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Does My Dog Need a Passport to Travel?

Does My Dog Need a Passport to Travel?

Dogs and pets as a whole are of course allowed to travel, for the most part anyway. However, you cannot just bring a dog on an airplane and hope for the best.

Dogs, just like people, require certain types of documentation to travel, often referred to as a pet passport. Whether your dog needs a pet passport is going to depend on the countries which you plan on traveling to and from, and each country has different requirements.

Let’s take a closer look at this issue right now and figure out whether or not your dog needs a passport to travel internationally.

What is a Pet Passport?

It may sound a bit funny, but the fact of the matter is that there are passports for dogs and for other kinds of pets too. Now, this is something that was heavily popularized in the European Union, and is still widely used today.

If we are talking about Europe, then a pet passport is exactly what it sounds like. Not unlike passports for people, pet passports look like a little booklet complete with a picture, pertinent information, and travel history. It’s actually pretty cool.

However, these specific pet passports are not really a thing outside of the European Union, at least not as we would imagine them. In most other parts of the world, if you heart the term “pet passport” being used, it usually just refers to the plethora of documentation you need to have on hand in order to travel internationally.

So, just to be clear, in Europe, that single passport booklet is usually all you will need, but in other places of the world, you will probably need a lot more documentation than that.

International vs. Domestic Travel

The rules surrounding this are going to vary from country to country, but generally speaking, pets will require some sort of passport or documentation for travel. Now, if you are traveling domestically, i.e., not leaving the country, and you happen to be traveling by car, then you usually won’t need any sort of documentation.

However, if you plan on traveling by airplane, even domestically, then you may need required documentation.

The documentation requirements for domestic travel are usually not as hefty as for international travel, but there are still some rules and regulations to think about, so be sure to do some research.

Moreover, when traveling internationally, there are specific documents you will most likely require.

Simply put, your best bet is to do your research in regard to the specific country you are traveling within, or traveling to/from. If you attempt to travel internationally by air, and you do not meet the requirements of the destination country, you may very well be turned back at the check-in counter.

Does My Dog Need a Passport to Travel?

How Long Does it Take to Obtain a Pet Passport?

Once again, this depends on the country in question, but that said, it should take no longer than 3 weeks to obtain a passport for your dog. There are usually options to rush this process and sometimes it can be completed within 24 hours.

Possible Documentation Requirements for International Travel

What we really need to stress is that each country is different, and the specific country you are going to, and often the country you are traveling from, will have specific regulations and documentation requirements.

Here is a list of the common documents and requirements that need to be met to travel internationally with your dog. What exactly does a pet passport include?

On a short side note, generally speaking, dogs must be of a certain age to qualify for a travel passport, usually at least 3 months of age.


Microchips are handy little electronic devices which store all of your dog’s information. It’s size, weight, age, breed, health history, vaccinations, and country of residence should all be contained on a microchip.

Now, a part of the documents you may be required to have in your possession are those which prove that your dog is microchipped and when it was chipped. Remember, not all countries require this, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Health Certificate

Something else you need to look into, depending on which country you plan on traveling to, is whether or not your dog requires a health certificate.

A health certificate is a document signed by your veterinarian which states that your dog is in good health, that it does not have communicable diseases, that the dog is healthy enough to travel, and that all vaccinations are up to date. This is pretty standard and is usually required by all countries.

Rabies Vaccine

Something which mostly every country in the world requires is proof that your dog has up to date rabies vaccinations.

Now, going from a rabies-free to a rabies-controlled country is usually not a problem, but the other way around is. For the most part, you will always require proof that your pet has its rabies vaccinations.

Many countries even require that the rabies vaccination be done after a microchip has been implanted. On a side note, something to keep in mind is that in most countries there is a waiting period; your dog may have to wait several weeks to travel after receiving a rabies vaccine.

Additional Treatments

There are also some countries out there which require dogs to have undergone tick and tapeworm treatments before being allowed entry.

There are quite a few European countries which require these treatments to have been administered before entry is granted.


Before we end things, before you travel, be sure to check the regulations of the specific airline you are traveling with, as this can make a difference too.

However, at the end of the day, chances are that your pet will need documentation to travel, whether in the form of a pet passport, like in the EU, or just a collection of documents.