Pet formalities in the USA

Return the plane with your dog, what formalities for the USA?

Did you know that? By getting an ESTA, you won't have to leave your pet behind when you go to the United States! You won't have to confide it to other people during your absence, so no more worrying about it.

Because with your ESTA travel authorization for the USA, you will have the right to fly with your dog if you follow the rules!

Your pet will be able to travel in the cabin with you following certain rules:

To be able to travel with your pet, you will need to get your ESTA first. To do this, you will need to fill out the ESTA online form dedicated to this use, pay the fee for this operation and have a valid passport.

Note that it is not necessary to mention in your request that you wish to take your pet with you. His presence will not affect the decision of the competent authorities.

You will be able to bring it with you once you have obtained your travel authorization, subject to three conditions:

  • Whether it is not a wild animal, a bird or a reptile.
  • Be totally weaned, i. e. more than 10 weeks old.
  • Whether tattooed or tagged with a chip

What documents are needed?

Whatever your pet is, in order to take it with you, you will need:

  • From his valid passport.
  • His vaccination books with, of course, all the up-to-date vaccines.
  • His health record, accompanied by a certificate issued by a veterinarian attesting that he is in perfect condition.

All these documents must be available in English.

How to make your pet travel: In the cabin or in the hold?

The location of your pet's journey will depend entirely on its size. You can take it in the cabin if it weighs less than 6 kg, and if its total weight, including bag or cage, does not exceed 8 kg.

You will have to let it travel in the hold if it is large and subsequently, if its means of transport can be congested.

How to transport it?

Travel companies are particularly uncompromising when it comes to transporting animals because it is not only about its safety and comfort, but also about yours and all the passengers.

Also, to avoid any inconvenience, please report the presence of your pet when you book your ticket. Be aware of the company's requirements in this regard, especially the means of transportation required for a safe crossing.

For a cabin crossing:

For your pet to be accepted in the cabin, you'll have to transport it either:

  • In a travel bag for animals whose dimensions meet the standards required by your airline. It should not exceed 46 cm in length, 28 cm wide and 24 cm high.
  • In a special cage, with a rigid plastic hull, in which your pet can lie down and stand upright without any difficulty. Its dimensions should also allow it to be easily placed under the seat in front of you.
  • Note that you will be responsible for your companion throughout the journey and that you will not be allowed to take him out of his bag or cage throughout the journey.

For a crossing in the hold:

If your pet is going to travel in the hold, to ensure its safety and comfort, you will have to transport it in a specific cage, meeting IATA compliance standards, i. e. the following requirements: - a crate must be kept in a safe and comfortable place: - a crate must be kept in a safe place.

  • It must have a rigid fiberglass or plastic shell. Wood or metal cages are not accepted.
  • It must have removable or retractable wheels.
  • It must have a door with hinges at least 1.6 cm above the edge.
  • It must have a central locking system, which automatically locks the door from top to bottom, and a bolt locking system.
  • It must be large enough to hold your pet and allow it to turn around, lie down and stand comfortably, without its total weight exceeding 75 kg.
  • It must also be labelled with your name and contact information, and must include the words "Animal Alive".

What are the costs?

For your pet to be able to travel with you, whether in the cabin or in the hold, please allow approximately 200 euros.

Precautions to take if your dog needs to fly:

To ensure that the trip is carried out in the best possible conditions and to avoid any incidents during the crossing, prepare it in advance. For example, provide a soft cushion on which your little companion can rest.

Also, be sure not to forget your child's favourite and most important toys, feed and drink before you leave.

Avoid trips with one or more stopovers as much as possible, as this can make your pet tired, stressed and nervous.


Other articles related to the same subject:

First Time ESTA VISA / ESTA USA Applicant?

Update your Travel Authorization?