Cost of Flying a Dog Internationally: What to Expect

Patrick MacFarland Patrick MacFarland · Updated: March 15, 2023 / Published: March 1, 2023
Costs and expectations of flying a dog internationally.

Are you planning a trip abroad with your dog? Or perhaps you’ve decided on a country relocation. Flying a dog internationally is a time-consuming and expensive endeavor — it’s important to know the costs associated with this type of pet transportation.

How to Prepare for International Pet Transport

First, you need to prepare your dog for the trip or pet relocation. That means getting the required vaccinations, obtaining a pet passport and getting an airline-approved crate.


Before flying a dog internationally, they must be vaccinated against certain diseases. The vaccines your dog is required to have depends on the destination country. Before you book a ticket, research the country’s vaccination requirements. The cost of most vaccines ranges from $20 to $100 each.

Commonly required vaccinations for dogs:

  • Canine parvovirus
  • Distemper
  • Canine hepatitis
  • Rabies

Commonly recommended vaccinations for dogs:

  • Bordetella bronchiseptica
  • Borrelia burgdorferi
  • Influenza
  • Leptospira bacteria

Pet Passport

In order to fly a dog internationally, they must have a pet passport. This health certificate is issued by a veterinarian (preferably one registered by the USDA) and certifies that your pet is vaccinated and healthy enough for travel. The cost of a pet passport varies depending on the country you’re visiting, but generally ranges from $50 to $100.

Airline-Approved Crate

Finally, you’ll need to purchase an airline-approved crate for your pet. The cost of the travel crate will depend on the size and type of crate you need, but typically ranges from $50 to $200.

Other Considerations

In addition to the costs listed above, there are a few other things to consider when flying a dog internationally. First, you’ll need to check with the airline to see if they have any special requirements for pets. Additionally, you’ll need to make sure that your pet is comfortable and secure during the flight.

How Much Does it Cost to Ship a Dog Internationally?

The question you now ask yourself is how much does international pet transport cost? Will it be extremely expensive? International pet shipping cost estimates will be substantially higher than domestic costs, but not by all that much, despite popular opinion.

Flying a dog in the cabin usually costs between $125 and $200, while the cargo hold is typically over $1000. There are also licensed companies that offer international pet shipping companies — they usually charge between $1000 and $6000.

Tips for Pet Air Travel

International pet transportation is stressful, but the best thing you can do is be prepared. Make a list of the requirements and check off each item once you accomplish it. Make sure you have the veterinary documents, import permit, and other important customs paperwork in a folder to hand to immigration officials.

There are also a few tips that can save you headaches during the pet travel process.

  • Aim to book a flight during mild weather if possible. Airlines won’t allow pets in the cargo area when the weather is too hot or too cold.
  • Try to avoid layovers as they increase the stress on your dog.
  • Freeze water in a large crate bowl — your dog will have enough water for the whole flight and there won’t be any risk of spilling.
  • Arrive at the airport early for check-in. Stay with your dog until it’s time to put him in the cargo hold.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, flying a dog internationally can be a complex and expensive process. There are a variety of factors that affect the cost of flying a dog, including the size and breed of the dog, the destination country’s regulations and requirements and the airline’s policies and fees.

Additionally, there are several preparations that need to be made to ensure the dog’s safety and comfort during the flight, such as obtaining necessary vaccinations and certifications, purchasing a suitable crate and arranging for any necessary transfers or if the flight has a layover.

While the cost of flying a dog internationally can vary widely depending on these factors, it is important for pet owners to carefully research and plan for the trip in order to ensure a smooth and stress-free experience for both the dog and themselves.