|Cosmo enjoys his visit to an Italian pasticceria|
during our last trip
A few years ago Cosmo and I traveled abroad for the first time. It took a lot of research and planning to ensure we had all the correct paperwork done ahead of time so that our trip could be worry free.
Now, we’re about to head off again -- this time to Rome and Milan! The planning has been easier this time, since we already know what to expect. But there are still a number of things that need to be done before traveling internationally.
Traveling to Italy with a Dog
We collected lots of information from our vet, the airlines (we are flying Delta), the Italian Embassy in the United States, APHIS/USDA and the CDC. Here’s what you need to know if you’re planning a trip from the U.S. to Italy.
- Check with APHIS about international animal export regulations. You can locate your local APHIS veterinary service office here. For Italy travel, we needed to obtain a bilingual certificate filled out and signed by our vet. Then we sent the certificate to our local APHIS office where it received the required stamp from USDA/APHIS. The “Certifico Veterinario” must include your dog’s microchip number and rabies information and be completed within four months of travel.
- Contact the Italian Embassy in the U.S., which tells you pretty much the same things... that you need a bilingual certificate with rabies and microchip information. You can find the bilingual certificate on the embassy site here or on the APHIS site.
- Check with the CDC about bringing your dog back to the U.S. Here’s the link, but it basically says that you’ll need proof of rabies vaccination. We got our Certificate of Vaccination from our vet.
- Visit the vet. Our vet filled out all the paperwork and gave Cosmo the required health examination which resulted in one final piece of paperwork. The health certificate must be issued by a licensed veterinarian within 10 days of transport.
International paperwork checklist
That sounds like an awful lot to do, but for us it all boiled down to two trips to the vet, one phone call and paperwork sent to USDA/APHIS, and some time spent looking at these links online to make sure nothing had changed since we last traveled to Italy.
Here’s the paperwork we’ll be bringing:
- Certificato Veterinario -- USDA-certified bilingual certificate completed by our vet within four months of travel (includes microchip and rabies vaccine information)
- Health Certificate -- completed by our vet within 10 days of travel
- Rabies Certificate of Vaccination -- provided by our vet
Other things to note
When traveling by air, you also need the check with the airline for its specific requirements. Before we booked our trip on Delta, we called the airline to ensure there was pet space available in cabin and then we reserved that space. Dog Jaunt, one of our favorite blogs for small-dog travel info, includes this handy list of airline policies for international in-cabin pet travel. You should still check with your airline to make sure you know the most current policies.
When traveling with a pet, you also need to allow a little extra time at the airport for check-in. Delta is recommending we get to the airport three hours ahead of time for international travel with a pet.
You can read more about preparing your dog for in-cabin travel here. Cosmo enjoys traveling in his large, soft-sided SturdiBag. Its 12x12 x18 measurement is the largest allowed by Delta for in-cabin travel.
Buon viaggio e arrivederci!