There are different requirements for domestic and international travel. You should start preparations a long time in advance. Requirements on international flights depend on the airline and the destination country. Different airlines may have different requirements.
Within India, Air India, Jet Airways and Spice Jet will carry animals (subject to rules, aircraft type and commander’s discretion).
Further down the page are the rules for taking pets on Emirates international flights.
But first, here are Air India’s guidelines for taking pets on domestic flights:
Air India (domestic)
Small inoffensive domestic pets such as dogs, cats and birds, accompanied by valid Health and Rabies vaccination certificates, will be accepted on Air India domestic flights in the cabin or in cargo hold at owner’s risk and subject to requirements of the carrier.
Such carriage is subject to approval of the commander of the flight.
The pet must be properly carried in soft ventilated bags/kennel in the prescribed size (kennel size not to exceed 18” x 18” x 12”).The weight of the pet including the container should not exceed 5 kgs. for carriage in the cabin. Pets of larger size / weight will be carried in the cargo hold.
Maximum of 2 pets are permitted per flight and passenger accompanying such pet will be seated in the last row of booked cabin class.
A label will be affixed on the container showing the name of the pet.
A moisture absorbent mat must be placed in the container .
The pet dog must be properly muzzled and leashed
The Pets/Guide Dogs will not be allowed to occupy a passenger seat.
Pet animals can be carried as an accompanied baggage or shipped as Cargo. Bookings can be made for pets as Accompanied Baggage / Excess Baggage through Air India Reservations.
Pets will be carried at an additional charge and will not be included in the Free Baggage Allowance, even if the passenger has no other baggage.
Normal Excess Baggage Charges, would be applicable for carriage of accompanied pets on domestic journeys within India. Weight of the pet plus container as also food carried per container will be charged.
However, a Trained Guide Dog when properly muzzled and leashed and with health /vaccination certificate, may be carried free of charge if the dog is trained to lead the a passenger with impaired vision /hearing and the passenger is dependent on such dog.
From the Air India website (accessed on 25 November 2016)
Here are the rules for taking pets on Emirates international flights:
Animals are not permitted in the cabin of Emirates flights, with the exception of falcons between Dubai and certain destinations in Pakistan, and Guide Dogs for the Blind – please see our information on passengers with special needs.
All other animals must be transported according to regulations specific to your route:
- For all itineraries terminating in Dubai, animals must be transported as cargo, due to UAE government regulations.
- For more information on shipping animals as cargo, please contact Emirates SkyCargo or your local cargo agent.
- For all other itineraries, falcons, cats, dogs and pet birds can be transported as checked baggage in the hold, provided the total journey time (including any transit time) is less than 17 hours, and all appropriate conditions are met. Please contact your local Emirates office well in advance of travel for more information.
For all routes, the charge for the animal(s) and container will depend on the weight and size of the animal plus cage combined. These charges will apply in all cases, even when no other checked baggage is being carried.
Please take note of the following weight and size restrictions for animals travelling as checked baggage:
ANIMAL EXCESS BAGGAGE CHARGES Animal + cage Price When the animal and cage combined do not exceed 23kg and 59 inches / 150cm USD 500 When the animal and cage combined weigh between 24 – 32kg and dimensions between 59inches /150cm and 118inches / 300cm USD 650 When the animal and cage combined weigh over 32kg and dimensions between 59inches /150cm and 118inches / 300cm USD 800 When the cage dimensions exceed dimensions 118inces / 300cms. Cargo
If your itinerary includes flights operated by other airlines, different baggage rules may apply for these flights – learn more.
There are no restrictions on the number of pets you can carry on Emirates flights. However, please be aware that some countries do impose restrictions on the number of pets that can be carried into or out of the country. For example, the import of animals into India is restricted to two pets per customer. We advise you check your destination’s rules before travelling.
A maximum of two adult animals of comparable size weighing up to 14kgs each may be shipped in the same container, providing they are used to cohabitation. Animals weighing over 14kgs each must travel in separate containers.
Additional information for transporting animals with Emirates
Please book and pay for the transportation of animals as checked baggage before your departure date.
There are some restrictions as to which animals can be transported with Emirates. All animals listed under CITES, including pets, must be transported as cargo. Further restrictions, including import bans, apply to certain species of cats and dogs – please contact your local Emirates office for more information on restricted species.
Animals, which can be accepted as baggage as per the rules above, but with a total journey time exceeding 17 hours must also be carried as cargo. Due to high heat and humidity in the UAE, no birds (except some falcons) can be accepted for transit via Dubai as checked baggage or cargo between 1st May and 30th September.
The minimum connecting time for animals transiting Dubai and carried as baggage may be no more than six hours; if the minimum connecting time is more than six hours animals will be accepted for transportation as cargo only.
All animals accepted for transportation with Emirates must have a valid Import permit issued by the destination country and a valid health certificate (including any applicable vaccination records).
Certain countries, however, restrict importation of animals as baggage. Please contact your local Emirates office for more information.
For animals travelling with Emirates a 24-hour emergency contact number and the optimum temperature requirement must always be shown on the animal’s travel container.
Emirates will not accept a pregnant animal for transportation if it is beyond one third (1/3) of its normal gestation period or has given birth within 48 hours of travel.
From the Emirates website (accessed on 25 November 2016)
Here’s some excellent information from Pavneet Soni, who posted this on Facebook on 24 April 2019. Her original post is here.
Sharing information in case someone needs info. There is no excuse to leave pets behind! They are family! You don’t abandon family!
I will keep updating post with important answers, information asked by fellow pet parents/ group owners etc.. please unfollow post notification for who are not interested.
***** Zoe goes to Germany!! ******
My baby reached Germany via Lufthansa.. safe and sound and enjoying here. No relocation services involved. We did everything ourselves and there isn’t much honestly other than the fear and hype!!
Journey – Bangalore to Chandigarh by road, 4 days. She is 7+ and initial stage Dialated Cardiomyopathy. We took lots of breaks for her to not to stress her out.
Chandigarh to Delhi by road
2 days in Gurgaon before the flight to get Clearance Certificate from Animal Quarantine and Certification Services (AQCS), Delhi and get her exhausted for the flight.
You can not export your pet without getting clearance from AQCS. They are in Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Chennai, Bengaluru and I guess in Pune. Check their website and country exporting too’s requirement as to within which period you can get the certificate. For Germany it is maximum 48 hours before the travel.
1. Microchipped – Rs. 1000/-
2. After 2 days Rabies shot – vaccination fee, don’t remember exactly
3. After 30 days – Rabies Serum extracted – Rs. 700/-. sample needs to be tested in German approved lab. Check for country requirements where you will be traveling.
4. Serum sample sent to Germany via FedEx – Rs. 4500/- ( how to pack and ship is mentioned on website)
5. Bought 48″ crate from Chandigarh – Rs. 30000/-
6. Crate training for 1 + month
7. Researched on documents needed from pettravel.com and cross checked from the customs website of Germany.
8. 3 days before journey, Got Health Certificate from local Vetrinerary. Its a standard format. ( Also got her dewormed and a specific vaccination mentioned in Bilingual Form)
9. Same day, Got Bilingual Import/Health Certificate from Local Vet which also needed to be signed and stamped by AQCS Delhi.
10. 48 hours before journey, got export clearance from AQCS. The service is free of charge and hardly takes half an hour. Dont forget to call and take appointment before hand. There is a document available on their website which you need to fill and submit. Basic information about you and pet. The certificate basically states that you pet is free of ticks, fleas and any communicable disease and safe to travel.
11. Lufthansa charged Rs. 27000/- for excess baggage.
All documents need to be signed and stamped in blue ink.
You will also need 2 postcard size pictures of your dog.
Additionally I had put her orthopedic dog bed, a blanket and my t-shirt in the crate + frozen water bottle and dog food and mandatory training mats for absorbing pee. She did pee throughout the journey.
I had also attached colored photo copies of Rabies Titer test certificate, Bilingual health certificate, AQCS Certificate and declaration that the pet is not for sale on the crate along with our picture and details at the back for worst case scenario- mix up during transit.
At Delhi airport, we reached 3 hours before departure and Zoe was with us till flight arrived. There was 1 basic information form to fill. Like dogs details and our German address and contact info. They did check all our documents which looked more of a formality
In total I spent around 65000/- to bring my dog from India to Germany. 75000/- if I include other miscellaneous expenses!!
One more thing I would like to add is to make sure your contact details including email are mentioned on the crate. We imagine the worst but are under prepared for it sometimes. I have read about mix ups happen like your luggage so mentioning information on the crate is always good.
Zoe did not come trough the belt she was supposed to. After 15-20 minutes of wait, after all other pets had arrived and mine didn’t.. I started to get restless and started questioning. I was using Google Translate app to cope with the language barrier.
When they said there is a mix up and I need to go to another Hall to collect my dog, I feared the worst. Thought something has happened to Zoe and they are taking us away. My heart sank!!
We had to exit the airport and enter again through another Gate.
We rushed to the other gate and there she was sitting calmly alone in her crate in a corner and started wagging and barking when she saw us. Can’t explain the relief.
At Delhi airport, dogs are not allowed to walk and remain inside the crate while at the airport. Upon several requests Lufthansa staff allowed me to let Zoe sit outside her crate while waiting for the aircraft. Aircraft came 1 hour before departure and that’s when we were taken to a separate scanning section where crate was scanned with Zoe standing with me. After scanning, we Locked Zoe in the crate and sealed the crate’s gate and all 4 sides with zip ties. This is where Zoe was handed over to Lufthansa staff.
There is no airport in Aachen. Also, there are only few ports from where pets can be imported to Germany.
Zoe air traveled from Delhi to Frankfurt. There was no paper work done at the airport. You just collect them like your baggage at a separate counter. Ground staff will inform you from where to collect.
At Frankfurt airport, there is no restriction on walking your dog. We took Zoe out and a few steps later she pooped 🙈. Thankfully I was prepared and cleaned the mess.
About feeding immediately- You will only get your dog after clearing immigration and customs so anyways 1 hour easily passes after the flight has landed. We fed her after getting out of airport.
Transportation – In Europe, dogs are allowed on public transport. We had initially decided to go to Aachen by train but her crate is too big + then again transporting crate from Aachen station to home was a challenge.
We finally ended up taking a rental car from Europacar. It was a 3 hour drive They allow dogs. You just have to hand over car in same clean condition or pay for cleaning charges. This is where crate came handy. We had opened the crate and since Zoe had already traveled in it, she was comfortable during road trip too. The car didn’t get dirty because of hair shedding. I have not added this expense to the list as this is not a mandatory expense.
We had kept Contact information of Vets in Frankfurt and on the route. We stopped twice between Frankfurt and Aachen. Zoe showed no signs of stress or illness at any point so we came home.
We have our appointment tomorrow with the Vet where she will get her Pet passport which allows pets to travel freely within Schengen area. Her microchip will be registered and we will then be able to register her with the city and pay her annual tax, €120 for our city. Dog tax is only in Germany as far as I know and differs from city to city We will then take her Liability insurance i.e. incase of any accident or damage caused by or because of Zoe, insurance will take care of expenses. I will keep updating the post with the process.
Hope this helps.
Adding this because of excuses I am getting on messenger.. people sharing lack of funds as reasons. – A gold chain is enough to fund your Pet’s relocation. Most people who travel abroad get sponsored by companies who hire them. We were not sponsored. We sold all our belongings in India and moved to Germany with one suitcase each and what is irreplaceable – Zoe.
You earn in Dollars, Euros, Dirams and what not, currency way higher than Indian Rupee. If you don’t have funds now, you will have once you get your first paycheck abroad. You can surely relocate your fur baby then. Don’t
Ping me with your guilt.. I am not polite when it comes to this.
Hire Pet relocation services if you can’t do it yourself. But don’t leave them behind.
Please feel free to share anywhere you want. I am sharing it to educate other pet parents that it is not that difficult. When we started searching, I could hardly find any information .. all in bits and pieces here and there and highly guarded and hype created around the process. I know the sleepless nights I had untill I was 100% sure of the process. Yes it is different for each country but there should be some clarity on the mandatory process or from where one can access information.
I am hopeful if this picture is clearer, more people will take their pets rather than abandoning them.
Qurantine – There is no qurantine in Germany. It starts at home. You can fly with your pet 90 days after extracting Serum for Rabies Titer test which is extracted 30 days after vaccination. So 4 months in India.
In Germany they will only Qurantine if they suspect your pet is ill or has a contagious disease. No paper work was done in Germany but I am hoping for some tomorrow when we register with the vet and get Pet Passport for Zoe so she can travel freely within Schengen area.