Generalizing the cost of pet travel, especially international travel, is daunting. Flying out for a holiday or moving to a new country is certainly exciting. Be it paddleboarding in the pristine oceans of Australia or exploring the historic towns of England for a weekend getaway, planning your trips can be stressful.
However, this becomes more complicated if you intend to bring your furry friend along. Flying a pet internationally comes with multiple bottlenecks and additional costs. This is made harder by the varying regulations and costs between continents and countries.
The guide below breaks down the various elements involved in pet travel. However, note that each destination has a set of unique guides that you should consider before planning your trip.
Expenses Involved in Pet Travel
Some of the essential travel expenses you will incur when traveling with your pet are as follows;
#1. Travel Crate
Regardless of whether your pet is traveling with you in the cabin or remains held up in the cargo area, you will need to buy a travel crate. Before buying a travel crate, ensure that it meets the airline, government, and industry regulations. Unfortunately, most travel crates available online do not meet all these dynamic regulations.
The crate should also be spacious enough to provide maximum comfort to your pet. Most airlines insist that the crate should allow the pet to turn around and stand without the ears touching its top. The cost of pet crates significantly varies based on several factors, including size, design, and brand. A good pet travel crate costs between $120 and $200. You should also consult a pet travel expert before purchasing to avoid purchasing a non-approved crate.
#2. Veterinary Visits
Your pet should make several visits to the vet before traveling with it. This is to ensure that your furry friend meets the essential health requirements to travel. The type of vet treatment given during the visits include blood tests, health certificates, rabies vaccines, and other general check-ups. For international trips, your pet should have additional requirements, such as the USDA and ESA certificate.
Unlike travel crates, the timing of veterinary visits is crucial to your departure. Besides, every country has a unique set of regulations. This makes veterinary visits one of the most difficult parts, as it requires some knowledge of veterinary procedures and regulations from different countries. That said, the costs of vet visits can range between $70 and $250 for general health examinations.
#3. Government Expenses
You should also factor in several government expenses when planning to fly your pet internationally. The additional costs include;
- Import permits
Some international destinations require pre-approved import permits for pets to fly in. Applications for these permits can be expensive and often take time since they are lodged online. For instance, you should pay an import permit of $480 for the first pet and $240 for additional pets before traveling to Australia.
- Quarantine charges
Several destinations, such as Malaysia and Australia, stipulate that pets should be placed in quarantine immediately after arrival for several days. Quarantine facilities provide accommodation, food, medical care, and outdoor time for your pets, which significantly increases international pet travel costs. You should as well book the stay ahead of time, which can be costly.
For instance, Australia places pets on quarantine for a minimum of 10 days, with owners expected to part with a minimum of $2000 for one pet. Note that additional costs may accumulate if your pet requires veterinary care.
- Custom clearance
Several clearance steps are undertaken once you arrive with your pet at your destination. They include taxes, tariffs, brokerage fees, and country-specific charges that should be paid for your pet to be released. Fortunately, most airlines share custom fees with their passengers once they make reservations. Regardless, check your destination to find out if you will need to pay any custom clearance fees. For example, New Zealand charges between $58NZD and $200 border clearance fees.
- Government approvals
You should also submit your pet’s veterinary paperwork for government approval before traveling. Some destinations require several endorsements, including the USDA endorsement and a consular. Charges for these endorsements range between $38 and $180. Note that USDA endorsements are completed a day before the departure date. Therefore, be prepared to pay additional fees for priority posting.
Transport costs take up a large portion of the budget when planning to travel with your pet. These costs include airline tickets for international flights, domestic flights, ground transport, and more associated traveling costs.
- Airline Tickets
Flight tickets are significantly high, as most airlines charge additional fees for pets since they require additional care during the flight. So to say, pet tickets can be more expensive than passenger tickets to some international destinations. The cost of an airline ticket for your pet depends on the size of the crate and destination.
Most airlines transporting pets in their cargo section charge ticket prices based on the volume and weight of the pet and travel crate. You should also consider the additional costs if your pet’s travel route requires a layover. Pet layovers that take several hours accrue additional fees, as the pets will have to be cared for in a hotel before boarding the next flight.
That aside, note that some airlines do not allow passengers to book directly when flying with their pets internationally. Instead, they require that you book with an IPATA certified pet transport company to ease the complications associated with pet travel. Small errors or missing information in the paperwork and vet procedures can cost passengers money and delays.
You should also ensure that your airline of choice is pet friendly. Some of the best pet-friendly airlines include;
- American Airlines – check the airline specifications on the allowed breeds and size before booking a flight. A ticket from American Airlines costs $125 for a cabin flight and $200 for pets flying in the cargo hold section.
- British Airways – the airline does not allow other pets in the cabin except recognized assistance dogs, who can travel free of charge. Other pets travel in the cargo area, with prices regulated by the size of the pet. Check the airline’s website for the latest cost of flying with your pet.
- Delta Airlines – the airline also has varying prices and policies guiding pet travel. Tickets cost approximately $125 and $200 for cabin and cargo, respectively.
- Emirates – Emirates allows only Falcons traveling to specific destinations, such as Dubai and Pakistan, in their cabin area. Other pets travel in the cargo section.
- Lufthansa – the airline charges based on the size of the pets. Small pets cost between 35€ and 100€, medium sizes between 70€ and 200€, and large pets cost between 150€ and 400€.
Apart from airline tickets, you might also need to transport your pet from your location to the city where the international flight departs. You might also need to organize a domestic flight or ground transport to your destination after alighting. Make prior arrangements for the cost if you need these services.
Bottom Line – How Much Does Flying a Pet Travel Cost ?
Traveling with your pet is undoubtedly challenging. Your travel plans might not align with your pet, and sometimes your pet might travel on a separate flight. Therefore, it is important to make prior arrangements to avoid unnecessary delays and additional costs. Also, note that the fees mentioned above are subject to change.
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