1. Overview

When travelling with your pet dog, cat or ferret, the rules you must follow depend on the country you’re going to or coming from.

Travelling within the EU (or into the EU from another ‘listed’ country)

When travelling to or returning to the UK from another EU or non-EU listed country your pet needs:

You must also use an authorised carrier and an approved route.

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

Travelling into the EU from an unlisted country

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

When travelling to or returning to the UK from an unlisted country, your pet needs:

You must also use an authorised carrier and an approved route.

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.

Guide dogs and other assistance dogs

Assistance dogs are allowed to travel in the aircraft cabin with their owner on approved routes and carriers registered to carry assistance dogs.

They can normally also travel in areas of other forms of transport where other animals aren’t allowed.

They can travel on more routes than people with pets.

Apart from that, the rules for assistance dogs travelling under the EU pet travel scheme are the same as for other dogs.

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.

If you don’t have the correct documents or your pet hasn’t been properly prepared it will be put into quarantine or sent back to the country it travelled from. You must pay the costs for this.

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 other countries must spend 4 months in quarantine. They need a rabies import licence and must enter the UK at a Border Inspection Post.

Contact the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) for more information on the rules for travelling with these or other species of pet.

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