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How Much Does It Cost to Fly a Dog Internationally? 2024 Price Guide

Written by: Grant Piper

Last Updated on June 26, 2024 by Dogster Team

dog in airport carrier

How Much Does It Cost to Fly a Dog Internationally? 2024 Price Guide

In recent years, traveling with dogs has become more commonplace. In the past, people would board their dogs or leave them with a friend rather than tote them to Europe. That is not the case anymore. Now, people are bringing their dogs everywhere, including into the skies on major airlines. The idea of sipping espresso on the French Riviera with your canine companion is alluring to many people, but it also comes with significant costs. Most airlines charge between $125 and $200 per dog per leg of the trip, but there are many additional expenses to know about.

Here is how much it costs to fly a dog internationally, including airline fees, health considerations, and the different types of pet travel options.


The Importance of Knowing the Rules, Regulations, and Costs of Flying With Your Dog Internationally

International travel with a dog is not a simple matter. In fact, it can be very complicated. You have to know all the details beyond just the costs. Some countries require waiting periods and quarantines on both ends of your trip. All countries require some sort of health certificate. If you do not know the details, you can get stuck at the airport with your dog. In the worst-case scenario, you could even be rejected at the border and forced to return home. Trips canceled due to incorrect paperwork will not be eligible for a refund or reimbursement.

For these reasons, knowing the costs and paperwork requirements before you fly is incredibly important. The last thing you want to do is end up as a travel horror story because your dog is stuck in bureaucratic limbo. Such disasters happen to unprepared people trying to travel with a pet.

Dog traveling by airplane. Box with live animals at the airport
Image Credit: Jaromir Chalabala, Shutterstock

How Much Does International Travel Cost for Your Dog?

The cost of flying a dog internationally depends on the airline. Each airline has its own policy and schedule for fees related to flying with a dog. The fees are similar, but they can add up quickly. Most airlines charge between $125 and $200 per dog per leg of the trip. That means a dog could have a total cost of between $250 and $400 per trip for the flight alone.

If you have questions about a specific airline, you can visit their website or call a representative. Dozens of airlines will allow you to fly internationally with your dog, but each has its own policies and fees associated with the trip.

Cost to Fly With a Dog by Major Airline

Airline Pet Fee Other Fees
Delta $200 each way $75 (Brazil)
American $125–$200 each way
United $125 each way $125 for each layover of more than 4 hours
Southwest $125 each way

Additional Costs to Anticipate

The costs levied by the airlines are just one factor to consider before flying a dog internationally. International travel with a dog also includes vaccines, health certificates, approved crates, and lodging costs. All these expenses must be factored in to get an accurate total cost for flying with your dog.

Dog on an airplane
Image Credit: RyanTaylor, Shutterstock

Vaccines ($20–$200)

Dogs must be up to date on their vaccinations before traveling internationally. Each country has requirements, and the number of vaccinations your dog needs to meet them will determine the overall cost. Some countries have very lenient vaccine requirements or ones that largely overlap with those in the U.S., while others require a bevy of vaccinations that can cost a chunk of money before you can fly.

Health Certificate ($100–$300)

Health certificates are required for dogs to travel outside of the United States. Some countries require you to use their specific health certificate or obtain one from the United States Department of Agriculture. It must be signed by a qualified veterinarian and often comes with a waiting period or a notary requirement. Health certificate costs vary depending on the destination and the veterinarian’s prices.

Travel Crate ($40–$200)

Dogs need an approved travel crate for flying. If you plan on flying with your dog, you will need a crate that meets airline requirements. Crates range in price from $40 to $200 and are typically soft-sided. If you already have a crate, ensure that your dog is comfortable in it, and it meets your airline’s requirements before taking it to the airport.

bichon frise dog resting inside a crate
Image Credit: ilona.shorokhova, Shutterstock

Lodging ($50–$200 per night)

Pet fees can add up quickly if you plan on staying in a hotel with your dog. Hotel fees range from $50 per night to $200 per animal. Some hotels offer free stays for dogs, but they are not as common as the ones that charge fees. Don’t forget to plan for lodging fees if you stay in a hotel during your international trip.

Disruptions (Variable)

International travel can come with a slew of potential disruptions. Flights can be canceled or delayed. Dogs can get caught up in bureaucratic red tape at your destination. These can cost money if your trip gets extended. Extra paperwork could also be required, and an additional night at a hotel could be necessary. All these represent lost time and variable fees that are impossible to predict. It is a good idea to plan ahead and prepare for potential travel disruptions so you are not caught off guard in the case of a problem with your flight or your dog’s paperwork.

Total Cost ($335–$1,000)

Flying with your dog internationally will usually cost between $335 and $1,000, depending on the airline and the destination. This cost includes everything you need to fly with your dog, including the trip fee, the health certificate, and the proper crate. However, these costs could creep higher depending on the destination or whether you use a pet transportation service rather than fly with your dog on a standard airline.


The 3 Different Types of International Flights for Dogs

1. Cabin Flying

Cabin or carry-on flying is when you keep your dog in the plane’s cabin. Airlines have individual rules about cabin flying for dogs. In most cases, the dog must fit in a soft-sided carrier that can fit under the seat in front of you. You need to look up the exact dimensions your airline allows and ensure your carrier meets the requirements before flying.

Dogs must stay calm, well-behaved, and inside the carrier during the flight. Rules can vary by airline and destination, so be sure to look up the exact requirements before flying.

Dog In Airplane Carrier
Image Credit: Cameron Cross, Shutterstock

2. Cargo Flying

Cargo flying or checked flying is when a dog is checked in and placed in a special area of the cargo hold where they will remain for the duration of the flight. Cargo flying is not offered by all airlines. For example, Southwest Airlines will not fly animals in cargo. Airlines that allow cargo flying will require you to check in your dog, and they will be taken in their carrier at check-in and returned after the flight. This type of flying is more common for long-duration flights, which often include international flights.

3. Pet Transport Services

The last way to fly your dog internationally is to hire a pet transportation service. Pet transportation services are the most expensive option. These private companies will fly your dog to your destination separately. They will help you navigate the complex requirements for international travel with a dog. They also offer more personal and professional services, focusing wholly on the health and comfort of your dog during flight. Prices for pet transportation services can range from $1,000 to $6,000 per trip, which is steep.

Does Pet Insurance Cover Flying?

No, pet insurance does not cover flying. You can purchase certain types of travel insurance with portions of the policy that cover pets. Travel insurance will help reimburse you if something goes wrong with your trip. Not all travel insurance covers pets, though. You must find a specific policy covering travel issues related to your dog and ensure that it will work for international trips.

Pet insurance should cover any illness or injury your dog might receive on your trip, but it might not work overseas. It would be the safest option not to count on pet insurance for issues with your dog when you are outside of the United States. If you have any questions about your pet insurance policy, please consult your agent or read the policy details.

a couple with pet signing insurance contract
Image Credit: Drazen Zigic, Shutterstock

How to Prepare Your Dog for an International Trip

Prepping your dog for an international trip is essential. Flying can be scary or stressful for dogs. Some international flights can last hours, and dogs will remain confined for the duration. You should consider these tips when preparing your dog before taking them on an international flight.

  • Make sure your dog can spend long periods of time alone.
  • Ensure that your dog is healthy and can endure a long flight.
  • Make sure you know all the rules and regulations before you fly.
  • Bring adequate food and water for your dog.
  • Bring something from home for your dog, like a favorite blanket or toy.



International flying can be a lot of fun with a dog, but it can also be pricey. An extended international trip can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars more if you bring your dog. Canines need health certificates, vaccines, a plane ticket, and a proper carrier. You also have to be prepared for lodging costs and potential disruptions. Being prepared is paramount before flying internationally with your dog.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Monika Wisniewska, Shutterstock

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