Expat Magazine

Bringing Your Pet Abroad?

By Clogsandtulips @clogsandtulips
Bringing Your Pet Abroad?Hi everyone! Turner here again. I'm Tiffany's dog and a proud exPET living in the Netherlands! Sometimes I drop by the blog to share a dog's-eye view of life in the Netherlands.

Today I'm here to talk about traveling abroad with your pet. In order to do so, there are a few things you need to know.


Before your trip

Before you take your pet anywhere, you need to make sure he or she has the proper documentation and paperwork. Here's what you need:

  • Microchip - After July 2011 tatoos will no longer be an accepted form of identification. The microchip is placed either in your pet's shoulder (European chips) or right between the shoulder blades (American chips). Should your dog become lost, stolen, or dropped off at an animal shelter, the chip can be read by a scanner. The chip includes all of your information, making it easy for them to identify you as the pet's owner. If traveling to Europe, I highly recommend having a European chip inserted as European scanners cannot read American chips. We did not know this before we left the US, so now I have two microchips.

  • Passport - In order to go from country to country, your pet will need a passport - just like you do! The passport contains information on your pet (microchip information, vaccinations, breed, age, etc). You can get a passport for your pet from your vetrinarian.

  • Vaccinations - Do your research to know what kinds of vaccinations your pet needs in order to be accepted into the country of your choice. Remember that some vaccinations take time to become active, so make sure you have your pet vaccinated in time for the vaccination to become active before your trip.

  • Health Certificate - This can be obtained from your vetrinarian. It is the vet's seal of approval that your pet is in good health and caught up on all vaccinations.

  • Crate - It is possible that you will be required to package your pet up in a certain manner. Certain airlines, for example, only approve crates with certain characteristics. Depending on the animal and mode of transportation, different crates or animal carriers may be required. Check with the airline, train, bus, or boat company to see what they approve.


Once you get there



  • Hotels - If you are going to be staying as a guest at a hotel, Bed and Breakfast, or with friends or family, check with them to make sure that pets are allowed. Some places only allow small pets, some forbid cats, some forbid dogs, some have a no-tolerance policy when it comes to pets.

  • Transportation - Once you get to your destination, you may need to travel shorter distances with your pet by ferry, boat, train, tram, metro, or bus. Contact the transportation company to see what their policy is when it comes to pets. You may not be able to bring a pet on board, they may have to go in the cargo hold, or you may have to purchase a seperate ticket for them.

  • Potty break - Find out where you can take your pet for exercise or a potty break. Some places will have areas designed especially for pets, others may not allow pets at all, while others still may allow pets but require that you clean up after it.

  • No pets allowed - Some restaurants, shops, cafes, and tourist attractions may welcome pets. Others may not. Make sure you have somewhere safe you can leave you pet should you plan to visit a "No Pets Allowed" environment.

Before you go



  • Going home - Make sure you know what you need to do to get your pet back home. Your home country may have re-entry requirements that differ from entry requirements of other countries. Make sure you have all your ducks in a row before returning home so you don't find yourself having to leave your pet behind.

For information on bringing your pet to the Netherlands, read Traveling in the Netherlands with your dog on Examiner.com.


Have you ever traveled abroad with your pet? What was your experience?


Until next time, Bringing Your Pet Abroad?








Photo: Elizabeth Aldridge, Getty Images

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