If you’re planning a trip or packing up and moving, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to getting your pet from A to Z. Among many other things, the cost to fly with a dog is an important factor to consider.
The cost to fly with a dog can vary greatly, and relies heavily on the regulations of the airline you choose as well as the destination and dog breed. You will need to consider the following:
- Airline fees
- Pet travel crate
- Vet fees – microchip, rabies vaccination, additional vaccinations, tapeworm treatment
- Government endorsement
- Import permit
- Customs clearance
In this article we will breakdown all of the costs you will face when flying with a dog.
Cost to fly with a dog #1: Pet Airline Fees.
The airline fees to fly with a dog can range quite drastically between $35 to $200+, depending on the following factors:
- Your chosen airline – different airlines have different costs for flying with dogs.
- Cabin or cargo – often flying in cabin with your dog is cheaper than shipping them in cargo.
- Domestic or international – the price will differ depending on your where you are traveling to and from. Domestic travel and short flights are often cheaper than international or long haul flights.
As an example, here are Aegean Air’s fees:
Dog in cabin (up to 8kg incl. their container)
|Flights||Domestic flights||International flights|
|Direct / Connecting||EUR 35||EUR 65|
Dogs in aircraft hold – Medium (8kg – 25kg incl. their container)
|Flights||Domestic flights||International flights|
|Direct||EUR 50||EUR 110|
|Connecting||EUR 55||EUR 120|
Dogs in aircraft hold – Large (over 25kg incl. their container)
|Flights||Domestic flights||International flights|
|Direct||EUR 90||EUR 180|
|Connecting||EUR 95||EUR 190|
Flying in cabin vs. flying in cargo.
a) Flying with dogs in cabin.
Though rules vary from airline to airline, your dog can typically only fly in the cabin (as carry-on luggage) if they are small enough to fit in a carrier stowed under the seat in front of you. Although the size requirements of the carrier vary between airlines, usually only dogs that are smaller than 11 inches tall and 18 inches long are permitted.
Additionally, it’s important to note that on certain routes, dogs are not permitted to fly in the cabin. This is usually the case when flying to and from the UK, for example.
Different airlines have different costs, ranging anywhere between $36 (Air Europa) $125 (American Airlines). The prices will differ depending on your route. Traveling domestically is often cheaper than traveling long-haul.
b) Flying with dogs in cargo.
If your dog is too large to fly in the cabin with you, they can travel in the cargo area of the plane. Airlines will do their best to make dogs comfortable in the cargo hold, however it will likely still be a rather unpleasant experience for your dog. Not only will they be separated from you, items might shift around or fall during the flight, which can be loud and scary.
However, while there are risks associated with cargo travel, many dogs are able to fly safely and comfortably with the proper preparation and care. It’s up to each individual pet owner to ensure their dog is fit and well prepared for travel.
The cost to fly with a dog in cargo is usually more pricey than flying with dogs in cabin. The cost can range from $90 (Air Europa) to $200+ (Aegean Air). The larger and heavier your dog is and the further you are traveling, the more expensive it will be.
Cost to fly with a dog #2: Pet Travel Crate
Whether your dog is flying in-cabin with you or in the cargo hold you will need to purchase an airline approved travel crate.
Your dog’s travel crate must meet certain airline, industry and government regulations and it is important to note that many travel crates available online do not meet these ever-changing regulations. You can check the restrictions spelled out by the International Air Transport Association for specific carrier qualifications.
If you are flying with your dog in the cabin, it will likely be cheaper as you will need to get a smaller travel carrier. However, the cost of a large travel crate for dogs traveling in cargo can be a lot more expensive.
The cost of the pet travel crate can range anywhere between $25 to $250.
Cost to fly with a dog #3: Vet Fees
In order to board a plane, your dog will likely need a microchip, rabies vaccination and animal health certificate, at minimum. Depending on where you are traveling to, you may also require a rabies titer test, additional vaccinations and tapeworm treatment.
Your dog may need to have up to four or five veterinary visits to ensure their health meets the import requirements. Therefore, it is important to note that the timing of these vet visits to your departure date is critical and again. This is the most difficult part of organizing pet travel and requires knowledge of both veterinary procedures and different country’s import regulations.
We will breakdown the vet fees to fly with a dog.
Many airlines will require dogs to be microchipped before flying.
Of course, if your dog already has a microchip, the cost will be £0 for you. However, for those of you whose dogs haven’t, the cost for a microchip can vary between $0 and $30.
b) Rabies vaccination.
If you want your fly with your dog, it is likely that he/she requires a valid rabies vaccination. Particularly if you are taking your dog on an international flight as this is a requirement for entering most countries.
Most countries require dogs to have their rabies vaccination between 30 days and 12 months prior to importing.
You can get your pet’s rabies vaccination at your local vet, alternatively some charities offer this service for free or for a discounted price.
The cost of the one-year rabies vaccination is around $15 to $30. A three-year shot will usually costs around $35 to $50. Some countries will accept a 3 year vaccination upon entry, while others require a rabies vaccination within the 12 months leading up to travel.
c) Animal Health Certificate.
Most airlines will require an animal health certificate in order to fly with a dog.
In order to obtain a health certificate, the vet must be confident your pet is fit and healthy enough to travel. Your pet must also have all the relevant vaccinations and treatments for your destination country. You can check all of the requirements for different countries at the USDA website here.
They are usually valid for 10 days.
The cost of a veterinary consultation can vary quite significantly between clinics, and can cost anywhere from $25 to $150. The cost for endorsement ranges between $38 and $173+.
d) Rabies Titer Test / Rabies Blood Test
A rabies titer test is not usually a requirement to fly with your dog, however it may be a requirement when traveling from and to specific countries. Usually, this is when you are traveling from a country with a high risk of rabies.
Generally, your veterinarian will need to take a blood sample from your pet at least 30 days after their rabies vaccination. Your vet will then send the blood sample to an approved blood testing laboratory. To qualify for travel, the blood rest results must show that your pet’s vaccination was successful – i.e. your pet’s blood must contain at least 0.5 IU/ml of the rabies antibody. Usually, you must then wait 3 months from the date of the blood sample before travel.
The cost ranges between $80 to $150, depending on the veterinary clinic. This doesn’t include the cost of the office visit.
e) Additional vaccines.
This isn’t a requirement to fly with a dog, however if you are traveling internationally, your dog may require additional vaccines and treatments.
The amount you will pay for these additional vaccines and treatments depends on your destination country. Some countries may just require one additional vaccine, where others may require many.
Average cost of common vaccinations in the US:
- Coronavirus – the average cost is $10-$15. This vaccine is administered twice for a total cost of $20-$30.
- Lyme – the average cost is $10-$15. The vaccine is administered twice for a total cost of $20-$30.
- Leptospirosis – the average cost is $10-$15. The vaccine is administered twice for a total cost of $20-$30.
- Bordetella: – the average cost is $10-$15. The vaccine is administered twice for a total cost of $20-$30.
- Canine Influenza – the average cost is $10-$15. The vaccine is administered twice for a total cost of $20-$30.
f) Tapeworm treatment.
This isn’t a requirement to fly with dogs, however some countries require dogs to be treated against tapeworm.
This is the case if you and your dog are travelling to the UK, Finland or Malta.
The tapeworm treatment must be completed by an accredited vet. Therefore, an over the counter treatment does not count.
The price for a tapeworm treatment ranges between $3 to $18, plus a potential basic vet visit fee.
Cost to fly with a dog #4: Government Endorsement
In most cases, your animal health certificate will also need to be endorsed by your country’s authority responsible for the import and export of animals.
For example, if you are traveling from the US, you will need your documents endorsed by the USDA. If you are traveling from Canada, you will need to have your documents endorsed by CFIA.
Pricing usually starts off with the cost for endorsing a health certificate for a destination country that requires just vaccinations. The price then goes up with the number of tests that are required on top of that. Additionally, the price goes up $7 to $14 for each additional pet.
The cost for USDA endorsement ranges between $38 and $173+.
The USDA APHIS list the following on their website to breakdown the fees for endorsement.
ALL ENDORSEMENT FEES ARE CHARGED PER CERTIFICATE/ DOCUMENT.
|Number of tests and number of animals on the certificate||User Fee||Fee Explanation|
(other endorsements or certifications)
|If a country ONLY requires vaccinations, the fee is $38 per certificate regardless of the number of animals on the certificate.|
|Any number of animals||$38.00|
|1-2 tests||If a country requires any testing (rabies titer or other disease testing), the exact fee is determined by the number of tests USDA is required to verify for each animal on the same certificate. The fee will be between $121 and $173 for the first animal on a certificate. Each additional animal on the same certificate will cost $7-14 depending upon the number of tests.|
|Each additional animal||$7.00|
|Each additional animal||$12.00|
|7 or more tests|
|Each additional animal||$14.00|
Cost to fly with a dog #5: Import Permit
Some countries require your pet to have obtained a pre-approved Import Permit before arrival. These permits can be quite costly, and applications can usually be lodged online.
The cost of an import permit will vary as different countries have different prices.
For example, for arrival in Australia, you will need to apply for an Import Permit from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. This will set you back about $480 for the first pet and $240 for each additional pet.
Cost to fly with a dog #6: Customs Clearance
Everyone has to go through customs at the airport and animals are no exception.
Most countries give dogs a veterinary exam on arrival. They will ask you about your reasons for travel and you’ll have to present various documents before you can be reunited with your pet.
Fees for customs clearance can range from a mere $30 to over $400, depending on import tariffs, veterinary inspection prices and other taxes.
Cost to fly with a dog #7: Pet Quarantine
Some countries require dogs to be stay in quarantine upon arrival for varying lengths of stay. The quarantine will need to be booked ahead of time and can massively bump up the cost to fly with a dog.
The cost of pet quarantine can vary as different countries have different prices.
For example, dogs will be required to board at the Quarantine facility in Melbourne upon arrival into Australia for a minimum 10-day period. Fees are outlined on the Department of Agriculture website and will vary, however, you can expect to pay approximately $2,000 for one dog. There can be additional fees if your dog requires veterinary treatments or an extended stay.
So, as you are now aware, the cost to fly with a dog can vary quite drastically as there are many factors to take into consideration.
The price will vary depending on where you are traveling from and to, the size and weight of your dog and your chosen airline. So, it’s important to do your research on the specific country you are visiting and familiarise yourself with your airlines pet policies.
If you are traveling domestically with a small dog, your trip should be a lot cheaper. On the other hand, if you are traveling with a large dog across countries, the price will be drastically more and can cost you a few thousands.
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