Flying with pets

Are you planning to fly with your pet? If so, there are some things you need to consider to avoid problems when entering a country. In this article, we have summarised most of the key elements you need to know before travelling with your pet.

First of all, not all the airlines allow pets, so it is worth checking before buying your flight. Secondly, each airline has a different pet policy so you must check your airline’s specific policy to see all the conditions.

Pets can fly in 3 different ways:

  • In-cabin: Only for small animals, usually between 8-10 kg. The animal must travel in an airline-compliant carrier stowed under the seat.
  • Checked baggage cargo: Pets traveling with a passenger that are not permitted in the cabin can be transported as checked baggage in the cargo hold.
  • Manifest cargo: Unaccompanied or very large pets will travel as manifest cargo in the hold.

* Nowadays, cargo holds for airplanes have ventilation systems. The temperature can oscillate between 10 ºC and 25 ºC and many of the airplanes have special zones pet transport. Therefore, it is advisable to ask the airline beforehand.

* Guide dogs always go in the cabin and travel for free.

What does your pet need when travelling internationally?

The same way as airlines have different regulations for pet travelling, each country has their own regulations too, so you must check your destination´s specific regulations. We recommend you to do this in advance and have all the paperwork ready before the date of your flight. In some places, like Hawaii, they expect you to plan 6 months in advance to avoid quarantine.

In general, every country require a minimum proof of a pet’s good health, a chip certificate, and a rabies certificate.

The International Health Certificate which can be completed by your veterinarian. This certificate should include the name of the animal, breed, colour, age, country of origin, name and address of the owner, as well as all the vaccinations and treatments the pet has received. Some countries will not accept certificates in foreign languages, so make sure you have checked this before landing in the country of your destination.

All countries in 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, and make sure you have got a rabies certificate and all the paperwork updated.

Finally, you will need to get your pet a Pet passport which allows pets travel freely through the EU member countries. You can get it also in your veterinary centre.

We hope you found this article useful and remember that Fit 2 Trip offers pet coverage, under the multi-risk (standard or premier) policy . Click here for more information.