When should I start preparing for flying with a pet?

In a perfect world, flying with a pet would be a very simple matter - we would buy a pet carrier, take our little friends with us to the airport, have a joint check-in, and even request a window seat for them...

In a perfect world, flying with a pet would be a very simple matter - we would buy a pet carrier, take our little friends to the airport, go through a common check-in process, and even request a window seat for them.

After a pleasant flight and a smooth landing, we would hop into a pet-friendly taxi that would take us to our destination.

Indeed, this description is not far from reality. The European Union countries have recently decided to significantly ease restrictions on pet travel, and it is hoped that in the future, there will be positive implications for flying with pets from Israel to Europe.

How ever, as long as we are not members of the union, flying with a dog, cat, or any other pet continues to be a complex task but is definitely possible. The golden rule for a smooth and stress-free experience is to start the preparation process early, as the duration of the process can vary and is not known in advance.

It is important to understand that flying a pet and preparing it for the journey is not a quick and immediate process. It involves a bureaucratic procedure that takes several months, and the duration of preparing the animal for a flight differs from its regular routine, especially in cases of flying puppies, dogs or cats with respiratory issues, and more.

We can only control the starting point of the process and should consider the possibility of delays, resubmission of documents, or the need for additional rounds of vaccinations.
So, how long in advance do you need to start the process? As mentioned, in any case, it is necessary to consult with a veterinarian or a professional pet transportation service. Generally, most countries require a Rabies antibodies test. This test can be done about a month after the vaccination, and the law requires that an animal can only fly 4 months after the test is conducted.

The implication is that the minimum time to start the pet transportation process is 4 months, but that allows very little room for maneuver. For added security, we recommend starting the process at least six months before the flight date and before purchasing the tickets, as the choice of airline with which you will fly your pet is also a significant consideration.

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