Recently a client had a special request: Can you transport my dog to Ireland to meet me?

With such a unique opportunity, I had to accept the job and I want to share with you some important steps you need to take before flying with your best friend!


  1. Take your dog to a USDA accredited vet and have him/ her fill out your 2015 Annex II paperwork, health certificate, and any special requests the country you’re going to visit requires ($140- $230 depending on your vet.)annex1
  2. Buy an airline approved travel tote (11h x 11w x 17L) and start training your dog how to love being in there!  I highly suggest pee-pad training a couple of weeks before your trip, you’ll understand when you are in the airport or on the plane.  I used the Sherpa brand of travel tote.IMG_1519
  3. Research your destination country’s pet immigration policy.  Check for religious holidays, local holidays, or any odd policies that might affect your travel. (e.x. No pets on planes on weekends.)IMG_1920
  4. Drive the Annex II paperwork to the only Department of Agriculture Office in Souther California in Inglewood, ~2 hour drive from San Diego, to get their official stamp of approval ($38). No dogs allowed

Approximately 24 hours before your flight, contact your airline and inform them that you will be bringing a dog in cabin.  Most airlines have a maximum number of dogs that may travel in cabin at one given time.IMG_1541

  1. Try not to let your dog sleep the night before traveling!  Consider a 24 hour dog daycare, or a friend’s house that has a playful dog, so you can pick a pooped pooch on your way to the airport.   *****The vet I saw in Germany discouraged using pills to calm the dog during the flight because it will slow the heart rate and breathing rate and at altitude the air is a lot thinner and that can become very dangerous.*****




  1. Carry your dog in tote through the check-in line and be prepared to be gawked at.  People love dogs in carriers!

IMG_1576Friendly German customs agent.

  1. Regarding security, remove your dog’s collar and send the travel tote, and your metallic items, through the x-ray while you carry your dog though the metal detector… (or to the overzealous TSA agent to frisk you  🙂

IMG_1579Don’t be spooked!  These were very helpful German vets who aided me by registering Bailey into the European vet system.  It’s the only official looking photo I have!

  1. Once through security, consider letting your dog walk with you to the gate.  He or she will be spending loads of time in the travel tote so utilize the walking time as long as you can 🙂
  2. IMG_1539When it is time to board, carry you dog in his/ her tote onto the plane, get yourself situated and then get your hound situated.  (I few on the German airline Lufthansa and they were okay with putting the crate 1/4 under the seat in front of me as long as I could guarantee my dog would not jump out during the flight.) IMG_1546During the flight, do what you can to sooth your dog’s nerves.  I was able to pet my dog periodically and would have to disagree with any attempts to climb out of his tote.  Since international flights are long, you may want to attempt to lay out pee pads in the lavatory as ask you hound to “go potty.”  (My dog looked at me like I was crazy and held it the whole flight.)
  3. IMG_1548

Once you have landed & arrived at your gate, carry your dog-in-tote to the terminal & let him/ her walk with you to a random hallway or doorway and set up your pee pads and attempt to have him/ her relieve himself/ herself.  (My dog did not pee.  I gave him several opportunities throughout our airline traveling.)IMG_1572

  1. When going through customs, make sure you have your dogs documents prepared to show to the proper authorities.  You should be able to walk with your hound to baggage claim and to your final destination!

For overnight in-home sitting during your next vacation, consider to phamper your pooch!  Tell ’em Canine Education sent you!IMG_1894