If you want to travel with your pet, there are two main routes. You can find out more about everything below at the DEFRA website. It is ultimately your responsibility for ensuring your pet meets all the requirements for travelling.
It is always important to ensure you are using an authorised route for travel, and where your pet will be travelling on a plane in the hold, an approved transport company.
For commercial movements of pets, or moving more than 5 pets into the EU, please contact DEFRA directly.
For pets travelling outside of the EU or certain non-EU countries, an Export Health Certificate is required. These can be applied for online in advance here. Please ensure you leave plenty of time to make sure all the requirements are met. You can contact DEFRA directly on 03000 200 301.
For pets traveling into the EU or Northern Ireland, you can leave the UK either using an Animal Health Certificate, or a Pet Passport issued in the EU or Northern Ireland. You can find more information about the following steps here, or contact APHA at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0370 241 1710
- Step 1: Have your pet microchipped. Before any of the other procedures for pet travel are carried out, your pet must be fitted with a microchip so it can be properly identified. We will need written proof of the date of microchip implantation for step 3, so please ensure you can access this.
- Step 2: Have your pet vaccinated against Rabies. Your pet must more than 12 weeks old and be vaccinated against Rabies and boosters must be kept up to date. The length of the waiting period before any travel is 21 days after the first vaccination date. A waiting period is not required for subsequent movement, provided rabies boosters are kept up to date. If the vaccination is in two parts, the 21-day wait will be from the date of the second vaccination. We will need written proof of the Rabies vaccination for step 3, so please ensure you keep this.
- Step 3: Get an Animal Health Certificate (AHC). An AHC must be issued within 10 days of entry into the EU or NI. It is a dual language certificate issued in the language of the port of entry. This must be an official Travellers’ Point of Entry. The certificate is valid for onward movement within the EU and re-entry to the UK for up to 4 months. A new certificate must be issued for each trip.
- Step 4: Tapeworm treatment (dogs only). Before entering the UK, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Finland, Norway or Malta, all pet dogs must be treated for tapeworm. This must be administered by a vet not less than 24 hours and not more than 120 hours (1-5 days) before the dog's scheduled arrival time in that country. Therefore, you must arrange this in the UK if you are travelling to NI, Ireland, Norway, Finland or Malta, or planning a short trip to the EU with return within 5 days. You must also arrange a vet visit before your return to the UK for this treatment.
Click here for a useful link to flying with your pet.
We also strongly recommend your discuss your pets travel requirements with a vet before travelling. Alongside the compulsory treatments required as part of travel scheme, many pets will also benefit from protection against tick, sand fly and mosquito-bourne diseases. We can also talk to you about ways to help your pet travel and how to plan your route. Please find an information sheet here. There is no mandatory requirement for tick treatment although we would recommend this for pets travelling overseas.