4 Tips for International Travel with Pets

international travel cover

For people who work overseas, such as Foreign Service workers, international travel with a pet can be challenging. Along with ensuring they have the proper vaccines, pet owners need to arrange transportation for their pets, and they may need to leave them with strangers under quarantine.

However, if you prepare your dog for moving, then you, and they, will be able to adapt quickly to moving to a new home, no matter its location. Here are four tips to prepare your dog for international travel.

Contact Airlines for Policies

international travel plane

If you need to fly to your next assignment, then you should contact each airline about their pet policies. With some airlines, if you have a small dog, you may be able to carry it onboard the plane with you.

However, larger pets will need to be checked in as cargo. Airlines charge by the pet’s weight, including the travel crate, for the cost of its ticket. There may be a limit to the size of the crate that can be checked in as cargo. So, get that information from the airlines when you contact them.

Train with Crate

international travel train 2

If your dog doesn’t already use a crate at home, then you will need to train him or her to lay in it quietly. By training them, they will be adjusted to the crate, and won’t be as anxious as they would if they had never been in one for any length of time.

Begin crate training them for a few minutes each night, then gradually increase the time. It could take several weeks until they can stay in one overnight, so start preparing them as soon as possible. Prepare the crate with blankets and their favorite toys to help keep calm during the flight.

Check with Vet

international travel vet

When moving to another country, find out which vaccinations your pet will need. Take them to the vet for a checkup as well as their shots. Some of these vaccinations need to be done several months ahead of the move, so get them done as soon as you know you’ve been reassigned.

Even though you may have traveled with your dog when you first bought him or her, don’t expect them to remember it. Treat the situation as if they have never traveled before to prepare them for a long trip.

A ride from buying dogs for sale in Ohio to a new job in China is very different, and preparation is key.

Microchip Your Pet

international travel train

In a new home, no matter where it is, your pet could easily get lost if they somehow escape their enclosure. However, if your dog has a microchip, it will be easier to locate you in order to get him or her back home.

Make sure to update the information in the chip, so you can be reached right away if someone finds your dog. Having old contact information in the system could delay a reunion if your dog is found in a new city or country.

By making preparations for your pet, the transition to a new destination should be easier on both of you. Your pet will be anxious about traveling by airplane and moving to a new home. However, if you plan for the move ahead of time, things should go smoothly.

What tips do you have for international travel with pets?


  1. I’ve traveled internationally with my pets several times, and these are all important. I’d also suggest doing exhaustive research on the policies of the countries you plan to travel to. Especially in developing countries, different ‘official’ websites can have contradictory requirements. I always print off all my email correspondence with these agencies and take those printed copies with me when I travel.

    • That’s a great tip, thank you! Also sometimes if you’re going to developing countries, it’s good to know the policies about bringing your pup back home too! I will now always make sure I keep the emails too when travelling!