Adopting and transporting pets internationally

Humane Society International / Global

In response to requests for information on transporting a companion animal between countries, we provide the following information:

Please be aware that costs for transport of a dog or cat can range from USD $150 to $2000 or more, based on accommodation and airline. In addition, some countries have strict quarantine policies.

To do

To learn about quarantine policies, paperwork, vaccinations and other requirements, check with the appropriate agency (typically the Department of Agriculture) in your country.

  • For the United States: Effective August 1, 2024, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will have new requirements controlling the entry or re-entry of all dogs into the United States. requirements for bringing or traveling with dogs into the U.S. go into effect. Visit the CDC website and launch “DogBot” to determine what rules apply to dogs you are bringing into the U.S. Additionally, those traveling with dogs must also comply with USDA-APHIS requirements. If you’re bringing dogs into the United States for commercial sale or adoption, additional requirements will also apply .
  • For Canada
  • For the United Kingdom
  • For Australia

Be sure to visit a local, licensed veterinarian to obtain a health exam along with the needed health certificates and vaccinations for your animal’s air travel and importation. Local veterinarians will also know where kennels can be purchased. Kennels make take some time to acquire, depending on the country. Specifically approved airline travel pet kennels are often required as well.

Contact your airline ahead of time to ensure that it permits the transport of dogs/cats (and reserve a spot) and what requirements are for boarding. Reservations are often needed for your dog/cat’s travel.

Please check with your airline for the details of their specific policies. Keep in mind that there may be partner carriers (not just the airline with which you booked your ticket) and different airlines for different legs of your journey, so make sure you check with each of them. In some cases, there may be breed restrictions.

Things to consider before transporting a dog or cat

HSI hears from many individuals who, on their travels, encounter dogs and cats in poor physical condition, for example, with skin diseases or untreated injuries. Concerned individuals should be mindful that these animals may, in fact,have someone who looks after them. Veterinary services are often not affordable or accessible, and animals continue to reproduce without solution. Those wishing to help an individual animal in need of veterinary care are encouraged to contact a local animal welfare/protection organization (you can search for organizations by location here) or a local veterinarian.

The costs associated with international adoption and bringing a dog or cat out of a country are often cost prohibitive and logistically challenging. HSI recommends that individuals wishing to bring an companion animal into their home do so in their own country, and seek alternative means of helping animals in a foreign country. In many parts of the world, the cost of international transport for one animal could instead be used to provide spay/neuter services for a number of animals and/or offer humane education to help foster a culture of compassion. In the U.S., millions of animals are put down each year for lack of homes. If you live in the U.S., please visit Adopt a Pet and Petfinder to adopt an animal closer to where you live.

HSI has been developing culturally sensitive approaches to manage companion animal populations humanely and effectively, partnering with governments and local organizations so that our programs will be sustainable in the long term. These programs include veterinary training in high-quality, high-volume spay/neuter surgery; mass sterilization; vaccination; and strong public engagement to change human behavior in relation to community and family animals. HSI also partners with veterinarians who understand the need for low-cost services. Our goal is to help as many animals as possible and see that lasting change is made. Please visit our Dog and Cat Welfare page to learn about our approach and programs.

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