Jules successfully moved a rescue dog from Thailand to the UK—and then from the UK to the Middle East.
Transporting a Dog Internationally Is Challenging
After we found our dog as a puppy on the beaches of Thailand and successfully flew her back to the UK with us, many people have contacted me to ask how we did it or to say how useful the information I've shared has been. The process of getting our dog to the UK from Thailand was a long and difficult one, but shortly after, we learned we'd soon need to go through it all over again. I have a job that requires periodic international relocation, and this time, my job would be taking us to the Middle Eastern country of Jordan.
This article explains the process of flying a dog from the UK to Jordan, which is thankfully a lot more straightforward than getting a pet into the UK. We don't have any special expertise, but the following narrative details our personal experiences of coming to the Middle East with a pet. Packing a dog onto a plane for a journey over thousands of miles is a little like stepping into the unknown. Hopefully, this article will offer some useful guidance into taking those steps and bringing your furry friend with you!
Approximate Cost of Flying a Dog to Jordan From the UK
|Requirement||Approximate cost in GBP|
Rabies Vaccine (3 year)
Rabies Titre (not mandatory but recommended)
Pet Passport (not mandatory but useful to have)
Microchip (not mandatory for Jordan, but recommended)
Cost of pet flight to Jordan (varies according to crate dimensions and airline)
Preparing Your Pet for Travel to Jordan
As soon as travel plans were confirmed and our flights to Jordan were booked, we immediately contacted the airline to provisionally book our dog into the aircraft hold as excess baggage. Not all airlines permit carriage of pets and space is typically limited for pets on flights, so the earlier this is done, the better. Some people feel a lot more reassured to move their pet using a cargo agent, but we have found that this is a lot more expensive and involves unnecessary paperwork, so we prefer to fly our dog with us. When we booked our dog onto our flight, payment was not required upfront and we were advised that we could pay in the airport on the day of the flight.
Your dog will need a rabies vaccination to allow them to enter Jordan. The rabies vaccination needs to be administered by a DEFRA-approved vet between 30 days and 12 months before you plan to enter Jordan. Although a microchip is not mandatory, if you plan to move around with your dog or re-enter the UK, it is highly advisable to have an ISO-approved microchip fitted prior to obtaining the rabies vaccination. Again, whilst this is not essential, Jordan is classed as an unlisted country for pet travel, so if you are considering moving to an EU country or returning to the UK following being here, I would advise obtaining a rabies titre before you leave the UK.
After the rabies vaccination, you need to wait at least 30 days before a blood sample is taken. Rabies blood tests need to be carried out by EU-approved laboratories, so can be very expensive to obtain once you are outside of the UK, hence it is better to have the process done before you leave. We obtained a pet passport for our dog before we left, which again is not crucial, but will hopefully smooth the process of re-entering the UK if we return at a later date.
In addition to the rabies vaccination, we also made sure that our dog's standard vaccinations were all up-to-date and recorded on the pet passport. It is advisable to make sure that vaccination cards or pet passports are stamped with the vet's name and practice number and accompanied by a written signature, as many countries now require this.
The final stage of the procedure in moving our dog to Jordan was to obtain an export health certificate. We obtained this by contacting DEFRA in the UK, who sent us a form EXA01 and a form 3970 EHC. Once we had our dog's vaccinations, we completed the EXA01 and sections 1, 2 and 3 of the 3970 EHC form. Any information not available at that point can be left blank and handwritten on at a later date.
Following this, we submitted the forms to DEFRA via email. This was around two weeks before we flew. Following submission of the forms, DEFRA then completes them and forwards them to your vet. We had scheduled to see our vet seven days before we flew and DEFRA had faxed the health certificate to her for a final check.
During the final appointment, our vet completed a health check and signed off the veterinary health certificate. From that point, we were all set to go! To enter Jordan, there is presently no requirement for an import permit, but it is always advisable to check the most up-to-date information before travelling as things can change without warning.
It is important to make sure your pet has enough room to turn around in their crate and that it is airline approved. When selecting a flight kennel, ensure that it meets IATA (The International Air Transport Association) regulations. We used the Pet Mate Vari Kennel for our dog, which comes in different sizes and can be purchased for around 72.50 GBP for a medium-sized kennel.
Ready for Take Off
We flew to Jordan from Heathrow airport and were advised by the airline that we could just take our dog into the terminal when we checked in. We had prepared her flight crate and attached photocopies of the health certificate and export papers, her pet passport and rabies vaccination and our contact details in the UK and Jordan. We also added a little note with our dog's name on. These were taped to the top of the kennel in plastic wallets. We attached a travel water bottle and a small pouch of food, and enclosed a t-shirt which had been worn, to try and settle our dog's nerves during the flight.
On the day of the flight, we entered the terminal with our dog on her lead and then secured her in her travel crate using some cable ties to secure the door. The check-in staff didn't seem to have dealt with checking in a pet before and were a little nervous, asking us to remain with our dog for a while before we boarded the flight. We paid a flat fee according to the dimensions of her crate and then she was taken off ready to board.
There were no health checks completed at the airport on the day. The airlines are usually pretty good at communicating with owners about pets, so when we arrived at the gate, they let us know that all was ok and that she was safely boarded.
We arrived in Jordan just after midnight, and while we were waiting to get off the plane, we saw our dog coming down the conveyor belt and being loaded off by the luggage handlers. Once we got into the arrivals hall at Queen Alia airport, we had been advised to collect our dog from the oversize baggage counter which is on the back wall. Sure enough, she was ready and waiting for us! Once she was passed through a scanner in her travel kennel, we were ready for customs.
Although we queued up to declare a pet, we were waved through by the officers and no checks were required. The whole process was much more straightforward than we were expecting, and our dog is now a temporary resident of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan—until we decide where to go next! Who knows, maybe there'll another move in the near future.
Iberia does not permit the carriage of weasels (ferrets, pine martens, etc.)
Please find out what documentation you need to travel with your dog, cat, tortoise, bird, etc. Bear in mind the legal regulations and conditions to take them.
You can request the service through your Iberia office or travel agency in order to guarantee the service.
Acceptance in hold
Iberia permits the transport of dogs and cats in the hold with the exception of brachycephalic animals and dangerous breeds.
To transport your dog or cat on an Iberia, Iberia Express or Iberia Regional Air Nostrum flight, you must place it in a crate that complies with international regulations:
The crate must be made of solid material and must have a secure locking system to ensure that it remains closed at all times.
It must be comfortable for the size of the animal, enabling it to stand in a natural position, turn round and lie down.
It must have no defects on the outside or inside that may injure your pet, and with ventilation and a waterproof bottom.
The maximum weight permitted is 45kg (pet + crate).
If you are taking a connecting flight, the transit time between flights must be no less than 90 minutes and no more than 4 hours. Otherwise, you can't take your pet with you.
Book well in advance. Please bear in mind that the airport staff need to know that you will be bringing a pet. Bookings must be made at least 48 hours before the departure of the flight and you will need to indicate the breed of your dog or cat.
Permission to travel with your pet will only be granted when all the flights in the booking have been confirmed.
The number of crates and the crate sizes permitted vary according to the type of aircraft. For Iberia Regional Air Nostum flights, the maximum dimensions permitted are 83cm x 65cm x 56cm.
Charges for the carriage of pets in the hold, each way
|Spain (except |
|Canary Islands, Europe, |
North Africa and Middle East
|America and Asia|
Charge payable at the airport only
Acceptance in the cabin
Acceptable PETs in Cabin: dogs, cats, fish, turtles and birds (except birds of prey). Take them with you in the cabin if they don’t weigh more than 8 kg. (including their cage or pet pack).
Some pets can travel in the cabin with you, if you get authorisation from the Booking Office and if the pet meets these conditions:
8 kg. maximum weight including cage or pet pack.
Maximum container measurements are 45 cm long, 35 cm wide and 25 cm height and the sum of the three dimensions cannot exceed 105 cm.
The cage or pet pack should be strong, ventilated, with a waterproof floor and it should be safe.
To carry birds, please ensure that the cage is strong, locks securely and that no food or drink can spill. The cage must also always be covered.
You can carry several animals of the same species in the same container if they are small and light enough.
You pet should travel with you without bothering the other passengers. It must stay inside its container/cage during the whole flight and its care is your responsibility.
Animals with special characteristics, e.g., a strong odour, etc., may bother other passengers and the crew, and you will not be able to carry them.
For safety reasons, do not occupy a seat in the aisles next to the emergency exits.
Charges for the carriage of pets in the cabin, in each direction
|Spain (except |
|Canaries, Europe, North |
Africa and the Middle East
Single charge payable exclusively at the airport
Legal limits and documentation
You can take your pet with you so long as you meet all the legal requirements and have the necessary documentation.
Veterinary passport for travel with dogs and cats as pets.
New regulation on the carriage of pets between EU Member States:
Travel within domestic territory
You do not need a special veterinary ID to travel within Spain you just have to have the animal’s official health card with you. Vaccine requirements in Spain are limited to a rabies vaccine, which is mandatory for dogs in some Autonomous Communities and voluntary in others.
Travelling between European Union member states (except Finland, Malta and the United Kingdom).
Animals must have a PET PASSPORT indicating that:
They have been identified with an electronic microchip or a readable tattoo.
They have an up-to-date rabies vaccination.
The transport of animals under the age of three months requires authorisation from the health authorities of the EU member states and the animal must have a passport and documentation certifying that it has remained in the place of birth without any contact with wild animals, and must be accompanied by its mother if it is still dependent on her.
Travelling to Finland, Malta and the United Kingdom.
In addition to the rules for the other member states of the European Union, the following applies to pets travelling to any of these countries.
If you are travelling with your dog from a country other than Finland, Malta or the United Kingdom, you must provide proof that it has been treated for tapeworm no more than 120 hours (five days) and no less than 24 hours before you arrive at your destination.
IBERIA is still not authorised to transport animals to the United Kingdom and will there-fore not accept any pets for this destination.
Pets (except ferrets) shall travel with a pet passport that meets the same requirements as above. Additionally, you should be able to prove they have had a clean rabies neutralising antibodies test (blood test).
Journeys from other countries with favourable conditions to the European Union:
For some European countries (Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican), entry will be admitted according to the applicable national regulations (except Finland, Malta and the United Kingdom).
They will also be admitted entry into European states (except Finland, Malta and the United Kingdom) from certain rabies-free countries (Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Aruba Ascension Island Australia Barbados Bahrain Belarus Bermuda Bosnia and Herzegovina British Virgin Islands Canada Cayman Islands Chile Croatia Dutch Antilles Falkland Islands Fiji French Polynesia Hong Kong Jamaica Japan Malaysia Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Montserrat New Caledonia New Zealand Russian Federation Saint Helena Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and Grenadines Singapore Taiwan Trinidad and Tobago United Arab Emirates United States of America Vanuatu Wallis and Futuna) with a valid certificate that meets applicable national regulations.
Journeys from other countries with other conditions to the European Union:
For cases of entry from some countries with an unfavourable situation with regard to rabies not included in the point above, entry will be admitted into European states (except Finland, Malta and the United Kingdom) with a certificate that meets applicable national regulations certifying that the animal has had a rabies vaccination or, where applicable, a booster shot in accordance with the recommendations of the manufacturer laboratory, with an inactivated vaccination of at least one antigen unit per dose (WHO standard) and that the animal has had a blood test to confirm a neutralising antibody titration at least equal to 0.5 IU/ml in a sample taken by a qualified veterinarian at least 30 days following vaccination and 3 months before the trip.
Countries with laws restricting animal entry
Animals are not permitted in the cabin (PETC) on flights to London, or in the hold (AVIH) on flights to/from London. However, they are permitted to travel as cargo. Please speak with a freight agent who will made the booking with IAG Cargo. You cannot contact IAG Cargo directly. If you're entering the UK (always through London), your dog must meet the requirements of the Pet Travel Scheme offered by the UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
Brazil: only allows the entry of birds that meet a series of requirements.More information.
Argentina: Present an animal health certificate, issued by a licensed veterinarian, to the authorities that ensures that the animal is disease-free and has a rabies shot valid for a maximum of 1 year.
Panama: By order of the Panaman authorities, as of November 1, 2011 any pet that travels should have an export certificate for small species issued by the health authority of the country of origin, showing that it has been vaccinated for rabies, and a good animal health certificate, certified by the Panaman consul in the country of origin. The certificate of rabies vaccination should also be notified three (3) days’ before the pet's arrival. More information: [email protected]
South Africa: Animals travelling in the cabin or in the hold as luggage are not allowed to enter or leave the country. They must be transported as cargo or goods and must comply with the regulations currently in force. More information at www.gov.za
Spanish airports authorised for the entry of animals from non-Schengen countries
If you travel with your pet to Spain from a non-Schengen country, make sure your airport of arrival appears on the list of airports authorised by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment:
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How can I get my dogs from UK to Cyprus without flying? - Traveling with Pets Forum
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Hi. My family and I are emigrating to Cyprus from the UK. We have 2 dogs. They are too large to go on a plane in a seat with us and I wont put them on a plane in cargo. One dog in particular is very timid and nervous when she's separated from us and I don't think she would survive the journey is cargo. We are happy to drive across Europe but take it slowly and make a holiday of it. It gets tricky at the end. We can't find a ferry to take us and the dogs to Limassol. Does anyone know of a ferry or private boat hire or something so we can get our beloved dogs across the med? We can even put the car on a separate freighter if necessary. Please help.
I am still researching this for you. Options are limited, as I'm sure you've discovered .
You could post on an expats forum. Somebody on there might have done this already
I will post my findings, if any, tomorrow
Contact a specialised animal transport company. They will know the rules and routes, if you get it wrong it could be disastrous.
Your ferry options are limited as many have been discontinued and those that do operate dont take pets.
There is some information here.
It is about trains & ferries, but the ferry info states there is a ferry from Tasucu in Turkey to Northern Cyprus.
I dont read or speak Turkish, so I havent been able to find the pet policy, you would have to contact them
The suggestion above about a pet transport company is a good one, even if you drove most of the way and handed over to the pet transporters somewhere in Europe. There is some info on that in this article.