Jules successfully moved a rescue dog from Thailand to the UK—and then from the UK to the Middle East.
Transporting a Dog Internationally Is Challenging
After we found our dog as a puppy on the beaches of Thailand and successfully flew her back to the UK with us, many people have contacted me to ask how we did it or to say how useful the information I've shared has been. The process of getting our dog to the UK from Thailand was a long and difficult one, but shortly after, we learned we'd soon need to go through it all over again. I have a job that requires periodic international relocation, and this time, my job would be taking us to the Middle Eastern country of Jordan.
This article explains the process of flying a dog from the UK to Jordan, which is thankfully a lot more straightforward than getting a pet into the UK. We don't have any special expertise, but the following narrative details our personal experiences of coming to the Middle East with a pet. Packing a dog onto a plane for a journey over thousands of miles is a little like stepping into the unknown. Hopefully, this article will offer some useful guidance into taking those steps and bringing your furry friend with you!
Approximate Cost of Flying a Dog to Jordan From the UK
|Requirement||Approximate cost in GBP|
Rabies Vaccine (3 year)
Rabies Titre (not mandatory but recommended)
Pet Passport (not mandatory but useful to have)
Microchip (not mandatory for Jordan, but recommended)
Cost of pet flight to Jordan (varies according to crate dimensions and airline)
Preparing Your Pet for Travel to Jordan
As soon as travel plans were confirmed and our flights to Jordan were booked, we immediately contacted the airline to provisionally book our dog into the aircraft hold as excess baggage. Not all airlines permit carriage of pets and space is typically limited for pets on flights, so the earlier this is done, the better. Some people feel a lot more reassured to move their pet using a cargo agent, but we have found that this is a lot more expensive and involves unnecessary paperwork, so we prefer to fly our dog with us. When we booked our dog onto our flight, payment was not required upfront and we were advised that we could pay in the airport on the day of the flight.
Your dog will need a rabies vaccination to allow them to enter Jordan. The rabies vaccination needs to be administered by a DEFRA-approved vet between 30 days and 12 months before you plan to enter Jordan. Although a microchip is not mandatory, if you plan to move around with your dog or re-enter the UK, it is highly advisable to have an ISO-approved microchip fitted prior to obtaining the rabies vaccination. Again, whilst this is not essential, Jordan is classed as an unlisted country for pet travel, so if you are considering moving to an EU country or returning to the UK following being here, I would advise obtaining a rabies titre before you leave the UK.
After the rabies vaccination, you need to wait at least 30 days before a blood sample is taken. Rabies blood tests need to be carried out by EU-approved laboratories, so can be very expensive to obtain once you are outside of the UK, hence it is better to have the process done before you leave. We obtained a pet passport for our dog before we left, which again is not crucial, but will hopefully smooth the process of re-entering the UK if we return at a later date.
In addition to the rabies vaccination, we also made sure that our dog's standard vaccinations were all up-to-date and recorded on the pet passport. It is advisable to make sure that vaccination cards or pet passports are stamped with the vet's name and practice number and accompanied by a written signature, as many countries now require this.
The final stage of the procedure in moving our dog to Jordan was to obtain an export health certificate. We obtained this by contacting DEFRA in the UK, who sent us a form EXA01 and a form 3970 EHC. Once we had our dog's vaccinations, we completed the EXA01 and sections 1, 2 and 3 of the 3970 EHC form. Any information not available at that point can be left blank and handwritten on at a later date.
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Following this, we submitted the forms to DEFRA via email. This was around two weeks before we flew. Following submission of the forms, DEFRA then completes them and forwards them to your vet. We had scheduled to see our vet seven days before we flew and DEFRA had faxed the health certificate to her for a final check.
During the final appointment, our vet completed a health check and signed off the veterinary health certificate. From that point, we were all set to go! To enter Jordan, there is presently no requirement for an import permit, but it is always advisable to check the most up-to-date information before travelling as things can change without warning.
It is important to make sure your pet has enough room to turn around in their crate and that it is airline approved. When selecting a flight kennel, ensure that it meets IATA (The International Air Transport Association) regulations. We used the Pet Mate Vari Kennel for our dog, which comes in different sizes and can be purchased for around 72.50 GBP for a medium-sized kennel.
Ready for Take Off
We flew to Jordan from Heathrow airport and were advised by the airline that we could just take our dog into the terminal when we checked in. We had prepared her flight crate and attached photocopies of the health certificate and export papers, her pet passport and rabies vaccination and our contact details in the UK and Jordan. We also added a little note with our dog's name on. These were taped to the top of the kennel in plastic wallets. We attached a travel water bottle and a small pouch of food, and enclosed a t-shirt which had been worn, to try and settle our dog's nerves during the flight.
On the day of the flight, we entered the terminal with our dog on her lead and then secured her in her travel crate using some cable ties to secure the door. The check-in staff didn't seem to have dealt with checking in a pet before and were a little nervous, asking us to remain with our dog for a while before we boarded the flight. We paid a flat fee according to the dimensions of her crate and then she was taken off ready to board.
There were no health checks completed at the airport on the day. The airlines are usually pretty good at communicating with owners about pets, so when we arrived at the gate, they let us know that all was ok and that she was safely boarded.
We arrived in Jordan just after midnight, and while we were waiting to get off the plane, we saw our dog coming down the conveyor belt and being loaded off by the luggage handlers. Once we got into the arrivals hall at Queen Alia airport, we had been advised to collect our dog from the oversize baggage counter which is on the back wall. Sure enough, she was ready and waiting for us! Once she was passed through a scanner in her travel kennel, we were ready for customs.
Although we queued up to declare a pet, we were waved through by the officers and no checks were required. The whole process was much more straightforward than we were expecting, and our dog is now a temporary resident of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan—until we decide where to go next! Who knows, maybe there'll another move in the near future.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.