Travel advice and guidance for visiting different countries with your dog

With the pandemic still at its peak in many parts of the world, travel restrictions are still in place as countries are frequently moved around between green, amber and red zones.

If you're a holidaymaker, these tourism rules can be very confusing and cause quite a headache, especially if you plan to travel with a pet

Fortunately for tourists who want to take their pups abroad, experts atInternational Citizens Insurance have compiled some of the restrictions that different countries have in place for dogs.

Joe Cronin, President of International Citizens Insurance said: “Pets are amazing companions, whether people are travelling alone or in a group.

"For some people, bringing their dog with them offers them all of the comfort and security of home. For others, they want to bring their pet with them to embark on a new life abroad.

“Many people may be shocked to find out that if they own a dog which comes from a traditionally aggressive breed or a breed known for fighting, no matter how trained or calm they are, they may not be able to travel with them to certain countries.”

If you wish to travel overseas with your dog, it's important that you explore the legislation for the specific country and ensure you have the correct insurance and follow all rules for your breed.

International Citizens Insurance have broken down some of the most popular destinations:

Australia

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Australia has a ban on breeds that were specifically bred for fighting, including:

  • Pitbull Terrier breeds

  • Dogo Argentino

  • Fila Brasileiro

  • Japanese Toso

  • Presa Canario

Australian law also prohibits the entry of domestic or non-domestic hybrid breeds (such as wolf crosses). Travellers with a dog must sign a declaration stating that the dog is not an ineligible breed.

Canada

Unlike many countries, Canada does not have a blanket ban on dog breeds. Instead, certain provinces prohibit certain dangerous dog breeds.

Expats planning to relocate to Canada should first ensure they are up to date with the most recent legislation. They should also ensure their route through the country does not include certain provinces if they are accompanied by a banned breed.

France

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France categorises breeds into banned or restricted. Banned breeds are defined as attack dogs and cannot be imported into France.

From the restricted breeds list, only dogs registered with a pedigree recognised by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry in France are permitted to enter the country. They can be transported on flights in the cargo hold only.

Banned breeds:

  • Staffordshire Terrier

  • American Staffordshire Terrier

  • Japanese Tosa Inu

  • Boerbull Mastiff

Restricted breeds:

  • Pedigree Tosa Inu

  • Pedigree Staffordshire Terrier

  • Pedigree American Staffordshire Terrier

  • Rottweiler (Pedigree and Non-pedigree)

Mexico

Mexico doesn’t have a blanket ban on breeds across the country, however there is a list of regulations that any dog travellers must oblige by, including microchipping, rabies vaccinations and a parasite treatment.

Dog owners must also obtain a health certificate unless travelling to Mexico from the United States.

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Switzerland

Switzerland bans the import of dogs with cropped ears and docked tails. Dogs with these features can travel into the country temporarily for short stays, but cannot relocate permanently.

Legislation in Switzerland restricts travel for breeds perceived as being predisposed to attack. Travellers hoping to bring the below dogs into the country must ensure the dog passes a behavioural test, neuter the pet and gain pet insurance.

These breeds are:

  • American Staffordshire Terrier

  • Boerboel

  • Bullmastiff

  • Cane Corso

  • Dogue Argentin

  • Dogue de Bordeaux

  • Fila Brasileiro

  • English Mastiff

  • Matin Espagnol

  • Matin de Naples

  • Pitbull

  • Presa Canario

  • Rottweiler

  • Thai Ridgeback Dog

  • Tosa Inu

United Kingdom

Travellers coming in or out of the UK will not be able to bring with them any of the dog breeds that have been banned in the country. The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 outlaws types of dogs perceived to be too dangerous for ownership.

The below breeds are banned:

  • Pitbull Terrier

  • Japanese Tosa

  • Dogo Argentino

  • Fila Brasileiro

According to UK legislation, if a dog has visual characteristics of any of the above, it may be banned even if it does not match the breed.

You can find more information about all aspects of travelling with pets on the International Citizens Insurance website.

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