Pet Travel to the USA

As an extremely large country, it won’t surprise you that rules and regulations for taking pets to the USA vary from state to state.

Knowing the exact requirements for the specific area you are relocating to, is essential to avoid any complications and ensure an easy, stress-free and successful moving experience for you and your pets.

Having said that, pet travel to America is, in many cases, far more straight forward than many other popular countries.

In this regularly updated guide, you will find both current and accurate information and guidance for taking pets to the USA to help make this process as smooth as possible for you and your pet.

Dog Travel

The process for transporting your dog to the USA is relatively straight-forward. In most states, your dog will require a rabies vaccination, which generally should be administered at least 30 days before travel, although not every state requires a wait period after the vaccination. Your dog will also need a veterinary examination, no more than 10 days prior to travel – this is to ensure your dog is in good health and not suffering from any infectious diseases.

As each state has its own requirements, for example Hawaii has much stricter rules than any other state – please contact one of our USA pet travel agents, who will be able to discuss specific requirements in more detail with you.

Shipping Cats to USA

Exporting your cat from the UK to the USA couldn’t be easier. Although, state variations still apply, much of the time, your cat does not need a rabies vaccination, however a veterinary examination and ‘fit to fly’ letter, will still be required no more than 10 days prior to your cat’s flight. It’s best to check that you meet all the requirements for the specific state you plan to visit. Call one of our USA pet travel experts for more information.

Reptile, Bird or small mammal transport to the USA

Shipping less standard pets to America, such as reptile and birds, can be less straight forward when compared with cats and dogs. The rules can often be more stringent, requiring special import or export documents – please contact us for more information.

Shipping Costs to USA

Prices for shipping your pet from the UK to the USA varies depending on the size of the travel crate your pet needs, when you are travelling and where you are travelling to. On average, just like with luggage, you can expect your costs to go up or down based on the size of your pet, so understandably, you can expect that transporting a cat will cost you considerably less than for a Great Dane!

Shipping costs to the USA can include any or all the following:

  • Airline freight charges UK side
  • IATA approved airline pet carrier
  • Veterinary fees
  • One night’s boarding (if required)
  • Pet check-in

For more information or to receive a quote, call one of our pet shipping experts.

Pet Flights to USA

While not all planes are suitable for transporting pets to the USA, an increasing number are. However, some of the smaller airports may not always have the facilities to receive pets.

We recommend you contact one of our USA pet shipping experts before you book your pet’s flight to the USA so that we can advise on flights and airports which are suitable for live animals.

Airline Pet Carrier

There are various specifications for pet carriers and they must be IATA approved. The carrier must have sufficient ventilation on all four sides and be robust enough to securely contain your pet. It is essential to purchase the correct size travel kennel for your animal and that it meets all the current IATA regulations. Use this handy guide for how to measure your pet. PBS Pet Travel can quote to include the supply & delivery of an IATA approved travel crate. We also recommend reading through this driving in USA guide if you’re planning on spending some time in the country exploring.

Support for Pet Travel to USA

For support with all and any aspects of your pet travel to America – state restriction advice, supply of pet carriers, arranging vet checks, import and export papers etc, our knowledgeable USA pet travel specialists are only a call or email away. Get in touch with us online by completing our online quotation request form, or by sending an email to or to speak to an expert, call us on +44(0)1293 551140.