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  • Writer's pictureMark Tedesco

Our Italian Adventure: How to Bring my Pet

Our Italian Adventure: Transporting Pets: Information and Experiences

PART 35: It might be interesting to share how we pulled off living in Italy for part of the year. I will post some steps we took.

We live in Puglia in the Summer and then back again in the winter.

In last week's Blog, I asked readers to share their experiences transporting their pets to Italy/EU. I want to share these here and provide links to some clear information on how pet transport works.

Step 1: Transporting pets is a hot topic for animal lovers. I wanted to share some useful official information and readers' experiences transporting their pets to the EU/Italy/Puglia.

Step 2: Government information:

Step 3: Airlines information:

Step 4: Bringing your pet by ship:

  • Only one cruise line, the Cunard Queen Mary 2, carries pets across the Atlantic, and there are only 24 kennels, so reservations must be made a year in advance. The cost is currently $1,000-$1,600 per pet. Pets are not allowed in cabins but are confined to the kennel area. Playtimes and feedings are well organized, and owners can visit their pets during specific times.

Step 5: Tips:

  • Dogs cannot fly in the cabin when entering the UK and Iceland, regardless of the airline you're flying.

  • Double check size and weight restrictions as they differ slightly between pet-friendly airlines.

  • Pets are often not allowed to travel in business class due to the design of the seats.

  • Do not travel with your pet in cargo during extreme weather months (too hot or too cold).

Step 6: Readers' experiences:

  • I moved from San Francisco to Rome and now Bergamo with my Australian shepherd. He flew cargo with Lufthansa in April 2019, and the flight was great. Lufthansa has a dog lounge at the Frankfurt airport, so my dog got a pee break there. I made sure not to travel during the hot months. Positive experience overall, but I don't take him when I visit….I have an awesome dog sitter for those times -T

  • I used to be a flight attendant, and depending on the airlines, having a pet onboard should not cost that much as long as they are small and can fit in a carrier under your seat the entire flight. Domestically it would cost approx $100 again, depending on the airline. Larger dogs go as luggage in haul in a carrier. I personally would not put my dog through that stress and noise unless that's your only option. You could always take your larger dog on a ship (cruise ) might be more humane -R

  • We've just started this process! We are relocating to Italy from the UAE with our two dogs at the end of July. As our dogs are small enough, they can travel with us in-cabin for €200 each. We did need to call the airline before we booked to make sure they could accommodate our two since there is a limit to how many pets can be on board each flight. We've hired a professional pet relocation service to handle all import/export paperwork and ensure smooth sailing. -K

  • I transport my dog from the USA to Italy twice a year with zero trouble. It's necessary to complete forms, get the international tracker, etc., but the actual act of flying over was no trouble. She flies in the cabin in a comfortable crate and sleeps the entire 9 hours. It's been a blessing to have her here, as we didn't want to leave her for months on end. She loves to explore, and go to the beach, the grocery, and the restaurants. -S

Insights: Carrying one's beloved pet to Italy or another EU country is a big decision. What is the safest way to transport my pet? How can I diminish the stress of travel on my pet? What is the cost? What are the risks? What is the trade-off?

I hope this information and experiences enrich your decision-making process.

Watch for my book coming out soon: "Stories from Puglia: Two Californians in Southern Italy."

More next time.

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