Pet Travel from USA to India

Pet Travel from USA to India

Pet Travel from USA to India

Traveling with pets from the USA to India can be a complex but rewarding experience for dog owners relocating or vacationing. Navigating the various regulations, airline policies, and health requirements is crucial for a smooth journey with your furry companion.

This blog aims to simplify the process, offering step-by-step guidance and essential tips for transporting your pet from the USA to India. We'll cover airline options, health and vaccination protocols, paperwork, and practical advice to ensure you and your pet have a comfortable and stress-free experience.

Whether your furry friend is flying in the cabin, as excess baggage, or in cargo, understanding the nuances of international pet travel will help you make informed decisions for a safe and happy journey.

Pet travel from USA to India - What should I want to know about?

When traveling with a dog from the USA to India, there are several important things to consider. Make sure to check the airline's pet travel policies, obtain all necessary travel documents and vaccines, prepare a comfortable travel crate, and plan for any necessary quarantine requirements upon arrival in India.


pet travel from USA to India

Can I take my pet from USA to India?

Relocation is not an easy affair, especially if you are shifting continents and that too with a four-legged friend. It is quite understandable if you are worried about how this is going to happen. All pet parents have similar queries when it comes to shifting this huge. That is why we are here to guide you and satisfy all your inquiries and questions.

Pet travel from USA to India is quite possible and easier than it may seem. Of course, there is a lot of paperwork to do, and choosing the right pet transportation services is crucial for a successful and safe journey for your furry friend. Let us understand how to go about it.

Pet Vaccination- The first thing you need to do is keep in order all the vaccination certificates filed up-to-date. Ensure that your fur kid has not missed any vaccination and that you have the relevant papers to prove it, including vaccination records. Both the airline authorities and if you avail the services of a relocation agent will need it. Your dog or cat must be vaccinated for rabies at least 31 days before entry if not currently vaccinated. The three-year rabies vaccination is recognized.

Consult your vet- This may not seem essential to you because you feel your fur kid is fit and strong, but consulting your local vet should come as a priority task. Let your vet know about the relocation, and he will do the necessary check-up to deem it fit to allow your furry baby to fly or not.

You may be required to show the vet’s approved health certificate to the concerned authorities to confirm that your pet does not suffer from any illness and that his organs will support him for the necessary steps that have to be taken in the process. The health certificate is valid for 30 days if entering from the United States.

Also Read: 7 Tips to Remember When Flying with Dogs

Crate training- Most probably, your pets will be traveling as manifested cargo on an international flight. This would mean that they will be spending an extended period of time in their crate. It is best to purchase a crate well beforehand and train your furry mate to use it.

This way, staying in their crate for such a long period of time won’t come as a shock to them. If they already think of the crate as their safe haven and get used to it, chances are the long flight will be less uncomfortable due to the familiar crate. When you buy a crate, ensure that it is IATA-approved.

Size of the pet- Many airlines are pet friendly and let pets travel as accompanied baggage in the cabin. This is subject to their size, and only if your pet is not larger than the prescribed size can they travel with their owners in the cabin. For that, the pet owner has to be carried in a crate and kept under the seat in front of that of the owner.

They should not be blocking the aisle and, in most cases, need to be mildly sedated and properly leashed to make their trip less uncomfortable both for themselves and the co-passengers.

Airlines and Covid-19- There are a lot of airline services that are pet friendly, like Air France and Delta Airlines to name a few. But you need to make sufficient enquiries in advance because owing to Covid-19 regulations, there have been some changes in the otherwise existing rules, including the availability of last minute flight tickets.

These rules keep changing in accordance with the severity of the outbreak of the disease from the place of boarding in the United States and the place of arrival in India. Keep in touch with the airline messages, and you will know if there has been any alteration in the travel scheme.

India pet passport regulations- While relocating your pet to India, there are certain regulations set by the Government of India that one has to abide by. 

If you are a citizen of India wishing to travel with your four-legged friend to the country, you must have been abroad for more than two years, and any short visits to India must not exceed more than 180 days during this time. If you are a foreign national of Indian origin, you must have an OCI or PIO card to import your pet to India from their country of origin. Other Indian citizens looking to visit India on a short Visa can obtain a DGFT license to bring their pet to India if their pet departs with them. 

Suppose you are a foreign national not of Indian origin. In that case, you must be relocating to India to work or live for a minimum of one year to import your pet. Unaccompanied dogs and cats cannot be imported to India unless associated with their owner, who is transferring residency to India. The owner must enter India within 30 days of their dog or cat. Dogs are not permitted to enter India for breeding or commercial purposes.

Quarantine holding area- Depending upon the health of your pet entering India, they may be subjected to 14 days of government-supervised quarantine period or 30 days of home quarantine. Generally, if it conforms to all pet import regulations under transfer of residency, then a home quarantine is imposed. 

Up to two dogs or cats can enter India per person. More than two pets per person can only be imported under a License from the Director General of Foreign Trade.

Upon entry to India- All domestic dogs and cats need to be examined at the port of entry to India. They must be free of evidence of diseases communicable to humans. In those situations when it is found that your dog or cat is apparently not in good health, a licensed vet may be required for further examination. 

The cost of this has to be borne by the owner of the pet. 

All pets entering India with their owners must be issued a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Animal Quarantine Station in India, prior to their entry into the country. A certificate of health from a local veterinarian must also be obtained within 30 days of arrival in India, as required by the Animal Quarantine Station.

Pet-friendly airlines from India to USA:

Air India:

  • Typically allows pets as checked baggage or cargo.
  • Restrictions on breed and size may apply.
  • Advance arrangements are necessary.

United Airlines:

  • Known for its PetSafe program, offering cargo transport for pets.
  • Offers tracking and personal handling.
  • Specific breed restrictions and temperature guidelines.


  • Pets can travel in the cabin, as excess baggage, or in cargo.
  • Notable for good pet handling practices.
  • Advance booking for pets is mandatory.


  • Usually transports pets as cargo.
  • Known for high standards of pet care.
  • Restrictions based on breed, size, and weight.


  • Pets can travel in the cabin, as checked baggage, or in cargo.
  • Specific rules depending on the destination.

Qatar Airways:

  • Pets can usually be transported as checked baggage or in cargo.
  • Requires health and vaccination certificates, entry permits, and other documents.

Singapore Airlines:

  • Pets can travel as checked baggage or in cargo.
  • Requires advance arrangements and adherence to guidelines.

General Tips:

  1. Booking: Always confirm in advance, as pet travel options may be limited per flight.
  2. Health & Vaccinations: Ensure all vaccinations are up-to-date and you have the necessary health certificates.
  3. Crate Requirements: Make sure you have an IATA-compliant crate.
  4. Check-In Process: Allow extra time for check-in and security when traveling with a pet.
  5. Stopovers: Verify pet handling during any layovers.

Pre-Flight Preparation:

  • Visit the Vet: Ensure your pet is fit to travel and discuss sedation and feeding before the flight.
  • Familiarization: Let your pet spend time in the travel crate to get accustomed.
  • Exercise: Ensure your pet has some exercise before the journey.

Legal & Regulatory:

  • Customs and Entry Requirements: The USA has specific pet entry requirements, including microchip and rabies vaccination. Check the latest from the CDC and USDA.
  • India's Regulations: Be aware of regulations for exporting pets from India, including exit permits and health clearances.

COVID-19 Considerations:

  • Travel Restrictions: Keep updated on any travel restrictions or changes due to the pandemic.
  • Airline Policies: Check if there are any specific COVID-19-related rules affecting pet travel.

Note: Given that airline policies and international travel regulations can change, it's crucial to verify with the airlines and relevant authorities close to your travel date for the most accurate and updated information.

The Bottom-line:

If meeting all the regulations and getting the necessary paperwork done sounds cumbersome to you, various pet relocation services will do the necessary documentation on your behalf for a fee. They arrange relocation services with boarding facilities at both the place of departure and arrival. In any case, the owner is liable to assume all the risks of injury, sickness, or death of the pet accepted for carriage.