How to buy a puppy from abroad?
How to buy a dog from another country?
What are the regulations you need to know? How to transport your new dog?

Monika Laneman

Why to buy puppy from another country

I have bought many dogs from different countries. Also many of my puppies have gone to live in different countries. Usually, the reason why we buy a puppy from abroad is that we want to have something very special. Either a very good prospect for dog shows or very good potential for trainings and competitions. Breeders sometimes want to bring new bloodlines into breeding. Or some people are just looking for a very special family pet which is not available in their country. Reasons can be different.

Be careful and buy only from trustful places and people

However, when you consider buying a pure bred puppy you must be certain it is a reputable breeder you are buying from and the puppy gets all the needed documentation to travel and to be registered in respective Kennel Club. The more internet evolves the more scam and cheating you can find there. Do your homework.

What you need to ask

Always check if the puppy has official pedigree which is registered in the local Kennel Club.

Always check if the puppy will have all the needed documentation for traveling.

Always check if the puppy will have all the needed vaccinations and treatments needed for traveling.

What are the regulations for importing a puppy

EURO Pet Passport

Pure bred puppy needs to get an Export pedigree in order to be registered in your local Kennel Club

In Europe the puppy needs EURO Passport in order to travel into another country

Different countries have different regulations but most of them demand some sort of identification. In European Union a dog must be microchiped. It is a mandatory regulation.

In European Union over 3 months old puppies and dogs must be rabies vaccinated, it is a mandatory regulation. Waiting time from Rabies vaccination in European Union is 21 days. In some other countries it can be also 30 days. Check your country legislation.


Different countries have different pet import regulations

To travel with your puppy or dog, or in case the pup or dog is being shipped, it is very important to check first the import regulations. It’s wise to check not only your country regulations but also transfer country regulations which might apply when the dog is traveling. Every country is trying to protect it’s borders and even when the “free movement regulations” are signed they find loopholes to protect them not letting puppies in their country. It’s all regulated under name “disease control”. So do your homework, check your country pet import regulations. And make sure everything is in the order with your pup documents.

Some examples of what the import regulations might be

It’s typically for puppies: rabies vaccination which is not made earlier then at 12 weeks or 3 months age. And waiting period 21 – 30 days before the puppy can travel. Most flight companies in Europe apply the same regulations, especially when you need to fly with your puppy through Frankfurt where most connecting flights go. However, in European Union there are still some countries that allow entry for under 3 months old not rabies vaccinated puppies in case their mother was rabies vaccinated. In US it is much easier to fly with the puppy. To enter Canada the under 3 months age puppies do not need to be rabies vaccinated. In some countries the echinococcus treatment between 1-5 days before entry is mandatory. Some countries have very strict and difficult regulations and some have even mandatory quarantine. The worst case is when your country regulations do not allow entry of dogs from the country you are considering to buy the puppy from. Do your homework! That’s important!

How to travel with puppy or is it better to be shipped

For the puppy the best way to travel is always by car. So when you have the option to drive to pick up your puppy, always consider this first.

Second best option is to fly with the pup, so the pup can be with you in the cabin. But that is allowed only when the puppy or the dog is small enough, fits in certain size of bag which can be placed under the seat and weights less then 8 kilos.

Third option is you fly by plane together with your puppy or dog, in this case the pup or dog will be handled as a luggage.

Forth and the most expensive option is to ship the puppy alone as a cargo shipment. But in some countries it is the only option.

When you drive by car

Always look what are also the countries or states regulations what you drive through. So you would not have bad surprises on the road.

I have found out that best for the puppy is to travel on it’s own place in the car but it all depends of the length of the travel and the size of the dog.

If it is a short trip and small puppy they feel best when they can travel in someones lap.

If it is a long trip and small puppy make a small and comfortable place for the puppy.

If it is a bigger puppy or grown up dog it’s always best to have much space and as comfortable as possible.

Most what puppies or young dogs need when travelling is to have safe place for them where they can feel comfortable.

Prepare for “sea sickness”. A dog or puppy that has a weaker nervous system or gets easily excited and does not feel comfortable in the car might get nervous and throw up. Take a lot of napkins with you. And prepare that you need to clean and change puppy’s blanket.

It usually happens less when the puppy feels itself comfortable and is not afraid and nervous. Some breeds have less this problem. Some working line dogs with good strong nerves never throw up in the car. Some weaker nerves dogs need to get used with driving. I have noticed it helps a lot when they see people or when they have another dog next to them. After 1000 kilometres not any dog throws up. 🙂

What to look when you fly by plane

As surprising as it is, much less “sea sickness” then in driving. As a matter of fact, I have never had problems when I have had flight with a puppy in the cabin. Maybe I have been lucky. But in this case the trick is always to use the soft bag with what you can carry the pup and keep the puppy’s head out of the bag. Soft bag can also always fit under the seat which is mandatory when the plane takes off and is landing. During flight you can keep the puppy bag in your lap or on the floor next to your legs. When the puppy can have it’s head out from the bag they usually feel comfortable.

When you book the ticket you must book also the place for the puppy. They allow 3-5 dogs on the plane. Depends of the flight company regulations. In Europe it is usually 3 dogs on the plane. In US I have heard about 5. In Europe they ask 40-50 euro for the dog. In US up to 90 USD. Again, depends a lot of the flight company.

Low-cost airlines don’t usually allow animals on the board!


When the puppy or dog is not small enough for the flight in the cabin 

In this case the dog will be taken in as luggage. You must buy a flight box that fills the IATA regulations and is big enough for the dog. Only those flights allow dogs as luggage where the plane is big enough to have “warm luggage room”. So always check with the flight company before buying a ticket. Prices in Europe have been 50 – 200 euro depending of the flight company.

Never give any drugs to your dog or sedatives!  Dog must have clear mind and working brains when flying. The worst what can happen when the dog is flying and is afraid is womiting and peeing or pooping. But that is not a very big issue. You can later clean your dog. With drugs, the dog might not arrive alive. Good strong IATA flight box can also stand dogs who are destructive. Think and act accordingly. Drugs are not good for dogs! Make them safe and comfortable and pick the right size flight box to fly. Use normal flight companies and don’t save money in this case. And everything will go well!


What to look when the puppy travels alone

Find a good agent. In some airports there is only one agent that is allowed to deal with animal transport. In some other places you can order animal transport from transportation companies. In this case always find a good agent so your dog would be handled well and arrives safely. The flight box needs to fill the same IATA regulations and usually they demand the dog must have enough space to stand up and turn around in the box. The larger the box the more the transportation costs. It is the most difficult method and most unfriendly for dogs to travel, so use it only when necessary. And also most expensive in most cases. I have found out that in most flights the return tickets, human flying with the puppy, are 2-4 times cheaper then the dog travelling alone. Only in very long flights, Europe – US, Europe – Canada, Europe – Malaysia, the shipping cost has been cheaper then return tickets. There can be exceptions if your puppy comes from a country where are very large airports or you find an agent that ships a lot of animals but otherwise it’s not.

That is all what I could think of in regards of travelling right now. If you have any more to add or any comments, please feel free to comment and we will add it to the article!

I hope I helped to answer some of the questions you might have had!

Have Fun and Enjoy Your Dog!


Monika Laneman



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