Traveling with your dog

Many of the resources posted here relate to travel in and out of Chile, where we currently reside. This page will be updated to include travel hints, suggestions, resources for many destinations with your dog. 

The information below is to be used as a general guideline. 
It is always advisable to double check for any changes in a country's laws. Always confirm the pet travel regulations with the appropriate embassy or consulate office, the airlines' cargo restrictions, or a hotel's pet accommodations.   

If you have other resources please feel free to add them in your comments. I will try to incorporate them in this page.

Other travel advice includes surviving hunting road trips with your dog and traveling to participate in international dog shows outside your home country. For information specific to travel into the USA scroll down or click here.

Breed Specific Laws and Travel

An unfortunate word of caution must be mentioned. There is a trend in cities, counties, states, provinces and countries towards what is known as Breed-Specific Laws (BSL) in which a municipality bans or restricts the freedoms of dog owners with specific breeds of dogs considered dangerous. There are at least 50 breeds of dogs as well as mixed breeds that include targeted breeds named in the various laws in North America. 

See blog:  The Dilemma Between Breed Specific Laws and Dog Shows

Learn more and receive current updates on BSL at,  a  pro BSL public education website about dangerous dogs -- specifically pit bull type dogs. 

View lists of U.S. States and their cities with Breed Specific Laws:
ASPCA- Breed Specific Legislation
History of BSL:  Breed-Specific Legislation in the United States. by Linda S. Weiss, Michigan State University College of Law (2001) 


In and out of Chile (as of 2012)

Travel Into and Out of Chile

Information is in Spanish however posted below is the translation of what is presented on the SAG landing page

Ingreso de mascotas al país Para internar a Chile animales en calidad de mascotas, sus dueños/as deben solicitar autorización al SAG y procurar que los animales cumplan con los requisitos sanitarios exigidos.
Los trámites para el ingreso de mascotas al país se encuentran en la Guía de trámites de este sitio web:
Salida de mascotas del país
Para sacar de nuestro país animales en calidad de mascotas, su dueño/a debe consultar en los respectivos consulados sobre las normas de ingreso de mascotas propias del país de destino.
El SAG entrega el certificado sanitario oficial, avalando el cumplimiento de estos requisitos sanitarios, la vigencia de este documento depende del receptor.

Pet entry into the country
To bring into Chile animals as pets, their owners must request authorization from SAG and ensure that the animals comply with sanitary requirements.
The formalities for the entry of pets into the country are in the procedures guide on this site:
Pet out of the country
To take out of country your animals as pets, the owner  should consult the respective consulates on the entry standards of pet entry into that country.
The SAG delivers the official health certificate, guaranteeing compliance with these health requirements, the term of this document depends on the receiver.


Airline Requirements 

1.- What are the requirements for pet transportation within Chile?
  • For domestic transportation, documentation is not required.
  • The pet must be at least 3 months old.
  • The pet must be able to stand inside the cage and there must be a distance of at least 10 cms. from its head to the ceiling of the cage. The pet must have enough space to move and turn around inside the cage.
  • Generally, pets are not allowed to travel while sedated. If the veterinarian recommends a tranquilizer for the trip, you must present a veterinary certificate with the written recommendation and administer the dose in the presence of LAN CARGO personnel.
  • For the transportation of pets within Chile, LAN CARGO offers a cage (i.e. kennel, crate) rental service. For further information, requirements, and restrictions please visit the Pets section.
2.- What requirements must I meet to transport my pet from Chile to an international destination?
  • The pet must be at least 2 months old.
  • You must present valid vaccination* and health certificates issued by a veterinarian.
  • You must present a Phytosanitary certificate issued by the national Agriculture and Livestock Department ("Servicio Agrícola Ganadero").
  • You must contact the destination country's Embassy in Chile to determine if there are any additional requirements and comply with these.
  • The pet must be able to stand inside the cage and there must be a distance of at least 10 cms. from its head to the ceiling of the cage. The pet must have enough space to move and turn around inside the cage.
  • Generally, pets are not allowed to travel while sedated. If the veterinarian recommends a tranquilizer for the trip, you must present a veterinary certificate with the written recommendation and administer the dose in the presence of LAN CARGO personnel.
  • Cage rental service is not available for international shipments. For further information, requirements, and restrictions please visit the Pets sections.
* In case of cats, dogs or birds, vaccination must have taken place between 1 and 12 months prior to embarkation. 


Copa Airlines permits the transport of pets as checked or carry-on baggage (see restrictions). Make sure you reserve through our Reservations Center at least 48 hours before the flight's departure to ensure room for the transportation of your pet. Dogs, cats and rabbits are considered pets/domestic animals. Small birds are considered pets on flights inside Colombia. All pets that do not fall within these parameters will not be accepted as checked or carry-on luggage.
In response to the Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) epidemic, customs authorities in some countries have established strict control measures, including, in some cases, the sacrifice of birds. Therefore, we have ceased to allow the transport of birds and will not accept them as either cargo or carry-on baggage on international flights until further notice.

Restricted periods
The following regulations apply to boxes, items that exceed size or weight limitations or are in excess of the baggage allowance during the periods indicated below:
From United States
July 1 – Aug. 31
Dec. 1 – Jan. 31
Copa Airlines will not transport pieces not covered by the allowed baggage policy, live registered animals in the cargo hold*, perishable food, overweight or oversized baggage, registered cases in the hold, packages or packaging of irregular shape.
Between Brazil and
United States
May 1 – May 31
From/to Brazil
July 1 – Aug. 31
Dec. 1 – Feb. 28
From Ecuador and Peru
To Cuba
June 1 - Sep. 30
Dec. 1 - Feb. 28
From Canada
Dec. 1 – Jan. 31
From Panama
 July 1 – Aug. 31
Dec. 1 – Jan. 31
One additional piece or laminated box over the baggage allowance will be accepted with payment of an excess baggage fee (except for travel to cities in Brazil, where only the baggage allowance is applied).
From Argentina 
 Oct. 1 – Jan. 31
One additional piece or laminated box will be accepted over the baggage allowance with excess baggage charge.

* Transportation of live animals in cargo to/from the countries mentioned above is not allowed during the restriction periods. In addition, transportation of live animals in cargo or perishable food is not allowed from any city during the months of January, July, August, and December. Transportation of pets in the cabin is allowed during the restriction period, however they must be in compliance with all the established travel provisions. For more information, visit Pets.


Travel in and out  USA (as of 2013)

For Travel INTO the USA

*ALERT NEW USDA APHIS User Fee Increases Effective 2012*
Effective October 1, 2012, Veterinary Service's National Center for Import and Export will be increasing the cost of user fees it charges for providing import and export activity services.
User Fees for APHIS services, including those for the import and export of live animals, animal products and animal by-products. Information can be found at the following links:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regulations on the importation of dogs and cats into the United States require in general that dogs be vaccinated against rabies at least 30 days prior to entry, except for puppies younger than 3 months and dogs originated or located for 6 months in areas considered to be free of rabies. A dog with an unexpired health certificate meets these requirements. 
For more information visit: or call them at 1-800-232-4636, for more information on their regulations. There is no vaccination regulation for cats.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has certain restrictions on the importation of dogs. Collies, shepherds, and other dogs that are imported from any part of the world except Canada, Mexico, and regions of Central America and the West Indies and that are to be used in the handling of livestock must be inspected and quarantined at the port of entry for a sufficient time to determine their freedom from tapeworm.

APHIS VS requirements for all dogs imported or returning from countries affected with screwworm:

SCREWWORM:  Pet and other types of dogs (commercial, breeding, etc.) that are returning, and/or are presented for US entry, from countries or regions where screwworm is known to exist, may enter the US if they meet the following requirements: 
  • The dog must be accompanied by a certificate signed by a full-time salaried veterinary official of the region of origin stating that the dog has been inspected for screwworm within 5 days prior to shipment to the United States.
  • The certificate must state that the dog is either free from screwworm or was found to be infested with screwworm and was held in quarantine and treated until free from screwworm prior to leaving the region.

Other General Information for Pets

  • Do not use straw, hay, grass, or other natural bedding. Our Plant Protection and Quarantine Division does not allow the importation of these materials as they may harbor various plant pests.
  • Contact your State, county, municipal authorities for local restrictions on importing dogs. 
  • Some airlines require health certificates for dogs traveling with them. You should contact the airlines prior to your travel date.
  • Cats and dogs being imported into Hawaii will be quarantined for 130 days. Please visit the website for the Hawaii Dept. of Agriculture at:
  • All cats and dogs are subject to inspection at ports of entry for evidence of infectious diseases that can be transmitted to humans.

As a help to both domestic and international travelers, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals web site has a wealth of pertinent information.

Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD):  Owners of dogs imported from countries or regions affected with Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) are advised to take the following precautions to prevent the introduction of FMD from pets entering the United States:

  • The feet, fur, and bedding of the pets should be free of any excessive dirt or mud.
  • The pet's bedding should be free of any straw or hay, or other natural bedding.
  • The pet should be bathed as soon as it reaches its final destination.
  • The pet should be kept separate and apart from all livestock for at least 5 days after entry into the United States.
  • If you need more information contact the Import Animals Program at (301) 851-3300.


There are many different processes involved with importing animals and animal productsinto the United States. Click on the links below to learn more about these processes, including the guidelines and regulations, permits and certification, and associated user fees.

USA Federal Aviation Guides for Flying with Pets


International Animal Export Regulations & List of Countries
Since export requirements frequently change, obtain the current export requirements from the Veterinary Service office in your area before travel.


Airport Doggy Stops

The U. S.Department of Transportation (DOT) regulation designed to help airplane passengers with service animals went info effect May 13, 2009. All USA airlines must make sure there are pet relief areas, and escorts to those relief areas, for any passenger traveling with a service animal. Airlines and airports have been instructed to work together to make this happen. As a result, airports everywhere are creating, upgrading and expanding pet relief areas that are open to all. 


 USA Domestic Airlines that Allow Pets
Verify if the airline will accept small animals in travel kennels inside the cabin.


Pet Travel Websites

Pet Friendly Travel 

Read a personal account  published in the September/October 2004 issue of Escapees Magazine telling you how you can take your pet into the countries of Central America.


Hunting & Road Trip Survival

 Hitting the road with your dog is like trying to hit the road with your baby. Both need many items that will often take up more space than expected. A large rubber maid plastic waterproof container is ideal for a storage bin.  Or if your auto allows, building drawers into the back is a handy way to store items. Keep your storage bin or drawers stocked and ready to roll on moments notice. 

Whether on on the road for field training, trials or a hunt a here is a list of items to pack for your dog. Essentials include a portable kennel, food and water jug,  and their appropriate dishes- making sure you have enough food and water on hand especially if out for many days or if the day is hot.  Five gallons of fresh water will last the average dog about a week. Pack standard dog kibbles that your dog is accustomed to at home, but consider some other food items to stimulate a canine appetite provide added energy for when your dog is too tired to eat much or sometimes anything. A meat-based canned dog food or some savory chicken noodle soup full of fat and carbohydrates poured over kibbles will usually do the trick.

 Another essential is a first-aid kit and any meds they may be on.  All of the essentials need to be quickly accessible. Other recommended items include de-skunking ingredients,  leash, dog treats, whistle, small plastic bags for picking up dog waste, training collar/transmitter/battery charger, chargers, dog towels, bed spread for motel bed, neoprene vest, chewing devices.  If the day (or evenings) are chilly you'll want to pack a dog coat.

Other items you may want to toss in the box include ear plugs, dishes, forks and knives, bird bags.

If you plan to travel across the border with your hunting dogs, the customs agents might request a vet-signed copy of your dog’s shot records. You’ll need proof of rabies and other common inoculations to ensure a hassle-free crossing. Revisit above for more details.

See also my blog post: Hunting and Road Trip Survival with Your Dog

Have Dog, Will Travel: Road Trips with Your Dog 
Must-Know Tips For Traveling With Hunting Dogs
Essential Gear for Traveling
Hunting Dog Travel Tips

On the Road to Fame and Fortune: Traveling to International Dog Shows

For individuals leaving their home country to show their dogs internationally the first step is to make sure you are familiar with the visa process and the importation restrictions (if any) of dogs. You need to determine if your dog requires specific vaccinations or a health check by within a specified period of time by qualified veterinarian and is micro-chipped. Most likely there will be a stack of formal papers requiring formal signatures and lots of important stamps.  

For participants in shows who wish to visit the USA and who are not USA citizens visa information can be found here

Then of course you will need to be certain that your dog has the appropriate kennel for flying and is ticketed in a timely fashion as many airlines limit the number of animals on board public carriers. 

The next and most important concern is to keep the dog healthy and in good show condition, ready for the flight and the show upon landing. As I write this section we nervously wait for tomorrow's doctor visit to see if Natasha will require surgery to remove a wart-like tumor that seemed to spring up just to plague our first attempt at an international showing in her homeland in Argentina. Unfortunately, flight tickets have had to be pre-purchased regrets given to other dogs who also wished to attend given and now at nearly the eleventh hour we cross our fingers and hope for fast healing and replenishing of any fur shaved for the procedure. Yes the hobby of raising and showing dogs is at best break even and you have to be ready to face cutting your losses.


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