are okay for traveling?

How much does it cost to travel internationally with a dog?

Health requirements for dogs traveling internationally

Essential paperwork for traveling with a dog

Timeline for traveling internationally with a dog

How to get your dog abroad

Specific ports of entry for animals

How to clear customs with a dog

What airlines are the most dog-friendly?

Best gear for traveling internationally with a dog

How to find a veterinarian abroad

Bathroom breaks for traveling with a dog by airplane

Tips and tricks for traveling internationally with a dog

Professional dog travel agents

Frequently asked questions

Sara and Kramer riding the canal boats in Xochimilco, Mexico City
Sara and Kramer riding the canal boats in Xochimilco, Mexico City

Disclaimer before we get started

I am simply a person who travels with a dog internationally from time to time. I by no means am offering legal advise here or want to give the impression that my information is the best source available. The truth is, these rules and regulations are changing all the time!

While I update this blog post regularly, it's always best to see out counsel from official sources when working through the logistics of flying or driving across international borders with a dog. For Americans traveling with their dog internationally, always start by looking for country specific requirements on the United States Department of Agriculture's official website. If you are still confused about the requirements for a certain country, check out your destination country's specific website and/or call their embassy here in the USA. Many times your veterinarian can help you figure out the logistics, but it's always a good idea to do your own research ahead of time.

I am in no way responsible for any issues that may arise when you are traveling with your own dog internationally. Please use this blog post as a resource, a launching point and as a way to learn from my mistakes made along the way. There's a lot that goes into traveling with a dog and it's taken me a long time to learn even this much. I hope this guide helps you travel abroad and have many adventures with your four legged friend in the years to come. Happy travels, y'all!

Is it possible to travel internationally with a dog?

The short answer is yes, it is possible to travel internationally with a dog. However, the rules and regulations surrounding traveling with a dog vary greatly from country to country. Some countries are incredibly difficult to enter with an animal and even once you get there they may be quarantined. On the other hand, some countries are simple and straightforward.

Some countries have strict regulations about what kind of dog breeds can enter their country, and even some airlines do not allow certain dogs onboard due to the threat the in-cabin oxygen levels presents to the specific dog breed.

While it is 100% possible to travel internationally with a dog, keep in mind that it will always be more stressful and expensive than if you were to travel without your dog. If you want to be able to to travel internationally with a dog you must be ready for lots of researching and fact checking.

What dogs are okay for traveling?

While this is largely dependent on the country destination and airline you plan to travel with, there are a few other factors to consider when trying to decide whether or not your dog will make a good travel companion. First and foremost you need to consider the dog's well-being and if traveling would be a positive or negative experience for them.

  • Has your dog traveled much in the past? Our dog has been flying and regularly going on road trips with us since he was four months old. If your dog is not used to traveling it would be worth beginning with car travel before hopping on a plane with them.
  • How old is your dog? If your dog is old and has not traveled much, it might not be wise to begin in his or her later years. Reason being, unless dogs travels regularly, the experience could be sensory overload for them and could potentially cause unnecessary harm, especially in older dogs.
  • What breed is your dog? Certain dog breeds are not allowed on planes and in countries due to breathing difficult and/or because of aggressive tendencies certain breeds often display. While your dog might be the exception, unfortunately there have been plenty of people with certain breeds who have not cared for them in the way they should that have resulted in certain dogs getting an unfair bad reputation.
Sara and Kramer riding the subway in Seoul, Korea
Sara and Kramer riding the subway in Seoul, Korea

How much does it cost to travel internationally with a dog?

Okay, this is a very common question and unfortunately the answers pretty significantly depending on where you're going and how you get there.

Let's start first off by talking about the health requirements for traveling internationally with a dog. Generally you'll need a country specific health certificate which you receive after a vet inspects your dog, annual vaccines + regular internal and external parasite treatments, and possibly a rabies titer test, too. Some countries (like Australia) require multiple vet appointments and all sorts of crazy pictures and identification for dogs which quickly raises the cost, for most countries the basic paperwork will be as seen below. (Note: Rabies titer test is only required by a handful of countries, but it's worth pulling and keeping on hand when you travel just in case. We talk more about this in a minute)

Health certificate: ~$125-$200 USD per country certificate

Rabies titer test: ~$100-300 USD

Annual vaccines + internal and external parasite treatment: ~$400-600 USD annually

Now let's talk about the costs associated with the traveling portion of the expedition. If you're driving a dog across a land international border, obviously the cost won't be near as expensive as checking a dog on a plane. The only thing you need to consider with car land border crossings are the health requirements we talked about above. However, if you're planning to fly internationally with your dog, airlines require all sorts of fees. These vary airline to airline so be sure to check your specific airline's costs ahead of time.

In-cabin cost for a dog (one way including all connections assuming you don't change airlines): ~$75-$225 USD each way

Checked cargo cost for a dog (one way including all connections assuming your don't change airlines): ~$50-500 USD each way

Traveling with a dog is by no means cheap. This is one reason why when we travel internationally we try to stay in each place for longer periods of time to make the cost worthwhile. It's something we always budget and plan for because it is a significant chunk of change. All in all, paying to bring our dog internationally for two weeks will still be about the same cost than if we paid for a house sitter for two weeks.

Health requirements for dogs traveling internationally

When you're hitting the road—or the skies—with your dog, keeping them in tip-top shape and having all of the right medical treatments ahead of time is key. Navigating the world of health requirements for dogs traveling internationally can be incredibly confusing, but don't let that rattle you.

Annual vaccines (not including rabies)

When planning international travel with your furry companion, it's crucial to be informed about the preventative care they'll need. Beyond the mandatory rabies vaccination, most countries require a range of annual vaccines to protect your dog from common infectious diseases. Distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis, and leptospirosis are usually at the top of the list. Each country might have its specifics, so it’s a good idea to consult with your vet to ensure your dog is up-to-date on all the necessary immunizations and is well treated for whatever it may encounter in the country its traveling to.

Rabies vaccine

If you're planning to travel internationally with a dog, a rabies vaccine is the bare minimum that a country will require for a dog to enter the country. This one is non-negotiable and should always be up to date. A rabies vaccine is not just required for international travel, airlines also require rabies vaccines if you're flying anywhere domestically with a dog either in cabin or as checked luggage. The rabies vaccine is as important to safety of those near the dog as it is for the dog itself. Rabies is 99.9% fatal to humans if contracted and not treated in time, therefore every country and airline requires an up to date rabies vaccine.

1 year rabies vaccine vs. 3 year rabies vaccine

So, what's the deal with the 1-year versus the 3-year rabies vaccine? Well, it's all about the duration of immunity. The 1-year vaccine is typically given to puppies or dogs getting the shot for the first time and, as the name implies, needs a yearly update. The 3-year vaccine, on the other hand, is for the seasoned travelers and is valid for—you guessed it—three years. But here's the kicker—not all countries will accept the 3-year vaccine. We discovered this the hard way when we were in Brazil and wanted to cross the border to Argentina with our dog during our last trip to South America. Unfortunately Argentina does not accept the 3-year rabies vaccine so we were unable to visit there during that specific trip.

After a bit of research we learned that there are lots of countries that do not accept the 3-year rabies vaccine. While this can be frustrating because it means we need to be home in the USA to ensure our dog's rabies vaccine administered annually (more on this below), it's easier to keep track of his rabies vaccine due date when we know that it's due the same time as all of his other annual treatments. Not to mention you don't have to worry about whether or not a country you want to visit with your dog will accept their specific vaccine.

Can I get my dog's rabies vaccine administered abroad?

If you're American and/or are planning to travel to the USA with your dog at any point you need to take note of the CDC's special requirements for vaccinations administered outside of the USA. As a general rule of thumb, it's much easier to re-enter the USA with a dog after each trip if you always receive your annual vaccines in the USA. We always schedule our travels to be home around Kramer's annual physical to alleviate one step in the process of re-entering the USA with a dog from high risk rabies countries.

That being said, yes, technically you can get your dog's annual rabies vaccine abroad so long as the vet still gives you all of the detailed information regarding your dog's specific rabies vaccine including lot number, date administered, the vet's signature on the rabies certificate, etc. Ensuring the vet gives all of the required information for the rabies vaccine shouldn't be an issue so long as you're visiting a reputable veterinarian abroad.

If your dog does receive his or her annual rabies vaccine while outside of the USA, when you re-enter the USA from a high risk rabies country, or if you enter from a low risk rabies country but have visited a high risk rabies country in the last 6 months, you'll need to apply for entry with the CDC. You application needs to be submitted at least 8 weeks in advance and if your application is denied, there is no way to appeal your case with the CDC.

My biggest piece of advice: If you are an American citizen, get your dog's rabies vaccine in the USA!

Note: If you're moving abroad and/or know for sure you will not be re-entering the USA with your dog anytime soon, it's probably not necessary to put your dog through the stress of flying home just for a vaccine if you're far from US territory.

These rules are as of January 2024. The CDC is constantly changing requirements for a pet's entry into the USA so it's best that you check the official CDC website to stay up to date on the most current rules and requirements.

Internal parasite treatment

Now, let's chat about those pesky internal parasites – nobody wants uninvited guests hitching a ride, especially not inside your precious pup. When it comes to international travel with your dog, most countries are pretty strict about internal parasite treatment as a part of entry requirements. Treatments typically target nasties like tapeworms and should be administered by a vet before travel. Remember, it’s not just about ticking boxes for customs; it’s about keeping your fur buddy healthy and ready for all those fetch games on foreign soil. So, make sure to check the destination country's requirements, the typical notice is within a certain number of days before entry.

External parasite treatment

Just like the internal creepy crawlies we talked about, your dog needs protection from external parasites too – we're talking fleas, ticks, you name it. Most countries require proof that you've treated your dog for these little critters before they'll let you cross their borders. So, be sure to check the country's guidelines where you'll be jet-setting.

Be sure to look at the details of when and where external parasite treatments should be administered. We give our dog a monthly external parasite treatment in the form of a tablet at home. However, some places require that your vet sign off on you administering the external parasite within a certain number of days before arriving in the country. For example, we recently traveled to Puerto Rico which has different rules for dogs entering than mainland USA. One of their specific rules was that our veterinarian sign off on his interstate health certificate that he had received his external parasite treatment within three days of arrival to Puerto Rico. Because of this, we scheduled our dog's vet appointment for his health certificate to Puerto Rico to be within three days of departure and we took his monthly treatment with us to the vet office to give him in front of our vet so she could sign off on it.

Essential paperwork for traveling with a dog

Whenever I'm traveling with my dog domestically or internationally, I always carry a folder with all of his paperwork. This folder stays in the pocket at the front of my carryon suitcase so that it's easily accessible in a flash for whenever someone asks. I always keep multiple copies of each form in the folder and laminate the originals. Sometimes gate agents or customs officers will take a form and not give it back, therefore you always need to keep plenty of copies on hand.

I recommend keeping the laminated copies in your folder for yourself and do not hand them over unless entirely necessary. For rabies certificates, rabies titer test results, and other vaccine records I always hand over the copies and it's never been a problem. The only exception is for a health certificate. Some countries require that there be an embossed seal on the health certificate to deem the certificate official, in which case you should absolutely not laminate the original! Still bring copies of the health certificate, but make sure the original is always with you and pushback if someone ever tries to keep the original copy. Once that original is gone, it's gone.

Kramer with his international health certificate that arrived the day before we left for Korea
Kramer with his international health certificate that arrived the day before we left for Korea

Vaccination records

Never ever travel without your dog's most recent vaccination records! For us this looks like a list of all of his vaccines and treatments received during his annual physical at our local veterinarian's office. The vaccine record always includes the date the treatments were administered and the dates the next treatments are due. The vaccine record is also always on the vet's official letterhead with logo, address, website info., etc. To make the record official though, the vet always signs her signature at the bottom of the document and includes her credentials and license number.

I've never once been asked for anything beyond his most recent/current vaccine records, but I do always keep digital copies of all of his past records organized and easy to find on my phone just in case!

Rabies certificate

In addition to a dog's annual vaccine records, a veterinarian can also write up a page that's specifically under the heading of "Rabies Vaccination Certificate" so that it is easier for the customs officers to easily spot the rabies date.

Some countries ask for a very specific rabies certificate and others do not. The only time I've ever encountered a country being incredibly picky about what the rabies certificate should look like is when dealing with Thailand. Thailand wanted a very specific looking rabies certificate that is a simple 1/2 page form the veterinarian fills out (see image below). When I asked my vet about this she found it kind of funny they wanted that exact form because she said she's literally never had anyone ask for that. That being said, she had that form and was 100% able to give it to me in a matter of seconds.

My guess is that in Thailand where a language barrier is common and they receive far fewer pets traveling than, say, the EU, they're likely looking to keep things as standardized as possible so as to save from any confusion. Thailand was surprisingly one of the easiest countries to work with, so just know that it's not personal if they get picky about forms, they're just doing their job to keep their homeland safe from unwanted diseases and parasites.

Typical rabies certificate accepted internationally
Typical rabies certificate accepted internationally

Country specific health certificate

When you're traveling to a country with a dog that requires a health certificate (which to my knowledge is just about every country for Americans except for Mexico), you'll need a country specific health certificate. Most country's health certificates look almost identical but the details will be different as will the second language. In my experience the health certificates are always in English + whatever the primary language of that country is if other than English.

It's very important to carefully read a country's pet health certificate well in advance because this will be where many country's put in details such as how far in advance the form should be filled out by the vet, details regarding quarantine, and other fine print that might otherwise be overlooking.

While the USDA website is the most up to date place for Americans to get information regarding country specific travel with a pet, sometimes even their information is wrong and can contradict a specific country's official website. When in doubt, call the embassy. We'll talk more about how to verify details to ensure a smooth travel process with your pet here in a bit so keep reading.

Green banner countries vs. orange banner countries

Some countries require a health certificate to be physically mailed to you because they want the official embossed seal to be visible on your animals health certificate (these are the orange banner countries). More and more countries are accepting digitally endorsed health certificates (green banner countries), but there are plenty that still want a hardcopy mailed to you that you should carry with you when traveling.

Note: The "green banner" and "orange banner" references the categories countries will be divided up into on the USDA's website to say which kind of health certificate is acceptable for entry into the country.

This is what an "orange banner" country will look like on the USDA's website
This is what a "green banner" travel country will look like on the USDA's website

The orange banner countries cause a serious amount of anxiety when traveling. For example, when we traveled with our dog to Korea (which is a orange banner country) we did not receive his health certificate until the day before we took off. It was incredibly stressful for a few days as we wondered if we were going to get it in time. Thankfully my vet warned me that it was very common to not receive it until the day before since the USDA is usually approving health certificates based on date needed, not date submitted.

Surprisingly, the only country we have not received a health certificate on time for is a green banner country: the Dominican Republic. This was a huge learning experience for us so listen up so you don't make the same mistake we did. Back in January of 2023 we booked a trip to the Dominican Republic where the plane was set to depart on MLK Day which is a federal holiday that falls on Monday. Because the USDA is a branch of the federal government they were not working on MLK Day when our plane was set to depart and we couldn't get in contact with them day of when we still hadn't received the health certificate as we were ready to head to the airport. Two bigs lessons we learned here:

  1. Don't plan to depart for a trip on a federal holiday or the day after because both green banner countries and orange banner countries will have delays in the delivery of health certificates.
  2. If you're traveling to a green banner country, do not travel on a Sunday or Monday. Reason being, the USDA sends the digitally endorsed health certificate to your vet's email, not directly to you and your vet office needs to be open to be able to forward the email directly to you. Understandably, it's not the vet's job to be forwarding urgent emails on their weekend off or over holidays. By not traveling on a Sunday or Monday (assuming your vet is open Monday-Friday) you're allowing for the vet's office (and the USDA's office) to be open the day before your flight, thus ensuring you can contact them if you've still not received your health certificate when it's down to the wire.
  3. If you're traveling to a orange banner country over a weekend there shouldn't be an issues since the health certificate will be arriving at your home priority delivery via either UPS or Fedex. These two services deliver on the weekends but not federal holidays, so do not begin your travel the day after a federal holiday even for a orange banner country. The USDA works with regular weekends all the time so you shouldn't run into any issues if you plan to depart on a day after their offices have been closed.
dog and girl traveling from the USA to Korea
Sara and Kramer exploring the historic streets of Seoul, Korea

Rabies titer test results

If this is you're like me, you've probably never heard of a rabies titer test until now. It's just what you think it is though: a blood test to see if you dog has enough rabies antibodies to meet the entry requirements of some pretty particular countries. We're talking about places like Australia and Japan, where they aren't kidding around with their pet import rules. These countries want assurance that your dog's rabies vaccine is working like a charm, and they need this proof months in advance – sometimes up to several months before your dog can enter the country. So, if you've got dreams of chasing cherry blossoms in Japan or playing fetch down under, make sure you’ve got this titer test on your to-do list well in advance. While some countries might give you the 'all clear' without this test, always double-check because, as they say, better safe than quarantined.

We had a rabies titer test pulled for Kramer back in 2022. The process can take a while to get finish (I believe when we had his pulled it took about eight weeks to get the results), then the results are good for two years from the date the bloodwork is pulled. However, some countries will not accept a rabies titer test that is two years old so be sure to stay on top of rabies titer dates and waiting times.

Really important note: If a country requires a rabies titer test, know that this country is likely one that has some of the strictest laws for bringing animals into the country. Be extra careful to read all of the details thoroughly and consult with your vet for clarification.

Rabies titer test results are a simple printout in black and white that have the dog's information including microchip number, plus the results of the titer test where they mention the levels of rabies antibodies detected.

The unfortunate truth of rabies titer tests: While many countries depend on a rabies titer test to measure the levels of rabies antibodies in an animal, the honest truth is that these tests are not entirely accurate. Unfortunately, it's possible for a well vaccinated dog to show unacceptable levels of rabies antibodies in a titer test when in reality they're rabies free. How my vet explained it to me (and this is a really dumbed down version because I'm no vet) is that some dogs store the antibodies differently and therefore results can vary. If a dog's first rabies titer test comes back good, it's highly unlikely that a future titer test will show unacceptable levels. On the other hand, if a pet's titer test comes back with unacceptable levels, it is possible that it was a mistake and the tests can be retaken again.

However, some animals will never pass a titer test at all. Last time I was at my veterinarian's office getting a health certificate for our dog she was actually helping another patient with a titer test because a cat had failed the titer test twice. It does happen, so test your dog well in advance before you start planning your travels! While the test isn't entirely accurate, some countries will still be adamant about requiring this test before a dog (or cat) can enter the country.

Import and export permits

Many countries require an import permit for pets traveling internationally to their country and this paperwork should be brought and kept with you at all times. These permits should be applied for well in advance which differs from country to country from as few as 10 days to as many as 6 months in advance. An import permit is essentially asking the country whether or not your dog has permission to enter the country. Countries have the freedom to deny your animal entry, although this is highly unlikely so long as you have all of your paperwork in order.

Some countries also require an export permit before you leave the country. Personally we haven't had to deal with this yet, but do know some countries require you to notify them when you are leaving the country with your animal so do a bit of research on this. Supposedly I was supposed to go through a quick export process with my dog in Korea, but when I asked the ticket check-in counter where I could do this they had no idea what I was talking about. A friend of mine traveled to Korea with her cats and as they were leaving Korea they had to go through the export process. Honestly, traveling with animals is pretty uncommon so rules and information can be inconsistent, especially when it comes to importing and exporting.

Keep in mind that importing and exporting rules often differ for personal animals (pets and service animals) and commercial animals (those who are shipping for breeding, showing, etc.). The rules are generally much stricter for those traveling with animals for commercial reasons than those who are traveling with a pet or service animal, but do read the fine print carefully.

Paperwork received for dog upon entry into a new country

Even if the country you're traveling to does not require an official import permit, you will likely still receive some sort of paper at the airport once you've cleared customs with your animal. Whatever paperwork is given to you at the airport should be carried with you the entire time you're in the country and will likely need to be presented upon departure.

The only country I've encountered this with was Mexico, but I do know other countries practice a similar routine. The first time we traveled to Mexico with our dog we visited Mexico City. Upon arrival and inspection at the airport's agriculture office we were handed a form that simply said we had cleared customs with our dog. That way if we got stopped by anyone while in the country we could provide proof that our dog was cleared to enter the country and was there legally. From Mexico City we flew to Brazil and the export process from Mexico was incredibly confusing and frustrating. Honestly, our experience with AeroMexico was terrible as they kept giving us the runaround with the export process. We thought it was because Brazil had stricter entry requirements than Mexico did, but in talking with others in Mexico it turns out it wasn't Brazil's doing, it was Mexico being difficult as we were trying to leave. Again, it wasn't personal, but it was a nightmare and cost us a lot of extra money to have a vet come to the airport to give our dog a different health certificate for Brazil other than what we had already paid good money for at a vet's office in the city a few days before. We almost missed our flight to Brazil but thankfully we made it through just in time.

The second time we traveled to Mexico with our dog we visited the Yucatan and flew in and out of Cancun. Here we didn't receive any sort of paper upon landing even though we still had to clear customs like we did in Mexico City. The process was much smoother so go figure!

Again, there is a lot of confusion surrounding international travel with animals. Many people at airports aren't even sure where to direct you or know what to do when you show up at the customs counter with an animal. Because of this you should be ready for anything and everything by keeping all paperwork organized and ready to present whenever asked. Always go above and beyond to ask questions to ensure you're following the correct legal procedures for importing.

dog on beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Kramer enjoying his first beach day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Timeline for traveling internationally with a dog

The timeline for traveling with a dog overseas varies greatly depending on the destination. For example, if you're traveling to Mexico and your dog is up to date on vaccines, you need virtually no advance notice other than whatever the airline requires for traveling with a dog (usually at least 48 hours). On the other hand, if you're traveling somewhere like Australia (which is notoriously one of the most difficult ones to travel to with animals), you will need to begin the process at least 6 months in advance.

The United States Department of Agriculture's website (USDA) is the most up to date place to find health certificate forms, import and export information, important dates to note, and more. It is up to you to read all through the forms before you ever book a ticket or a vet appointment for your animal. When traveling with an animal internationally, your travel planning should always begin with figuring out the logistics and legalities surrounding importing and exporting of an animal before you ever buy a plane ticket.

Things to consider when planning the timeline for traveling internationally with a dog:

  • Does the destination require and import permit?
  • Does the destination require a rabies titer test?
  • Does the destination require a health certificate? If so, is it a green or orange banner country?
  • When is your dog due for his annual vaccines? (Make sure your animal is not due for vaccines while you're abroad!)
Walking through the Mexico City airport with dog
Walking through the Mexico City airport with Kramer

How to get your dog abroad

So, you've got your sights set on a grand adventure with your furry best friend by your side - now what? When it comes to traveling with your dog, the 'how' is just as important as the 'where'. Let's dive into the nitty-gritty of actually getting your dog from your home in the USA to your international destination. Buckle up because this is where your preparation really pays off. From choosing the right airline to making sure your dog is comfy for the journey, we'll cover all the details to ensure you and your four-legged co-pilot are ready for takeoff.

Flying with a dog internationally

The most asked question I get online is, "How do you travel with your dog on a plane??" I think people assume I've figured out some huge secret but I haven't. Truth is, as long as your dog meets the size requirements and is a breed that is allowed by the airline and/or the destination country, your dog can fly in-cabin, too!

People all the time comment that my dog, Kramer, looks so much bigger online than he does in person and people regularly ask me how I "sneak" him onboard. Here's the thing: I don't. And I always get a bit annoyed when people ask this because I'm quite a rule follower and I would never risk trying to slip my dog onboard if he wasn't allowed. Kramer fits comfortably in his travel carrier that goes under the seat in front of me and he meets the size requirements for most airlines (there are a few airlines that he is just a tiny bit too big to travel in-cabin with so we just avoid those airlines).

The bottom line is this: Your dog must meet the airline's regulations for dog breeds and size, and/or must be a certified service dog. And no, your dog cannot just become a service dog because you want him to fly with you and passing a pet as a service dog is a federal offense punishable by law. So even though dog service vests can be purchased on Amazon, do not do it!!

Traveling with a dog in-cabin on an airplane

When you're planning to fly with your dog, remember that each airline has its own set of policies for traveling with pets in-cabin. It's crucial to check these details well before your anticipated travel date. Every airline has different restrictions on the size and breed of the dog that you can bring on board.

While on the plane your dog will be stowed at your feet under the seat in front of you. Airlines have certain requirements for what makes a proper pet carrier with features including a solid bottom (so that liquids do not escape) and proper ventilation. We'll get to our favorite dog carriers here in a minute.

As a tip, acclimate your dog to their temporary travel home ahead of time to reduce stress. And don't forget to budget for that extra pet fee; it's an essential add-on to your travel expenses, but it’s totally worth it to have your best bud tagging along for the adventure. Wherever you jet off to, making sure your travel buddy is comfortable and safe will help ensure a smooth experience for you both!

Checking a dog in cargo on a plane

When the in-cabin option isn't viable, your next choice is to check your dog as cargo. Personally we've never had to go this route and I don't recommend it unless you are traveling or moving abroad for an extended period of time because it is a very stressful process for the dog.

While airlines are required to adhere to strict guidelines to ensure the safety and comfort of pets traveling below, the environment in the cargo hold is far from ideal. My vet assured me recently that the standards and care for dogs as checked baggage are much better than they used to be! Booking a flight with a pet-friendly airline is a must, as they'll likely have climate-controlled cargo spaces and may offer additional assurances for your furry companion's journey. Just like for in-cabin travel, there are specific crate requirements, and your dog will need to be comfortable spending several hours in their crate, so crate training well ahead of time is key.

Driving with a dog across international land borders

The only land border we've ever crossed with a dog is the USA-Canada border. This is a very easy border to cross for Americans and the only paperwork we've been asked to present is vaccination records including his rabies certificate. Obviously each country is different and the paperwork will be the same for driving as it will be for flying.

Note: Some country's only official port of entry is in airports. Therefore crossing the border via road shouldn't be possible. However, the only time I've seen this is in countries where animal travel isn't common and the rules are all a bit ambiguous. It would be worth reaching out to the embassy and asking this question directly. It could be that with the right paperwork you can enter via a land border, too.

dog on sailboat in Bacalar, Mexico
Kramer enjoying a sailboat experience with us in Bacalar, Mexico

Specific ports of entry for animals

Some countries have specific ports of entry where all animals entering into the country must enter through. Usually major international airports are specific points of entry and oftentimes land borders allow animals to cross over, too. Like I've said a thousand times already, every country is different so your research.

One important thing to note is that when you are re-entering the USA from a high risk rabies country or your dog has been in a high risk rabies country in the last six months, you both must enter back into the USA at one of the official CDC points of entry. This is because if an animal is showing signs of sickness it can be inspected by the CDC officials before it leaves the airport. The 18 official CDC ports of entry in the USA are: Anchorage (ANC), Atlanta (ATL), Boston (BOS), Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Dallas (DFW), Detroit (DTW), Honolulu (HNL), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), Minneapolis (MSP), New York (JFK), Newark (EWR), Philadelphia (PHL), San Francisco (SFO), San Juan (SJU), Seattle (SEA),  Washington DC Dulles (IAD).

Clearing customs with a dog

Navigating through customs with your four-legged bestie can often feel like you're both characters in an Indiana Jones film, minus the cool hat and the whip. It's an all-too-real adventure with twists, turns, and the occasional bureaucratic boulder rolling your way. But don't you worry! I've been through this process enough times to help you through the confusion.

What to expect when going through customs with an animal

When you're queueing at customs with your furry copilot, it's like gearing up for a surprise party – you never quite know what to expect, but you've got to show up with a smile and hope you brought the right stuff. Keep your dog's documentation as handy as their favorite squeaky toy because you'll want to fetch it quick when asked. Rabies certificate, vaccination records, health certificate, etc. should all be on hand with both originals and copies of each form.

Download Google Translate before you leave

Now here's a lifesaver tip: don't forget to download Google Translate before you leave home. Trust me, not only can it help with simple things like asking where the dog park is or explaining or trying to communicate with a vet in a foreign country, but it's also essential for those complicated moments upon arrival. Google Translate is a game changer when it comes to filling out import forms at the airport. For example, Mexico requires you to fill out a form in the agriculture inspection office that is entirely in Spanish. If it weren't for Google Translate on my phone I would have had no idea what the form was asking for because my Spanish is no bueno and the agriculture officer didn't speak English.

American tourists with dog on beach in Brazil
All three of us enjoying a beach day in Brazil

Head straight to the normal customs line with all other passengers unless otherwise stated

In my experience you should always head directly to the normal customs line with all other travelers unless otherwise stated. From there the customs officer will direct you to where you should head next to have your animal inspected.

I do want to note that some places including Australia (and even Hawaii!) will not let you get off the plane with your dog (or cat) until someone meets you at the gate and escorts you off the plane and through the airport. I've never traveled to the places that require this, but it does happen and you can generally find information about this on the country's official website. You can search "[destination country's name] airport arrival" in Google or "[destination country's name] import rules" to learn more about the procedures.

If you're traveling to a country that requires an escort upon arrival you need to note that advanced notice of arrival will be required and oftentimes you'll be required to arrive at the airport between certain times to ensure that the correct officials are on duty. This is all up to you to figure out ahead of time! Countries take animal importation very seriously and they will not be sympathetic of you breaking or bending the rules even if its accidental. If you do not follow the rules properly you're looking at potentially having your dog taken from you and placed in quarantine until the correct officials can inspect it.

After you clear customs, find the agriculture inspection office

Generally dogs will have to be inspected at an agriculture specific office after customs. For the countries we've traveled to with our dog, this office has been right next to baggage claim. When in doubt though, just ask and someone should be able to point you in the right direction.

During the inspection the agricultural officers are looking for fleas, ticks, general sickness, plus looking over the rabies certificates, vaccine records, etc. They'll also be checking to see if you brought in any of your pets food with you which is generally not allowed. You'll usually need to fill out a form or two two so bring that Google Translate app in case there's a language barrier! All of the agricultural inspection staff I've ever dealt with have been incredibly nice and not intimidating like the regular customs officers can be.

Keep in mind that not every country will know the exact procedures. For example, as we went through customs in Brazil I asked the agent where my dog should be inspected and he had no idea what I was talking about. I asked a few other employees and not a single person could tell me where the office was and nobody had any idea what I was talking about. Brazil had very specific rules for bringing animals into the country, but for whatever reason when we landed there was a clear breakdown in the system.

I'm not saying that to say that there's a chance you won't need the correct paperwork because I think it was a true fluke that we didn't get inspected because I've talked with others who have had their animals inspected in Brazil. While it saved us a step at the airport not having to fill out forms for Kramer, I was a bit worried the whole time we were in Brazil that we would be asked for customs paperwork while at military checkpoints and hotels (we never were though).

Traveling to countries with mandatory animal quarantine

This is one aspect to traveling with a dog that I cannot speak to since we haven't traveled to a country with our dog that requires quarantine. The countries that do require it though will be very strict about it and I know just from reading that your dog will be taken from your custody at the airport. My understanding is that you will need to notify the authorities of your pets arrival in the country in advance, although each country will have different policies.

dog in backpack on girl's back
Practicing with various different dog carriers to see which one Kramer likes best

What airlines are the most dog-friendly?

I am far from having flown every airline with a dog, but I will say that there are airlines from certain regions of the world that are far more pet friendly than others. These rules are regulations are largely influenced by the culture of the country the airline is based in, so think about it like that.

For example, airlines from the Middle East are much less dog friendly than those from Europe. This is simply because dogs are considered unclean in Muslim culture. On the other hand, Europeans love their dogs and many regularly travel with them so European airlines tend to be very welcoming of well-behaved animals in-cabin.

Stateside we prefer flying with Delta and American Airlines for their dog-friendly nature. Abroad we've learned that in Europe Air France and Swiss Air are both very dog friendly. In Asia Korean Air, Eva Air, and Singapore Airlines are very dog friendly.

Keep in mind that just because an airline is dog friendly doesn't mean it's easy to bring your dog into the country the airline is based in! For example, Eva Air is based in Taiwan and they accept dogs in cabin when flying. However, when an Eva Air flight has a layover in Taiwan on the way to the final destination, your dog will be taken to quarantine even during your layover. Singapore does a very similar thing, too. If you fly Singapore Airlines and you have a layover in Singapore for longer than 4 hours, your dog will be taken to the official quarantine property for the duration of the layover.

This is where traveling with a dog means keeping up with lots of details. Every airline and country is different and you will not have to consider just your final destination's regulations, but also those of whatever country you have a layover in. Some countries should probably be avoided if at all possible. This sometimes limits which airlines and routes we can fly, but it's worth it to save our pup and ourselves from unnecessary stress during a layover or flight.

Best gear for traveling internationally with a dog

Oh, we can't forget about the gear, right? Every savvy traveler knows that packing the right gear can make the difference between a so-so trip and the adventure of a lifetime, and that goes double when your four-legged sidekick is coming along. So, before jet-setting across the world with your pup, let's talk about what you need to bring with you.

Cages and carriers

When traveling via airplane with a dog, an airline-approved dog carrier is your best bet for a smooth journey. You'll want one that's got plenty of ventilation — think mesh panels — so your dog can keep cool and calm while on the go. The carrier should also be escape-proof with secure zippers and just snug enough for your dog to stand, turn, and lie down in, without any squishing. The carries should also have a solid bottom so that if your dog uses the bathroom while in the cage it won't leak through to the ground. Most importantly, check the size and weight limits of carries to ensure they align with your airline's pet policy.

Airline approved in-cabin dog carriers

Roll Around Travel Dog Carrier Backpack 4-in-1 by Snoozer Pet Products

This is the dog airplane carrier that we are currently using and love! It's a four in one style carrier so you can roll it, carry it life a duffle, and even wear it like a backpack! The quality is topnotch and the versatility sets it apart from other carriers on the market. My only complaint about this carrier is that it only has two wheels and not four. Unfortunately our dog doesn't like to be rolled around in it at an angle. If it had four wheels it could remain upright when rolling which I think would be a lot less stressful for him.

Katziela Pet Carrier

I like that this pet carrier has four wheels on it making it easy to roll through the airport. It's high quality materials + its raving reviews on Amazon set it apart from the competition.

The Pet Carrier by Away Luggage

This one is a bit on the pricier size for having minimal features, but we love Away's luggage quality and the look and quality of this airline pet carrier looks on par with their suitcase quality. This carrier is a bit on the smaller side so it wouldn't work for our dog Kramer, but if you have a puppy or a smaller dog than we do, it might be a great choice! Plus you can personalize it with your initials or your dog's name to make it custom.

Airline approved checked baggage dog carriers

When you're checking your dog to be carried in the cargo area of the plane, there are a few different requirements for the cage. It must have plenty of ventilation, cannot have a door on the top of the carrier, must be hard sided, cannot be collapsable, and still must meet your airline's specific dimension requirements.

SportPet Designs Plastic Kennels Rolling Plastic Airline Approved Wire Door Travel Dog Crate

This carrier meets airline standards for shipping a dog in cargo. It's well built and its removable wheels are a really nice feature to help you more easily transport the dog carrier into the airport. Note: don't forget to remove the wheels before your dog is taken from you at the airport!

Petmate Sky Kennel

This simple but solid dog carrier works great for transporting your dog on a plane in the cargo hold. Its high reviews from fellow travelers are good enough that I can recommend it even if we haven't used it personally.

Sanitary gear

Hygiene is super important when you're jet-setting with your furry friend. We're talking about making sure your dog stays clean and comfortable no matter how long the journey.

Puppy pads

When it comes to puppy pads you have two options: washable and throw away. While the traditional and easiest to use puppy pads are the one time use ones that are easily thrown away, if you're looking for a more comfortable and environmentally friendly option for your dog's travel carrier, consider a washable puppy pad that is 100% waterproof.

Washable Puppy Dog Pee Pad

If you want to stick the simple and traditional throw away version, you can easily purchase them on Amazon.

Arm & Hammer for Dogs Puppy Training Pads

Dog diapers

Similar to puppy pads, when it comes to dog diapers you have two options: washable or the traditional one time use, throw away version. The pros and cons of each are the same as the puppy pads, it really comes down to personal preference. Keep in mind that dog diapers do come in male and female versions so make sure you order whatever is right for your dog.

Pet Parents Premium Washable Belly Bands for Male Dogs

While these are only for male dogs, I like this one for our boy dog because it is simple and goes only around his girth vs. over his butt and around his tail. This one is far easier and more comfortable to put on him when traveling.

Amazon Basics Male Dog Wrap, Disposable Diapers

Simple 30 pack of disposable diapers by Amazon.

Antibacterial wipes

Carrying antibacterial wipes with you when traveling is always a good idea. Whether its for cleaning up after your dog or for wiping off the armrests or tray table in front of you on the plane, having a way to clean the area around you keeps you healthy and safe when traveling.

Food, water, snacks, and toys

Collapsible bowls

These simple and inexpensive collapsible dog bowls have been our go-to for years now. The store and cleanup easily make them perfect for when we're on the go.


Whatever your dog's go-to food brand is, bring it with you on the plane in a Ziplock bag. Do note that countries will not allow you to bring more into the country than what your dog will consume the day you land. This is a rule we've always encountered. It's frustrating but the countries do this to keep invasive species from entering the country.


The same goes for treats: only bring what your dog will consume on the plane and during the day you land in your destination country.


Having a couple of your dog's favorite toys to keep him company in transit and upon arrival in a foreign country is key. We always bring at least one squishy toy and one ball for our dog to keep him active and comfortable on the go.

How to find a veterinarian abroad

The best way to find a reputable vet while abroad is to get to a major city and then read Google reviews. Obviously you want a vet that has high ratings and speaks English. Many vets either speak English themselves or have someone on staff who does. While we don't want to be those tourists who expect everyone to speak English, when it comes to medical care for ourselves and for our dog, we always prefer to minimize the language barrier as much as possible to save on confusion.

Another way to find a good veterinarian recommendation abroad would be to join an expat Facebook group. There are so many Facebook groups for travelers and expats online and many can point you in the direction of a good English speaking vet in the country you're visiting. These expat Facebook groups have been hugely beneficial to us during past travels!

dog in veterinarian office in Mexico City, Mexico
Kramer waiting for his appointment at a veterinarian office in Mexico City

Bathroom breaks while traveling with a dog by airplane

The first step is to make sure your dog uses the bathroom before entering the airport for travel. In the USA many airports have dog relief areas past security, but not always. Internationally it's almost impossible to find an animal relief area post security in an airport though. Keep in mind that if you have a layover in a different international airport and you want to take your dog outside to use the restroom and/or walk around, you'll need a health certificate for that country (in addition to the health certificate for your final destination) that you must present at customs prior to stepping foot outside of the airport.

Here's what we do: the day before flying we start to modify Kramer's feeding schedule slightly so that he's eating as close to the flight as possible. Generally they say that you shouldn't give your dog food or water less than 4 hours before a flight so that they do not need to go while you're on the plane. However, for long-haul flights I would not recommend going the entire duration of the flight without giving your dog water. A dog can go longer without food than he can water and giving him a little bit of water here and there if it's a very long flight (8+ hours) is necessary. The air in a plane's cabin is very dry and your dog can feel it just as much as you can.

I'm going to use our trip from Tennessee to Korea as an example for how we spaced our dog's (Kramer's) food, water, and bathroom breaks while traveling and made a long-haul flight halfway around the world work with a dog in cabin:

  1. We departed Nashville, Tennessee for Seattle, Washington on a morning flight. Prior to heading to the airport we fed our dog, Kramer, his breakfast as normal and took him out to the bathroom. He did all of his business before we even left our Nashville hotel for the airport. Kramer is like clockwork in the morning so we knew he could be trusted to do his business after feeding him.
  2. Before we boarded the plane in Nashville I found an animal relief area post security and let him pee one last time before the 5 1/2 hour flight to Seattle.
  3. Upon landing in Seattle we had a 5 hour layover so I went ahead and fed him again soon after landing since by this point it had already been about 8 hours since he last ate. To get things moving along and encourage him to go number one and number two before we boarded the long-haul flight to Korea I walked him around the airport extensively. I think we covered over four miles walking up and down stairs and around terminals. I was trying to get him some good exercise in before we hopped on our 13+ hour flight across the Pacific Ocean.
  4. Thankfully Kramer did all of his business at the animal relief area at the Seattle airport before taking off. I didn't give him any more water after his second meal that he received as soon as we landed in Seattle, so I knew he would need water a little ways into the flight.
  5. A couple of times while flying I let Kramer have a few sips of water to keep him a bit hydrated. I did not give him any food though because Kramer regularly goes 14+ hours between dinner and breakfast. While Kramer was acting perfectly normal on the plane (he's always so calm when flying!) I will say that his nose was uncomfortably dry by the time we landed in Korea and I was desperately worried about getting him hydrated up as soon as we landed.
  6. As soon as we landed and got off the plane (even before customs) I threw Kramer's carrier into its backpack position so I could more easily carry him. After such a long flight I was worried he would need to go to the bathroom desperately which is why he was left in his carrier vs. letting him stretch his legs yet.
  7. As soon as we cleared customs I ran to the agricultural inspection office with him still on my back. I took him out of the backpack while they checked him and his paperwork. This whole process only took about 5 minutes then Kramer and I were free to run to the patch of grass right out the doors of baggage claim.

I know that's a lot of detail, but I think it might help some of you figure out how to best space your dog's bathroom, food, and water breaks when traveling. A couple of notes I want to pass on...

  • If possible, we won't ever do a flight across the USA + a layover + a long-haul flight back to back ever again. I believe in total it was about 27 1/2 hours from the time we entered the Nashville airport until the time we exited the Seoul, Korea airport. While Kramer did great and never seemed to exhibit signs of stress, I was super on guard and nervous during the layover and the long-haul flight because I was worried he would or wouldn't go to the bathroom when he needed to. It added a lot of stress to me during an already exhausting travel day and if we can help it we'll always fly the most direct routes or take a day or two off between flights when possible.
  • While we've never had to use them, we always travel with dog diapers, puppy pads, and a travel size packet of antibacterial wipes. If Kramer starts to get restless on a plane and he has to go to the bathroom he can either safely go in a diaper or he go on a puppy pad in his carrier. Both options are considered safe and acceptable so long as no bodily fluids escape to the floor or surrounding area.

I know this is all disgusting and sounds ridiculous, but if you want to travel internationally with a dog, these are things you have to think about. I was so embarrassed to be that dog mom buying diapers for her dog, but I'll be that mom any day before I stick my dog in the cargo hold unnecessarily.

Tips and tricks for traveling internationally with a dog

  • Find a pet store before you arrive so that you know where good quality pet food upon arrival
  • Always keep multiple copies of each piece of paper with and laminate the originals (except for the health certificate if it has the embossed seal on it).
  • Make sure your dog uses the bathroom before entering the airport. In the USA many airports have dog relief areas past security, but not always. Internationally it's almost impossible to find an animal relief area inside an airport. Keep in mind that if you have a layover in a different international airport and you want to take your dog outside to use the restroom and/or walk around, you'll need a health certificate for that country (in addition to the health certificate for your final destination) that you must present at customs prior to stepping foot outside of the airport.
  • Work on getting your dog comfortable with traveling before you commit to a long trip. Start with small trips and work your way up. If you plan to fly with your dog, start with a shorter international flight (Mexico, Costa Rica, etc.) before hopping on a long-haul flight across an entire ocean.

Professional dog travel agents

Navigating the intricacies of international travel with a dog can be as bewildering as it is exhausting, but thankfully, you can enlist the aid of professional dog travel agents to streamline the process. These agents specialize in pet travel and know precisely how to handle every detail—from securing the necessary health certifications to ensuring your furry friend meets all entry requirements of your destination country. Companies like PetRelocation and Happy Tails Travel are among the most reputable agencies in this specialized field, offering top-notch services that provide peace of mind to pet owners. They stand out for their thorough approach and personalized support, turning the daunting task of international dog travel into a well-organized and stress-free adventure for both you and your canine companion.

Note: We've always handled the entire pet travel process on our own so we can't vouch for any of these agencies personally, but we have had friends use PetRelocaiton and Happy Tails Travel comes highly recommended, too.

American tourists in Korea
All three of us exploring the streets of Korea


Let's dive into some common questions you might have when planning your international travels with your furry companion. Whether it's your first time jet-setting with your pup or you're a seasoned traveler looking to smooth out the rough patches, this F.A.Q. section aims to cover the essentials and provide peace of mind. After all, the goal is to make these adventures as enjoyable for you as well as your dog.

Will my dog have to be quarantined?

That's a big question and the answer varies by country. Typically, when you're traveling internationally with your dog, quarantine requirements depend on the destination country's regulations, the pet's health status, and the pet's vaccination records. Some countries have strict quarantine rules to prevent the spread of diseases, while others may allow entry without quarantine with proper documentation and vaccinations. Always check the specific requirements of your destination country before you travel. It's a good idea to reach out to the embassy or official animal import department for the most accurate information. Many places are super dog-friendly and don't require quarantine, but you've gotta do your homework.

What is a rabies titer test?

A rabies titer test, also known as a rabies antibody test, is a blood test that measures the amount of rabies antibodies in your dog's system to confirm that they are adequately immunized against the virus. Many international destinations require this test as part of the entry requirements to ensure that your pup's vaccination is effective. The results prove your dog has responded to the rabies vaccine, and that can sometimes forego mandatory quarantine periods. Check with your vet well in advance of your trip to get this sorted, because timing is everything with these tests!

Can I get my dog to be a service dog?

Designating your dog as a service animal is a process that requires your dog to be individually trained to perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. Only a medical professional can prescribe a service animal. This isn't a workaround to simplify travel restrictions for pets. It's important to understand that falsely claiming your pet as a service animal is unethical and, in most places, illegal. If your dog is not already a certified service animal, you should follow standard procedures for international pet travel, ensuring their comfort and safety as well as adhering to legal guidelines.

Keep in mind that if you already have a service dog that the rules surrounding service dogs are much stricter outside of the USA and Canada. For example, some service dogs are allowed to be self-trained in the USA, but internationally most airlines and countries only recognize service dogs that are certified by Assistance Dogs International (ADI) or International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF).

Can ESAs travel in cabin for free?

It really depends on the airline and the destination country's regulations. Nowadays, most airlines have tightened the reins and only recognize service animals—which are trained to do specific tasks. For ESAs, you might be required to pay a pet fee and comply with the airline's policies for traveling with pets. The best bet is to call up the airline ahead of time and check their latest guidelines. Generally speaking though, the rules surrounding ESAs have been locked down for good reason. We've all seen the crazy stories online of people bringing turkeys and peacocks onboard planes!

Are airlines the same when it comes to traveling with animals?

Airlines definitely march to the beat of their own drum when it comes to their policies on pets. It's super important to do a deep dive into each airline’s pet policy because they vary wildly — from fees, to carrier size, to whether dogs can fly in-cabin or cargo. Some airlines are super accommodating, rolling out the red carpet for your four-legged pals, while others might put up lots of blocks. Give them a call or check online to get the lowdown before you book.

What are the most dog friendly countries in the world?

If by "dog friendly" you mean where is it safest and easiest for dogs to visit with pets, the answer would probably be anywhere in the EU (European Union). Western countries tend to have clearer guidelines for traveling with pets and there tend to be far more dog friendly accommodations, dog parks, and veterinarians in these countries.

However, in places like South America where the culture is much more laidback surrounding the everyday nature of dogs, it's not uncommon to see dogs in cafés, malls, and on beaches. It's not that this is advertised as allowed, it's just that oftentimes there aren't even any rules saying not to bring your dog in certain places so many locals do without any issue. For example, in Rio de Janeiro we weren't sure if Kramer was allowed on the beach because so many beaches in the USA do not allow dogs, but the beaches we visited there never minded him! There were plenty of other dogs roaming the beach, too. Generally in these countries you need to be more aware of stray dogs who might be carrying parasites and diseases, so it's not necessarily safe for your dog to hang around the strays.

Does my dog need a passport?

The USA does not issue passports for dogs, but the EU does. Americans traveling to Europe you will be required to get an EU health certificate which will get you into any of the EU countries whether by land or air.

How do dogs go to the bathroom in an airport?

Most airports in the USA these days are upping their game when it comes to pet relief areas. You can generally find a spot for your dog to do their business post-security, so you won't have to go through the hassle of leaving and coming back through security before your flight. These areas are specially designed for dogs, complete with faux grass, waste stations, and sometimes even a fire hydrant to make them feel right at home. Just make sure to check the airport map or ask an airport employee when you get there.

When it comes to airports outside of the USA, indoor animal relief areas are almost nonexistent. Either you'll have to take your dog and back through security (assuming you have a health certificate for that country, even for layovers), or you can take your puppy into a family restroom with a puppy pad. This is only sanitary if your dog goes on the puppy pad. If for some reason your dog misses the puppy pad it is your responsibility to cleanup after your dog so that the spot he dirtied is sanitized and clean for the next person. While we have never had to use them, we always travel with a small pack of antibacterial wipes for this very reason.

How do dogs go to the bathroom on a plane?

As for the nitty-gritty of doggie bathroom breaks on long flights, this is where preparation becomes key. Always take your dog to relieve themselves at the last possible moment before boarding. For the duration of the flight, the best solution is to line their carrier with absorbent puppy pads. Some pet parents even train their dogs to use the pads ahead of the trip to avoid any accidents. However, for extremely long flights, a dog diaper also works.

Does my dog need to be microchipped to travel internationally?

Again, this is country specific. Some countries require it and others do not. Do your research ahead of time to verify if your dog needs a microchip for traveling. Many countries do require it since the microchip number will match up to the medical records which will verify that the dog you're traveling with is indeed the dog that matches the medical records.

Final thoughts

As you're getting ready to embark on your next international adventure with your furry best friend, remember that a little planning goes a long way. Always triple-check the pet policies of the country you're visiting and the airline you're flying with to avoid any mishaps. Microchip, pet relief areas, in-flight bathroom solutions—these are all part of the journey when you decide to travel with your dog. But hey, the smiles and memories you'll gather along the way, from seeing your dog on a Parisian boulevard to playing fetch on a sunny beach in Rio, are priceless. As long as you're well-prepared, your globe-trotting with your four-legged pal will be filled with tail wags and stories to tell. So pack those bags, grab that leash, and safe travels to you and your pup!

How to Travel Internationally with a Dog

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Hi! We're Chris and Sara a husband and wife video making, storytelling, travel loving duo with a passion for sharing travel tips, tricks, and inspiration with others.
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