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Pets and Traveling

The rules for traveling with pets differ per airline. There are three ways for them to travel: in the cabin, cargo space or on another flight. Most of the time they will travel in the cargo space and the airlines will make sure that the temperature is convenient for animals. Very few airlines will allow animals to travel in the cabin.

Transport boxes will guarantee safety for your pet, and they have requirements to meet. Dogs and cats must be able to stand up and sit without hitting their head on the ceiling of the box. Label the box carefully and prominently with your pet’s name and owner’s contact information. Make sure to attach an extra copy of your pet’s health certificate as well. The box must have a secure, spring-loaded, all-around locking system with the pins extending beyond the horizontal extrusions above and below the door. The container must have ventilation on all sides for international travel and three sides minimum for domestic travel. The Container must have “LIVE ANIMAL” stickers on the top and sides in letters at least one inch tall.

Cats, dogs and ferrets not accompanied by their owners are considered cargo and must be examined by a veterinarian less than 24 hours before departure for the Netherlands. They must travel with a certificate stating the date and time of the exam. The animal will be examined again on arrival.

For a few other animals, you will also need a health certificate. This applies in any event to birds, horses, cows (and other ungulates), minks, and foxes. You can obtain a health certificate from a certified veterinarian in the country you are moving from.

You do not (yet) need a health certificate or passport for other animals, such as rabbits, hares and fish; you can bring these animals with you without having to take special measures.

It is prohibited to bring protected species of flora and fauna into the Netherlands. Examples are:

  • Exotic plants, such as orchids or cacti
  • Monkeys, snakes and many other tropical animals
  • Coral and shells
  • All products and articles made of threatened plants and animals

If you still want to bring a protected animal and/or plant to the Netherlands, you will need a CITES certificate from customs. Check the authorities of the country where you bought the item. In some cases you will also need a CITES import permit. Check the CITES website for more information.