US Passport for a Dog

By Katarzyna

September 8, 2023

How to Get a Dog Passport

A dog is the human’s best friend, accompanying them in the most important events in life, including traveling and exploring the world.

Are you planning to travel with your dog soon and now considering whether you need to obtain certain travel documents for your furry companion? In this article, we will guide you on pet’s travel documents so that you can take your pet abroad without any issues.

This travel guide contains information regarding US passports, as the passport requirements may vary depending on the country of origin.

What is a US pet passport?

A US pet passport refers to the document that is necessary to travel with your furry friend from the US to other countries around the globe.

Depedning on the country you plan to visit, you may need a passport for your pet or not.

Basically, a pet passport is an official document that must be presented to confirm that your dog is fit and healthy to accompany you on a trip.

How do I get my dog a US passport?

Application for a dog passport may be as complex as the process of getting a human passport or even more. To apply for a US passport for your dog, you may need to complete several requirements, including completing rabies vaccination, obtaining health certificates, and applying for USDA endorsement stamping. You may also need a pet microchipping, rabies titer test, tapeworm treatment, and import license.

First of all, you should start by booking a vet appointment. It should be a federally accredited vet. During the appointment, your dog should be administered the required vaccinations and treatments, which may vary according to the travel destination. After performing the health check on your pet, a vet should provide you with an official health certificate confirming the perfect fit of your dog for travel.

The next step should be the USDA endorsement stamping application. Each pet owner, before leaving the US, must send certain documentation required for the destination country. These documents must be filed to the USDA office for endorsement before the planned trip abroad.

Since the process of getting a passport for your dog may be a time-consuming procedure, taking weeks or even months, you should first consider consulting your vet before even buying a flight ticket. Also, contacting a particular airline may be a good idea.

Dog Passport

How to travel with my dog in the US?

It should not be problematic as long as you own a small dog. In the case of a bigger dog, it can be more tricky.

Most often, you will be able to fly with your pet in a carrier if it fits under the seat in front of you. Unfortunately, as an owner of a larger dog, you have to know that your pet will be treated as checked luggage and have to travel under the cabin together with other passenger’s luggage.

Before planning to fly with your dog, you should do some research to find out which US airline is most pet-friendly, as the traveling rules may differ between particular airlines.

If you plan to travel within the States, you do not need a passport for your pet. The pet passport is required only for traveling to another country.

Airline pet transportation options

Depending on your pet’s size, you may consider the following options for airline travel:

  • Checked luggage cabin: A perfect option for small dogs; a pet traveling in the cabin must be accompanied by an adult traveler and transported in an airline-compliant carrier under the seat.
  • Checked luggage cargo: An ideal solution for larger dogs; choose this option if you cannot take your pet to travel with you in the cabin.
  • Manifest cargo: If your pet is very large or has to travel unaccompanied, you may consider transporting them as manifest cargo; this shipment must be arranged ahead of time.
  • Service/comfort animals: Many airlines allow transporting registered service animals in the cabin accompanying disabled passengers.

Is it easy to bring a dog on a plane?

Generally, arranging your trip with a dog is not so tricky, especially if a small pet fits under the seat in a carrier. Dogs under 30 pounds should typically fit and meet the requirement to be transported as carry-on luggage. Before a trip, remember to check the size requirements of a travel pet carrier and ensure that it complies with the carry-on size of a particular airline.

When owning a giant dog, maybe a good idea is to leave them at a pet hotel or consider pet boarding services if it is a short-term trip, especially within the country.

If you cannot imagine a trip without your big dog, you can still fly but with your dog transported as a checked bag. Do not worry; pets are not treated like luggage, so the airline employees will not toss them. Still, if this idea doesn’t appeal to you, you may think about other transportation options. For example, to choose a travel destination that can be reached by car.


Avatar for Katarzyna


Katarzyna is a dedicated professional working in the dynamic field of eVisa services. Born with an adventurous spirit, she developed a deep curiosity about different cultures and a desire to explore the world from a young age. With a passion for international travel and a keen interest in streamlining visa processes, she stays up-to-date with visa regulations, guiding travelers through the complex procedures. 🐱‍🏍🛫🗺

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