Tips to Take Your Dog to Italy

This article is a part of a larger article – which is now free to access – A Fox Terrier’s Adventures in Italy – in the August/September 2023 issue of Dream of Italy.

We had so many tips on taking your dog to Italy, we decided to share this web exclusive with out members. I traveled several times with my late dog Finney to Italy and he was my favorite travel companion. Together we navigated international travel and here are a few things I learned along the way:

  • If your dog hasn’t traveled much, test them out in a place close to home. I knew Finney loved riding in the car, adventure, my only big unknown was the long plane flight. I gave him a small dose of trazadone and put a little diaper on him. He held it – poor thing – the whole time!
  • I rented ore leased a car through Auto Europe ( 5% discount with IATA #72002261) and dogs are officially allowed in the cars. That made transportation easy. Dogs are allowed on my public transportation and in taxis (though good to ask when you call) in Italy.
  • For dogs that are too big to fly in cabin and you don’t want them to go in cargo, check out the Facebook Group where individuals organizes and split the cost of charter flights. There’s a new company K9 Jets ( with regular charters from the U.S. to Europe. Tickets aren’t cheap but it is an excellent solution for bigger dogs especially if you are moving to Italy.
  • I don’t suggest handling the USDA paperwork on your own. You must use a USDA-certified vet and do the exam a certain number of days within departure. I used Pet Relocator (, ask for the owner Cassandra) and found them to be fast and professional.
  • If your dog takes medication or eats special pet food, bring extra unless you are truly certain you can get it in Italy. In today’s world, you just never know if there will be a delay or you will be in Italy longer than planned.
  • Finney had to go to the vet a few times on this trip. On one visit he had an exam, x-ray, ultrasound, blood work, urine culture, trimmed nails, medications, all of for the equivalent of $150. That would have potentially cost 10 times as much back home. They all happened to by chance also speak English fluently.
  • Most of the professionals I spoke to said that I couldn’t leave Italy without an Italian export certificate, which needs to be completed by a vet at the local ASL. I jumped through hoops (TuscanHound helped me for one trip) to get the appointment and certificate. I was asked for it once when I checked in for my flight from Italy to the U.S. If you are planning to fly back and forth with your dog, you might consider having an Italian vet do the paperwork for a European Union Pet Passport. That will not preclude you from needing USDA paperwork for leaving the U.S. though.
  • TuscanHound provides wonderful care of your pets while abroad. Daycare, lodging at one of their Tuscan locations and even trips to the vet or groomers can be arranged with their team full of dedicated animal lovers. TuscanHound is Florence’s first full service pet company, in operation since 2009.
  • Tuscan Pet Transport is TuscanHound’s sister company. They offers air transport, in-cabin, regardless of the size of your pet, both nationally within Italy and internationally. Road transport is also available in the EU and UK. At all times during travel, your pet will be accompanied by a certified veterinary technician. Complimentary quotes can be requested online here.
  • Finally, if you’re ready to add a dog to your family, consider adopting one in Italy. There are so many strays who have little chance of escaping their lives on the streets. Those who do make it into crowded shelters often languish for years. As Finney might advise, “where there’s a will there’s a way” to get a pup in need back home and a company like Pet Relocator or Tuscan Hound can advise on transport and paperwork.
  • There’s a whole chapter about traveling with pets in Italy in my 276-page companion book to my special, Dream of Italy: Travel, Transform and Thrive available at

Be sure to read more in the article:  A Fox Terrier’s Adventures in Italy