You can bring your dog to Europe from the US in 2023. It’s easier in 2023 than before but it still requires careful preparation and adherence to each European country’s specific regulations. Generally, you will need a valid pet microchip for identification, up-to-date vaccinations (including rabies), and a pet health certificate from a veterinarian. Some countries may also impose quarantine periods or have breed-specific restrictions but that is very rare.
Additionally, you must check with your chosen airline for their pet travel policies and fees. By meeting all the necessary requirements, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey for both you and your furry companion.
Disclaimer: All views and opinions expressed in this blog article are our own and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities they represent.
How to Bring Your Dog to Europe From US
The first thing is deciding where to go and when. This, we believe, is the first step because it determines the rest of how you plan and go about obtaining the required documents.
If you decide to go to Europe during the off-season (November – March), then plane tickets and accommodations will be much more affordable than during high season (late May – August). Shoulder season (April – mid June; late September – October) would be a great in-between option in terms of prices and crowds.
As a general rule of thumb, you should give yourself at least 3 months of planning before you leave for Europe with your dog.
Once you choose the country you plan on going to and when, then you can move onto the next step…
Step 2: Book a vet appointment as soon as possible
First, it is mandatory that your pet is microchipped and has their up to date vaccinations in order to travel to Europe. Please double check with your vet about this before booking any appointments. Note that previous vaccinations won’t be valid if given before the microchip.
After ensuring your pet is microchipped and has the necessary vaccines you will need to book an appointment with an accredited vet who can issue you an USDA-endorsed pet health certificate. Not all vets are able to do this. We recommend calling your vet’s office first and confirming before booking an appointment. You can also search this database as well to find an accredited vet.
Below is a script you can use when calling the vet:
“Hello, I plan on traveling to [European Country] on [Date you plan on traveling] and need a pet health certificate done for my pet. Does your office have any vets that are accredited and able to issue this for me?”
To clarify, an USDA-endorsed pet health certificate is a document that is given to you and your pet from a vet, after the vet has deemed your pet healthy enough for travel. You will need the hard copy of this form, embossed and signed by the USDA endorsement office when you fly. Meaning this document can not be shown electronically through your phone or computer. When you are checking into your flight, the airline will required the hard copy of this document. You may also need to show this document upon arrival at your designated country as well.
It is also important to note that if you do not have an European Union pet passport for your dog or pet then you will need to visit the vet and get your pet health certificate done within 10 days of your departure date (your flight date).
More Information About the USDA-Endorsed Pet Health Certificate
To meet your designated country’s requirements for an USDA-endorsed pet health certificate you must obtain this from an accredited veterinarian. They will assist in completing, signing, and dating the necessary certificate. Your veterinarian can then submit the certificate directly to the USDA Endorsement Office through the Veterinary Export Health Certification System (VEHCS) or provide you with the paperwork for you to submit to the office yourself. The USDA Endorsement office will then emboss and sign the hard copy and send it back directly to you so you can bring it to the airport. Please note that you will have to pay for shipping.
Step 3: Book your flight and check airline requirements
Next is making sure you book flights for you and your pet! This step can be done simultaneously with Step 2; however we find that if you get your vet appointment date booked and figure out all that business with the USDA-endorsed pet health certificate then booking your flight becomes more seamless.
We are based in California so flying into a major European city such as Paris, Milan, etc would be the most efficient because they tend to have direct flights. We flown French Bee and loved it! Very straight to the point, cost efficient and we have not experience any delays or cancellations with them.
We listed below the airlines you can bring your dog and fly in cabin with them to Europe from US in 2023. You can click on the links to each airline to be taken directly to their pet policy page.
- Aegean Airlines
- Air Canada
- Air Europa
- Air France
- Alaska Air
- American Airlines
- French Bee
- TAP Air Portugal (We do not recommend flying with them. We experienced a lot of issues with this airline.)
- TUI Fly
- United Airlines
It is also important to note that you will need to buy a soft carrier for your pet if you plan on traveling in cabin with them. We rated the top 5 best dog carriers for 2023 here if you want to check that out!
We recommend you review your airline’s pet policy in detail and understand the following:
- their maximum weight allotment (usually has to be under 17-22 pounds, including the carrier)
- their maximum carrier size & carrier requirements
- the cost to fly your pet in cabin with you
- if there are any additional paperwork needed to check your dog into the flight
Step 4: Ensure your pet and you are ready for travel
Lastly, once everything is squared away you can relax! Well, sort of. We recommend you train your pet for airline travel. Getting your pet used to the carrier, making sure they relieve themselves before the flight, and watching their food and water intake are all things you must do to ensure a smooth journey.
If you want a free guide on how to best prepare your dog for in cabin airplane travel then just sign up to our newsletter below & get it instantly.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How can I take my dog to Europe from the US without flying?
In 2023, flying to Europe from the US is one of the fastest ways to travel with your pet. However, there are other options if you prefer not to fly.
Ferry travel with pets is available on many large ships in US and Europe. You can sail for several hours or even days, with accommodations for both you and your pet. The ferries make stops in various countries during the journey.
You also have the option to charter a private yacht as well — but we believe this to be unnecessary and extremely pricey.
Can you bring a dog on a plane to Europe from US?
Yes! You can bring a dog on a plane to Europe. We’ve listed the airlines that allow in cabin pets to fly with their owners above. However, you must meet all the requirements and have the appropriate paperwork in order to do so.
An accredited vet needs to sign the form, and then the USDA endorsement office must endorse it within 48 hours before your pet arrives in Europe. The hard copy of the form must be on hand while traveling. If your pet is just passing through the EU, you don’t need to follow this rule.
Can dogs fly in the cabin from US to Europe?
Yes! In 2023 there are plenty of options if you want to bring your dog to Europe from the US via airplane. When flying to Europe from the USA with your dog, it’s best to choose European flag-carrier airlines as they are more likely to allow pets in the cabin with you. We’ve listed the 2023 airlines that allow pets in cabin above!
How much does it cost to fly a dog internationally?
It really all depends on when you’re traveling and where you’re traveling to. However, bringing your dog on a flight in the cabin usually costs around $125 to $250. Whereas transporting them in the cargo hold can usually be well over $1,000. For international pet shipping, licensed companies usually charge between $1,000 and $6,000. We’ve heard some destinations you have to pay upwards of $10,000 to transport your pet.
How hard is it to bring a dog to Europe?
We would say it’s not hard but it takes work. Before bringing your dog, cat, or ferret to any European Union country, your pet needs to have a microchip. Note that previous vaccinations won’t be valid if given before the microchip. Even if your pet’s rabies vaccination is still valid, it must be re-vaccinated for rabies after getting the microchip. Please also double check with the official USA website here as well as the EU official website here for up to date regulations, updates and changes.
Do dogs need a passport to fly internationally to Europe?
You do not need an EU pet passport for your dog unless you are traveling in Europe with your dog for more than 90 days. However, the European Union EU dog pet passport makes it easier for your dog to travel across Europe.
How much does it cost to travel with a dog in Europe?
It depends! If you are flying into Europe with your dog from the US then it can usually cost $100-250 extra.
However, if you’re traveling around Europe when you are already in Europe then the price can be much cheaper. Sites like Omio are pet friendly and offers affordable prices for pet friendly train rides. Dogs even get to ride for free on most trains (if your pet is in a pet carrier).
Also, if you have an European Union pet passport this allows your dog, cat, or ferret to travel effortlessly within the EU and even to non-EU countries (like UK, Switzerland, Iceland, etc). We highly recommend getting a European Union pet passport for your pet!
What is the weight limit for dogs to fly in cabin?
This will vary across different airlines. So make sure you double check with each airline’s pet policy. We link each airline and their pet policy above to make it easier for you to check!
Generally, however, we have found the weight limit for dogs/pets in the cabin to be 17-22 pounds or less. This includes the carrier’s and your pet’s weight.
Do dogs have to quarantine in Europe?
Good news! Pets traveling between Europe and the US do not need to go through quarantine, so you can bring your pet to your hotel or destination right when you land. The rules are simple: ensure your pet has a rabies vaccine, a microchip, and a health certificate from a USDA vet. That’s all you need to worry about!
We hope you found this article helpful!
Travel Dog Bodhi 🐶
Did this post help you sniff out some useful info for your furry friend?
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