Pet owners planning to fly this year, whether internationally or domestically, will need to ensure their pets have the correct vaccinations. Yet, knowing which shots your pet needs can be hard to figure out. Below, we discuss why dogs and cats need to be vaccinated to fly and which pet vaccinations they need for various countries. Let’s get ready to travel, shall we?

Are you planning to jet off with your pets this year?

Going on vacation with your pets can be a surreal, yet wonderful, experience. Who hasn’t seen those TikTok videos of people traveling worldwide with their dogs in tow? Yet, much preparation goes into getting your beloved fur ball on an airplane. Regardless of whether you’re traveling to another state or jetting off to Europe, there are health rules you need to follow.

Besides packing all the pet travel essentials that your furry friend will need on vacation, you’ll need to take them to a veterinary clinic. Airlines require a lot of paperwork before your pet can board a flight. These documents include health certificates, an acclimation certificate, identification records, and proof of vaccinations.

Pets need vaccinations before flying: Here’s why

Why are pet vaccinations necessary? Vaccinations are a core part of a pet’s overall health and wellness. Your pets should get vaccinated young to protect them against various illnesses and diseases and keep with annual vaccinations for optimal pet wellness and prevention. This same logic applies to pet vaccinations for travel purposes.

Bringing pets in and out of the United States risks introducing new diseases and illnesses into the population. For example, rabies has been a primary concern for governments across the globe. Many airlines require an animal to be vaccinated against rabies before boarding a flight. Vaccinating your pet against diseases native to other countries protects their health abroad. It also reduces the risk of infecting others when you return from travel.

Pet parents must make themselves aware of the vaccinations their pets need before booking a trip. This will save you a lot of hassle in the long run (and tears if your favorite pooch is denied boarding at the airport).

What shots should your pets be getting to travel?

To help you prepare for your trip, we’ve compiled a helpful list of the core pet vaccinations required for flying. Veterinarians can guide you through which shots are needed for destinations, but it’s good to keep yourself informed.

For domestic flights

Many owners wonder why their pets need certain vaccinations to fly domestically, but vaccination rules change from state to state. Most states across America require a rabies vaccination at least thirty days before flying. Your pet’s proof of vaccination document must be valid for the length of your trip.

Other vaccinations worth getting before traveling domestically in the United States include the parvovirus, canine influenza, feline leukemia, and the feline immunodeficiency virus. Check with your airline and destination regarding vaccination and quarantine requirements.

For international flights

Every time you plan to travel abroad with pets, you’ll need to check the export requirements for the country you’re traveling to. Each international destination has its own rules regarding pet vaccination. As mentioned, every country poses unique risks to the health of our cats and dogs.

Below are some of the vaccines that are required when flying to different countries:

  • Australia: Dogs flying into Australia must be vaccinated against rabies, canine distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, Bordetella, and para-influenza. Cats will need to have vaccines for calicivirus, feline enteritis, and rhinotracheitis;
  • Brazil: Both cats and dogs traveling to Brazil must be vaccinated against rabies. The country also recommends the following vaccines: distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus, calicivirus, panleukopenia (FVRCP), and more;
  • Canada: To travel to Canada with your pets from the United States, your dog and cat will need a recent rabies vaccination.
  • Europe: When it comes to going on vacation, Europe is a popular destination. Depending on the country you’re traveling to, you may need various pet vaccines. However, a rabies vaccination is mandatory for entry into the European Union. If you’re traveling to Ireland, Norway, Finland, or Malta, your dog will need tapeworm treatment before boarding a flight;
  • The United Kingdom: If you’re traveling to the United Kingdom, your pets will require a rabies vaccine. For dog owners, you’ll also need to make sure your vet gives your pooch tapeworm treatment before you fly.

Remember, do your research. Each country will have its own set of pet vaccination rules and regulations. Additionally, other mandatory vaccinations may be required for the return journey to the United States. You can find more information on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website.

Get travel-ready with Wagmo pet wellness plans

Traveling domestically or internationally with your pet is much easier with a Wagmo Pet Wellness plan. We make pet wellness protection simple and hassle-free. By signing up for a wellness plan, we’ll help you cover the cost of routine vaccinations and boosters every year so you don’t have to worry about extra travel expenses.
For as little as $20 per month, your pet will receive all the vaccines they need to stay healthy, protected, and travel ready. Take our pet wellness quiz today to find out which plan makes the most sense for you and your pet.