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Experience....traveling from US to Italy & back with a standard poodle

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  • Experience....traveling from US to Italy & back with a standard poodle

    Our experience was very good. The trickiest part is understanding what has to be done to import (introduce) a dog to Italy. Since Italy is in the European Union (EU), the share a common requirement with other EU Nations. In fact they have a EU regulation that guides the process (Article 5(1) & 5(2) of regulation 576/2013. The regulation requires a health certificate issued by your Vet who must be a US Vet who is approved by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). It is then signed by a USDA Vet as they handle dog (also Ferret & cats) administrative paper work to transport these animals (among others) to other countries. This form must be be signed by the USDA Vet within 10 days of arrival in Italy. Each of the 28 countries in the EU (28) have their own form. It is written in English & the EU country language. In my case, since we were landing and staying in Italy, the form was written in Italian & English. Once you arrive, the form can be used to travel to other EU countries for up to four (4) months. In other words the form (USDA Heath certificate) becomes the document to travel to France for example, with the dog while in a car.
    The link for the USDA web site that further explains this is:
    Scroll down 1/3 of the way and select "country". It will take some reading but it does give the answers.
    Last year was our first year taking the dog (2 month stay) and now that we have been through it, not giving it a second thought on our upcoming 3 month stay coming in May. We found Italy to be very accepting of dogs. In fact there was not a single restaurant, train or other public place that did not welcome her. That includes hotels, although we typically rent houses or apartments. Some hotels want advance notice but most do not even require that. As an example while in restaurants, typically the staff bring her water.
    We are able to travel with the dog in the cabin of the airplane as we have her registered as an Emotional Support Animal (ESA). This is not difficult to get. The Airline will require a letter from a mental health professional but if you register the dog for example at they have mental health professionals who will contact you and evaluate you and provide a letter. The cost is very minimal. The letter has to be issued each year. One last thing, as noted we have a standard poodle and we have never seen one of her breed over there. People are naturally drawn to her and I cannot even describe the opportunities we had in meeting people who ordinarily we would just pass on the street. It seems everyone wanted to pet and talk about her.
    In summary bringing a dog to Italy should not be discarded as something complicated. Taking time and a little research will go a long way and it frankly brought us a lot of pleasure having her with us.

  • #2
    Re: Experience....traveling from US to Italy & back with a standard poodle

    We must caution that the airlines are discussing online services which provide ESA supporting documentation and we anticipate that the regulations will change at some point.