Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Flying Internationally with your Dog

flying internationally with a dog
Snuggles with my sweet girl
tips for flying with a dog
Lily as a puppy!
Happy (belated) International Dog Day! Back in the US, it was National Dog Day yesterday- based off the fact that we can't take Lily with us over here to Sweden, I have decided that automatically qualifies today as International Dog Day! In honor of the day, I'm going to write a quick post about things to consider and think about when you are moving abroad with your dog.

Firstly, you may be wondering, why can't Lily come to Sweden with us? The unfortunate truth in the matter is that commercial airlines have banned English Bulldogs from flying, due to their snub noses and breathing difficulties. This wasn't the case several years ago- Lily has actually lived in Germany for two hockey seasons with Nick. However, the last time he flew home with her, she just barely made the cut-off before most airlines banned English Bulldogs completely. Some bulldogs (typically French) may still fly in the cabins of planes as long as they are under a certain weight limit. While we would love to have Lily over here with us in our daily life, it is a better choice for her (and her health) to remain back in the US and not have to deal with the stress of flying.

Now, for those of you looking to move internationally with a dog, here are a couple of tips to help make the process a little bit easier for you!

1. Check the requirements of both the country you will be moving from, and the country you will be moving to. There may be different requirements for each country. Keep in mind as well, this may also depend on the country you are physically flying in to. For example, last year when Nick and I flew into Denmark, we would have ensured we abided by Denmark's regulations, as that is the country we were flying into and out of upon our departure at the end of the season. A great resource for requirements is Pet Relocation. Some common requirements:

  • Microchipping (when flying to the EU, need a universal microchip)
  • Updated shots (rabies, vaccinations) 
  • Recent vet check and completed paperwork

2. Make sure your dog will be comfortable flying. Give them plenty of time to get used to the kennel they will be spending the flight in- shorter times, as well as nights in the kennel. In addition to spending lots of the time in their kennel, you can help ease their potential anxiety by leaving a t-shirt/blanket that smells like you with them (sleep with it a couple of times!). As long as your pet will be comfortable in their kennel, they should be good to go!

My best advice when it comes to moving internationally with your dog (or any pet, really)? Talk only with certified, knowledgeable people. Call your veterinarian well in advance, call your airline for their specific requirements, and get in touch with people who can give you the correct information. For many of us, our dogs/pets are a part of our family- and I know when traveling and making a big move, the last thing anybody wants is stress over making sure your entire family can make the move all at once.

Have you ever moved, or flown, internationally with a pet? What is your advice to making the journey as smooth as possible?
tips for flying internationally with a dog
A couple puppy pics of our sweet girl sleeping!
tips for flying internationally with a dog
Our sweet girl sleeping!


  1. Oh, I'll be traveling with our Yorkie in two months and I'm so worried, I actually think more about her than all the other stuff! Thank you so much for sharing the experience and for the advices!

    1. Beverly, I'm so happy that this helped you! I'm sure your little yorkie will be just fine. She will have you with! Flying with dogs is always more stressful for you than for them. :)


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