Navigating Airport Transit and Layover Regulations for Pet Travel

Layover and Transit Requirements at Airports

Layover and Transit Requirements for Traveling Pets

Every pet owner planning international travel has pondered this question: "What do I need for layovers in different countries when traveling with my pet?" We often receive queries related to this concern. For example, a recent question was:

"I am planning a journey from India to Seattle via Amsterdam using KLM. There's a four-hour layover in Amsterdam. Do I need to get my pet microchipped or conduct a blood titre test for this layover?"

This question raises an important aspect of pet travel - understanding the requirements during transit and layovers. I

Understanding Layover and Transit Rules

The answer to this question brings up an important aspect of pet travel - understanding the requirements during transit and layovers. It's not a straightforward answer as it depends on two significant factors:

1. Are You Switching Airlines?

The first factor to consider is whether you're switching airlines during your journey. If you're transiting through another country and changing airlines, the first airline will treat your layover city/country as the final destination. This means you'll need to meet that country's import requirements and clear your pet through customs before your next flight.

2. How Long Is the Layover?

The second factor is the duration of your layover. If your layover in any country extends beyond 24 hours, it may no longer be considered a transit. In this case, you'll need to meet the import requirements for that country.

Common Transit Countries and Their Requirements

Many pet owners are transiting through the same airports due to popular travel routes. Here are a few common ones with their specific requirements:

  1. Amsterdam, Netherlands (AMS): Pets transiting through Amsterdam without changing airlines typically do not require a blood titre test or microchip if the layover is less than 24 hours.
  2. Frankfurt, Germany (FRA): Germany has strict pet transit regulations. A transit permit and proof of rabies vaccination are mandatory, even for a layover.
  3. Dubai, United Arab Emirates (DXB): Transit through Dubai requires a valid import permit, even for layovers.

These are just examples, and requirements can change, so it's always best to verify the latest regulations with the airline and the embassy of the transit country.

Ensuring Pet Comfort During Layovers

While navigating transit and layover requirements is important, so is ensuring your pet's comfort during travel. Here are a few tips:

  1. Keep a familiar toy or blanket in the carrier: Familiar smells can help soothe pet anxiety.
  2. Hydrate your pet: Make sure your pet has access to water throughout the journey. A freezable water dish can be a good solution for providing water without making a mess.
  3. Feed your pet wisely: Don't overfeed them before the journey to prevent them from getting sick. Small, easy-to-digest meals are best.

Preparing for Emergencies

Despite our best efforts, unexpected events can occur. If your flight is delayed or canceled, have a backup plan. Keep the contact details of pet-friendly hotels or boarding facilities near your transit airports handy.

Getting Help

At PetRelocation, we understand that planning international pet travel can be complex. Our team of experts is here to help, ensuring your pet's journey is safe and as stress-free as possible. Contact PetRelocation if you'd like assistance planning your pet's safe relocation, and happy pet travels!


PetRelocation Team


Air Travel, Airlines, Airports, Ask the Experts


Cats, Dogs


United States
Back to top