Here are the must-know highlights for flying to Europe from the US with your dog. If you would like to read our detailed post about flying to Europe with your dog, click here.
When you buy your flights you then have to call the airline to book cargo space for your dog. I would call the airline first to make sure there is cargo space available if you want to be on the same flight. Then when you check in at the airport you pay a one way $400 USD fee for your dog to fly in cargo (this is the international rate – flying domestically within the US might be less).
The crate must be much bigger than you think you need. They want at least 4 inches above your dog’s head. The airline’s website says â€œThe animal must be able to stand with its head extended and must have enough space to move. Feeding and watering facilities must be available. It must be leakproof and the floor must be covered with absorbent material. It has to be solid and escape-proof.â€
This crate was too small and we were turned away at the airport:
Once our dog was denied boarding THEN we see paperwork that we had yet to see (this should be on their website and it should be emailed to you when you book pet cargo space):
Within 10 days of travel you need to see your veterinarian for travel paperwork. Our vet had the paperwork for Austria but we brought a blank copy for him, too. Make this appointment at day 9 or day 10. This gives you time to drive to your â€˜local’ USDA office which could be several hours away (ours was 3 hours away in Richmond, VA). Your dog must be microchipped and you must have official documentation from a vet with the microchip insertion date and number. You also need to have a record of all of your rabies vaccinations. We were told you could FedEx your USDA paperwork to Albany, NY. But make sure you have enough days to send that to them and have them send it back.
If you would like to read our detailed post about trying to fly to Europe from the US with our dog click here.