How to Ship a Dog Safely From Kenya to the United States

To Whom It May Concern,

I will be relocating from Nairobi, Kenya to the US next month and want to bring my dog (2 year old miniature poodle). She is 11 kg and thus is not able to go in the cabin, unfortunately. I am very stressed about her safety as she has never traveled before and it is a long trip. The only flight available is KLM (Nairobi to Amsterdam), a three hour layover, and then Delta (Amsterdam to US).

I am concerned about the Delta leg of the flight, as the reviews online are not very positive. Do you have any information on Delta? Is it better to go checked baggage or cargo for the flight? KLM has the option but Delta is cargo only. What is the difference? Are both temperature/climate controlled? How are they transported to and from the plane -- is it temperature controlled?

In Amsterdam, do all dogs (checked baggage and cargo) get taken to the animal hotel for the layover? Are dogs monitored during the flight, and if so, how? Do you assist with relocation from Nairobi, Kenya to US if cargo is the right method?

Any assistance in answering my many questions would be appreciated.

Thank you,



Hi Claire,

Thank you for your questions, these are all on point when it comes to learning how to plan a safe pet relocation.

To start, choosing a pet friendly airline is an important part of the process, and in general we recommend that pets travel via cargo with KLM, United or Lufthansa when possible due to their pet safe policies.

Delta recently changed their policy to become more pet friendly in that they no longer fly pets as excess baggage. We view this as good news, because cargo travel is safer than excess baggage. The cargo area is pressure and temperature controlled, and when handled by a pet safe airline pets are the last to be loaded onto the plane, the first to be removed after arrival, and they are transported in temperature controlled vehicles (not left to sit on the tarmac). Here is more information about pet cargo travel vs. excess baggage.

As for the layover, whether or not your pet goes to the animal hotel depends on their flight status, the length of the layover, and what arrangements you've made. Please refer to KLM with any questions you have.

If this is all a bit overwhelming and you think you'd like some assistance, we're here to help! We have relocated pets from Kenya to the United States (usually using KLM for the whole trip), and would be happy to discuss your options with you. Here is a link to our online consultation form or you're welcome to give us a call at 1-877-PET-MOVE. In the meantime, you're also welcome to look over some of our recent pet travel stories for an idea of what to expect of the process.

Hopefully this helps! Good luck with everything and let us know if we can be of assistance.


Pet Travel Question Details:

Name: Claire J
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Miniature Poodle
From: Kenya


PetRelocation Team




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