International Travel with Dogs [Part One]

Posted on: July 19, 2017

oatmeal cookies (3)

Our fur babies are like family and it never crossed our minds that we would leave them behind. So when we decided to uproot our lives to Spain, we knew we had to start the documentation process of traveling with pets. It can be a daunting process but we’ve done our research and are here to help!

In our experience, Europe has been really dog friendly! I see more people with dogs in Barcelona wandering the streets than I ever did living stateside. London felt the same way too! Most cafes have outdoor seating for guests with dogs, and I’ve seen quite a few pups out shopping with their owners. Research is your best friend. Spend a few minutes researching your destination and it’s dog friendly-ness!


First things first,

Contact your Embassy or the Embassy of the country you will be traveling to. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT step. It is crucial you look into all the documentation ASAP.

Requirements for most countries (not all):

  • ISO microchip (if it isn’t ISO you can purchase a scanner to bring with you to scan the chip)
  • Recent rabies vaccination  (most countries require annual shots but will usually honor the 3 year booster)
  • Blood titer test in some cases
  • Tick and tapeworm treatments administered a certain number of hours prior to entry
  • Health certificates administered by your veterinarian no more than 10 days prior to entry
  • Government Export Paperwork from the country of origin (Department of Agriculture or USDA equivalent)


Other helpful information…


The countries of the world have been divided into three classifications that relate to rabies: rabies-free countries, rabies-controlled countries and high-rabies countries. Before your pet travels internationally, it is important that you know the rabies classification of your pet’s originating country as well as the rabies classification of its destination country.  You need to be aware of quarantine requirements of countries in which you must clear customs.

You can find that information by contacting or researching the embassy of the country you are traveling to.

If your pet is entering the country of destination from a rabies-free or rabies-controlled country, it will need proof of a current rabies vaccination that was administered after the microchip was implanted.

If this is your pet’s first vaccination after microchipping, it will need to wait for 21 days before traveling. There is no waiting period after boosters as long as:

  • the previous vaccination was administered after a microchip was implanted AND
  • the previous vaccination had not expired when the booster was given.

You can find a list of rabies-free (here) and rabies-controlled countries (here).


Pet Passport:

Another option you can look into is a Pet Passport. If it is available from your vet, DO IT! So helpful and contains all the documentation/information in one place. This will make travel through the airports and borders a lot easier and faster!

Stay posted for Part 2! My favorite tips and tricks for taking long flights and finding pet friendly accommodations! Pets are such a huge part of our lives an I can’t imagine traveling without em!






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