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Pet Travel Checklist

Animal health certificates, pet passports and taking dogs abroad

Rules and regulations vary in different countries when it comes to pet travel, and they are being modified on the go. And this is something to consider a while before travelling with your pet.
Your pet will need various documents and checks, it needs to be chipped and needs to have a rabies vaccination.
Below you can find the information you need to know for your pet to be travelling to the EU, to the UK, within the EU, and what you need to do to make that happen.
If you are unsure of anything, you can always contact us, and we will assist you in meeting the requirements for pet travel from and to the UK or the EU country of your choice.

Travelling to the UK with your pet

Taking your pet into or back to the UK could seem like a hassle. Make sure all the paperwork and documents needed are in order. Your pet has to:
    Be Microchipped 
    Have A Valid Pet Passport Or An Animal Health Certificate
    Have A Rabies Vaccination
    Dogs Also Need Tapeworm Treatment
    You Must Use An Approved Route
    You Must Fill In A Declaration If You Are Not Selling Or Transferring The Ownership Of Your Pet, So The Transpawter Can Transport Your Pet
UK pet owners GOING to UK

Travelling to an EU Country or Northern Ireland and travelling in Europe

These requirements are for pet travel with a pet dog, cat or ferret, and for assistance dogs travelling abroad.
    A Microchip
    An Animal Health Certificate Or A Pet Passport That’s Accepted In The Country Of Entry Into The EU
    Dogs Also Need Tapeworm Treatment When You Are Travelling Directly To The UK, Finland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Norway Or Malta
    A Valid Rabies Vaccination
    You Must Fill In A Declaration If You Are Not Selling Or Transferring The Ownership Of Your Pet, So The Transpawter Can Transport Your Pet
EU pet owners relocating in EU

Pet Travel Rabies vaccination

Before dogs, cats or ferrets can travel to the EU, in the EU, the UK or Northern Ireland they must be vaccinated against rabies.
Your puppy has to be at least 12 weeks old before receiving the vaccine.
It has to be an inactivated vaccine or a recombinant vaccine.

Things to know

    Your pet has to be microchipped when receiving the rabies vaccine.
    It can also be done at the same time.
    If your pet is microchipped after the rabies vaccine, it will need to have the vaccination again.

About vaccine regulations

    Your pet will need the vaccine 3 weeks prior to travelling.
    You have to wait 21 days after the vaccination before you can travel.
    You can start counting the days the day after the vaccination.
    If your pet gets a booster vaccination and there has been no break between the vaccine cover, then you don’t need to wait 21 days and you can travel straight away.

The rabies vaccination is recorded in the pet passports or in the Animal Health Certificate.
The vaccination record has to show:

    Your Pet’s Date Of Birth
    Microchip Number
    Date It Was Put In Or Read
    Where It Is On Your Pet’s Body
    Vaccination Date
    Vaccine Manufacturer And Product Name
    Vaccine Batch Number
    Date The Vaccination Is Valid Until
    The Vet’s Signature And Contact Details
french bulldog at the vet on the table

Pet Travel Tapeworm treatment for dogs

Your dog will need a tapeworm treatment if you are travelling directly to the UK, Finland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Norway Or Malta
The treatment has to be recorded in either the pet passport or the pets’ animal health certificate. It has to be given more than 24 hours before travelling, but not more dan 120 hours, or 5 days, before travelling. It has to be approved for use in the country it’s being given in and has to contain Praziquantel or an equivalent proven to be effective against the Echinococcus multilocularis tapeworm. The tapeworm treatment is recorded in the pet passports or in the Animal Health Certificate.

The treatment record has to show:

    The Name Of The Manufacturer Of The Product
    The Date And Time The Veterinary Treated Your Dog
    A Stamp And Signature From The Veterinary

Animal Health Certificate (AHC)

When you are travelling with your pet to an EU country or Northern Ireland, and you don’t have valid pet passports, then you will need an Animal Health Certificate (AHC).
One animal health certificate can have up to five pets on it.
You have to get an animal health certificate in the 10 days before your pet is travelling to EU countries, the UK or Northern Ireland, as long as your pet has an up-to-date rabies vaccine or only needs booster doses to stay up to date.
You must take your pet to your vet to get an animal health certificate.
The certificate needs to be signed by ‘Official Veterinarians’ (OV).
Check if your vet can issue animal health certificates.

Must know before your pet embarks on a journey

    You must take your pet to your vet to get an animal health certificate.
    The certificate needs to be signed by ‘Official Veterinarians’ (OV).
    Check if your vet can issue animal health certificates.

When you visit your vet, you’ll need to take proof of your pet’s:

    Microchipping Date
    Vaccination History

Your pet’s animal health certificate will be valid after the date of issue for:

    10 Days For Entry Into The EU Or Northern Ireland
    4 Months For Onward Travel Within The EU
    4 Months For Re-Entry To Great Britain

An Animal Health Certificate normally includes:

    Pet Owner’s Details
    Your Pet’s Description
    Rabies Vaccination Details
    Rabies Blood Test (As Required)
    Canine Tapeworm Treatment (As Required)
    Intended Country Of Entry Into The EU.
    The AHC Has To Be Issued In The Language Of The Country In Which You Are Entering The EU And NOT Your Country Of Destination

Most Frequently Asked Questions

Answers on your frequently asked questions about International Pet Transport and Health Certificates.
Why is an Animal Health Certificate Required?

With an animal health certificate from an official veterinarian, you can prove your pet is free from disease. it is an official document and can only be issued by an official veterinarian. Ask your vet if they can provide animal health certificates or ask if they know an official veterinarian for an animal health certificate appointment.

Who can authorise animal health certificates in the UK?

The animal health certificate needs to be signed by an official veterinarian (OV). an OV is an authorised person by the government. You can ask your veterinarian if they can issue animal health certificates or if they can arrange an animal health certificate appointment with an OV.

How much does an animal health certificate cost?


An animal health certificate can cost around £180 according to the royal veterinary college. If your pet needs to be microchipped, this will cost around £20. For a rabies vaccination the costs are around £50.

Which countries do I need an animal health certificate for?

If you are travelling from the uk to a country from the European union, you will need an animal health certificate. Your pet will need another animal health certificate for each trip to an eu country or northern Ireland from Great Britain.

How long does it take to process an animal health certificate?

An animal health certificate is issued when everything is in order and your pet is free from disease. When the animal health certificate is issued, you can use this to leave the country with your pet for the next 10 days.

What if I am returning to or entering the UK?

Your pet’s animal health certificate will be valid after the date of issue for up to four months for re-entry to Great Britain.

How old does my dog need to be to get an animal health certificate?

Pets have to be at least 12 weeks old before they can get any vaccinations. To get a rabies document you will have to wait 21 days after the rabies vaccination.

How long is the animal certificate of health valid?

An animal health certificate will be valid after the date of issue for:
10 days for entry into the eu or Northern Ireland
4 months for onward travel within the EU
4 months for re-entry to Great Britain

What are the main pet parasite risks in Europe?

It really depends on the European countries you are travelling to, and what main pet parasites you have to be aware of. The Transpawter will tell you if you need to be aware of any pet parasites when you book your pet’s travel. Generally, fleas, ticks, intestinal roundworms, taenia and dipylidium tapeworms and mites can be found throughout Europe therefore pet owners should protect their dogs from the risks associated with these parasites.

Will my current UK-issued pet passport be valid?

If you have a pet passport issued in Great Britain, from England, Wales, or Scotland, then you cannot use this pet passport. First, you will need to check if the country you are going to accepts passports for pets coming from Great Britain. It’s possible you need supporting documents, and if the pet passport is not accepted, you will need an animal health certificate. Each trip requires a new animal health certificate. If the rabies vaccinations are up to date, your pet does not need a new rabies vaccination. Some countries have additional requirements. If you are not sure which requirements the country you are travelling to has, contact us, so we can tell you.

ian bonham illustration of a playful dog and a cat
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