Going International with Pets

Departing Romania with my big black cat, a customs agent stuck his finger in the cage, gave George Clooney a pat and commented on his huge size. Arriving in Pakistan was just about the same scenario. Were the hours and money I spent to procure George’s travel papers a waste of time? My hunch was that if I didn’t have the correct documents someone would surely have asked to see them.

Traveling with pets is not always so easy.  lf you’re unfortunate enough to be a transit passenger in England and your connecting flight is delayed for some hours, you could find your pet quarantined for up to 6 months.  Also, consider that a long trip in the hold of an airplane could be devastating, if not life threatening for your pet. Lack of food and water and the threat of trauma are dangers to consider. Some international schools won’t hire teachers with four-legged pets while certain cultures view domestic animals quite differently than we do in the West. Your pet may not be welcome.

Going international with pets presents unique situations and problems. ISR invites pet owners to use our Going International with Pets Blog to share information, experiences and anecdotes with other pet owners traveling internationally with their pets.

We thought you may also find useful information in this video.

125 Responses to Going International with Pets

  1. Abby says:

    Has anyone travelled with a big dog (80lbs)? What do schools think when you tell them you have a dog? I don’t have any (responsible) family members that would care for him while I’m away. I’m considering offers from Central and South American international schools.

    Like

  2. mas solee says:

    I plan to move from Australia to Poland using Emirates airlines ,any thoughts?

    Like

  3. Amy Brill says:

    I highly recommend against bringing a dog to southern China. I arrived, after great expense and stress with transit, in June with two small (both under 5 kilos) bichon-poodle crosses. We quickly discovered that many residents are afraid and/or hostile to dogs. On October 1st, we were assaulted verbally by a man in our compound who tried, unsuccesfully, to kick the dogs. Neither the police nor the compound were interested in helping. On October 7th, somebody mixed rat poison with raw hamburger meat and left it along the path where many of us walk our dogs. Despite being on a leash, my younger pup manage to grab a bite or two. By the time I realized the danger, it was too late. I won’t disturb you with the details of what followed, but it was a horrible sequence of events and Kudos died within a few hours. At the time, I was impressed with the compassion and efficacy of the emergency care facility where I had rushed him. Subsequent research has revealed that they were so good becuase they were so experienced. Kudoes was the third fatal rat poisoning case with which they’d dealt that week (Tuesday night). I began a poisoning awareness campaign with very limited success (although it made me feel better). Do your research and ahead of time and don’t take animals where they will not be valued – it’s just too stressful for everybody involved.

    Like

  4. somar says:

    Has anyone brought their dog from the US to Jakarta Indonesia? Also, does anyone know a reliable pet relocation service that could do this? Thanks.

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Singapore Air will fly a pet, even large ones. Check them out, they may fly from Jakarta. They are also one of the best rated airlines.

      Pet relocation services can be expensive. I was quoted $9800.00 from SW US to Vietnam. Needless to say, I am doing it my self. It just took a lot more work. My travel agent was very helpful too. You might want to think abo
      It using one as they can write for any special permission needed. I had to get all sorts of exceptions due to the very large size of my dog.

      Good luck.

      Like

    • Iguanab says:

      This might be too late for you, but I used mersant.com. It cost me $1000/dog to ship them from US to Kuwait. I have posted this before above. I also have the contact person whom I used. Good luck!

      Like

      • Jules says:

        Hello,
        Anyone ever used Pet Chauffeurs from the UK? Also, I need a health certificate that is in Turkish and maybe either english or German, any help out there, please?

        Like

  5. gloryclay says:

    Hello! I am from the Philippines. In a couple of months I will be going to the US on a K-1 visa and I am planning to take my 2 year old American Eskimo with me. I am very much concerned about her safety on board. I know she can’t be in the cabin as she is too big. I heard a lot of horrific stories about dogs traveling abroad. Can somebody enlighten me and give me tips on which plane to use. My route will be Manila-Philadelphia. I was thinking of using Delta or United, but I’m still skeptical. Looking forward to seeing positive response. Thanks!🙂

    Like

    • Iguanab says:

      When I moved overseas, I had my animals shipped through a logistics company – it was very professionally handled but also incredibly expensive! They told me that they only shipped via KLM when possible. With that said, in case KLM doesn’t have service between the Philippines and Philadelphia, I read that the following airlines are trusted by travel agents for animal shipping:

      1. Continental
      2. Jetblue
      3. American
      4. United

      I do know that United and Continental both now have a special PetSafe Program. Good luck!

      Like

      • gloryclay says:

        Thank you for your reply! I’ve read about United’s Pet Safe Policy but I’m still unsure how they handle the animals in the baggage section. How much did it cost you and which logistics company did you use? Every time I research about pet shipping assistance, it always leads me to pet relocation but their pricing is ridiculous.

        – Glory

        Like

        • Iguanab says:

          In 2009, I used Mersantto ship my dogs to Kuwait:

          http://www.mersant.com

          The contact was Chuck Santarelli – 347-632-3022 (tel).

          It cost $1000/dog (I have a pair of Shitzuhs). Their service was excellent – and worth it to me. However, since he told me that they ONLY transport animals via KLM because they are considered the best, I will try and use them when I return to the US. With that said, however, I recently heard that KLM no longer will carry short-nosed breeds like Shitzuhs. Should that be the case, I will use United. I used their partner airlines, Continental, when I had to get my dogs to Houston to catch the KLM flight and they made it fine – and that was before they had their PetSafe program established.

          Like

          • gloryclay says:

            Awww I just searched for KLM flights from Philippines to PA. They fly from Manila to Amsterdam but transfer to Delta from Amsterdam to Detroit.😦 Being in the Philippines, pet transport assistance is hard to find. Not much resources here. I was thinking of Delta or United as I have read a lot of good reviews about them.

            Like

          • gloryclay says:

            Hi again! I was just wondering.. Since I’m not really from Manila. I’m originally from a city thats 2hr. plane ride away from Manila. So I am planning to fly over to Manila the night before my actual international flight. I think at least my dog can rest and relax with me before the super long travel. Do you think it’s a good idea? Thanks so much!🙂

            Like

            • Iguanab says:

              I think doing whatever you can to help your dog feel as little stress as possible is what’s most important. He/She will have no idea what’s happening. In fact, I have placed an article of my clothing in with my animals before. I think it helps them to feel “connected” while away from their “alpha” person!

              Like

            • gloryclay says:

              Yes, I was thinking of that too.. I think it eases them a little to have our scent close to them. I’m a little ahead of time but I think it’s better to prepare early than be clueless about it. Thanks again for your response!🙂

              Like

          • Wayne says:

            Try EVA, we just traveled from LAX, in California to Bangkok Thailand with our 5yr. old TeaCup Yorkie, she is a ESA, and only weights 3.5 lbs. and was allowed in the cabin with my wife, the thing is I was really impressed with the Airline, the worked with us on permits, and all paperwork, they would contact us via email, and we pleasant and professional at all airports and on the plane. good luck..

            Like

        • Anonymous says:

          I always use Air France, KLM or Lufthansa. All three airlines are great with animals. KLM and LH even have a stoppover facility at the airport-for which you pay. It is best to travel together with your dog in the hold on the same plane/route and much cheaper. If there is a delay or something then you are around to deal with it too.
          Susan

          Like

          • gloryclay says:

            Ooohh.. Thank you for that info! Yeah, that’s definitely what I plan to do. I want to be on the same flight as my dog. Btw, is the pricing posted on their website? I know international travel is way too risky but I just can’t leave my dog in the Phils. I’m moving permanently so I want to plan ahead for my dog’s safety.

            Glory

            Like

  6. Jules says:

    Hi,
    Anyone ever use Pet Chauffers? I am planning on having them transport my dogs via their vans to Istanbul. I am so worried, so any suggestions or thoughts would be greatly appreciated. I am currently in Germany, so they will go through several countries to get there. Can’t fly them because one of them is an english bulldog.
    How do you get the health certificates from all these places?

    My email is bakkheia@live.com

    Please drop me a note with any thoughts.

    Thank you soooo much!

    Like

  7. charlotte says:

    Has anyone ever moved a cat from Malaysia to Dubai? I am looking for airlines that are pet friendly and will allow him to be in the cabin if possible. From what I know there is no quarantine am I correct in thinking so?
    I have had him chipped and he has had his jabs but I think he will need them updating before we fly. I am thinking of putting him in a pet hotel for a few weeks as I fly to Thailand for my wedding first then back to Malaysia to pick him up and take him to the airport to Dubai. What exactly is the process?
    Any help I would greatly appreciate.
    Thank you
    Charlotte

    Like

  8. Gwendoline says:

    Hi all, we are relocating to new zealand in six months. I am dreading the trip. We are looking at Thai airlines or KLM from johannesburg to bangkok and then to Auckland. Does anyone know what is the best route and whether we can take her out of the airport at bangkok if its a long layover. She is a small dog so we plan to take her in cabin. Please help.

    Like

    • Iguanab says:

      KLM is the BEST airlines for animals! They are famous for how well they treat pets!

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi
      Have you checked to see if New Zeakand will accept your dog??? I know they are extremely strict, even with quarantine.
      I agree with above. KLM are good and we use Air France or Lufthansa- excellent care and service and a bit cheaper.
      Good luck
      Susan

      Like

  9. :) says:

    Im travelling with my Pet Dog (15 lbs) from the US west coast to Manila Philippines. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to make this easy? Thanks.

    Like

  10. Anonymous says:

    I am flying with my cat :S so frazzled I forgot the most important part..

    Like

  11. Anonymous says:

    HELP!
    I am traveling from Canada to Beirut via Paris in 15 days and am becoming stressed thinking about the possibility of something going wrong. I obtained a pet passport and am getting all the documentation filled out accordingly though my flight from Paris to Beirut is on MEA does anyone know the regulations for this airline?

    Like

  12. Angela says:

    Did anybody fly with Lufthansa from US to Europe with a dog ? What documentation are checking at the airport ? Are they very drastic at the airport regarding the papers for the dog ?

    Like

    • international me says:

      Hi
      I have used Lufthansa several times but not from US. Yes, they DO check all the papers carefully. They look after the animals very well too! I shall be taking my pets to Africa with them on Sunday!

      Like

    • international me says:

      Sorry, forgot to say what you need – microchip,rabies shot, health certificate for travel and blood sample test (unless US is rabies free). They will check docs before you board the plane….
      Good luck!

      Like

  13. Deborah Williams says:

    Do the EU requirements pertain to layovers in european countries or just if that country is your final destination. i will be flying from houston to Rwanda with a carry on dog. We have a stop over in Brussels for 2 hours. Will Eu paperwork and blood test be required if we are not leaving the airport?

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi
      I’m not certain but it probably does. Even in Europe checks are not consistent – I have twice arrived in Paris with dog and cat from Africa(with all docs)and they have looked at nothing! Lufthansa wanted papers for stop in Frankfurt but,Air France did not…..Why don’t you get the blood test done anyway,since presumably you will need to take the dog out of Rwanda later and it will be much easier from home?Papers are valid indefinitely if you keep up rabies shots.

      Like

  14. Helena says:

    Hi, anyone flew recently to India from Canada with a dog on Korean Airlines? thanks

    Like

  15. Trav45 says:

    It depends on the country you’re in. If they have quarantine laws, they would need to be re-quarantined each time. I usually find a pet-sitter–either someone staying in my place, or the animal goes to them.

    Like

  16. rachael says:

    I am wondering—what do people do with their pets in the summer? Do you take them home with you? Get local boarding? Can they travel in and out of countries the same as when they come to live in a place?

    THANK YOU!

    Like

  17. expatteacher says:

    We are planning to take our cat with us to HK this August. We have been getting all of the paperwork lined up, chip, shots, etc. Has anyone else gone to HK with an animal – it’s quite strict it seems. Just like to hear another person’s experience. We’ve only traveled from Central America to the US a couple times so far and no one has ever even asked for the paperwork! Thanks for any insights…

    Like

  18. Im flying to Cairo in August, I will prob fly Egypt Air and I have asked, they said I can bring my nervous Yorkie on board with me and it costs about 150 euro I think. I have already contacted a vet in Cairo and besides his rabies shot , his passort and his blood test, we should be good to fly at that time and leave Egypt no problem after 2 years if we want to. My only concern is finding somone who will walk him and feed him when I’m at work.

    Like

    • J says:

      Three years ago Egypt Air would not allow me to take my dog on their plane and a friend recently told me she had the same message given to her. Perhaps since your dog is allowed on the plane, the rules are different. You might want to double check on this. As far as having someone to walk and feed him…Many people in the Middle East have live in domestic help. You could sponsor someone yourself, or find someone who has help and see if you could hire that person for an hour a day.

      Like

    • Trav45 says:

      Don’t fly Egypt Air. I’d take Lufthansa.

      As to finding a walker, that could be a problem. Egyptians don’t like dogs, on the whole. He can’t make it through the day? HOw old is he? I assume you’ll be living in the Maadi area?

      Like

  19. Sarah says:

    Has anyone traveled to Singapore with their cats?

    Like

  20. sue says:

    Yes. But it is OK.Email if you want to know more. I took two dogs and a cat in. However you need to book the date well in advance and in my case they actually changed the agreed booking at short notice which was a problem!!

    Like

  21. anon says:

    Looking for info on bringing a dog into Singapore. Is the 30 day quarantine standard?????

    Like

  22. yers says:

    Can anyone give me information on bringing a dog to Jakarta Indonesia? Thanks

    Like

    • Christine Doyle says:

      Hi Yers,
      I’m also interested about information on bringing three older dogs to Jakarta Indonesia this August 2013 from Australia. If anyone has any experiences or knowledge about this I would love to hear from them. Yers, how did you go? Did you take your dog to Jakarta?
      Thanks very much

      Like

      • Christine says:

        Also, what carriers are the best to transfer dogs to Indonesia from Australia? Everyone is saying KLM are the best but does anyone know if they travel this route?
        Christine

        Like

  23. Susan says:

    I suggest checking with Lufthansa and seeing who will be checking on your dog during the layover. A three-hour layover, after a long flight, is a time when your pet should be looked at and cared for.

    KLM actually has a “Pet Motel” in their facility where pets are walked, fed and cleaned up when necessary. On the way home, I highly recommend KLM if you can manage it.

    Like

  24. Tracy says:

    My husband and I are moving from USA to Spain in just 9 days. Besides the mounds of paperwork (Spanish Consulate has a few documents and our vet had a few documents, plus we had to visit the USDA to get stamped), it seems pretty easy to get her there. Lufthansa doesn’t require anything on their end for paperwork. We crated her when she was a puppy but that was over 5 years ago, so when our new crate came in the mail, we were worried she’d hate it. Now we can hardly get her out of it. We are flying San Francisco to Frankfurt and then have a 3 hour layover before heading to Barcelona. That’s a lot of time without the potty or us…I am hoping all goes well.

    Like

    • Trav45 says:

      If you go to pettravel.com, you can order crate pads that leak through, but stay dry on top. Kinda like diapers! : )

      Like

    • Trav45 says:

      Lufthansa is very good, btw. I flew my dog and cat home from Cairo to Seattle via Lufthansa, with a 4 hour layover. They called me over the PA, had me come check the cat and dog to make sure they were ok, walked the dog, etc.

      Like

  25. Susan says:

    Check out this site for information by country:
    http://www.pettravel.com/passportnew.cfm

    Like

  26. yer says:

    Im bringing my dog to Shanghai. Will this be a problem or is it easy? I am ready to bring all the necessary papers

    Like

    • Shannon says:

      I brought my dog to Shanghai, doing everything legally on the US side. Because he’s a smaller dog, he flew in the cabin under the seat in front of me, and did just fine. While walking through customs, I stopped at the quarantine desk, but the agent was busy either texting or playing a video game, so he just waved me on. (He obviously didn’t see the Dog Whisperer bag over my shoulder). I thought there would be another desk farther on, so I kept walking. Next thing I knew, I was getting my passport stamped, collecting my luggage, and walking out. No quarantine for my pup…he snuck into China!

      Like

    • Trav45 says:

      Do your homework! Your dog will either have to stay in quarantine for a week, which is a bureaucratic nightmare, or you can pay to keep him out of quarantine which is also a bureaucratic nightmare. I paid Globy pet travel $500 to meet us at the airport when we arrived and deal with all of the paperwork for my dog. They checked on him and brought him to me once his week in quarantine was over.

      Like

  27. Laura says:

    I’m not going anywhere without my dogs, they are the loves of my life! I’m wondering about THAILAND… is it true that all arriving dogs have to be quarantined for 30 days, even with all the proper paperwork? I’m not sure I can handle that!

    Like

  28. Lisa says:

    +My dog has a heart condition and needs to see a vet cardiologist once every six months. After some research, I found that vet cardiologists only exist in the U.S. Anyone know anything about this?

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      I would suggest that you see if there is a National Veterinary Cardiology Association and, if there is, see if they can guide you on this.

      Like

  29. Stacey says:

    I just got a job offer in Budapest, Hungary and will be moving from Arizona, USA. I have 17lb. Japanese chin (3 years) that will be moving with me and I am terrified about the flight over. I have heard and read horror stories about dogs going in cargo and though light, he is too tall to fit in a carrier under the seat. Does anyone have any suggestions to make the move easier? Is Budapest pretty dog friendly?

    Like

    • isumc10 says:

      Stacey,
      Don’t worry–Europe is easy! KLM is generally considered the best airline for pet travel. I have flown my pets Lufthansa, and they were also great with them. Most European countries are pretty pet-friendly so I wouldn’t worry overly much about Hungary. Check out pettravel.com for information on flying with pets.

      Like

    • mass says:

      I lived in Budapest for five years and my spaniel loved it there. I used KLM and still use KLM. However, Delta is now a partner with KLM, and they have a pet embargo during the summer months. I am living in another country now, and last summer the dog was rejected by Delta on a flight in early July, even though I had booked through KLM. KLM offered to fly us elsewhere, so I went to Montreal instead of Boston. Great flight, about an hour shorter. Good welcome in Canada! I had to show only the rabies certificate. In fact, I flew back to Europe from Montreal, even though I had to drive back to Canada first. (As an aside, Delta/KLM may now have a joint plan for moving pets via cargo and, as you may not get a direct flight from Arizona, you may want to check out that option.)
      For Europe, your pet has to have a European micro-chip (you can order through pettravelstore.com). The rabies vaccination has to be current. Before you leave the USA, your vet can fill out a Vet Certificate (see Hungarian Embassy site or EU), and then his/her signature may need to be verified by the Chief Vet for your State (Depends on the State). It sounds complicated, but it is fairly easy. When you get settled in Hungary, you can get a doggie passport from you vet there ( good vets and English-speakers). You just show the Vet Certificate and the record of the rabies vaccination.

      I plan my flight so my dog will NOT have a full stomach. If the flight is in the afternoon, she can have an early breakfast, but nothing else, except for water and a small treat. After you check in, make sure you take the dog outside for a last pee, etc. Next you will take the dog to another area before they take him/her to a large luggage area. First, you may be asked to take the dog out of the crate, so staff can be sure the crate is secure for travel and you are not hiding anything inside.

      When you get on board, ask for confirmation that you dog is on the flight. I usually ask more than once, as some flight attendants are better about that than others. KLM is generally quite good on this point. Bon Voyage, your dog and you will enjoy Budapest.

      Like

    • Janet says:

      Hello Stacey,
      I am also from Arizona and worked in Budapest for 3 years. I flew to Budapest from Brazil, though. You will need to get blood work done and get a Pet Passport for the EU. I lived just outside the city, one in a half blocks from a huge meadow that turned into great forested paths…off leash every day. Boy do I miss that. You will have a great time!

      Like

  30. raeree says:

    Well, I have done some research, and taking my cats in August to Cairo seems nearly impossible; Royal Jordanian does not accept pets, and my 2 12 lb cats can’t fit under the seat. Airlines have had some serious fun jacking up the prices of feline cargo, too, especially during the sumemr months.. I have arranged for a foster home until I come back to the States for the holidays in December, and then I will take them with me on KLM or Lufthansa.

    Like

  31. Trav45 says:

    Definitely a comfort!!! Buenos Aires should be pretty easy–I wouldn’t bother with a professional company. They charge an arm and a leg, and if you’re flying Delta, the cargo area is climate controlled, so will be fine. Call the airline and check on their requirements.

    Also check out pettravel.com–excellent website with access to country-specific papers you’ll need, travel advice, etc.

    As to the time, I flew my (15 pound) terrier home from Cairo–It was a 22 hour flight, and he was fine. You can buy pads for the crate bottom that are something like diapers–they allow any “accidents” to soak through, but stay dry on top.

    Where the professional companies are helpful is in traveling to “obscure” places–I’m going to Mongolia next year and trying to get my dog there has been a major headache. But when I checked with a company, they wanted $7,000 to get him there (the cost of the actual flight for him was only $400!) I have found an alternative route for him, but am also worried about finding boarding, etc. once I’m there, which is another issue. Finally decided I’ll go on my own at first, check it out, and my boyfriend will bring him out later when he comes to visit.

    blah, blah, blah…my point being, Buenos Aires is a thriving, well-traveled metropolis, so it should be pretty easy. Just be sure to have all the papers in order!

    Like

  32. ayteacher says:

    I am moving to Buenos Aires, Argentina the end of July. Some of my concerns:

    * 70 pound dog in cargo leaving during a US summer month. I think I have to use Delta for a carrier. Will he be able to fly comfortably for 14 hours?

    * Should I just hire a company to do door to door service, or is much easier then I am thinking?

    * Is it overwhelming to take your dog with you to a new country on your first international job? Or, is it a comfort?

    Like

  33. marescah says:

    I flew my dog and cat to/from USA/Philippines. Our cat cost nothing as she came in the cabin with us and went under the seat in her crate, our dog (25lb spaniel) flew as excess baggage in the cargo hold (pressurised and heated FYI) for $150. We flew with NWA from Manila to Tokyo to Charlotte.

    Like

  34. Maggiie says:

    I’m also considering leaving my dog with family until I can check out the situation in Cairo, Egypt. A few Qs:
    1. Does anyone have experience w/ dogs in Cairo, specifically Maadi?
    2. Does anyone have an agent they can suggest that goes to Cairo?
    3. If not, should I just call around?
    4. Gas anyone used an agent for part of the process only, such as just airport to airport instead if door-to-door?
    5. I got a quote for $6,000 to get my dog to Cairo. Is this pretty standard? YIKES!! I would live to find something more affordable. I fully expect to spend a few thousand, but SIX?!?

    All feedback is very appreciated. Thank you!!

    Like

    • Susan says:

      Dear Maggiie,
      I brought both of my Shitzuhs from New Mexico to Kuwait for just a little over $1000 each. I can highly recommend mersant.com. They are a logistics company that ONLY deals in shipping animals – race horses, pets, you name it. I handled the NM to Houston portion of the trip and they picked them up in Houston and took over from there. I also had a volunteer from a Kuwaiti animal rescue society handle to pick up in Kuwait, as my pups landed the day after I did.

      I have no idea how large your dog is but $6,000 sounds w-a-a-a-a-y too much!

      Like

    • RaeRee says:

      Hey Maggie, I am moving to Cairo this summer too with 2 cats. Do you have any updates on your dog experience? I am still on the fence about bringing the girls, until I can check out the situation.

      Like

    • Trav45 says:

      Sorry I didn’t see this earlier. I had a dog when I lived in Maadi (brought him home with me). There is one decent vet in Maadi. I forget his name, but he will be in one of the community bulletins that go around there. He’s on a backroad.

      DO NOT hire a professional for Cairo–it’s so easy to get a dog there and back, there’s no point, really. Especially if you’re flying Lufthansa or a similar airline. They take very good care of the animals. I flew a dog and a cat for about $600, and they even called me during the layover to come check on them.

      There is a great place to take your dog and let him run called Wadi Digla–be sure to check it out. Most people take their dogs there. It’s about a 5-10 minute taxi ride from Maadi.

      Like

  35. leanne says:

    HI all,

    I ma currently trying to leave south korea with my cat to Bulgaria. (change flight in moscow)
    I had the rabies injection plus blood test completed over one year ago. (3 year vaccine)
    My vet told me this was all okay and i was ready to take the cat to the quarrantine office – I have since checked numerous websites which state the vaccine has to have been given between 30 days and 12 months.
    My cat is one month over this time…..
    I will go in to my vets tomorrow to talk over this but at the moment I ma incredibly stressed and freaking out thinking the cat will not be allowed into bulgaria.
    Does anyone have any advice to give????!!

    Thank you

    Like

  36. bichondoodle says:

    I am taking a teaching position in Saudi. My plan is to leave my dogs at home with a housesitter for a time until I see how things are in Saudi. Then if it seems feasible I will have an agent transport the dogs. Has anyone done it like this?

    Like

    • Janet says:

      I am currently in Saudi with Pepper, my black lab. You definitely want to check that your city has good vet and kenneling facilities (If you are not hiring a live in housekeeper.). You will also want to check out the size of your compound. Pepper and I had to run seven laps around my first compound to get some decent exercise. Good luck.

      Like

  37. Patti says:

    In reply to Babita, I would definitely not fly with Lufthansa with a pet. In my experience KLM has the best reputation in the area of livestock transportation of all kinds. I have heard several rumors about Lufthansa carrying comestic company test animals which disturb me – true or not, I don’t know.

    Regarding the actual flight, no one can check on your pet during the flight. Pets are in a pressurized baggage hold. As an ex-flight attendant (QANTAS), I can tell you that on stop overs, animals can be left on the hot tarmac alone. Also, I have seen cases where ground staff have tormented the animals on the tarmac. This is why using an agent is so important.

    Depending upon how large your pet is (5kg and under), Korean Air Line (KAL) allow you to take a pet on board as hand luggage between Seoul and the USA (in a secure carry bag). I have taken my toy poodle as hand luggage on more than 1 occasion.

    To be honest with you, I think seeing you mid journey would add more stress to an already stressful experience; best you leave your pet to cope and be there to greet her at the other end.

    Every time I fly with my poodle, I am very “hands on” in the preparation process and always use an agent. Agents have more “wastsa” (pull) and can ensure that your pet is well treated along the way.

    I always take a direct flight where possible as this avoids long waits on hot tarmacs, possibility of people taunting her in her cage etc. Really, relocating with a pet is a traumatic experience for everyone and luckily, into the USA, you do not have to cope with quarantine. Good luck!!!!!!!

    Like

  38. Babita says:

    I have heard about Lufthansa and KLM as one of the efficient airlines while dealing with pets . I would highly appreciate if anyone can give me a second opinion about any of the two listed airlines . I am thinking of transporting my 11 year old from India to USA ( Washington) as a checked baggage…i have been searching all over as i am very apprehensive or you can say nervous because i really don’t know which airlines to go for.Anyone got any experience with any of these airlines especially Lufthansa , would you please mind suggesting me ? My dog is my life , hope you can imagine and it is going to be the toughest and the most stressful time of my life when i have to make her fly with me.How was your overall experience with the airlines ? Can the Air Hostess or the Steward check on the dogs while flying ? Did you have any stop over ? If yes , would i be able to see her ? Is the temp properly managed in Lufthansa ? Any amount of information would be highly appreciated .

    Thank you for your time.

    Like

    • Susan says:

      Hi Babita,

      I flew my two Shitzuhs as cargo from Houston to Kuwait, via the Netherlands, with KLM and they arrived looking better then I dropped them off – literally. Along the way, someone upgraded their smaller crates (which were big enough to both stand in and turn around) to much larger crates. As to why, I have no idea – but they also had been bathed in the Netherlands – as they had a one day layover there. My logistics person told me that they only use KLM when they can as they have an entire pet hotel at their base in Amsterdam – and they are considered the best in the industry. I will not be returning an any other airline that KLM when I finally say “adios” to Kuwait!

      Like

  39. Maggie says:

    Thanks Patti. We’re in the process of getting ready for an international teaching job fair, so our choices right now span five continents! Australia is not one of them, however, so we’re okay there. As we get closer to deciding, I’ll repost. Thank you again for your help.

    Like

    • Susan says:

      Last year, the school that had hired me in Kuwait booked my flight on Emirates Air – and they don’t carry animals of any kind. But they did refer me to a company that handled all of their animal transportation needs – mersant.com. This logistics company specializes in flying people’s much loved companions. They flew my two Shitzus from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Kuwait and their service was sterling! Their contact person was Chick Santarelli and I can highly recommend both Chuck and mersant.com. (they also informed me that the best airlines for flying any pets anywhere is KLM.) They were highly professional and covered everything the pups needed – including all the paperwork and even a doggie hotel (with a dog bone-shaped swipping pool) when they had to be over-nighted in Houston! And, strangely enough, while my pets left in properly sized airline crates (ones where each dog could stand up and turn around), when they arrived in Kuwait, they were delivered in brand new much larger “living room” size crates. I have no idea who provided the new crates – KLM or mersant.com – but I know the dogs likely were more comfortable traveling in them and I was never charged a red dinar for the upgrade.

      Like

      • Maggie says:

        Susan, I am also looking for a teaching position. Did your school put you up in an apartment or did you have to find your own housing using a stipend? In addition to the flying piece, I’m concerned about living arrangements and whether of not my dog will be welcome. She is a medium sized dog (43 lbs or so) and is a shepherd mix. I see you were transporting little dogs. Did you have to get approved to bring them in, if you were in school-owned housing?

        Like

        • Susan says:

          Sorry for the late reply, Maggie. I can’t honestly say that Kuwait has a great Internet system ;-)! Mine has been down for days!

          My school gave me an apartment and, as far as having a pet, they didn’t care at all. They did have to check with the harras (building super) and he was fine with it.

          Being an Islamic state, I would venture to guess that being able to have your pet would depend on the school where you would be working and the housing where you would be assigned to live. Many Muslims believe that the Koran tells them that dogs are dirty. But my wonderful Muslim Syrian assistant explained that the truth is that, in the Koran, Mohammed told a story about cleanliness – and in this story a person had many dead animals at his home and Mohammed was lecturing about this lack of cleanliness – and never said anything against dogs specifiically – but most Muslims were not taught this interpretation of the story. Such is life in a world of interpretations!

          Since your dog is of the size that you would have to send your her as excess baggage or freight, I cannot stress enough how great KLM was with my pups. With that said, if you do take a job in the Mid-East, be SURE to insist that your school book your flight with KLM. It might cost you some extra bucks (most schools book the cheapest ticket they can find and KLM is seldom the cheapest airline) but I think it would be well worth the extra money to have peace of mind when it comes to your best friend traveling in the pet hold.

          Good luck!

          Like

  40. Maggie says:

    I’m reading all of these posts and I’m wondering if there is someone I can pay to do ALL of this for me for one dog. By all of this, I mean the paperwork, getting them on the appropriate airline, making sure I can get them on the plane last without having them wait on hot tarmac, and get them OFF the tarmac asap when they arrive, give me an HONEST opinion of the quarantine conditions in a country. If money were no object, who would you suggest? What would you suggest?

    Like

    • Patti says:

      In reply to Maggie’s question about using an agent to transport pets, I think it depends upon the country you are leaving / entering and what is available. When entering and leaving Australia, I used “All Creatures” Animal Transport Agents based in Melbourne but who transport all over Australia and I was totally happy with their service. They were efficient, kind and thoughtful and understood an hysterical poodle owner’s attachment to her beloved dog. They arranged everything and all went smoothly. When entering Dubai, I used Dubai Kennels as my agents. They, too, were just wonderful and treated my poodle like a princess. I recommend both companies without hesitation. The problem is the quarantine conditions and these vary country to country. For example, in Australia, they are unsatisfactory, to say the least while, surprisingly, in Dubai, the quarantine process is very quick, kind to the animals, and considerate of the climatic conditions. The agents have no control over quarantine conditions or what happens to your pet once it handed over to the quarantine agents so be careful! This you need to research well before considering moving. Don’t make the mistake I made and take a pet to Australia. No job is worth the stress and neglect your pet will endure while in quaratine in Australia.

      Like

  41. Jennie Munson says:

    We bought a dog in South Korea and he has since been back to the US a few times and to Saudi. The main thing we notice is the amount of money that we put into excess baggage, shots, certifications, etc. only to find that the records are barely even checked! Who would dare to go without them though.

    Saudi was a pain, but then everything about Saudi was…:)It wasn;t hard to get him in and out, but only certain airlines will fly dogs, e.g Lufthansa, so be sure you see what airline you are flying with your school and be sure you let them know. The Arabian airlines will not fly them. YOua lso have to have a letter stating that your dog is a “guard dog” as otherwise they will not issue the papers. LOTS of PAPERWORK! Very costly as well.

    We have never gone the cargo route as our dog was small enough to fly in the cabin. We have heard cargo is better now than previously, but would love to hear if the summer months were an issue. Some airlines used to say that short-nosed dogs, such as the Shi-tzu, cannot fly in cargo during the summer

    Next year we bring him to China. Most of our fellow teachers claim to have had good success with China but there is a week-long quarantine. We have asked around though and there have been all positive responses.

    Like

  42. Peter says:

    I have only ever moved within South America as the countries here tend to be pet friendly and there is good vet care.

    I was wondering if there are any countries or schools that have refused to hire someone with an animal. Also, are there any countries that people would say to absolutely avoid with an animal.

    Thanks,

    Like

    • Nicola Scales says:

      I was contacted by a school in South Korea who were very keen to employ me, they met me in London at the job fair and we were going through the final details when I mentioned my dog. That was it, the offer was off the table, a few years ago now so I cannot remember the exact details but it is the only school that said no because I had a dog.

      Like

    • JMS says:

      I’ve never been told by school that I couldn’t bring my pet because most want you to be comfortable and happy so that you’ll stay. Be sure to ask questions about how culturally acceptable your pet is and whether the housing and environment are suitable. Dogs are not well-liked in the Middle East (I knew a teacher in Kuwait who’d had people try to hit her dog while she was walking it) and cats are not well-liked in Korea (I couldn’t find anyone to take care of my cat and had to take her home with me during the summer). Some places, the housing is incredibly tight, there may be no outdoor space for a dog to run, and pet supplies may be limited. These are good things to ask about before you sign if bringing your pet is a deal-breaker. Whenever I have asked at the end of an interview if I could bring my cat, the recruiter has put me in touch with a teacher already on staff who had brought a pet, if that were a possibility.

      Like

    • Allan says:

      South Korea did not allow us to bring our dogs and it has been really tough without them- next time they will be coming or we won’t be going!

      Like

    • tflanag1 says:

      Peter, can you share any info/experiences about how dogs are accepted in Central/South America? I would love to have a better idea of how feasible it is to live with dogs in countries on these continents. Thank you!

      Like

      • Lorrie says:

        tflanag,
        I have brought pets (dogs) into Colombia, Uruguay, and Brazil as well as into Indonesia with absolutely no problems. Pets are very well received and accepted in all of those countries except Indonesia where I had no problem getting my dog into the country but as muslims, they are not fond of dogs. I have also traveled extensively in South America and know that there are many dog lovers and owners amongst the native residents of all of the countries I have traveled to. My biggest pet peeve is when people use the their move to another country as an excuse to give their dog away!!! That in my opinion is unexcuseable! So bring your dogs…you will be glad you did!

        Like

        • Lisa says:

          Hi. I was considering taking a job in Mexico City, which I didn’t, but would have to bring my dog and two cats. I heard that Mexico only allows you to bring two pets maximum into the country, and someone on Gringo Dog website warned me that the Mexican airport official could make up their own rules, which scared me, thinking that even if I brought only the dog and one cat, they would confiscate one of them.
          anyone know about mexico pet limit? what things are like at the airport?
          I wish I could drive to Mexico City, would be surest way to import my animals, but violence is too bad on the border now.

          Like

  43. mary says:

    Just brought my 10 year old dog and 3 year old cat from Baku Azerbaijan to Jeddah, Saudi on Lufthansa. He had come from Indonesia prior. Lufthansa is always wonderful with pets, but expensive. We chose to go pick them up after we moved posting when it was cooler. It is also less a hassle and expense than cargo. It is not impossible to get pets into Saudi. Vet care in the Countries I’ve lived, Japan, Indonesia, Azerbaijan and here have much lower standards than Europe and America. You must do alot of research on your own on problems that arise. I’ve had pets in all these Countries and made great friends with locals who are pet owners or love animals. I only take postings that my pets can follow as this is the lifestyle we love. Besides vets, it is important to find quality pet sitters on the holidays in your postings, which can be a concern. It all works out for the best and my family couldn’t imagine life without pets.

    Like

    • Babita says:

      hello

      Read your experience with Lufthansa. Well, i am thinking of transporting my 11 year old from India as a checked baggage…i have searching all over as i am very apprehensive or you can say nervous because i really dont know which airlines to go for. I have a little bit about Lufthansa ..and as u already got experience with that ..would you please mind suggesting me . My dog is my life , hope you can imagine and t is going to be the toughest and the most stressful time of my life when i have to make her fly with me .How was your overall experience with the airlines ? Can the Air Hostess or the Steward check on the dogs while flying ? Did you have any stop over ? If yes , would i be able to see her ? Is the temp properly managed in Lufthansa ? Any amount of information would be highly appreciated .

      If not here and if its convenient for you,you can send me an email at babita24in@gmail.com

      Thanks a lot for your time.

      Like

  44. gaia says:

    I have traveled with both dogs and cats. Our cats flew in cabin with us on Egypt Air (Cairo – New York), Alitalia (Rome – Tunis), Air France (Tunis – Paris – New York) and Royal Jordan Air (Colombo – Amman – New York) for just an excess baggage fee. On some flights we had two and even three cats!! Our dog, then a puppy, traveled with us in cabin on Royal Moroccan Air (Tunis – Casablanca – New York) completely for free. We had a very good experience with all those airlines and countries. The paperwork was just standard pet passport with vaccination tabs and a recent (no more than 15 days!) health certificate by a vet.

    Like

  45. celticsong says:

    This is year fifteen and five countries later…..I have, from the beginning, taken my two cats with me to Hungary, Israel, Germany, Ecuador, and now Thailand. I have never had a problem carrying the cats to any of these countries. I did worry a lot and already dread the long flights back to the US. My only problems have happened in the US, leaving it and coming back into it. On the eve of my trip to Ecuador, an agent from Continental Airlines called me and told me that due to crowded conditions on the airline, that I could only bring one cat with me, not two. Okay, now how do you respond to this 24 hours before departure? For me, I guess I was lucky, as I was able to scramble around and find a friend who took the second kitty, but this also meant that I had to buy another ticket to Ecuador for the second cat and my friend, who brought her to Quito a month or so later. My first destination with two cats was in Budapest, Hungary. Although I was promised that the cats would be hand carried (as opposed to throwing their cages onto the luggage conveyer belt along with the luggage) I was surprised and upset to find that A) Both kitty cages with kitties, barely alive, were tossed onto the luggage carrel….and B)neither had been fed (the plastic bags with crushed cat food that the airline had required to be duct taped to the cage was undisturbed and there were black skid marks from who knows where on the sides of their plastic cages)nor watered……one kitty was not conscious and the other extremely weak…..thankfully, they both recovered, but I definitely avoided Delta Airlines after that. On the other hand, when traveling through Schipol Airport in Amsterdam I was thrilled to find out that during long transits, animals are taken to an animal hospital. The cats had been taken out of their confining cages and their cages had been cleaned and shredded newspaper had been put down for the rest of their journey. KLM told me that I could call this place to check on them throughout the 8 hour lay over…..it did wonders for my peace of mind, and I have since tried to plan to pass through Schipol when it is possible, when traveling with the animals. I have never had a problem at all with getting these kitties into a country. I come equipped with their yellow “passports” with the usual vaccines and/or stamps etc. that each country says they require. However, the only time anyone has ever asked for these documents was in Thailand. Coming into Thailand from Europe, this time from Budapest, through Finland. (this required a 12 hour layover so I checked all three of us into a nearby hotel and we were able to sleep and I turned the top half of their kitty cage into a cat pan for the day…..it turned out to be a great solution to the long layover) That night the kitties and I continued on to Bangkok…..although both kitties were wet up to their paws by the time the vet at the airport saw them, overall, this trip went as smoothly, much more than I had feared. All three of us headed to the shower upon arriving to our teacher apartment in Bangkok, and after cleaning the cages as well, we dried off and went straight to bed even though it was 10 in the morning. Overall, the cats make each new country feel more like home. They are at the door each day when I come home from school and they have been a great comfort. Although, the original two have long since gone to kitty heaven, somehow there have always been two more than show up in dire need to be taken in, and I have. Currently, (and I definitely didn’t plan to do this) I have recently picked up a tiny black and white kitten that was weaving in and out of traffic on a busy Bangkok six lane highway! Thankfully, the traffic was stop and start…..so, when it comes time to leave BKK, I guess I will have three cages instead of two…..hope this won’t create a problem coming back into the US……

    Like

  46. JMS says:

    My Kuwaiti dumpster cat has lived in Korea, Syria, Nigeria and Pakistan, as well as the U.S. in between and has always been a good traveler. I have always carried her in the cabin (which I recommend if your pet is small enough) with me, except for the last trip to Pakistan since all airlines into the country require them to be in baggage. Many of the Middle East airlines won’t allow pets to even fly through the country during hot weather (which is a good thing anyway) so I ended up flying PIA direct from New York to Lahore. I was nervous about my cat spending 13 hours in the hold of the plane, but a call to PIA’s New York office and some creative booking helped. I ended up taking her in the cabin for the flights within the U.S. and then put her on the PIA flight as checked baggage in New York. The ticket agents and the baggage handlers were wonderful, reassuring me that she would loaded to the pressurized compartment after the passengers had boarded and would probably be more comfortable in the larger cage anyway. She arrived safe and sound and no one even checked her paperwork upon arrival. I have found the airlines to be the most helpful, especially if you make a ‘friendly’ fuss about it, reminding everyone along the way that you have a pet flying with you and how important it is to you.

    The airlines are generally the ones who want to see the paperwork, so it is a good idea to have everything (all inoculation records, USDA certificate, etc.) and copies of it all as well. Tranquilizers are not recommended unless the pet is very high-strung (it prevents their natural instincts from protecting them) and cats tend to go into semi-hibernation and need little water or food during the flight. Airlines limit the number of pets allowed in the cabin, so make the reservation well in advance. If checking the pet, it seems to be easier and less expensive to do so as ‘checked baggage’ rather than cargo. I know someone who brought their dogs on the same flight, but as cargo (my cat was an excess bag) and they ended up having to pay outrageous customs fees, whereas I only paid the excess baggage fee. Remember, you are bringing your pet as a ‘personal effect’, you are NOT importing it!

    The website http://www.pettravel.com is very comprehensive in providing up-to-date information and you can download the necessary forms for most countries. They also sell lots of pet supplies including high-quality carriers, microchips, and other handy pet gear.

    Like

  47. Susan says:

    For those who have had or fear they will have to face the long quarantine traveling when going to the UK, I just found this information that can prevent a pet from being quarantined AT ALL!

    KLM Cargo has joined the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) as of May 1st, 2003. This means that you can bring your cat or dog to England with KLM Cargo without putting your pet into quarantine in the UK, provided that your pet meets the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) requirements. KLM Cargo is allowed to transport cats and dogs shipped as manifested cargo to the UK from European PETS countries on the route Amsterdam (Schiphol) to London Heathrow.

    For more information and reservations please contact the following appointed freight agents:

    Zoo Logistics
    Phone: +31 20 316 5090
    Fax: +31 20 316 5099
    E-mail: pets@zoologistics.nl

    Animals To Fly / DTC bv
    Tel. nr.: +31 (0)23 557 79 90
    Fax nr.: +31 (0)23 557 78 96

    E-mail.: Service@AnimalsToFly.com

    Copex Air Cargo,
    Contact person Peter Buis
    Phone: +31(0) 20 648 1080
    Fax: +31(0) 20 648 4117
    E-mail: tce@copexair.nl

    VCK Logistics
    Contact person Monique Schellinger
    Phone: +31 20 6549 131/134
    Fax: +31 20 6010 273
    E-mail: animals.air@vcklogistics.nl

    General information about the Pet Travel Scheme can also be found at http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/quarantine/index.htm

    Like

  48. Dave Feeney says:

    I rescued my dog while teaching in Bogota, Colombia, in 2001. He´s traveled with me to six countries on three continents and Central America. All ok until this last trip: Boston-Houston-Guatemala City. On the Continental flight from Houston to Guatemala City he did not fare so well. When we landed in Guatemala City (two and a half hour flight) his water bottle was a solid block of ice. He froze on that flight. I´d be very careful using Continental Airlines. Make sure you notify a flight attendant before take-off that you have a pet onboard and want to assure that your pet´s unit is pressurized and temperature controlled.

    Like

    • tflanag1 says:

      Dave, can you share any info/experiences about how dogs are accepted I Central/South America? I would love to have a better idea of how feasible it is to live with dogs in countries on these continents. Thank you!

      Like

  49. Stacey says:

    My goal is to live in London, Belgium, or Poland. Does anyone know how difficult these countries are for pets?

    Like

    • Dave Feeney says:

      London impossible. I taught in Poland and brought my dog from the states – no problems. Belgium I don´t know.

      Like

    • trav45 says:

      Forget the UK, unless you’re bringing your pet in from the EU. Your pet would have to be in quarantine for 6 months. A friend of mine bringing her dog home to the UK from Cairo actually paid someone to keep her dog in France for 2-3 months, and then was able to bring her into the UK.

      Like

  50. Susan says:

    Like the others posting here, I have traveled several times with my pets. The first was when I moved to South Korea in 2002. As mentioned in a previous post, per US regulations, I had the cat’s vaccination record recorded at the vet’s office and then proceeded to the USDA where for the fee of $30, they placed their stamp on my cat’s International Veterinary Certificate. When I arrived in SK, the airport officer took my papers and left me for about 10 minutes – then he returned, handed me my paperwork and that was that.

    Interestingly, upon returning to the US, my cat was NOT required to have an International Veterinary Certificate by the US – but I acquired one on the off chance the website where I had obtained my information was incorrect. But, sure enough, upon landing in LA, no one gave a glance to my cat. Dogs, however, will always require one and what the requirements for both leaving and returning the US are often related to the country to which/from which one is traveling – dependent on local diseases and infestations native to those locales.

    This last September, I moved to Kuwait and found my travel with my two Shitzuhs to be a completely different matter. Because I was traveling with 2 pets and most airlines won’t allow more than one pet per plane to travel in the cabin, I knew I would have to travel with my dogs in the freight hold. After I had received my airlines reservation from my school, I discovered that Emirates Airlines, while a nice airlines on which for a human to travel, did not carry pets at all but, rather, forwarded all of their customer’s pet travel needs to a private logistics company that arranged to ship them from my home in New Mexico via KLM (by the way, I have seen several articles which state that KLM is the most pet-friendly airlines in the world!) I also contacted the volunteer organization PAWS, in Kuwait, who helped to get the proper paper work done on their end. The was of major importance because, when importing an animal to Kuwait, their paperwork must already be filled out and waiting for the animal to arrive. (I found out later that the logistics company could have had one of their employees handling the Kuwaiti end but I had already arranged for pickup with PAWS.) When leaving Albuquerque, my dogs were able to travel as excess baggage at only about $200/dog. However, when I changed planes in Houston to catch my Emirates flight to Dubai and then on to Kuwait, KLM did not have a departing flight that left near to my departure time on my Emirates flight so the dogs and I were driven by the company that was handling the logistics and we were taken to a pet spa in Houston that was located quite close to the airport. It was a fabulous place! It even had a had a large swimming pool in the shape of a dog bone!

    I arrived in Kuwait about 13 hours later and my dogs arrived in Kuwait a day afer I did. However, because I was not traveling with my dogs, I had to pay the logistice company $2,000 to get them to Kuwait. After arrving in Kuwait, the people at PAWS explained to me that upon my departure from Kuwait with my pups, I should be sure to leave on a KLM flight where the dogs would only be considered excess baggage, Needless to say, had I done the proper homework before accepting my school’s airlines reservation, I would have saved a bundle of money – but, all and all, it turned out to be a pretty decent experience.

    Should you find the need to have a logistics company handle your pets’ travels, I can highly recommend Chuck Santarelli at mersant.com. They were highly professional and covered everything the pups needed. And, strangely enough, while my pets left in properly sized airline crates (ones where each dog could stand up and turn around), when they arrived in Kuwait, they were delivered in brand new much larger “living room” size crates. I have no idea who provided the new crates – KLM or mersant.com – but I know the dogs likely were more comfortable traveling in them and I was never charged a red dinar for the upgrade.

    Finally, these are two great sites where comprehensive information regarding international pet travel can be found: http://www.petsonthego.com/resourcesintl.html and
    http://www.pettravel.com/passportnew.cfm. The latter even has the proper paperwork for each country which can be downloaded for a fee.

    Bon voyage and arf! arf!

    Like

    • RaeRee says:

      Thank you Susan for your insightful and helpful post! I am moving to Cairo and am still on the fence about whether or not to take my 2 cats. One problem I seem to have is that all the airlines have a clause on their websites that states they will not take pets during the summer monthes, or if the temperature at the destination is above 85 degrees F. Therefore, a trasport date of August seems nearly impossible for my kitties. Did you have any problems with transporting your animals in the summer months?

      Like

      • Susan says:

        Hi RaeRee,

        My animals flew in early September and had no problems. I suggest using KLM or, if that doesn’t work, the information I posted above includes the logistics company that got my pups to the Mid-East. Good luck!

        Like

  51. Brian Meegan says:

    I recently moved from Abu Dhabi to Saudi Arabia, due to a new job. But my 10-year-old dog, Hinckley, and I ended up flying from Abu Dhabi, to Jordan, to Chicago, to California (for one month), to Paris (for one week), and then into Saudi.

    The most challenging part of the journey was getting out of Abu Dhabi, as the ONLY airline I could find to do so was Royal Jordanian. Middle Eastern airlines are very “strict” about pets due to cultural reasons/beliefs, but Royal Jordanian could not have been nicer.

    Please know that a year go, I flew my dog into Abu Dhabi from the United States. I thought I would avoid the UK by flying through Moscow, but I was turned back in Moscow by Ethihad as they “claimed” my dog would die in bagggage on their A320 aircraft. I ended up having to return to Chicago immediately (as I did not have a visa), where I was rebooked on Royal Jordanian… on an A320 aircraft.

    All’s well that ends well, but I learned A GREAT DEAL and would be happy to help you if you are flying through the Middle East with a pet.

    Like

    • Jeri Hurd says:

      oh my gosh–Brian! What are the odds you’d post right under me! You’re in Saudi now? I’m currently in CT (of all places),but just took a job in Mongolia for next year.

      Like

    • LS says:

      Hello,
      I am moving from Canada to Saudi Arabia with my two cats – anymore tips you could give me would be great. It seems like there is a lot of paperwork required… Thanks!

      Like

    • Yazeed says:

      Hi!
      We’re traveling with our cat to Jordan on Royal Jordanian in about 6 weeks. Do you have any idea about the paperwork required to clear cat at the airport in Amman? Is it true that an import permit is required?
      Thanks,
      Yazeed

      Like

  52. trav45 says:

    I’ve travelled twice with pets. Once from Turkey back home to the US with two cats. It was a small hassle getting the documents in Turkey, but doable. I had to do the obvious vet certficate, but then go to an obscure government office no more than 24 hours in advance of the flight to get a stamp.

    I had the two cats in a single large carrier and put them in cargo because one of them really hated being in a carrier and would yowl constantly. I thought they would do better together than separately. We flew through Germany, on Lufthansa and they were wonderful. They called me in that airport just to come and take a look at the cats and make sure they were ok.

    The problems actually happened in the States. I had a connecting flight in San Francisco. Even though when I talked to that airline in Turkey, they said there was no problem, in the States they told me they wouldn’t fly pets, so I couldn’t take the flight. They had call around to find a flight that would take them and book me on that (for more money). Then once at Alaska, they would only fly one cat in pet cargo, so I had to take one cat on the plane. This required me to buy another carrier (which they, of course! had). Fortunately, one of the cats was always good as gold in his carrier, so I took him on the plane with me.

    A few years ago, I travelled from Cairo to the States with a dog and a cat. That was easier. In Cairo, all I needed were vet papers and they were surprisingly good at the airport, considering Egyptians don’t really like dogs. There was a hassle when they said that there was no space reserved for the animals–even though I had done this–but it was all eventually sorted out (again, for more money. You’ll find that’s a recurrent theme with pet travel!) Other than that, it was smooth flying. It cost about $600 to fly both the animals.

    I’m about to embark on another trip, and will take my dog. I do feel badly about putting them in pet cargo–of course you worry about them being afraid or mishandled. Taking them on board isn’t really an option for me as I’m 6’2 and need every mm of leg room. It can also be very expensive–a friend took his Boxer to Shanghai from Canada, and had to pay $3000.
    But I can’t imagine NOT taking my pets–as a single person, especially, they’re family and make living overseas much easier.

    Like

    • martin rogers says:

      Hi – we are moving from Cairo to Beijing this year. Saw that you flew from Cairo airport. We have two cats who will be travelling with us. Problem is they are both very anxious, nervous. They will be travelling in an iata approved pet carrier – two compartment wooden crate as excess baggage. Would we have to take them out of the crate? Just do not relish the idea of taking them out for the crate to go through the xray check and then losing them in the terminal? Help/advice re: cairo airport would be great.

      Many thanks in advance. Cheers.

      Like

      • trav45 says:

        Hi, Martin. No, you won’t have to take them out of the crate. Do you have a direct flight? If so, you’ll pretty much leave them at check-in, and pick them up in baggage! And welcome to Beijing, btw. I’m here now, too. I’ll keep an eye out among our newbies to see if you’re one! : )

        Like

        • Wow, this is the most up-to-date info I have from people entering Beijing with their pets. Martin, when are you arriving in Beijing? I’d love to hear about going through quarantine… I’m considering flying into Shenyang or Changchun to get the 30 day home quarantine instead……

          Like

  53. Patti says:

    After many years in South Korea I decided to return to Australia with my 5-year old toy poodle. The paper work involved for Australia was close to unsurmountable but I was assured it was in the best interests of the pet and Australia. Once landed in Australia, however, our problems began. I had prepared our departure from Korea early so my pampered pet only had to spend 30 days in quarantine in Sydney. During these 30 days, although I paid for her to be exercised and bathed and groomed regularly, she lost one quarter of her body weight, her teeth became brown, she lost her 4 front upper teeth, she was not groomed, the 24 carat gold chain she wore as her collar “disappeared”, (Perhaps my fault; I should have removed it before she traveled), and she was suffering from terrible depression. I would telephone daily, often several times, from Brisane, to check on her condition only to be told that she was doing “okay” and that poodles were “difficult dogs”. Upon her arrival at Brisbane domestic airport, I was shocked. I did not recognize her. She was cowering in the corner of her travel cage. Her beautiful chocolate colored hair was long and matted and she was crying. She just sat there; she would not come out of her cage. She just cried. I rushed her home and to the local vet who said she was suffering from stress and depression and needed time to recover, if she ever would. She did not leave my side, (I even took her to work with me), for several months. Finally, she did recover most of her “fun” and “playfulness” but she has never been the same (4 years later).

    I truly regret my decision to travel with my pet to a country where an extended quarantine is required. Subsequently, we have moved countries again, but this time, to a country in which the quarantine was only 1 hour including a medical check and documents varification.

    I recommend that everyone think very carefully before accepting a posting in a country with tough quarantine laws. Pets are family members and traveling with them is often complicated and expensive. Pet ownership is a great responsibility and sacrifices are required.

    Make the right move for your entire household, including your pets, not just your careers!!!!

    Check the quarantine requirements for each country and if extended quarantine is required, checkout the facility carefully including the services offered. If possible, make contact with others who have already had taken pets into that country for first hand opinions.

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    • Tanya says:

      Thank you for being so frank about the quarantine conditions in Australia….I have moved my two cats from London to Germany, to Prague, to Istanbul then to the USA, a Carribean Island and back to Germany (EU), yes they are still with me and very healthy! With lots of sad and funny tales to tell about their travels…they have lived in more countries than most people.
      I wished to go back home recently ,to OZ, but when I found out about the quarantine conditions, I decided not to take the job offer whilst quarantine laws have such a devastating effect on animals. Unfortunately this is not the first time that I heard such a story and have heard that animals have even died whilst in Quarantine.
      My cats are totally my family and I could never leave them behind or in quarantine..travelling is far easier…

      Like

  54. Tom says:

    I inherited my parent’s cat, Tiger and took him along with me to Greece, to Turkey, and finally to Kuwait…sadly his final stop. I had him ‘chipped’ and all his shots before we left the US. He always travelled with me in the aircraft cabin, though I did have to pay an extra charge for him to do so. (Some carriers won’t allow animals in the cabins, so check it out in advance. Also some airlines only allow one pet in the cabin per flight, so make sure it is yours by booking in advance.) He was an excellent traveller, so no need for tranquilizers, but I did always have them and other accessories – baby wipes/etc. – just in case. A good, comfortable carrier – both for him and me – helped immensely. (Ours was a Sherpa brand.) Also a leash and harness, because the animal will need to come out of the carrier for security checks. I usually double and even tripple checked with counsulates/airlines to make sure there would be no gliches in his travel, both in paperwork and flight bookings, and fortunately there never were. I always paid the money and had the proper paperwork/shots/etc., but was never asked for them, but was glad I had them just in case. Europe seemed to be most pet friendly, but don’t expect everyone to find your pet loving and adorable. While living in Greece I got a European Pet Passport from a Greek vet documenting all his shots/ID chip etc., which was useful on our successive moves. Overall traveling with my TigerKat was well worth the hassle and expense. I could never have left him, and having him along for the adventures was great. He was a happy ‘international’ cat.

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  55. Adrienne says:

    Thanks for doing a post on this topic. I moved from the U.S. to Thailand this past July with my cat in tow, and I had SUCH a hard time finding any information on how to go about it!

    I ended up getting my cat checked out at the vet and get his Rabies shot updated. I then took this paperwork from the vet to the USDA office where I paid them about $30 to put a stamp on it.

    My cat flew in the cabin with from Nashville to LA on Northwest Airlines and then from L.A. to Bangkok on Thai Airways. I got a direct flight from L.A. to Thailand because I needed to avoid having a layover in Japan or Taiwan – island nations usually have very strict quarantine rules!

    I just put some liners inside the carrier in case the cat needed to use the bathroom, but miraculously he held it for 30 hours🙂 I also decided against giving him any medications since this can be risky. He is normally a high-energy cat but once he was all snug in his carrier he just slept for most of the flight.

    The only minor problem was that I had to take the cat out of the carrier and carry him in my arms through the metal detector at the security stations. Next time I will definitely have the cat on a leash and harness so I don’t have to worry about him squirming out of my arms and escaping into the airport!

    When I got to Thailand I stopped in the airport vet, showed them the USDA paperwork, paid 100THB (about $3), and was on my merry way.

    Lots of people tried to discourage me from bringing my cat to the other side of the world but I’m SO glad I did. Having him here makes it feel much more like home!

    Like

  56. Nicola Scales says:

    I left the UK about ten years ago with my dog Portia en route to teach in Austria. I had all the documentation and blood tests done as required but as we drove through the tunnel late at night (the cost was cheaper) no one ever asked to see them. Three years on I left Austria for China, again the list of blood tests required was extensive (some of the diseases do not exist in Europe and the vet was truly flummoxed on how to test for it). I was the only person at that time who had ever exported a dog to China from Austria. Fortunately the flight from Vienna to Shanghai was non stop and the airport in Vienna was fantastic, very kind and sympathetic (they do love dogs in Austria)to Portia. When we landed the lady who ‘inspected’ the paperwork at the airport in Pu dong read everything upside down, no one dared to open the sky kennel as Portia was a big black Labrador-rottweiler cross and she was not very happy!

    Leaving China last year with my Chinese dog Bruce (Portia had passed away) and one cat Harry was another exercise in bureaucracy. You are only allowed to leave China with one dog and one cat, we had to take both to the government building near where we lived with all the paperwork completed and stamped, but the animals were not allowed outside of the containers they would fly in (in the dogs case this was the sky kennel). We had to go up in a lift and they had no trolleys for the kennel so we had to keep on sneaking Bruce in and out of the kennel to just move him around.

    Pets are a relatively new phenomena in China and so appearing at the airport with a dog and a cat did prove problematic. Despite all the paperwork they made my son run back to the check in desk because they told us we had some papers missing.

    It was also very hard to find someone who would carry the animals. Shanghai air fly direct to Phnom penh, our destination, but will not fly animals so we had to fly with Thai air and travel via Bangkok. However, Thai air were fantastic and we had Harry the cat in the cabin and we were allowed to go and see Bruce in Bangkok to make sure he was not sat on the tarmac.

    I could not imagine not taking my pets with me and most of the time it is just a question of organisation, persistence and money that gets it done. I now have two dogs and five cats and plan on staying pretty local for a long time.

    Like

    • Adrienne says:

      Nicola – I concur about Thai Airways. I had my cat with me IN THE CABIN with me for a 17 hour flight from L.A. to Bangkok and the cabin crew were just lovely and so helpful🙂

      Like

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