Preparing your pet’s trip

Preparation is key! Check which travel documents you need to bring, the kennel requirements for a pet in the hold, and how to prepare your pet for their trip.

COVID-19

Our services may have changed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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Travel documents

Make sure to arrange your pet’s vaccinations, health certificates, and travel documents well in advance.

Dogs and cats travelling within the European Union must be identified by an electronic chip. They must also have a European passport, confirming that they’re properly vaccinated. For travel outside the European Union, other rules might apply. We recommend consulting the embassies of your departure, transfer, and arrival countries to find out which documents are required.

Is your pet refused transport or refused upon arrival, because of non-compliance with the rules established by us or by your departure, transfer, or arrival country? Please note that KLM is not responsible for any costs incurred as a result of the refusal (such as rebooking fees, hotel stay, or kennel fees).

Pets in the hold

Make sure to check our checklist and kennel requirements for pets travelling in the hold.

Checklist

We’ll use a checklist at the airport to ensure your pet, travel documents, and kennel meet the requirements. This process may take some time, so please arrive at the airport 3 hours before your scheduled departure time.

Kennel requirements

Please make sure your kennel meets the following requirements:

  • Your pet should be able to stand without their head touching the roof, turn around, and lie down comfortably.
  • The kennel should have a fibreglass or rigid plastic shell.
  • Wheels on the kennel should be removed or blocked with duct tape.
  • The door should have a centralised locking system that fastens both locks on top and at the bottom of the door. The hinge and locking pins should extend beyond the horizontal extrusions above and below the door opening by at least 1.6 cm.
  • The kennel needs to be rigid enough to prevent your pet from escaping through gaps at the seams or joints. Does the kennel consist of 2 parts? Make sure they’re joined by bolts. Other lateral closing systems are not allowed.
  • The kennel should have either 2 empty containers or 1 food bowl with 2 empty compartments for food and water. These have to be sealed or attached to the kennel and need to be fillable from the outside.
  • There should be a blanket, newspaper, or other absorbent material on the bottom inside the kennel. Note that straw is not allowed.

Preparing your pet

Going from their comfortable bed to a kennel can take some getting used to. We recommend allowing your pet to get used to their kennel for 5 days before departure. Note that your pet is not allowed to eat or drink 2 hours before departure.

Are you travelling with your dog? Make sure to walk them shortly before departure.

Don’t tranquillise your pet

We strongly advise you not to tranquillise your pet. It will take longer for them to get accustomed to their new surroundings, and their temperature may drop during the flight. If you really want to use a tranquilliser, only do so in consultation with your veterinarian.