“How to Fly Your Dog to Europe” eBook

by Renee on November 26, 2011

How to Fly Your Dog to Europe

 

The short version of this post:

I’ve written an eBook that explains exactly to fly a dog to Europe. It covers everything you need to know—the dog-import regulations for each country, required vaccinations, paperwork, how to prepare your dog, etc, etc. Click here to buy it.

The long version of this post:

We knew Archie would be coming with us to Europe. That was a given. But I had no idea how to fly a dog to the Netherlands.

Trying to find accurate information was a nightmare. All the information on the internet was outdated, alarmist, or totally wrong. I scoured forums, read outdated blog posts, emailed embassies, and even called government officials in Europe.

It took me weeks and weeks of frustrating research to figure out exactly what to do, and even then I couldn’t be sure I’d done everything right. What if I’d made a mistake that would keep Archie off the plane on flight day or that would get him quarantined when we arrived?

From the moment we first decided to travel to the moment three months later when we reunited with Archie post-flight, I was a stressed-out mess. Not until I saw Archie’s sweet nose poking out of his crate, which was tucked in amongst the skis and golf bags of oversized-baggage claim, was I able to relax and truly look forward to our European adventure.

Are you currently freaking out about flying your dog to Europe? Well, you’re in luck.

I’ve written an eBook just for you!

How to Fly Your Dog to Europe contains all the information I worked so hard to find. It has everything — and I mean EVERYTHING — you need to know. All your questions, answered.

Here, check out the Table of Contents.

This awesome e-book is the resource I wish I’d had two years ago.

It will save you time and give you the confidence to make your dog-travel arrangements without worrying, stressing, overlooking something critical, or making mistakes (like I did!) Complete step-by-step instructions will save you tons of time and greatly reduce your stress.

Mini-guides for each country

I think this is the most valuable part of the book. If you need to know how to fly a dog to the U.K., you’ll find a mini-guide that tells you how. If you need to know how to fly your dog to Germany, you’ll find a mini-guide that tells you how. If you need to know how to fly your dog to France…well, you get the idea. No matter where you are landing, from Helsinki to Madrid, from London to Vienna, you’ll find a mini-guide that tells you what you need to know.

Each mini-guide contains:

  • hard-to-find links to each country’s official dog-import regulations
  • a downloadable PDF of the required Veterinary Certificate (in its correct bilingual form)
  • email addresses for the specific officials who oversee dog imports. If you have questions, these are the experts who can give you 100% reliable answers. No more asking the internet…
  • tips on country-specific regulations and pitfalls

The International Health Certificate, Vaccination Requirements & More

All your dog’s paperwork must be complete and filled in correctly. One mistake and he could be kept from boarding or tossed into quarantine upon arrival. (No joke) The e-book covers specific paperwork requirements, instructions for filling everything out correctly, required vaccinations (and when to get them), time-sensitive government endorsement stamps, microchip specifications, tips of preparing your dog, and more.

I’m not exaggerating when I say you really cannot make ANY mistakes.

But with this eBook, you wont. It all seems really complicated at first. But if you know what is required, plan carefully, and then go step-by-step, you will be successful.

Good luck and happy travels!

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE EBOOK THAT WILL SAVE YOU WEEKS OF RESEARCH TIME!

Archie resting on his travel crate

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Clélie November 26, 2011 at 7:56 pm

Wow. What a lot of hoops for you all and Archie to jump through. And look how very happy he looks. Worth every piece of red tape. And who could leave that face behind!

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2 Renee November 27, 2011 at 7:17 am

Yes, Archie’s having fun, and we could never leave him behind. Figuring out how to make all those arrangements was daunting, especially with so much other trip planning to do, but now that we’ve done it once, it will be much easier next time. :-)

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3 Tricia(Geeky Explorers) November 27, 2011 at 12:14 am

Great information & fabulous photos of your furry kid in so many different countries! :)

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4 Renee November 27, 2011 at 7:18 am

Thanks, Tricia! Now you can ship your rig to Europe and fly all the kids! ;-)

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5 Christy @ Technosyncratic November 28, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Wow, this post is so comprehensive! This whole planning process sounds like a nightmare – any little detail overlooked or done incorrectly and game over. Glad it worked out well, though, and little Archie did fine on the plane.

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6 Mark November 30, 2011 at 9:33 pm

I must admit Renee took care of the whole thing. All I offered was moral support. She was so worried about checking him in, saying goodbye and not knowing how he was getting along during the flight. But he was fine. After all, as a puppy Archie flew from Maine to Seattle to come live with us.

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7 jade November 28, 2011 at 8:44 pm

We love our dogs and take them all over the US- We’ve thought about what we would do with them if we did a long trip in Europe (we did an RTW and left them with our parents) but don’t want to miss them again. Great tips- I’ve always wondered what it took to take them to Europe.

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8 Renee November 30, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Hi, Jade. I’m so glad to hear this post was useful to you and that you’re considering bringing your dogs to Europe. I was very worried about flying Archie but it worked out well and I’m glad we didn’t let our fears deter us.

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9 FutureExpat December 15, 2011 at 7:32 pm

Very comprehensive and lots of good information. Moving our three dogs to Panama with us is our biggest stress point.

Fortunately, Panama doesn’t have as many requirements as any European country, but it’s still a lot of hoops to jump through.

My only question is about medication. Everything I’ve read, including IATA’s guidelines, recommend AGAINST sedating your pet for the trip. Wondering where you found info recommending it?

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10 Renee December 16, 2011 at 8:25 am

Archie’s veterinarian disagreed.

Archie (a Jack Russell Terrier) is an extremely alert and sensitive dog who’s accustomed to being with us nearly 24/7. Between his personality and the fact that he’d be alone for so long, the vet and I both thought it best that he had some help relaxing during the flight.

As soon as I saw the effect of the medication, I knew we’d done the right thing. Archie was still himself, functioning and responsive, just WAY calmer and less anxious. When we collected him about 12 hours later at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, he was still relaxed, though certainly excited to see us.

Honestly, I think he would have had a heart attack without the medication.

Now that’s not a judgement/recommendation for you or anyone else. It’s simply what was best for our particular dog.

A final thought: The IATA is an airline organization, which makes me suspect their blanket anti-sedation advice has to do with liability issues rather than the best interests of my dog.

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11 FutureExpat December 17, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Thanks, Renee, makes sense. The reasoning against sedation that I’ve read is that if the pet has trouble breathing or starts vomiting he could be in real trouble very quickly. But it sounds like your level of calming for Archie is not the kind of sedation they warn about.

:-)

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12 Akila December 22, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Renee, I LOVE these pictures. I want to hear much more about Archie’s trip in Europe! I’m so glad to hear that he’s enjoying his time in Turkey because that’s an area that we’re a bit worried about. People keep warning us that the Turkish aren’t very friendly to pets.

Another question, what sort of paperwork did the Greek officials look at when you left Turkey and headed back to Greece? We’re getting everything done before we leave England but I’m curious as to whether they were sticklers on the paperwork.

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13 Renee December 26, 2011 at 8:21 am

Thanks, Akila. I’m writing a post now about the joys and challenges of traveling in Europe with Archie. I’ll have that up in a day or two.

About Turkey: Yes, dogs are certainly treated less sensitively here than they are in North America, but no one is going to abuse YOUR dogs. You will see lots of dogs tied up outside all day and night, totally alone, living their lives at the end of chains and ropes. It’s heartbreaking. Also there are tons of strays, many quite large, so often when I walk Archie I’ll carry a big stick. A few thumps on the ground will send them scurrying off.

The astronomical number of stray cats is challenging for our Jack Russell who lives to chase them. But if your dogs aren’t cat sensitive, then no problem. Finally, I’d say the biggest issue here is cultural. Folks are either terrified of Archie, so much so that they’ll jump in the street to avoid him, or worse, they try in interact with him. Those people will often wave their fingers in his face, trying to get him to “do something cute.” It’s not dog savvy.

Also I try not to let Archie scrounge food off the ground because locals tell me that people occasionally put out poisoned meat to get rid of nuisance dogs or excess strays.

Paperwork for Greece: We entered Greece (from Turkey) through the ferry terminal at Chios. No one cared about Archie or asked to see his paperwork. FYI we’ve entered Turkey twice now, and no one at either border cared about the dog or asked to see his paperwork either. They were much more interested in the vehicle’s paperwork, which needs to be in order if you hope to enter the country.

Cheers!

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14 Akila January 21, 2012 at 9:41 pm

Renee,

Thank you so much for this very comprehensive comment! I really appreciate it. It’s good to know about the stray cats roaming about — we’ll have to keep our dogs on lead, then! They’ve gotten so used to running off-leash in England, France, and Italy, that they’re going to have a tough time adjusting to Turkish rules. Thanks again!

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15 Miro March 20, 2012 at 12:41 am

I will be traveling this summer to Europe with my dog. It will be one way trip, since me and my dog will be staying there. I am VERY varying about this, since I read horror stories, and even one pilot says, that 1‑2 animals die once a month (frozen).

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16 Stavros June 16, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Great place for info. I have already done this 3 times and now I’m leaving in less than 10 days again with our dog.

Warning! EU has just changed the forms and the new ones cannot be found online yet!! I had to get the new one from the Canada Food Inspection Agency and that only after I took the old one there (they still do not have the new ones posted on their webpage and today is 16June2012).

Also, because I fly to Germany first and then to Greece, frankly, the last 3 trips none ever asked for any form. I seems that if the dog walks, nobody pays attention… :-)

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17 Mark June 23, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Archie is part of our family and we couldn’t imagine going anywhere without him. Thanks for the comment and the tip about the paperwork.

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18 Miro June 24, 2012 at 11:42 am

I will go for trip to Vienna (Austria) probably in August and I did extensive research, including contacting Austria Embassy. The new EU form is on with explanation. One form is for more than 3 dogs, one form for 1 -3 dogs. After research I found the best airline for animal transportation is Lufthansa (number one), than KLM, than Austrian Airline. Also Lufthansa made in Frankfurt special “hotel” for animals, while they are waiting for another airplane.
Also there is a HUGE (!) difference regarding animals in Europe and Canada/USA. Canada/USA is pet travel VERY UNFRIENDLY. I tried to travel from Toronto to New York and contacted ALL buses and trains that is going there, and NONE allowed pets in there ! I ended by taking taxi, the cost of it was $1,350 !
In Europe you can go and travel with the dog ANYWHERE. To my knowledge, any train and bus will take dog on board, and you can go with dog to shopping stores, plazas, and I saw there dogs in restaurants, buffets and coffee shops as well.
Miro

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19 Renee June 24, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Picking the right airline is such a challenge.

I agree completely on about traveling with dogs in North America. Europe is SO pet friendly. We brought Archie on public transit all the time and no one cared a bit. We saw massive dogs on the metro and buses all the time.

But in North America? Forget about it! You can take your dog into some shops, though not all, and never into grocery stores or restaurants. It’s a total pain, and if it were up to me, dogs would be allowed absolutely everywhere. Hopefully one day my family and I can live in Europe.

I can’t believe you had to spend so much money on a cab!

Enjoy Vienna.

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20 Miro June 24, 2012 at 11:47 am

From some reason, the website for Europe aiport transport new form didn’t go thru. It is on: http://www.bmeia.gv.at/fileadmin/user_upload/bmeia/media/Vertretungsbehoerden/Ottawa/Veterinary_Certificate.pdf

Miro

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21 Renee June 24, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Thanks for the link, Miro.

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22 Aleksandra July 13, 2012 at 7:26 pm

Hi,

I have been trying to get information on how to get my Peckingese dog to Belgrade, Serbia, meaning I will have to get a transfer flight via Frankfurt or Vienna. Either way I fly, the dog will have to be in a crate for 15-20 hrs and I am very concerned. Would I be able to see him on my transit time at the airport, and if not how do people do this? Any info will be greatly appreciated.

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23 Rob August 17, 2012 at 3:24 am

Thanks for taking the time to provide this information! I’m trying to plan a 4 month trip to Paris (including side trips to Switzerland, England, etc.) with my dog Sydney…and my wife and daughter. And like you with Archie, where we go, Sydney goes. I’ve been stressed about it for months…mostly in regard to getting Sydney to and from France. I’m even considering a trans-atlantic ship crossing just to avoid having him in the cargo area of a plane. Ultimately, if Sydney is o.k., we’ll be fine as well regardless of what other issues we encounter. So, thanks again for providing a great base of information as we continue to figure everything out. Rob – Chicago, IL

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24 Renee August 17, 2012 at 5:39 am

Rob, I feel your pain. We thought about sailing to Europe, but for us it just wasn’t the right choice. Archie is frightened of kennels and is accustomed to being with us 24/7, so we thought it best to get the trip over with as fast as possible. Rip off the BandAid, so to speak.

I was absolutely terrified for months beforehand and during the flight. But all went well. The baggage hold was heated, pressurized, dim and quiet, which meant Archie, who probably slept most of the way, arrived in one piece. I was must less stressed on the return flight. Our airline was super with dogs and I’d definitely fly them again.

Your trip sounds wonderful. Sadly we had to skip Blighty, because the Brits didn’t relax their dog-import regulations until this past January, too late for us.

When are you leaving? What kind of dog is Sydney?

Renee

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25 Rob August 26, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Thanks for asking…my dog’s name is Sydney (one of our favorite cities). He’s a 12 year old Sheltie (looks like a little Lassie). We plan to leave for Paris in November which presents a problem with flying since it’s often under 45 degrees then in Chicago. So, while it entails a whole new set of obstacles (and I also HATE the idea of Sydney being in a kennel…he’s used to sleeping in our bed), we now think we’ll drive to New York, take the Queen Mary ship to Southhampton, England, and then find a way to get to Paris. Ah, what we won’t do for the dogs we love!!! :) Of course, traveling with Sydney can be (and has been) as much fun as spending time in an ultimate destination…as I know your family has experienced as well. Thanks to your comments (and others), at least we feel much more comfortable flying back next year when the temperatures are more moderate. Hope your travels continue to be safe and rewarding!

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26 Theo August 31, 2012 at 6:26 pm

We are planning on moving to Spain with our 2 dogs in a year from now – we have found out that we can fly directly from Los Angeles, CA to Barcelona on IBERIA, they confirmed that we can fly our dogs on their flight in a pressurized cargo hold. Does anybody have any experience with IBERIA and dogs ?

Thank you, theo

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27 Renee September 3, 2012 at 12:08 am

Hi, Theo. How exciting!!! Barcelona’s a lovely city.

No, we’ve never flown IBERIA so I can’t comment on that particular airline. Great news that you can fly non-stop! Schedule your move for spring or fall, when temperatures are more moderate, and you should have a good result.

Best of luck!

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28 ed September 8, 2012 at 11:14 pm

Renee, thank you , you should be approved by the CFIA and get a commission for this site.. I am leaving with my min pin in 4 weeks to Europe..my dog had been twice before (in baggage), I was oblivious to all the new changes..the up side is she’s flying cabin with me and you have already laid out my plan! exceptional! you are leaving your mark on this world!! thanks again!

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29 Jeanette October 22, 2012 at 11:45 am

Ahhh! Why did it take me so long to find this! I am moving to Finland with my pug and have been jumping through hoops trying to find all the right information! Thank you thank you thank you! You are a life saver!

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30 Mark October 22, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Jeanette, I’m glad to hear this post was helpful to you. Before we traveled, I got really stressed out trying to locate info about transporting dogs to Europe, so I wanted to share what I learned with others. Let me know if you have any specific questions.

Renee

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31 Dawn November 1, 2012 at 11:09 am

What a wealth of information! Thank you so much. RVing across Europe sounds fabulous and what a great idea! The pictures are fantastic and looks like Archie is having a lot of fun. Just like your family, not bringing our dog along with us, didn’t even cross our mind.

My husband is already in Europe (Budapest), and myself and our dog,Max (55 lb golden retriever mix), will be joining him in in the new year. I’ve been trying to find flights with the least amount of layovers from Vancouver to our destination. After already having visited there, we know direct flights aren’t possible. Max has flown across the country a few times, and LOATHES the kennel, but after a day of settling down, he’s over it. I’m really not looking forward to the long flight he’ll have to endure but this post (and comments) have put my mind at ease a bit … Did you fly direct with Archie to Europe or did you have a layover? Again thank you for sharing your experience, as this will be very helpful with our upcoming travels.

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32 Renee November 1, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Dawn, I’m glad you found the post helpful.

My advice is don’t even consider a stopover. Your dog will be crated for at least a dozen hours as it is, so adding time would suck. You your initial departure could be delayed, and if you have a stopover, you could get delayed there too. It’s a risk.

We flew direct from Vancouver to Amsterdam. If I remember correctly, the flight was about 9.5 hours, but factoring in check in and baggage waits, Archie was in his kennel for 12 or 13 hours. A very long day!

Do you have to fly to Budapest? Have you thought about getting as close as you can non-stop and then renting a car for the rest of the trip?

Let me know how it turns out!

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33 Dawn November 1, 2012 at 8:24 pm

Renee, thank for your response and added information. My husband is adamant on no stopovers as well and we are definitely planning on one direct flight and driving the rest of the way … we just have to figure out which city.

I found the flight costing just the same with British Airways, where a one way flight to Budapest cost just the same for a return flight back home. It could be the same for most of the major carriers? Thank you for your feedback on KLM too. Never thought of using them until reading your post and will look into it.

Will definitely let you know how things turn out once we’re abroad. Thank you again!!!! Enjoy the rest of your travels.

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34 A Carter September 2, 2013 at 7:25 am

Been reading all your comments with interest as I’m based in Australia and looking to travel (home) to Europe with my little (four-legged) baby. Confirming what I already knew, Lufthansa seems to be the most dog/pet-friendly carrier, however any ideas about the Asian airlines? (Need to connect to Lufthansa somewhere in Asia; pref. HongKong) Any feedback or info travelling from Australia to Scandinavia would be greatly appreciated.

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35 Renee January 22, 2014 at 5:56 pm

Australia is the worst (pet-transport-wise)! I think you’re required to use a pet transport firm when you fly out of there, yes? I’m sorry I’m late on this comment, it slipped by me. But please let me know how it turned out.

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36 veronica January 22, 2014 at 5:44 pm

We want to visit family in Holland this summer for first time from USA.
we have a chihuahua, Selah, she’ll be a year then
Indeed the information online drives you nuts!!

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37 Renee January 22, 2014 at 5:53 pm

Hi, Veronica. Isn’t it all horrible? It’s difficult to track down accurate information. I could barely sleep before we flew to Europe for the first time…I was sure I’d missed something and my dog would be kicked off the plane. Or worse, that he’d die! Fortunately it all turned out well. Let me know if I can help. :-)

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