Rabies vaccination, boosters and blood tests

You must get your dog, cat or ferret vaccinated against rabies before it can travel. Your vet needs proof that your pet’s at least 12 weeks old before vaccinating them.

You must get your pet microchipped before, or at the same time as, their rabies vaccination. If you do not, they’ll need to be vaccinated again.

The vaccine must be an inactivated vaccine or recombinant vaccine that’s approved in the country of use.

Travelling from a ‘Part 1’ or ‘Part 2’ listed country

You must wait 21 days after the primary vaccination (or the last of the primary course of vaccinations) before bringing your pet to Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) from a Part 1 or Part 2 listed country. The primary vaccination is the first vaccination after you get your pet microchipped.

Travelling from a country that is not ‘listed’

You must follow certain rules after having your pet vaccinated if you’re travelling to Great Britain from a country that is not listed:

  1. Your pet must have a blood sample taken at least 30 days after the rabies vaccination.

  2. Your vet must send the blood sample to an EU-approved blood testing laboratory from either inside the EU or outside the EU.

  3. The results of the blood test must show that the vaccination was successful (rabies antibody level of at least 0.5 IU/ml).

  4. You must wait 3 months from the date the blood sample was taken before you travel - you do not need to wait if your pet was vaccinated, blood tested and given a pet passport in the EU before travelling to a country that is not listed.

  5. The vet must give you a copy of the test results and enter the day the blood sample was taken in a health certificate.

The blood test will continue to be valid as long as your pet’s rabies vaccinations are kept up to date.

Booster vaccinations

You must get regular booster vaccinations for your pet. Check your pet passport or health certificate to find out when the booster vaccination is due.

Get an Animal Health Certificate if your pet needs a booster vaccination while you’re in Great Britain.

If you miss the booster and you’re travelling from a country that is not listed, your pet will need to be vaccinated and blood tested again and you’ll have to wait for 3 months before travelling.

Vaccination record

Your pet’s vaccination record in their pet passport or health certificate must show:

  • your pet’s date of birth
  • microchip number, date it was put in or read, and where it is on your pet’s body
  • vaccination date
  • vaccine manufacturer and product name, for example Nobivac
  • vaccine batch number
  • date the vaccination is valid until
  • the vet’s signature and contact details

Your pet can be stopped from travelling if the details in their pet passport are in the wrong place.

Pet passports issued from 29 December 2014

The vet only needs to fill in the ‘valid from’ date for the first vaccination (or revaccination if you missed a booster).

If the rabies vaccination record is a sticker, it must be covered by a laminated strip (included with the pet passport).

  1. Step 1 Check if you can bring your pet

  2. Step 2 Get your pet microchipped

  3. Step 3 Get your pet vaccinated against rabies

    1. Check the rules about rabies vaccinations

    You must wait for a set period of time after vaccination before you can travel.

    Depending on the country you're travelling from, you might also need to get a blood test.

  4. and Get tapeworm treatment

    If you have a dog, you may also need to get tapeworm treatment before you travel.

    1. Check the rules about tapeworm treatment
  5. Step 4 Get a pet travel document