1. Overview

You can enter or return to the UK with your pet cat, dog or ferret without quarantine if you follow certain rules. The rules for entering the UK are the same for other EU countries.

You’re responsible for any fees or charges if you don’t follow the pet travel rules.

What you need to do depends on whether you’re coming from:

You must follow different rules if the animals will be sold or re-homed.

Your pet has to travel within 5 days of you, or someone else you’ve authorised (this must be in writing). If no one can travel within 5 days of your pet, you must follow different rules.

You may need additional information or documents to enter some countries with your pet - check with the country you’re travelling to.

Travelling with more than 5 pets

You can’t travel with more than 5 pets unless you’re attending or training for a competition, show, sporting event. You’ll need written evidence of registration for the event when you travel.

All your pets must:

  • be attending the event or training
  • be over 6 months old
  • meet the pet travel rules

You must also fill in a declaration confirming that you aren’t going to sell or transfer the ownership of your pets. If you’re arriving in Northern Ireland use a different declaration form.

You’ll have to follow the commercial rules for importing animals (also known as importing live animals) if you want to travel with more than 5 pets that aren’t attending or training for a competition, show or sporting event.

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.

You can’t bring prairie dogs into the UK if they come or travel from the USA.

You also can’t bring in squirrels and non-domestic species of rodents from sub-Saharan Africa.

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