Taking Your Pet Dog or Cat Abroad

Post Brexit the rules have changed, and they have not got any easier! For those travelling with their pet from the EU to the UK they remain the same, but for those travelling from the UK to the EU they are more complicated, unless your pet has an EU pet passport.

Confused? I have little doubt but hopefully this post will help.

When travelling with your pet dog or cat abroad, what you need to do will depend on what country you’re going to.

There are different rules for travelling with your pet to an EU country or Northern Ireland and for taking your pet to a non-EU country.

As I said to make it more complicated there’s different guidance if you’re bringing your pet dog, cat or ferret to the UK.

Travelling to an EU country or Northern Ireland

You can no longer use a pet passport issued in Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) for travel to an EU country or Northern Ireland. You can still use a pet passport issued in an EU country or Northern Ireland.

When travelling to an EU country or Northern Ireland, your pet needs:

These requirements also apply to assistance dogs.

Check the rules of the country you’re travelling to for any additional restrictions or requirements before you travel.

Travelling to a non-EU country

If you’re travelling to a non-EU country, you’ll need to get an export health certificate (EHC). You’ll also need to complete an export application form (EXA) if you’re in England, Scotland or Wales.

The export health certificate and the export application form for each country and pet will tell you how to apply.

An EHC checks that your pet meets the health requirements of the country you’re travelling to.

You must nominate an official vet who will be sent the EHC. They’ll check your pet has met the correct health and identification requirements before you travel.

Check the rules of the country you’re travelling to for any additional restrictions or requirements before you travel.

How to get an animal health certificate

You must take your pet to your vet to get an animal health certificate. You need to do this no more than 10 days before you travel.

The certificate needs to be signed by an ‘official veterinarian’ (OV). Check your vet can issue animal health certificates. If they cannot, ask them to help you find an OV.

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

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

Your pet will need a new animal health certificate for each trip to an EU country or Northern Ireland from Great Britain.

You do not need an animal health certificate if you have a pet passport issued in an EU country or Northern Ireland.

Apply for a Pet Health Certificate to Enter the UK

Bringing your pet dog or cat to Great Britain

You can enter or return to Great Britain with your pet cat, dog or ferret if it:

Dogs must also usually have a tapeworm treatment.

Your pet may be put into quarantine for up to 4 months if you do not follow these rules – or refused entry if you travelled by sea. You’re responsible for any fees or charges.

Your pet must arrive in Great Britain no more than 5 days before or after you, or you’ll have to follow different rules.

You must use an approved route unless you’re travelling within the UK or from Ireland.

You need to fill in a declaration confirming that you are not going to sell or transfer the ownership of your pet.

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