Is your pet travelling with you?
Airlines tend to have strict rules when it comes to pets travelling on aircraft. In addition, you need certain travel documents in order to import an animal into another country
The rules for taking a dog or a cat on an aircraft vary per airline. There are three possible ways for these pets to travel: in the cabin, in the hold (without you actually being there to accompany the animal) or on a separate flight.
Strict rules apply in relation to pets travelling in the cabin - in those cases where this is allowed (among other things pertaining to the size of the pet and the compulsory use of a kennel). A lot of airlines do not allow pets to travel in the cabin and only transport pets in a kennel in the cargo hold. The cargo hold in which pets are transported is always heated and kept under normal pressure.
If you are going to be travelling with several pets, then please make sure you contact the airline well in advance. The airline can then inform you about the exact rules that apply and the costs involved in (pet) transport. It will also give you the opportunity to state that you wish to take a pet with you on your flight.
Click on the 'Airlines' link below for a list of the telephone number of the airlines at Schiphol.
Compulsory travel documents
If you wish to take a pet abroad then you will need to have a number of compulsory travel documents. The regulations relating to the import of animals vary from country to country but in general you will need at least two documents for your pet:
- A valid health certificate signed by an authorised veterinary surgeon. Some countries stipulate that this certificate should not be more than 2 days old, other countries stipulate a term of 8 days.
- A rabies certificate signed by a local inspector of the veterinary service or another official. The animal should have been vaccinated against rabies at least 28 days prior to departure. In some countries the vaccination is no longer valid if it is more than 1 year old.
For more information about the import regulations that apply to your pet, please contact the embassy of the country to which you are travelling.
Practical tips for when you are travelling with your pet:
- Always see to matters such as vaccinations and travel documents will in advance.
- Bear in mind that some countries impose strict quarantine regulations on every animal that enters the country.
- Attach a label with the animal's name and feeding instructions to the side of the kennel.
- Allow your pet to get used to the kennel before the flight. Five days is generally enough for an animal to get used to a kennel.
- Do not give your animal anything to drink at least 4 hours prior to departure.
- Animals may suffer from airsickness. For this reason you should stop feeding your pet at least 12 hours prior to departure.
- We strongly recommend that you do not sedate your pet for the journey, as it will take longer for the animal to adjust to its new surroundings and could result in the animal becoming undercooled.