Traveling To Paris With Your Dog: everything you need to know now

Traveling To Paris With Your Dog: Everything You Need To Know Now

[ Updated March 2022. ]

Traveling To Paris With Your Dog

Okay, guys. This post is a big one. Months before I left for Paris, I was online doing SO much research on how to bring your dog to Europe. The one thing I noticed is that a lot of the info on traveling to Paris with your dog is scattered and sometimes hard to read, boring or complicated. I’ve heard a lot of people say that dogs must be in quarantine when traveling internationally. That is not the case — as long as you follow the steps and paperwork then you’re good. Go ahead, bring your dog to Paris and c’est la vie!

Getting the correct paperwork to travel to Europe with your dog can be a stressful and lengthy process, but follow these steps below (and don’t forget your own passport!) and you’ll be well on your way.


Let’s start…

For official instructions for each country, the United States Department of Agriculture is the best place to go to print out forms and more.


1. Bring a microchip scanner in order to bring your dog to Europe

Your pet’s microchip must be 15 digits long in order to travel to Paris with your dog. If you have something different, then you must get your dog microchipped with a 15-digit microchip OR bring your own scanner. Personally, I think bringing your own scanner is the best bet, so your dog doesn’t need to have 2 microchips implanted in their body.

If you do decide to get a separate microchip implanted, then your pup must get a new rabies vaccine at least 21 days before travel. Hold onto the signed certificate.

If your original microchip is good, or you’re bringing a scanner and the rabies vaccine is up to date, then just make sure to bring their signed rabies certificate.

2. Obtain a health certificate signed by your dog’s vet

Visit your USDA-accredited vet within 10 days of travel to get a health certificate and forms signed.

What is a health certificate?

It’s a signed paper stating that your pet is healthy to fly and current on all their vaccinations. It must be issued and signed by your vet and can cost anywhere from $25-70. It is like a normal check-up and should take less than 20 minutes.

Health certificates are valid for 30 days.

The vet will know what to do and fill out the correct paperwork in blue ink. For France, it was a 7-page document and the signed rabies certificate.

3. Get paperwork stamped by USDA Office

The next step in traveling to Paris with your dog involves having all your paperwork stamped at your local USDA office. You can find a list of offices on the USDA page. Note: no dogs are allowed in the office.

It’s basically like waiting at the DMV. You get a ticket and wait. And wait. I waited 1.5 hours at the Los Angeles office and it wasn’t even busy (around 4-5 people total), so make sure you schedule some time.

It cost $38, and you get a fancy embossed stamp on all the paperwork.

This used to be in walk-in only, but now it is appointment only!

4. Time to fly to Paris with your dog!

Are you ready to jet set off to Europe with your dog? It’s a good idea to keep all your paperwork in one place and stay organized. I used my laptop sleeve and it kept everything nice and neat.

We flew from LAX to NYC and stayed one night to break up the journey. I think that’s a must, as LA to Paris is 11 hours, compared to NYC to Paris, which is just 7 hours. It really helps with jet lag too. Here is a list of airlines that go to Paris and allow dogs in-cabin.

Flight wasn’t bad at all, and Fira slept right through. When we landed in Paris though, that was a different story.

Going through customs at the Charles de Gaulle Airport took about half an hour, and I was so worried for Fira. She was trembling because she had to pee so bad. Then, when we got up to baggage claim I found out you can’t actually LEAVE the airport until you have your luggage.

Once you go outside, you can’t come back in.

WHAT. So, we waited and finally got my luggage, ran out the door and there was no dirt/grass patch in sight. None. Everything was cement.

I didn’t want to get yelled at for Fira peeing on cement so I got an Uber as fast as I could. The driver, of course, spoke no English and I had to signal him to pull over the second I saw some grass. Imagine the scene: we’re on the highway and I start flailing my arms around and pointing “PEE PEE” — finally we pull over and Fira probably took the best pee of her life.

(Optional) Pet Passport for Europe

If you’re thinking of traveling to Europe with your dog more often, consider getting a pet passport. You can only get it issued while you’re currently in Europe, so we visited a vet in Paris and got Fira a France passport. There’s an EU Passport too, but I think they only had the France ones at the time.

Plus, next year we’re coming back to France and going to England from Paris so I’m fine with that. Now with a pet passport, I don’t have to do the paperwork all over again each time I travel to Paris with my pup. 


So, that’s it! You’re ready to travel to Paris with your dog.

It’s really pretty straightforward — doing it for the first time does ensue some anxiety but now I feel pretty confident for our next trip. I will also be doing London from Paris so that will be an adventure.

England is so much more complicated, as it’s considered an island. There are stricter rules and you cannot fly directly into the country (unless your dog is in cargo, BUT French Bulldogs are not allowed in cargo).

Overall, Paris is surprisingly a dog-friendly city. If you’re traveling to Paris with your dog, you’ll find the French are very relaxed about dogs in general. We were even able to bring dogs inside a few restaurants and there are dog-friendly areas of the big parks (Tuileries, Palais Royal Gardens, Luxembourg etc) — perfect. You can read my dog-friendly Paris guide here.

Let me know if you have any questions in the comments. It was pretty daunting for me in the beginning but I knew I wanted to create a guide that was written in you know, normal human sentences that were easy to understand. Also, here’s a free step-by-step checklist!

Sign Up For My Mailing List + Get 4 Free PDFs of My Most Popular Homemade Dog Food Recipes!


  1. Thanks for posting. I was debating on whether to bring my dog to Paris and your post is SO helpful.

    Would you mind sharing your experience on bringing your dog back to the US? If you don’t mind, the vet experience to get your dog’s EU passport? Both things I would love to know about.

    • Hi Virginia! On our way back into the US, the customs officer just looked at all my paperwork again and that was it! The vet appointment in Paris was super simple–they do all the work for you. Just show them your paperwork and they’ll grab your pet’s info off of that (age, microchip # etc). I think it cost 80 euros.

      • Hi, thank you for your post! SO I have a small service dog I travel with and we are also going to France in 2 weeks. However my dog doesn’t have a microchip and the vet said she is too old to get one because she would need to be sedated to get it because the needle is so large and my dog is so small. Also, she just had a rabies shot 5 weeks ago and as ALWAYS, she had a severe reaction. She cannot get a microchip NOR another rabies shot to travel as she just had one and just got done fighting the side effects 4 weeks later. My vet said she should NOT have another shot. Did the airline actually ASK you for your paperwork for the dog going both ways at check in? If so which airline was it? My airline I have a reso with right now said all I need is my service dog ID and that’s it, mentioned NOTHING of a 7 page health certificate. I also emailed the customs office at Paris airport and they told me it is the airlines duty… ??? I see online what you have to have but I can’t get these things like a normal pet can because of complications. I can however get a regular vet health certif. It sucks these rules are so strict. Can you just share your experience with how strict they were with the paperwork and when you had to present it? THANK YOU!

        • Hi Lissa,
          We flew Delta. They checked the papers thoroughly at the check-in desk going to and coming back to US. In Paris, nobody looked at the papers so yes, it is the airline’s discretion. I did notice they checked every single page and made sure there was a rabies certificate but I don’t know if it is different for a service animal as I have no experience with that. I would definitely call your airline and get super specific and make sure they are clear with the rules!

          • Ok thank you! We are taking Norwegian and we have called 3 times to make sure and they didn’t once mention a USDA health certif, just a rabies proof of vax and her service dog ID. 🙂 I appreciate your response! 🙂

  2. Thanks for all the info.
    But I m having some problems with the weight.
    I want to do argentina-ny and even he fits under the sit, he is over 9kg (17/18 lb) and he is a frenchie and they dont want them (same travel airlines you have Delta, united, etc)
    Can anyone help me with an idea??
    I know that a famous actress here took several trips with ger dog (she paid a first class ticket) but they told me I can even if I have the money 🙁

    • Hi! Are you sure you made it clear that you were bringing him in-cabin? Frenchies are not allowed in cargo but in-cabin for most airlines should be ok!

      • Some airlines have strange policies though. For example, American Airlines is fine for dogs to travel but not if it’s a TransAtlantic flight. Strange. Have you tried other airlines like Avianca?

  3. This is Amazing post … I’m currently looking into more travel destinations with my dog as its very hard on her since she’s older for me to be gone for long periods of time. Do you know if its an absolute must for the dogs to be microchipped in order to take them internationally? I’m planning for paris in November for a wedding and a few other destinations following that. Im totally not for microchipping as she’s older and had surgeries in the past and was suggested by a Vet not to do this procedure on her. Any help is so appreciated. Thank you

    • Hi Dajia- yes must be microchipped. Does she not have a chip at all?? Weston has one but is not EU-approved so I just bring my own scanner so that he doesn’t need another chip implanted. If she is not chipped, I’m not sure of any way around that unfortunately.

  4. Hi, thanks for a great guideline, it’s been so helpful! Flying with our frenchie for the first time in 12 days and it’s gonna be a long flight, Huntsville-Atlanta-Paris-Stockholm… will stay in Sthlm for four weeks and then go to Spain for a month before returning home to the US. Do you know if I need to see a vet in Spain before my returning flight or is paperwork from the us all that’s needed? Will try to get the eu passport in Sweden so will hopefully have that by then. Also, I have an Emotional Support certificate form signed for Delta but do you know if that’ll work for other airlines too? Any help is much appreciated, thank you

  5. Hi Nicki!

    Thanks for this post, it is really informative and making the process of taking my dog overseas much less stressful hearing a firsthand experience! I’ve done a lot of policy research for the specific EU countries we are visiting and had a question about your experience completing Fira’s pet passport: did they require a new rabies vaccination at the vet’s office in France before completing the French passport?

    I read that with the EU pet passports they require an EU vet to administer the rabies vaccination before signing off on the passport. I also read that in order for the passport to remain valid, additional rabies vaccinations must be completed by a vet in Europe. My dog just received her 3-year vaccination this month, so it seems a bit crazy to have to get her vaccinated again once I’m there for the passport! It may be different since you received a country-specific passport but I was still curious about your experience.


  6. I am about to travel with a dog and I have been told conflicting information regarding the paper work. Did you have to get the paper work translated into French?


  7. Hi, I’ve been thinking about taking my dog with me to Paris in February, and I think I’ve gathered most of the info I need. However, I read in one article that you would need to have a pre-flight health check in France within 10 days of return to the US… Is that true? We would only be in the country for about a week so I’m unsure about that rule.

    • Hi! I’m not aware of this.. when we got into France, we went to a vet in Paris and got them a pet passport which takes place of all health certificates so that may be why I didn’t need a health certificate. I would double check!

  8. Thanks so much for sharing the experience. We are planning to bring our frenchie to Paris this Christmas too and this blog is so helpful. Did they require any blood test in prepping for the documents? Have you brought your frenchies to other Schengen countries? It is our first time traveling and we are super nervous. Thank you very much!

  9. Good morning,
    Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I am flying with XL Airways from NY to Paris with my 2 cats. They both have European pet passport. We redone rabies injection in USA. I ve checked online and when we do rabies injection in US, EU pet passport are not valid anymore…. so weird. Do you know anything about that?
    Did you only need the heath certificate issued by USDA to flight to France?
    ( XL Airways ask for health certificate within 5 days before departure)
    I’m stressing a lot.
    Thank you for your help and sorry to bother you
    Wish you a great day

    • Hi! Yes, if you redo the vaccination the previous pet passport is invalid as the dates are different now. So, you’ll need to have your vet fill out the 7 page health certificate documents again and stamped by your local USDA office. Hope this helps!

      • Thank you for your help ☺️

        It’s so stressing as I only have 2 days to do the health certificate and have it back. ( due to weekend)

  10. are dogs not allowed to pee on cement in paris? I have an upcoming trip to paris and I would like to know before I let my dog pee outside of the airport, london’s airport was fine with my dog peeing on cememt outside of the airport. Thanks.

    • Dogs pee/poo all over Paris. I took my dachshund to Paris for a month and especially if you live in the city center (Saint Germain), there aren’t any grassy areas. Most locals will have their animals pee on the sidewalk and poo too. They want you to pick up the poo, but nothing really about the pee.

  11. Hi! Do you by any chance know if you can travel back on the same paperwork (European Community veterinary certificate) back to the US? We are only planning to be in Europe for 10 days, and do not plan to get an EU pet passport, so I’m just wondering if we need to see the vet in Europle before flying back. Thank you!

    • Is the health certificate paperwork from vet in US? Then yes! You don’t need to go to vet again in EU.

  12. Hi,

    Your blog has been really helpful about the pet moving process. What vet did you use in Paris or France? My husband and I are about to move our Chihuahua and need to do the same thing.


  13. thank you so much for taking your time to informs on how to travel with our Frenchies. We are finally heading to Paris in May 2020 with our beloved Ghost. We are going to arrive in Paris and depart from London. I was planning on taking the eurostar to London put after your post I realize that cannot happen, I did my research on airline that fly from Paris to London that allow pet with no issue and I found Vueling Airlines. The issue that I have is what documents are they are going to ask when leave London.

  14. Hi! I have a French pet passport, with a current rabies shot done by a French vet inside the pet passport. I am back in the USA and soon flying from USA to France. I do not have a separate rabies certificate paper outside of the pet passport. Do I need one? Thanks.

  15. Hi thank you so much for posting this guide.
    I stumbled upon your article while researching on how I can bring my adopted dog from Hongkong to London and I heard bringing them via Paris is the cheapest and less documentation requirements.
    I’m wondering if you also have an article on bringing pets from HKG to UK via Paris.
    Thanks again. 😊


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright © 2024 · Theme by 17th Avenue