holiday vacation jack russell dog waiting in airport terminal ready to board the airplane or plane at the gate, luggage or bag to the side

For dog owners who plan to fly on a holiday and wonder whether to take their pet along or not, is often a puzzling decision. Going on an overseas trip, dog owners have to ponder numerous aspects other than their own requirements. Take accommodation rules, regulations, local culture at destination and of course, vaccinations. Before departure, they must take into account these elements. To avoid any mix-up, I do not want my blog to bring anxiety to pet owners. My intention is to explore the issue with the view of helping others to plan their travel more effectively.

The first message I want to convey is that taking your pet dog overseas is not as hard as most of us think. However, when planning the trip, owners must consider their dog’s needs too and escape from thinking only about ‘own’ human necessities. Air travel can be tiring for people but is equally gruelling for dogs. On arrival, local quarantine requirements or inaccurate paperwork can exasperate the experience for instance. Therefore, it is essential for pet owners to double-check all the details thoroughly before departure.

Regulations, weather conditions and microchipping are very important

On a similar note, consider the climatic conditions when travelling abroad with your pet. Animals are used in certain living conditions. Heat can be a health issue for dogs while cold likewise affects certain species of dogs. Suddenly exposed to extreme conditions can further stress a dog as find themselves in different environment, new surroundings or, changed landscape.

Regulations for taking pets abroad vary between regions, continents and states. For some parts of the world rules have change as recently as 2021. Therefore, for anyone wishing to take their dog abroad, it makes sense to plan before booking. For instance, an animal health certificate is essential for each trip entering the European Union as well as Northern Ireland. Having said this, some countries have additional requirements or restrictions. These can relate to certain treatments your pet needs to have prior to arrival. Or, other technicalities like microchipping as in many places (i.e. in the UK) it’s a legal requirement to have.       

I would suggest that you should check out with airlines and tour operators if planning to travel with your pet by air. For me, most of the big airlines are methodical about pet-travel and they offer quality of service and assistance. Delta, British Airways as well as Dutch carrier KLM have dedicated pages on their official websites with plenty guidance for customers who want to travel with their furry friends.

Taking your pet abroad is not too problematic

Enquire with the airline to find out whether your pet can travel in the cabin with you. Some of the air carriers allow a limited number of animals. In addition, there may be specific company protocols in place for animal health and immunization requirements. As a good precaution, it would be wise to also contact the airport’s customer services in advance. In this way, you can clarify what is the process for going through the main passenger check-in and screening channels.

Overall, taking your pet with you on holiday abroad is not as problematic as many suppose. It simply requires proper planning and preparation to avoid mishaps and difficulties. Nowadays, there are many pet-friendly accommodations available as well as various amenities, facilities and services in most countries. My main advice is that you have to check basic factors before travelling to a foreign place. These include accessibility, space for exercising, requirements for visiting establishments like restaurants and vet availability in emergencies.

This blog concentrated on taking a dog with you on holiday principally if the intention is to fly. Even so, the principles are the same for all pet owners in similar circumstances with other types of animals. In the UK, some new rules apply now to cats for instance. So, owners must carry out good research by concentrating on their own type of pet. The explicit requirements applicable to each type of animal will determine the final decision on taking a pet abroad or not.

Author: Nikolas Koukos

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