Traveling with Pets
Pets are a Privilege
Traveling with pets requires a lot of pre-planning. Don’t forget to connect with your sponsors support if you need it. Just remember that everyone’s travel experience with pets is different.
We all love our pets like family, but remember that bringing pets on an overseas assignment is a privilege, not an entitlement. All costs associated with pet travel are at your expense.
Pets may be subject to quarantine. An International Health Certificate showing proof of rabies and distemper vaccinations may be required. There may also be a requirement for a microchip OR identifying tattoo. A pet may be quarantined until the requirement is met. The requirements for importing dogs and cats (depending on one's shipping point of origin) can be found at the USDA Animal & Plan Health Inspection Service (APHIS) website.
Also check restrictions on shipping pets during summer months from different points throughout the US. This could impact the shipment of your pet if you live in or will travel through a hot climate. Please also inform your travel office if you have pets and/or call airlines after booking to confirm space for your pets.
You may also have to register your pet locally at a veterinary and obtain an Pet Passport after arrival
Pet Travel Documentation
Traveling from other EU country
- Pet Passport & Health Certificate
Flying from United States
- 15-code microchip: Required for dogs and cats
- Rabies Vaccination: Must be administered more than 20 full days (but less than 12 months) before flying
- DD Form 2209: Dual-language health certificate from a military or USDA certified veterinarian. Must be dated within 10 days of arrival in Hungary and in blue ink
Visit the USDA Pet Travel website for the most up to date health requirements.
Pet Travel & Restrictions
Breeds: Check with the airlines to see if for guidance related to any restrictions they may have.
Kennel (checked or cargo): Pets need airline-approved, hard cages with screw-bolt closures, breathing holes on all sides, room to stand up, turn around and lie down, water and food dishes.
- Visit International Air Transport Association for pet size and kennel requirements. Certain breeds/sizes require custom crates (~$250). Ensure connecting flights can handle pet crate size.
Temperature: Airlines won’t let pets travel as checked bag or cargo if it’s too hot/cold on flight day. Have a plan B.
Airports & Layovers: For layovers in other countries, know each country’s pet regulations before booking flights.
- Avoid layovers in UK as they quarantine pets.
Animal Shippers: Based on breed/size, you may have to ship your pet separately (~$2000). See International Pet and Animal Transportation Association shippers.
Commercial Travel Office (CTO)
- Pre-Plan: The Contract Travel Office, (e.g. CWT, Sato Travel), does not book pet flights, but they can book you on a pet-friendly flight with a contracted airlines or another U.S. Flag Carrier (as required by Fly America Act). Research dates and U.S. Flag Carriers that can fly your pet:
- Use the City Pairs Search Tool to find the airline contracted to fly you to Venice (VCE). Stop by CTO to learn other possible U.S. Flag Carrier options.
- Research airline pet policies/military exceptions.
- Call the airline. Tell them you are on military orders and you want to check a pet. Write down flights and dates with available pet space.
- Visit CTO: Book flights with CTO after confirming the airline (and partner airlines) can fly your pet overseas. Bring pet-friendly flight options to CTO with: Pet breed, sex, age, cage dimensions and combined weight of pet with the cage.
Commercial airline doesn’t have pet space?
Ask CTO if other U.S. Flag Carriers have pet space
After CTO Visit
- Confirm Pet Flight: Call and reconfirm your pet’s reservation in the weeks/days before departure. Pet reservations can get lost easily.
- Flight Day: Arrive extra early to pay and check-in pets.
NOTE: Have a plan B (change flight or friend on standby) in case of a temperature embargo on flight day.
- Transportation from Airport to Post: You may need to prearrange pet transport depending on the size of your pet.
Additional Pet Travel websites
- Pet Travel FAQs: State Department