Taking Pets Abroad

There is a lot to plan when taking your pet abroad! So we have put together some key points to help get you started.

Find your pet travel agent!

If you are looking to take your pet on holiday with you, or arranging permanent relocation for your pet overseas, first things first, you will need to find a pet travel agent who can assist you with the preparation for your pet’s travel. Most airlines no longer allow passengers to book pets to travel on flights as part of their ‘baggage’, therefore you need to use a specialist pet travel cargo company, such as PBS Pet Travel, to liaise with the airline and make the necessary travel arrangements on your behalf. However, it should still be possible for your pet to travel on the same flight as you, providing the flight is suitable for animal travel – PBS Pet Travel will be able to check all flights for you and tell you which flights are suitable for pets and which are not. We recommend letting us get your pet booked and confirmed on a flight first, before you make your own passenger reservation.

Whether you require a fully comprehensive door to door service, or just simply the booking of a flight for your pet, PBS Pet Travel can help!

What can PBS Pet Travel do for me?

PBS will be able to offer all the advice and support you need to ensure a smooth journey for your pet. With over 20 years experience, we are registered members of IATA, IPATA and DEFRA approved and we hold contracts with all of the airlines who fly pets in and out of the UK.

We are an experienced team of animal lovers and relocating pets is our passion. Not only do we care deeply about the animals that we relocate, we care about their humans too! We understand that relocating your pet can be an extremely worrying experience, so our pet relocation specialists are always available to provide the reassurance and assistance required.

We will also be on hand to assist with any emergencies such as flight delays or cancellations. We are contactable 24/7 and have two main offices at London Heathrow and London Gatwick.

Relocating your pet - where to start

The first stage in taking your pet abroad would be obtaining your free quotation. If you fill in our online quotation form we will then get back to you with an itemized quotation detailing everything you need to know about your pet’s journey! We will advise you on the most suitable airline and route for your pet, give details on the required pet travel crate size and explain exactly what paperwork and veterinary preparation is required- as well as providing you with an accurate cost.

Get your airline approved travel kennel!

All pets travelling by air will need an IATA approved travel crate. Once you have decided on the right pet travel agent to help, you need to think about getting your pet acclimatized to the airline approved travel crate as soon as possible. At PBS Pet Travel, we will always deliver the travel crate to you as far in advance of travel as possible to allow your pet plenty of time to get used to it. This is an extremely important factor towards reducing stress on the day of travel and unfortunately, is something a lot of pet travel agents overlook! We send our crates on trackable, next-day delivery services to anywhere in the UK.

Choosing the right travel crate

When taking your pet abroad it is very important that you have the correct size crate for your pet’s flight. Your pet must have plenty of room to stand up, sit down, lay down and turn around – with at least three to four inches space spare all around. PBS will be able to advise you of the best size travel crate to use. We stock IATA approved travel crates in every size and can also build bespoke wooden crates for larger pets and specific crates for more unusual breeds such as birds and snakes. Please visit our Travel Kennel page for more information!

Pet Travel Paperwork

You will need to start thinking about the necessary pet travel paperwork and veterinary preparation for your pet’s relocation. If you have not already been in touch with us, please fill in our online enquiry form and we will get right back to you with detailed information on the paperwork required for your destination.

As a general guide for cat and dog travel:

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Cats and dogs travelling from the UK to the EU

Cats and dogs travelling from the UK to Europe, will require a microchip, rabies vaccination & a 21 day wait after the rabies vaccination before they can travel – you can find out more about travelling from the UK to the EU here.
In addition to this, your pet will need a check-up at the vets no more than ten days prior to travel and your vet will need to download an Animal Health Certificate (AHC). Some airlines or destinations will require a separate fit to fly letter to be issued later and parasite treatments – PBS Pet Travel can advise you on this. Read more.

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Cats and dogs travelling to the USA

Pets flying to the USA will require a check-up at the vets no more than ten days prior to travel and your vet will need to produce a ‘fit to fly’ letter. For some states, a rabies vaccination is required too – PBS Pet Travel will be able to advise you on specific state requirements for cats and dogs travelling to America. Read more.

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Cats and dogs travelling to Canada

For cat and dog flights to Canada, your pet will need to have a current rabies vaccination, which can be recorded on a vaccination card issued by the vet, or a Pet Passport. Your pet will then need a check up with the vet, no more than 72 hours prior to travel and your vet will need to produce a ‘fit to fly’ letter. Read more.

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Cats and dogs travelling outside of the EU and USA

Cats and dogs travelling to destinations outside of Europe and America will generally require a DEFRA Export Health Certificate and sometimes, an import permit. PBS can assist you with the application of the DEFRA Export Health Certificate and we can also arrange pet import permits upon request.

For more detailed requirements for pet’s travelling to specific destinations, please see our destination guides.

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Destination Search

Select a destination to find out everything you need to know about shipping your pet to your chosen location.

Other animals

For other breeds such as birds & reptiles, the requirements for entry are a little more complex. If you have a more unusual species to relocate overseas, please fill in our enquiry form for more details and to find out the exact requirements.

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