Tips Moving Your Pet Abroad



In a previous post we discussed how to get your pets ready to go with you on vacation. This is for getting them there safe and sound also in one piece. If you don’t know by now it’s easier to travel with smaller pets because they fit under your seats so easily. Plus, they are more likely to be used to going places with you and are well-behaved around strangers.

For the larger lovable ‘Marmaduke’ types, it’s a little more complex taking them with you. You don’t need to jump through a lot of hops so don’t worry.

Cargo hold or no cargo hold?

It’s not recommended putting your pets on the planes’ cargo hold especially if they have pushed in noses. The brachycephalic types are in fact banned from all airlines. Their narrow nasal passages can suffocate them in low oxygen and high heat situations. For these types of pets it is highly suggested they stay home with a trusted pet sitter or at a pet day spa.

It would be completely irresponsible if I didn’t mention that some lives have been lost being placed in the cargo hold. The lack of oxygen and extreme weather temperatures make conditions unsafe for pets. Let’s not for get the times some pets were left on the tarmac or flown to the wrong locations. Sounds like sending your most beloved companions without you is a very bad idea, or is it?

The airline industry is working hard to fix this problem. JetBlue and United are the two companies that really want to make all passengers safe. The other airlines are following suit by placing the larger animals in the front of the plane. It’s temperature controlled and they stay with your pets until it’s time to for take off.

Follow these steps

  • Use direct flights avoid delays when possible
  • Place frozen water in carrier so they have water during flight
  • Travel on the same flight as your pet when possible and ask if you can watch them being loaded and unloaded
  • Do not give your pet tranquilizers unless they are prescribed by your veterinarian
  • Do not feed your pet for four to six hours before the trip
  • Examine your pets as soon as you can in a safe place. write down results and date it.

Large pets belong in the cabin

Bet you didn’t know you could board a jet with your dog and they can sit right next to you without being in a cage. Before you flip out about the cost book with a big group of people. The price drops because it’s spread amongst everyone and you don’t have crowds or long TSA lines. More and more jets are becoming truly pet friendly.


Here’s why you should choose to book a private jet. Dogs over 15 pounds or more than 12 inches tall won’t go in the cargo hold (they sit right next to you). There’s no travel embargo during the summer; you can go anywhere year round. You can even set the catering in-flight for you and your most loved best friend.

Always do your research when traveling to another country for all restrictions and regulations.

Road trip!

Planning an awesome road trip or going camping sounds like so much fun. How amazing would it be if your best buddy goes with you. It’s far simpler than the other options and cheaper. You are in complete control of everything from start to finish.

Traveling from state to state requires up to date information of your pets vaccinations and be free from parasites. Check with the states CDC beforehand for any questions. Like small children keep your road pal in the back seat. Have a friend go with you so your pets can rotate keeping an eye on them. This shouldn’t have to be said but…


Use the right restraints for your needs. All animals should remain in a crate or carrier that has been anchored with the car seat belt. Give them so time to stretch their paws as frequently as possible. Make sure they have their collars, leashes and GPS tracker on before leaving the vehicle.

Trains and Ships

Photo by Josh Edgoose on Unsplash

Give it up to Amtrak for allowing pets on some of their lines! Small cats and dogs up to 20lbs and for trips lasting seven hours at most are accepted. The cost is a mere $25 and the carrier counts as carry on luggage. Reservations are first come first served and 5 pets per train unless it’s a service animal.

For more information head to Amtrak

Cruise ships are less likely to have pet friendly policies. It’s hard enough keeping the ships clean enough for people so they don’t get sick. All cruise lines that are not transatlantic only allow service animals. Emotional support and service animals in training are not allowed.

Photo by Josh Rakower on Unsplash

There’s only one cruise that will allow pets on board and that’s the Queen Mary II. The Queen Mary II goes from New York to Southampton both ways. They have limited kennel space so book way ahead of planned departure day. You’ll be placing your cat or dog in the caring hands of their Kennel Master.

They’ll walk and feed your pets for you until you go and visit them. While you have them, their spacious kennel will be kept clean. They have indoor and outdoor walking areas that are open though out the day. Oh almost forgot to mention that your pets are given a complimentary gift pack.

If sounds great give Cunard a look.

Truly unlimited options

So many awesome ways to plan a trip. Remember first make sure your friend can even travel. Young, old, sick, and poor temperament pets should stay home with a trusted sitter. Talk with your veterinarian about what is best for your loved one.

I can’t say this enough, do your research for any mode of transportation and book far enough in advance to ensure your spot.

Don’t ever ship brachycephalic animals such as Pekingese dogs, bulldogs or Persian cats in the cargo holds.

Please leave questions and comments below.





  1. Good lecture on how to care for our pets when travelling…….i bet this has helped alot of people which i am one of them.
    Please my question is when should our pets eat before traveling coz you made mention of them not eating four to six hours before traveling.
    Please give me an answer and Keep the ball rolling Alina…..i really love your site

    1. It’s my greatest hope that I’m helping people. Thank you.

      Yes, you’re pets should eat and drink regularly up to 4-6 hrs before your flight. Give them plenty of time to digest and relieve themselves. Give them water continually till boarding and empty out the water dish. Give the attendant the food and water you brought with and they will give it to your pet.

      Also play with them so they relax more and have a better time traveling.

      Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope this helps.

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