Travel / Travel Tips

International Travel with Dogs [Part One]

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Our fur babies are like family and it never crossed our minds that we would leave them behind. So when we decided to uproot our lives to Spain, we knew we had to start the documentation process of traveling with pets. It can be a daunting process but we’ve done our research and are here to help!

In our experience, Europe has been really dog friendly! I see more people with dogs in Barcelona wandering the streets than I ever did living stateside. London felt the same way too! Most cafes have outdoor seating for guests with dogs, and I’ve seen quite a few pups out shopping with their owners. Research is your best friend. Spend a few minutes researching your destination and it’s dog friendly-ness!


First things first,

Contact your Embassy or the Embassy of the country you will be traveling to. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT step. It is crucial you look into all the documentation ASAP.

Requirements for most countries (not all):

  • ISO microchip (if it isn’t ISO you can purchase a scanner to bring with you to scan the chip)
  • Recent rabies vaccination  (most countries require annual shots but will usually honor the 3 year booster)
  • Blood titer test in some cases
  • Tick and tapeworm treatments administered a certain number of hours prior to entry
  • Health certificates administered by your veterinarian no more than 10 days prior to entry
  • Government Export Paperwork from the country of origin (Department of Agriculture or USDA equivalent)


Other helpful information…


The countries of the world have been divided into three classifications that relate to rabies: rabies-free countries, rabies-controlled countries and high-rabies countries. Before your pet travels internationally, it is important that you know the rabies classification of your pet’s originating country as well as the rabies classification of its destination country.  You need to be aware of quarantine requirements of countries in which you must clear customs.

You can find that information by contacting or researching the embassy of the country you are traveling to.

If your pet is entering the country of destination from a rabies-free or rabies-controlled country, it will need proof of a current rabies vaccination that was administered after the microchip was implanted.

If this is your pet’s first vaccination after microchipping, it will need to wait for 21 days before traveling. There is no waiting period after boosters as long as:

  • the previous vaccination was administered after a microchip was implanted AND
  • the previous vaccination had not expired when the booster was given.

You can find a list of rabies-free (here) and rabies-controlled countries (here).


Pet Passport:

Another option you can look into is a Pet Passport. If it is available from your vet, DO IT! So helpful and contains all the documentation/information in one place. This will make travel through the airports and borders a lot easier and faster!

Stay posted for Part 2! My favorite tips and tricks for taking long flights and finding pet friendly accommodations! Pets are such a huge part of our lives an I can’t imagine traveling without em!






  • ada
    July 19, 2017 at 10:04 pm

    It always made me laugh that dogs need a passport! It seems like a complicated process to take your little pet to Europe! But I am glad you sorted it out and you can enjoy your walks with your cute dog on Spanish streets 🙂

    • jessie.james
      July 19, 2017 at 10:13 pm

      Oh my goodness it was like jumping through hoops! all worth it to have them with us!

  • Sierra
    July 20, 2017 at 5:40 am

    I’ve never thought about bringing my dog on an airplane and traveling the world because I just no she would hate the flight and much prefer to be at grandmas! However if I were to move somewhere permanently I would definitely take the steps to bring my dog.

  • eliza
    July 20, 2017 at 8:50 am

    I always dreamt to travel with my little one (my beloved dog) but it’s really pain to pass through all the screening. Thanks for elaborating this, I was able to get some tips.

    • jessie.james
      July 21, 2017 at 5:22 pm

      Its a pain but SO WORTH IT! Good luck on your travels!

  • Arra Odeza
    July 20, 2017 at 9:00 am

    This will be very much helpful for those who travel with their dogs. I didn’t know that there’s also passport intended only for dogs?

    • jessie.james
      July 21, 2017 at 5:22 pm

      I know crazy right?! It contains all the right vaccination records and what not so it’s super handy!

  • Mama802
    July 20, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    Awe – this is so great! I want to travel with my pups so badly! But… one gets car sick (gross) and the other just whines and barks the entire time in the car. I can’t imagine how they would be on a plane… (maybe it would be easier). Great photos by the way 🙂 your pups are super cute!

    • jessie.james
      July 21, 2017 at 5:21 pm

      Awe thank you!It may just take practice! Thankfully they fly together in the same bag so they have some comfort!

  • Jacqueline
    July 20, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    I’m really glad you created this post because I haven’t looked at these options for pets that travel in many years. I do not have a dog at the moment because my concern was what to do when I travel.

  • Ania Travels
    July 20, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    I used to have a yorkie too (yours are adorable by the way) and wanted to travel with him so bad, but he was scared of riding in the car I couldn’t imagine putting him on a plane. I’m glad you took yours though.

    • jessie.james
      July 21, 2017 at 5:20 pm

      I love yorkies (obv) and we started him super young on flights! I’ve heard many small pups don’t like travel!

  • Meg
    July 20, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    We did the same thing when we left South Africa, we knew Jack our pug would come with us no matter what. It was relatively stress free getting him over and I think I was more emotional than he was about flying!

    • jessie.james
      July 21, 2017 at 5:19 pm

      I’m the same way! I get so nervous about them flying but luckily they fly in the cabin with me so that helps a bit too!

  • Bailey
    July 21, 2017 at 3:53 am

    I had no idea you could ask for a pet passport. That seems so convenient!

  • Chelsea Elizabeth
    July 21, 2017 at 9:51 am

    I can’t believe a dog needs a passport! Lol. How did I never know this? Luckily for my pooch I’m not a traveller and rarely go anywhere so she doesn’t have this worry lol

    • jessie.james
      July 21, 2017 at 5:18 pm

      Isn’t that so silly?!? But you gotta do what you gotta and now travel will be a bit easier with the passports!

  • Tina
    July 21, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    I had no idea dogs needed passports. I love how dog friendly Europe is – I loved seeing fur friends in shopping centres, restaurants and on public transport. They’re all so well behaved too. I wish I could’ve taken my dog to Europe, but Australian customs are so strict – upon return he would’ve had to be in quarantine for a month.

    • jessie.james
      July 21, 2017 at 5:17 pm

      I’ve heard that Australia has a long quarantine so its tough to travel with dogs to or from! I wouldn’t want to put my pup in quarantine either! We love that europe is so dog friendly too!

  • Simply Apostolia
    July 21, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    I just became a mother of a really cute Rottweiler puppy! I would totally get him with me everywhere I go, but in Greece, things are a little bit more complicated than this and guess what? We’re in Europe! Anyway, for now, we’re planning to travel in our country so it won’t be a huge problem. I hope things will be easier for us when we will plan to visit another country, cause I really want to have our dog with us everywhere we go. He’s like our little baby!

    • jessie.james
      July 21, 2017 at 5:16 pm

      GOOD LUCK! you will have to keep me posted on all processes in Greece! I’d be really interested to know!!!

  • Angela Milnes
    July 21, 2017 at 11:04 pm

    My daughter thinks all your dogs are super cute. We love to travel and would love a dog passport for our pooches!

  • Catvills
    July 22, 2017 at 6:48 am

    Thank you for the information you shared in this post. I love my dogs so much too, and if we would be moving to live abroad, I would be doing the same exact thing as you did.

  • Gene Rose
    July 23, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    An interesting read! Bringing pets can always be challenging but has its pros for pet owners who can’t leave their babies at home. And I totally love the dog passport!

  • Michelle Joy
    July 24, 2017 at 11:02 pm

    I’ve never heard of a pet passport! How cool!

  • Gillian
    July 25, 2017 at 2:17 am

    Valuable information. I was toying with the idea of renting out my house for a year or two and living abroad but I couldn’t bear to leave my four-legged family behind.

  • […] can find more information regarding documentation for international travel in this post […]

  • jordan
    August 7, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    Great info! I travel all the time with my dog, but have yet to take him anywhere internationally. Glad everything worked well for you! Ive heard some horror stories!

  • James Kouzinas
    October 1, 2017 at 3:57 am

    Great blog, thanks for sharing!

    The bit that scares me the most is the dogs flying.
    I worry about them in the lower cabin for long haul flights (15 hours etc)

    October 26, 2017 at 10:14 am

    It gives me a kind of shock, I never heard about pet needs passport to travel. I am also making a plan to travel. I always dreamt to travel with my little one (lovely dog). So do I need a pet passport?

    • jessie.james
      October 26, 2017 at 6:13 pm

      Depending on what country you are traveling to you may need one for your pup! A quick internet search can answer which countries require documents 🙂

  • LeMitri's
    May 15, 2020 at 10:11 am

    That was informative! Thank you for sharing!


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