The Logistics of Taking Your Pet on a Holiday Abroad


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It’s perhaps that much easier taking your pet along with you on a pet friendly UK holiday because all you really need to do is pack them into their travelling kennel or they could perhaps just sit in the backseat and stick their head out the window if they’re that well-behaved. When you want to take your pet with you on an international trip however that poses a whole new set of challenges — challenges which we were glad to overcome as a family because holidays anywhere are that much better with our family dog.

Your pet can’t travel with you in the same cabin

Well, he perhaps won’t even travel with you on the same flight, even though most flights do in fact also carry cargo and live cargo such as dogs and other pets for passengers, senders and recipients who aren’t themselves on the same flight. So forget about having your dog in your lap or anything like that — arrangements will have to be made for you to meet him at the destination or at some officially schedules pick-up location at the destination.

Lots of paperwork and red-tape

It really isn’t as bad as it sounds — all you have to do is get in touch with the right authorities, make sure everything on your side is in order, pay the relevant fees and your canine friend can follow you just about anywhere in the world you go on holiday. You’ll perhaps eventually deal with a specialised unit of the immigrations officers along with a local vet at the destination, but even the airline you’ll be flying with can point you in the right direction. The only advice you can take from our experience is that you should do it all well in advance because the entire process would require a health and disease clearance from a local vet in your home country to be matched with the same procedure at the destination country.

That’s pretty much what the whole process is about though — ensuring the dog is healthy enough to make the journey and that it doesn’t bring any diseases into the destination country you’re visiting with it.

It’s not as expensive as you might think

While it’s definitely not a cheap exercise, having your pet come along with you on your holiday abroad is by no means unaffordable. A regular health check-up with a vet is hardly something which is beyond your means by way of costs and the only added cost would be that of having the same health check done in the host country you’re visiting. Otherwise shipping live cargo is also not all that much more expensive than shipping regular cargo.

If however your dog happens to be on the exact same aircraft (in the live cargo section) that you’re flying on, things tend to go along a lot smoother upon arrival, although you’ll naturally spend quite a bit of time in the secondary or special customs clearance unit to have the officials go through all the formalities of ensuring all is in order.

It’s probably easier to stick to the UK and find a dog friendly hotel or pet friendly cottage. Follow this link to find out more and to read the ultimate guide to taking your furry friend on holiday.