Rachel is a stay-at-home pet mom, caring for her dog, cat, turtle, tortoise, and fish. She's a content writer in various niches but most notably in the pet field, educating pet parents on the health and wellbeing of their furry friends. When she's not writing, she's reading, playing video games, or organizing something.

Flying with Your Dog to France – What You Need to Know

Rachel Poli Author
May 5 ·
flying with your dog to France

If you’re thinking of going to France, make sure you bring your dog along safely. Of course, you can keep them home with a trusted dog sitter or family member. However, if you’re going to be gone for a while, you can certainly bring them with you. Here’s everything you need to know about flying with your dog to France. 

First, Call Your Veterinarian

Before you do anything, you’ll want to check with your veterinarian first. Whether you’re moving to France, going to be there for a while for work, or you’re looking to visit, you want to make sure that you’re able to bring your dog along.

In some cases, if you won’t be in France for too long, it might be best to leave your dog at home with a trusted, professional dog sitter. 

Your vet will help you out with whatever you and your dog need to prepare for the flight to France. For example, they’ll help you determine if your dog is physically and mentally prepared to fly.

If your dog is ready and healthy enough, your vet can ensure they’re up to date on their vaccinations to meet the requirements for the airline and France. 

Every airline has different requirements. So, be sure to do your research beforehand so that you can discuss with your vet what your dog will need to board the plane and make their way to a new country.

For example, your dog may need the following:

  • Blood tests
  • Health certificates
  • Microchips (for identification)
  • Permits
  • Vaccinations

Remember, some of these requirements may change from time to time. Also, the conditions will depend on where you’re headed and how old your dog is. 

How To Get Your Dog Into France

The following things you’ll need to prepare your dog for flight is as follows:

  • A microchip with an ISO number (or you can bring your microchip scanner)
  • Import permit (which is a license to allow the dog into the country)
  • Health certificate (endorsed by the USDA or the CFIA)
  • Various vaccinations

For example, some of the vaccinations your dog may need will include the rabies shot. They need to have the rabies shot within 21 days of entering France.

In addition, your dog will also need to be treated for tapeworm.

No matter how healthy your dog is, they’ll need to have a thorough check-up by your vet at least 21 days before leaving for France.

In addition, when you arrive in France with your dog, they’ll check over your pup through customs to ensure they’re healthy and microchipped and meet all of the requirements. If they are not, then the dog may not be permitted access into the country, or they may be confiscated from you. 

How Your Dog Will Fly

There are two ways your dog can fly on Air France: in the cabin with you or the cargo hold.

If you have a small dog that’s under 15 pounds (and that’s at least 15 weeks old), then they can be in the cabin with you. However, they need to pass all requirements to ensure they’re healthy to be on board. 

In addition, you need to have your pet in a flexible travel bag that’s big enough to hold the dog with some room to spare. France airlines don’t take responsibility for anything happening to your dog mid-flight. However, they want your pet to be as comfortable and safe as possible.

Some other rules go along with it as well. For example:

  • The dog must stay in their travel bag at all times during the entire flight
  • Only one dog can be in a single carrier at a time
  • Passengers can only travel with one dog at a time
  • The dog carrier will count as an extra bag, so there will be an additional fee

On the other hand, your dog may travel in the cargo hold.

The International Air Transport Association says your pet might be more comfortable in the cargo hold. It’s dim and quiet, so if your pup has anxiety, it might be more soothing for them to be in there.

However, the dog must be at least 15 weeks old and weigh no more than 165 pounds. If you travel with your pet in the cargo hold, you can bring up to three animals with you.

Not all breeds are allowed in the cargo hold for your dog’s safety. For example, dogs with snub-noses already may have breathing issues, and being in the cargo hold won’t be safe for them.

So, this includes breeds such as:

Banned Dog Breeds In France

In addition, France doesn’t allow particular “bully” breeds to enter the country. These dogs breed include the following:

  • Staffordshire Terrier
  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • Pit Bull
  • Mastiff
  • Tosa

Your Dog’s Comfort Comes First

Flying on an airplane is scary for most humans, let alone dogs who don’t understand what a plane is, how it works, or where they’re going.

For instance, they may feel safer and more comfortable in the cargo hold, but if your dog has separation anxiety or is afraid to try new things, the dark cargo hold (and being away from you) may stress them out further.

You’ll want to work with your vet to ensure that your dog is fully prepared. 

So, here are some tips to ensure that your dog is prepared to fly:

  • Purchase plane tickets that have as few layovers and connections as possible
  • Choose arrival times to avoid extreme heat or cold
  • Train your dog to get used to their carrier
  • Discuss any anxiety needs with your vet beforehand
  • If your dog goes into the cabin, check-in as late as possible
  • If your dog goes into the cargo hold, check-in as early as possible
  • Walk your dog before your flight and immediately after arrival
  • Avoid food and drink a few hours before the flight

These tips will help reduce stress for your dog, and they’ll also keep them as healthy as possible.

Overall, you want to aim to keep the flight as safe and positive as possible for your pup. First, however, you need to keep up with the country and state you’re entering and the airline’s requirements.

Should You Fly With Your Dog to France?

As with flying into any country, bringing your dog into a foreign area is a process. You can undoubtedly bring your furry friend to France as long as you meet all the requirements for France and the airlines. Also, make sure your pup is healthy and can handle flying. 

Rachel Poli Author
Rachel is a stay-at-home pet mom, caring for her dog, cat, turtle, tortoise, and fish. She's a content writer in various niches but most notably in the pet field, educating pet parents on the health and wellbeing of their furry friends. When she's not writing, she's reading, playing video games, or organizing something.
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