Travelling abroad with your pet
Since Brexit there have been significant changes regarding pet travel to the EU, as well as Northern Ireland.
The main change is that you are no longer able to use pet passports issued in England, Wales or Scotland and will instead require an Animal Health Certificate (AHC). Unlike pet passports, AHCs can only be used for a single journey.
When travelling to an EU country or Northern Ireland, your pet needs:
An AHC, unless you have a pet passport issued in an EU country or Northern Ireland
A valid rabies vaccination, at least 21 days before you travel
Tapeworm treatment for dogs if you’re travelling directly to Finland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Norway or Malta
If you are returning to the UK, you must see a vet in the country you are visiting to have a tapeworm treatment administered one to five days before you return. This does not apply if you are returning from Finland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Norway or Malta.
These requirements also apply to assistance dogs.
The AHC is a complicated piece of documentation and requires an examination from your vet no more than ten days before you travel.
Please give us plenty of notice to ensure that we can fit you in, as if we do not have available appointments, you will not be able to travel without it. Contact us if you have any questions.
To get a AHC
To get an AHC, pet owners must take proof of their pet’s microchipping date and pet’s rabies vaccination history with them to an appointment for issuing of the AHC. This appointment must be with a government official veterinarian, some of our vets are these, and your pet will have a health examination to ensure they are fit to travel.
We will ask you to complete a questionnaire in advance of your appointment. This will provide us with some of the information we need to apply for the appropriate AHC based on your travel requirements, and allow us to input some information ahead of the appointment.
Pets must be microchipped and will need to be vaccinated against rabies at least 21 days before travel.
An AHC is valid for 10 days after the date of issue for entry into the EU. The certificate is valid for a single trip to the EU. It is valid for onward travel within the EU for 4 months after the date of issue.
The AHC is valid for re-entry to GB for 4 months after the date of issue.
Travel outside of the EU
Different countries around the world have their own rules on whether you can take your pet there, and what you need to do so.
If you’re planning on making a trip, please contact us for more details as it can take a long time to sort out all the required documents and treatments.
It’s always a good idea to visit the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs website for guidance, as the rules can change.
Other things to check before you travel include the approved transport companies and authorised routes for travel:
Do you have pet insurance? Is your accommodation pet-friendly? Also consider what breed of dog you own, as countries can vary in what breeds they class under the Dangerous Dog Act.
It can seem like a complicated situation – because it is! But don’t worry, as we’re always here to help.