INTERNATIONAL PET SHIPPING

Resources

Departure Checklist

Our checklist for preparing your pets for travel.

Crate Size

The airlines follow IATA container requirements based on species and size of animal, which can be found at IATA.org. Please note that if you are shipping a snub-nosed breed, IATA has additional requirements to allow extra space in the container. Many of the hard-plastic crates that are sold online and at your local pet store will meet the requirements of IATA as long as they are of the correct size for your pet, have proper ventilation, solid bottoms, are strong and stable, and do not have plastic clamps holding the crate together. The guidelines are very specific and are not all listed here, so take your time making sure you purchase the correct crate for your pet.

Crate Requirements

Crate requirements you need to know before your pet travels

Frequently Asked Questions

For more information about your pet’s travels had to our FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Does my pet need to be vaccinated?

At a minimum, your dog or cat will need an up to date rabies vaccination and certificate. Most countries require that your pet be microchipped before receiving the rabies vaccination and that the chip number is listed on the rabies certificate. The rabies certificate should contain your pet’s info (name, DOB, breed), microchip number, rabies vaccination date and expiration date, manufacturer and product information, and the veterinarian’s contact and license information with signature. All vaccines that are required for import must be administered and documented by a veterinarian on a vaccination record. All health documents should have your pet’s info (name, DOB, breed), microchip number, vaccination date and expiration date, and the veterinarian’s contact and license information with signature.

Does the breed of my dog matter?

If you have a snub-nosed pet (ie: Mastiffs, French Bulldog, Persian cat), a fighting breed (ie: Pit-bull), or a large dog, you will want to start making plans as early as possible as many airlines restrict the shipment of these pets. Please see Which Airline to choose for more information.

Which airline and airport should I choose?

Not every airline will allow pets to travel, so there is a chance that your airline and airport options may be highly limited. The US based airlines are very strict on pet shipments, with a ban on shipping snub-nosed cats and dogs. Additionally, if your pet is large you will run into quite a bit of difficulty booking on a US based airline, as they limit the crate size that they will accept. Some of the European, Asian, Australian, and Spanish airlines have quite a bit more flexibility with breed and crate size limitations, but you’ll most likely have get your pet to the coast for the flight (you can hire a company to do this). If you need to drive your pet to the coast, it may work out better to plan this before purchasing your own flight ticket in case you chose to fly out of the same airport. Another very important question to ask the airline is if they will allow you to book your own pet reservation or if it must be done by an agent.

Do I need to hire a professional shipper?

Most likely you will need to hire a pet transportation company. Most US based airlines require each international pet reservation to be made using an IPATA member. Many of the European airlines require a credit account to be established in order to make these reservations, which a person cannot obtain without a business purpose and record. Other airlines require a TSA known shipper to make the reservation. If you have found an airline that will allow you to make your own pet reservation, this is only recommended if the destination country import requirements are very minimal. Please keep in mind that pet shippers regularly receive last-minute frantic calls from people who have tried to ship their own pet, which ultimately results in higher fees, delays, and re-completion of tests and paperwork.

Does the cost vary?

The cost of transport will be highly variable based on your location, destination country, animal type, breed, and weight. Many airlines and destination countries require the pet to travel as manifest cargo, so the routing options and pricing are usually quite a bit different than for passenger flights. Costs to consider are the vaccinations and lab testing required, health certificate appointment, USDA endorsement of documents, the crate, the airline booking, fees to the shipping agent, and customs fees at the destination airport. If your transport is commercial (transfer of ownership of a pet), you may also need to pay taxes in the destination country.

What are the requirements for importing into countries

Every country has different import requirements, and those also vary depending on the country your pet is coming from. You can get basic information be searching the web for the destination country pet import requirements, for example “United Kingdom pet import”. If your pet is departing from the United States, the USDA will have the official requirements listed for most countries, including the required health certificate templates in a completable PDF format https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet-travel. If the USDA does not have official requirements, you can usually find them on the destination country’s embassy and/or import websites. There are also third-party private company websites that list requirements, which are usually correct, but you never want to reply solely on a third-party source. Always check the official government sites.
Emilie Dejardin - Pet Owner

“Marck was really awesome. He took care care of all the paperwork and kept us updated. Great communication, great service! Our rabbit made it back home safely. Thank you!”

Emilie Dejardin, Pet Owner

Mark Romanchock, pet owner in Paris

“Despite trying to move our Labrador from Houston during a pandemic and then a historic power failure on Houston, FFE came through for us. The team kept us in constant contact and went out of their way to help our veterinarian get set up with the USDA portal. Would highly recommend them for anyone moving pets internationally”

Mark Romanchock, Pet Owner

Dominique Wakefield, Pet Owner in Holland

“Coco made it to Holland. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong but none of it the fault of Feathers and Fur. They were wonderful helping to fix the issues with my vet, FedEx and the USDA while time was ticking. Great communication in a very stressful time. Coco is settled in and happy.”

Dominique Wakefield, Pet Owner

We’ll treat your pets as our own

Every team member at FFexpress is also a pet parent, so we know just how important your fur baby is to you. We only use the best airlines and facilities to ensure your pet is receiving the best care possible.

If you require more information, please Contact Us