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Hi all, going to France for our third time in October (5 days in Azay Le Rideau and 3 in Paris). Have two shih-tzus and were wondering if anyone has ever travelled from the states to France with their pets and how did you do it and on what airline? We will NOT consider checking them as cargo. I could not find anything about in cabin pets on international flights...any help would be appreciated. We have been pricing pet sitters and the cost is prohibitive. Just beginning to consider taking the pups with us. Have already found a wonderful home to rent that takes pets. thanks for your help in advance.

Posted by
6647 posts

In addition I would personally call the airlines you are considering regarding their 'in cabin' regulations. I know pets need to be kept in their carrier for the whole trip and it must fit under the seat. Also, different airlines have restrictions on the number of pets per flight so that could also be an issue.

Posted by
9363 posts

If you think the cost of eight days of petsitting is prohibitive, wait till you add up the additional cost to do all of the necessary vet and paperwork, plus the cost of flying them. They will be happier in their own home while you are gone.

Posted by
8980 posts

Air France is very good about transporting pets. Check with them and try to get the most direct flight possible.

Posted by
83 posts

When we moved from the US to France about 10 years ago, we brought our two cats with us. It was a complicated process, involving microchips and vaccinations as well as documents; they had to fly in special (sturdy) large cages and were sent as cargo, essentially. I hated that, but they were fine upon arrival. The whole process cost more than $1000. However, I have a friend here who goes to Martha's Vineyard every summer and takes her aged cat with her. If I were you, I would phone the airline for info.

Posted by
11459 posts

Turtle I seriously doubt a pet sitter costs more then the cost you will incur transporting the dogs.. and for only 8 days I would not even consider it. I also think its cruel to expect the dogs to sit in basically a shoebox for 10 hours.. they are not allowed out of their carriers.. they can't eat or drink in case they pee or poop and they will sit in their pee for the rest of the trip. If you were moving there sure.. but for basically a week holiday.. forget it.

Where I live most folks have friends that will come by and sit with doggies for a few hours each day.. maybe a friends college age child would move in for the week.. the dogs have each other so won't be as lonely as a single dog. (I would never leave a single doggie alone for more then 5-8 hours ,,they get lonely) Have you no other options then a professional kennel or service.Ask around with friends.. and ask vet.

Posted by
16984 posts

On my last Swiss Int'l flight to Zurich, a woman had her Yorkie in her lap for virtually the entire flight. So for some airlines, its not that big a deal. From the Swiss website:
"Inform our Service Center if you wish to take an animal with you on a SWISS flight. Cabin transport is subject to a charge."

Posted by
11459 posts

Yorkies are not Shih-tzus ( my ex MIL bred Shihs.. so while small I know they are still twice the size of a yorkie.. lol ) And all it takes is one person to complain. Some STs like to yap too.. er not good on a plane.

Remember there area people allergic to dogs.. or simply don;t like them.. I can't believe it sometimes. but its true.. so if only one person complains about your dog its will stay in that cage the entire flight.. read the websites.. every airline that allows cabin doggies makes it clear it is to remain in kennel. Just because one person go away with it does not mean you will and it would be wrong to assume you could get away with it.

Personally I have no issue with doggies on laps.. but I have a friend who is very fearful of dogs.. even small cute ones. and trust me she would be one that would complain if a dog was not locked up.

Posted by
11613 posts

I took my cat to Italy once for three months. She stayed in her kennel under the seat. It cost about $100 each way, and this was 20 years ago. You will have to deal with the innoculations and documentation for France, but additionally on some airlines pet space in cabin is limited, so your dogs could end up in cargo anyway.

Posted by
2353 posts

I just brought my cat Mexico on vacation and most of the rules are similar - the microchip is not required for Mexico but the rest is the same.

Here is just two airlines - a quick google resulted in info. The fees really vary by airline so do your homework. The airline fees are PER PET & PER FLIGHT so air france would be $400 usd there & 400 Euro home total - ouch! It really is punitive! Lufthansa
is half that - but you are probably not going to save any money.

Along with the airline guidelines there are the requirements of the EU - must be micro-chipped by an EU compatible chip or you must bring the reader that reads your dogs chips. The other nitpicky form is the health certificate completed & signed by a USDA or CFIA vet no MORE than 10 days before your arrival in France.

Air France:

In the cabin
Animals accepted
With prior approval from the telephone sales department , you may transport in the cabin:
dogs and cats weighing less than 6 kg / 13.2 lb (including the transport bag or container).
Guide dogs are authorized regardless of their weight.
To be accepted in the cabin, your pet must be at least 10 weeks old and have all required vaccines. For flights within metropolitan France (including Corsica) and flights between metropolitan France and Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Reunion, your pet must be at least 8 weeks old. For flights between metropolitan France and French Guiana, your pet must be at least 15 weeks old.

Transport rules
Your pet must travel in a separate closed container.
The container must be sufficiently ventilated and enable your animal to stand up and turn around.
In the Economy cabin, the bag must fit in the space under the seat in front of you.
Under no circumstances should your pet leave its container during the flight.
Each animal must travel in a separate travel container.
Each passenger can travel with only 1 animal.
Your pet´s travel container is considered an additional baggage item and will incur a fee.
Please note: snub-nosed pets such as Bulldogs, Boxers, Pekinese or Persian cats can suffer from breathing difficulties in high-stress situations. Please consult your veterinarian before air travel.

*** €200 for departures from Europe, 200 CAD for departures from Canada, 200 USD for departures from the United States and all other countries.


Transport of small dogs and cats into the passenger cabin
You may take a dog or cat into the cabin, if the weight of the animal (including transport container) does not exceed eight kilograms. The animal has to be kept in a box measuring not more than
55 cm x 40 cm x 23 cm. You may use your own transport box if it has the necessary measurement and is watertight and bite proof.

Animals in the cabin,
max. 8 kg

70 EUR,
100 USD/

Posted by
8671 posts

I think the cost of a pet sitter is looking pretty good after reading these helpful posts.

Posted by
4125 posts

Well, I can tell you that the French are absolutely nuts about their dogs, and take them everywhere even where nominally prohibited.

Can't speak to the logistics however.

Posted by
11459 posts

Adam.. they do not fly them everywhere.. they take them in their cars and trains and buses on the continent.. they do not bring them to North American for a 2 week holiday.

Posted by
2255 posts

Well, as you might say, Pat, LOL! I surely would not be happy if the passenger next to me had a dog (or two!) along for a ten or twelve hour flight, though I certainly wish the OP a great trip, whether with poochies or not.

Posted by
208 posts

Just be happy that you don't have 4 cats to worry about while you're away. My wife and I are leaving on 4/23 for a 2-week trip to Paris and Rome, and will be spending $1200 to keep our 4 guys in the slammer while we're away. That cost does not include their food or any necessary medical care.

Posted by
11459 posts

Morris,, I have got to move to where you live.. 1200 dollars for 2 weeks cat sitting.. I am in the wrong profession! lol

Posted by
208 posts

Over the years, we have checked with 4 or 5 different kennels/catteries, and the prices for all of them were about the same. We chose the one we did because we felt that their accommodations were the best.