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?

As a pet travel agency, 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 operate our own fleet of climate controlled live animal carrying vehicles. As an experienced transporter of all live animals we maintain a Defra type 2 licence  Our range of vehicles are built to suit many types of live animal movements, including long distance pet transport,

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 with us 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. To ensure you have all the details you need to hand, we have a guide on how to book pet travel.

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 pet carrier 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.

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 – for more information, visit our pet travel to Europe page.

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.

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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. Find out more about taking your pet to the USA.

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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. Find out more about pet travel to Canada.

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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.