1. Overview

You must meet the entry requirements for your pet dog, cat or ferret for the country you’re going to or coming from.

You’re responsible for any fees or charges for your pet if you don’t meet the entry requirements.

Enter the UK from the EU or a listed country

When you enter or return to the UK from another EU or non-EU listed country your pet needs to meet the entry requirements. These include:

You must also use an approved transport company and an approved route unless you’re travelling between the UK and the Republic of Ireland (all other rules still apply).

You must wait 21 whole days from the date of the rabies vaccination before travelling.

Enter the UK from an unlisted country

An ‘unlisted’ country is any country not included in the list of EU and non-EU countries.

When you enter or return to the UK from an unlisted country, your pet needs to meet the entry requirements. These include:

You must wait 3 calendar months from the date the blood sample was taken before travelling. The vet must give you a copy of the test results. These must show that the vaccination was successful.

You don’t have to wait 3 months if your pet was vaccinated, blood tested and given a pet passport in the EU before travelling to an unlisted country.

You must also use an approved transport company and route.

Guide dogs and other assistance dogs

The rules for assistance dogs travelling under the EU pet travel scheme are the same as for other dogs.

However assistance dogs can:

The Guide Dogs Association website has advice about taking assistance dogs abroad.

When you return to the UK

Staff from the travel company will scan your pet’s microchip and check your documents.

Your pet will be put into quarantine or sent back to the country it travelled from if:

  • you don’t have the correct documents
  • your pet hasn’t been properly prepared for travel

You’re responsible for the costs of quarantine or the re-export of your pet.

Other types of pet

There are no restrictions on bringing pet rodents, rabbits, birds, ornamental fish, invertebrates, amphibians and reptiles to the UK from other EU countries.

Pet rabbits and rodents from countries outside the EU must spend 4 months in quarantine. They need a rabies import licence.

Contact the Centre for International Trade (Carlisle) for more information on the rules for travelling with these or other species of pet.