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Travelling with your pet

Travelling with your pet? - please keep up to date with the most recent advice.

Currently this is as follows:

A current EU pet passport issued in the UK will not be valid for travel to the EU.

Before your dog, cat or ferret can travel, you’ll need to take the following steps:

  1. You must have your dog, cat or ferret microchipped and vaccinated against rabies
  2. Your pet must have a blood sample taken at least 30 days after its last rabies vaccination. (whether that’s a booster or initial vaccination) Your vet may recommend a booster rabies vaccination before this test.
  3. Your pet’s blood sample will be sent to a to an EU-approved blood testing laboratory
  4. Wait 3 months from the date the successful blood sample was taken before you can travel.
  5. The vet must give you a copy of the test results and enter the day the blood sample was taken in an animal health certificate (AHC).
  6. You will not be able to travel with your pet if you have not completed these steps.

If the blood test result is not successful, you'll need a repeat vaccination and another blood test taken at least 30 days after the repeat vaccination.

Get an animal health certificate

You must also take your pet to your vet no more than 10 days before travel to get an animal health certificate (AHC). (The AHC needs to be signed by an official vet. Check with your vet that they can issue AHCs for pets.)

You must take proof of:

  • your pet’s vaccination history
  • your pet’s microchipping date
  • a successful rabies antibody blood test result

Your pet’s AHC will be valid for:

  • 10 days after the date of issue for entry into the EU
  • onward travel within the EU for 4 months after the date of issue
  • re-entry to the UK for 4 months after the date of issue
  • tapeworm treatment (if required)
  • your pet’s health certificate
Repeat trips to the EU

Your pet will need a new health certificate for each trip to the EU.

To get a new health certificate you must take your pet to an official vet no more than 10 days before you travel. Again, you must show proof of your pet’s:

  • microchipping date
  • rabies vaccination history
  • successful rabies antibody blood test result

Pets do not need a repeat blood test before travelling again if they have:

  • had a successful blood test
  • an up-to-date subsequent rabies vaccination history

You’ll need tapeworm treatment if you’re travelling to Malta, Republic of Ireland or Finland.

Return to the UK

There will be no change to the current health preparations for pets entering Great Britain from the EU after Brexit.

Your pet must have one of the following documents when returning to the UK:

  • an EU pet passport (issued in the EU or in the UK prior to Brexit)
  • the AHC issued in the UK used to travel to the EU (which you can use up to 4 months after it was issued)
  • a UK pet health certificate (for travel into the UK only)

Check the routes before you travel. You must travel using approved routes. Your documents and microchip will be checked when entering England, Scotland or Wales (Great Britain). Different rules apply in Northern Ireland. Owners of assistance animals do not have to travel on approved routes.

You do not have to travel on an approved route if you travel to Great Britain from:

  • other UK countries
  • the Channel Islands
  • the Isle of Man
  • the Republic of Ireland

Talk to your vet about what preparations you need to make before you travel from these places.

Travel from countries not free from tapeworm (Echinococcus multilocularis)

You need to take your dog to a vet no less than 24 hours and no more than 120 hours (5 days) before entering the UK, for an approved tapeworm treatment. This requirement will not change after the UK leaves the EU.

You do not need to treat your dog for tapeworm if you’re coming directly to the UK from Finland, Republic of Ireland or Malta.

Pet travel helpline

Contact the pet travel helpline if you need more help:

Email: pettravel@apha.gov.uk

Telephone: 0370 241 1710 Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5pm (closed on bank holidays)

Published 6 November 2018

Last updated 11 October 2019

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Fenton Vets

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