The rules on taking dogs to America by plane


The rules on transporting your pets from the UK have changed. If you have travelled with your pet before and are wondering what the new rules are – or if this is the first time you’re taking your pet to the States – this article can help you to make the journey as stress-free for you and your canine pal as possible.

The key to a smooth journey is preparation. Before travelling, you’ll need to ensure that your pooch is properly vaccinated according to the US travel regulations for flying with dogs. These regulations state that your dog must be at least eight weeks old, fully weaned, and have received a rabies vaccination at least 30 days before your flight. You will probably be required to prove this with documentation, so it’s crucial that you remember your pet passport!

The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also states that dogs may be subject to an assessment on arrival in America to make sure that they’re not suffering from any visible illness that could be passed on to humans. To avoid any complications in your travel arrangements (and to look after the well-being of your pet), it’s a good idea to pay a visit to your vet in advance of setting off to make sure that your dog is fit and healthy.

Airlines have strict rules about travelling with pets, and US regulations are very specific when it comes to pet containers and carriers. A soft-sided pet carrier should be suitable for flights where you have permission to keep your pet in the cabin, however larger dogs will usually need to be checked in and transported in a kennel or large pet carrier. This container must:

  • Be waterproof
  • Be large enough for your dog to stand, turn around and lie down inside
  • Have holes for ventilation
  • Not be made of wire
  • Have grips or handles
  • Have a solid, leak-proof floor lined with a towel or litter
  • Have two bowls inside for food and water

It’s important that you let your dog get used to their kennel a few weeks in advance to ensure that they don’t experience unnecessary anxiety during the flight. If your pet is prone to becoming anxious when confined, you might also want to try these organic Valerian compound dog and cat travel drops – these can help to calm and relax your pet pre-flight.

Once you’ve successfully landed in the US, you’ll probably need to travel a little further to your accommodation. If you have a small dog, you may want to invest in a dog travel pod, which is ideal for transporting your pet on trains or even in the car. The ultra-plush Sleepypod also doubles as a car seat and dog bed, making it the perfect travel accessory.

When travelling, you’re bound to have all sorts of essential items packed for your pooch, and an easy way to keep them all in one accessible place is with an on-trend pet travel bag. Our pet travel bag range includes stylish bags in different sizes and colours to match your look – and it’s an excellent place to keep that all-important pet passport.



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