Are you moving or traveling internationally and want to bring your pet? More than four million pets travel each year internationally. Shipping your pet to your destination is possible, but you’ll need to complete all the necessary documentation for your pet to travel. 

We outline everything you will need to do before you can ship your pet internationally. 

Country Import Requirements

Depending on where you are shipping your pet, you will need to check that country’s import requirements. As a general rule, most countries will require:

  • Rabies Vaccination and Certificate issued within a year of travel date.
  • Microchip and Implantation Record
  • A certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI) within ten days of travel
  • Government Endorsements 

The USDA provides a helpful tool for finding the requirements for each country.

Your Pet’s Health – vet visit 

When you take your pet to the veterinarian within ten days of traveling internationally, you’ll want your vet to:

  • Implant a microchip if your pet doesn’t already have one.
  • Run blood tests that are required by the country where the pet will travel.
  • Ensure all vaccinations are current and documented.
  • Check for any parasites.
  • Receive a rabies shot if the rabies vaccination is beyond a year from your pet’s travel date.

Ensure you have a copy of a certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI) before you leave. It is the most essential for travel.

International Health Certificate

Depending on which country you are shipping your pet, you will need a health certificate for that country. Most countries provide this health certificate form on their government website. 

If the country doesn’t specify a health certificate, you’ll need a USDA endorsed International Health Certificate USDA-APHIS 7001 form. This endorsement will cost between $38-$173, depending on the size of your animal. This endorsement usually requires proof of a current rabies vaccination.


Most veterinarians administer a one, two, and three-year rabies vaccine to your pet. Depending on the destination country, these vaccines should be sufficient. You’ll want to check with the country’s rules because they may require an additional rabies booster within 30 days of travel

Puppies, kittens, and ferrets are exempt under three months old or 12 weeks if traveling to the European Union. 


The microchip locator is a requirement in case your pet gets lost. By registering your microchip, the authorities will be able to contact you if your pet is found.

International travel also requires the microchip because veterinary officials can scan your pet to compare the health documents. The microchip validates that the animal is current. You’ll want the chip to be an ISO 15-digit chip that meets ISO standards 11784 and 11785.

Blood Tests

Some countries will require proof of blood tests to verify your pet’s health. These tests may include the rabies titer blood test and the Fluorescent Antibody Virus Neutralization (FAVN) blood test. Some countries do not require these tests. You can see the list of those countries here.

Do you need help transporting your animal? All Paws Express is a hassle-free door-to-door pet transportation service.

Related Link: Domestic Pet Travel

The vet will check your pet for parasites before they travel.

Check for Parasites

Before your pet can travel, they must thoroughly be checked for the following parasites:

  • Hookworms
  • Roundworms
  • Tapeworms
  • Whipworms
  • Giardia
  • Fleas
  • Ticks

These parasites carry serious diseases that your destination country will not want your pet to bring into the country. If your pet has any parasites, they will need to be treated and reassessed before they can travel.

Travel Crate or Carrier

To travel, your pet must ride in a travel crate that follows specific airline guidelines to ensure safety. Travel crates cost between $50-$400 depending on the size of your dog. 

Your Timeline

Be mindful that many of these documents may take up to six weeks to process, so do not procrastinate getting foreign permits and documents.

If you utilize a pet shipping company early, they can help you get all the necessary documentation. Depending on where you are traveling, a pet shipping company will need one to six weeks to arrange for your pet’s safe transportation.

Pet Passports

A pet passport is just a collection of all the necessary documentation for your pet to travel internationally. These documents include:

If your pet has all the necessary documents, then they are ready for travel.

Airline Pet Policies

Each airline has specific pet policies for traveling internationally. You’ll want to research their particular rules and guidelines for pet travel.

For international travel, some airlines will not allow you to book your pet’s trip directly. They may require that you use a pet transportation agency, especially if there are layovers or connecting flights. A pet transportation agency also guarantees that the proper paperwork accompanies your pet.

Related Link: Learn More About All Paws Express

 Pack plenty of food and water for your pet’s journey.

Essential Backups

For your pet’s trip, you’ll want to send the animal with food and water that they are used to eating. Giving them a new brand of food or different water can cause digestion issues when they travel. 

If your pet requires a special diet, you’ll want to determine if the destination country will allow you to import the pet food. If so, it will need to be sealed in original packaging.

Final Thoughts

If you have all the necessary documents and your pet passed their veterinary exam, then your pet is ready to join you on your next adventure. You may want to consider using a pet transportation company to assist you, ensuring a safe and stress-free trip for your pet. 

They have the knowledge and experience of expediting the process so that you won’t have to worry about your pet’s travel.

All Paws Express specializes in domestic and international travel for pets. A turnkey solution from pick up to delivery, ensuring your pet has a safe and worry-free journey.

Do you need transportation services for your pet? Learn more about All Paws Express pet relocation services.

Related Link: Get an Estimate on Pet Relocation