Dog care

International travel with your dog from the Philippines

Traveling with your dog can be fun, but let’s admit it, it’s not the easiest thing to do because it entails a good measure of paperwork. Based on my experience, you’ll need to do some planning to prepare for your dog’s travel, but if you do it right, it can actually be a fun experience. Since a lot of people ask me about the rules for traveling with a dog, I’ve compiled some of their questions and turned it into this blog. Hope you’ll find it useful!

When should you fly out with your dog?

Some airlines have a weather embargo which means they won’t fly dogs when it’s too hot or too cold. This changes so you have to check with the airlines.

How can you book your dog’s flight?

You need to call the airline for this. Don’t buy a ticket online as this has to be done with a live agent.  On booking, there’s a maximum number of pets that they can load which varies per type of aircraft. This could go anywhere from 4-5 dogs/cats in cargo and 2 in cabin. Sometimes the booking agents still have to check this one out.

Are there restrictions on dogs flying out?
Some brachycephalic breeds are not allowed to fly in cargo. Airlines have different rules so best to check this out with them. Miniature schnauzers have long snouts so they are not covered by any of these bans.

Can your dog stay with you in the cabin?

This depends on the airline. I have personally tried Delta Airlines in flying a dog in cabin. I know a number who have tried KLM to fly a dog in cabin. Unfortunately, Philippine Airlines does not allow dogs to fly in cabin. Airlines also have size restrictions. Usually, they would want the dog’s kennel box to fit under a seat, which is fine for right-sized mini schnauzers.

How can you check in your dog at the airport?

Dogs are  considered excess baggage so you deal with the check-in agent.  He/she will look at the dog’s paper work. This is regardless of whether your dog flies in cabin or in cargo.

What are the quarantine or health papers that you need?

There are two layers of quarantine you have to think about. The Philippines and the country you are going to.

Getting out of PH, they just look for a rabies vaccination in the past year. They will also need an export permit which you get from the Bureau of Animal Industry. To get that permit, you’ll need a certificate from a vet. The permit is good for just 2 weeks.

The quarantine rules vary per country. in Singapore and Australia, the dog has to stay in a facility for a week or so. They might also require an import permit from their side and a copy of your Ph export permit. Bring the vaccination records too with the antirabies shot in the past 2 years.

What is the size of the kennel box/crate that you should buy?

If your dog is flying in cabin with you, I recommend a soft crate as this is easier to handle and can fit easily under the seat. If the dog flies in cargo, you have no choice but to get a crate made of harder material.  Regardless of what type you get, the crate should allow him space to stand up with sufficient headroom left. Have a safety lock, don’t forget to label, put a pad just in case, put water in a water bottle, and don’t feed him the day he flies so he won’t poop or throw up in transit.

Where can you get microchips?

Microchips are available at the Philippine Canine Club Inc. as well as the larger veterinary clinics.

Is a rabies antibody titer test necessary?

Some countries such as Europe and Korea require a rabies antibody titer test. This test is very expensive, averaging around $500. Results also take from 4-5 weeks, as the specimen is sent to a lab abroad. This is why you have to allow sufficient time for planning.


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