Taking Dogs Abroad: Everything You Need to Know

Taking Dogs Abroad: Everything You Need to Know | Animed Direct

As the summer rolls around, many of us are looking to take a well-deserved holiday. But it just wouldn’t be the same without our four-legged friends there with us!

There are a few things to bear in mind when taking dogs abroad. This includes organising special documents, travel arrangements, and satisfying all the requirements of your destination country to make sure your pet is allowed in.

Are pets allowed to travel internationally?

Yes, generally speaking pets are allowed to travel overseas. However, there are requirements you’ll need to adhere to.

For dogs (as well as cats and ferrets), you must meet the entry requirements for the countries that you are entering and leaving, so be sure to check what these are.

What do I need in order to travel abroad with my pet?

When travelling to an EU country, your dog will need the following:

  • microchip
  • valid rabies vaccination
  • animal health certificate (or a valid pet passport that’s accepted in the country you’re travelling to)

If you’re travelling directly to Finland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Norway or Malta with your dog, then you’ll also need tapeworm treatment.

Also note that you will need to wait 21 days after any primary vaccinations before you travel, so factor this into your travel plans.

Are pet passports still valid?

Since January 2021, the rules for travelling to an EU country with your pet have changed as a result of Brexit.

Most notably, any pet passports issued in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) are no longer valid.

If your pet passport was issued in any of the following countries, then it is still valid to use when travelling to another EU country:

  • an EU country
  • Andorra
  • Faroe Islands
  • Gibraltar
  • Greenland
  • Iceland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Monaco
  • Northern Ireland
  • Norway
  • San Marino
  • Switzerland
  • Vatican City State

Otherwise, you’ll need an animal health certificate instead.

Getting an Animal Health Certificate

Animal Health Certificates have taken the place of the old pet passports post Brexit. You must get this in the ten days before you enter your destination country in the EU.

In order to get one, find an Official Veterinarian (OV) to issue it for you. If your local practice doesn’t have an OV, then ask them to help you locate one at a different practice.

Before your appointment with your OV, make sure your dog has had their rabies vaccination at least three weeks prior to the appointment. They should also have been microchipped before they have their rabies vaccination.

You’ll then need to take the following along with you to your appointment:

  • your pet
  • vaccination card and other medical records (if this vet is different from your usual one)
  • microchipping date
  • vaccination history

A new animal health certificate is required for any subsequent trips.

Arriving in your destination country

When you get to your destination country in the EU, you’ll need to visit a Travellers’ Point of Entry.

Here, you can show official proof of your pet’s Animal Health Certificate, microchip, vaccinations and tapeworm treatment (if required) before being allowed to travel further.

Taking your dog to a non-EU country

For countries outside the EU, you’ll have to get an export health certificate. If you’re in England, Scotland or Wales, you’ll also need to complete an export application form.

Don’t forget to also check the rules in the country you’re travelling to in case there are any additional requirements.

Taking Dogs Abroad: Other Things to Consider

Is the change in location, routine and environment likely to cause anxiety and distress for your pet? If so, it may be better for them to stay in the UK while you are away.

Are you going to a destination that is pet-friendly? Your accommodation may fit the bill but the rest of the area may not be suitable for pets. Will you be able to take dogs into restaurants and cafes, for example? Are there good walking areas in the vicinity?

How will you get there? Take a look at our blog Travelling Abroad with a Dog: How do I Take My Dog on Holiday? for advice on the best way to transport your dog abroad.

Is your dog’s tag up to date? Pets should wear collars containing your name, holiday accommodation details and contact details in case they get lost during your holiday.

Check the government website for more information, and you’ll also need to check the requirements of the country you’re travelling to for any additional requirements in plenty of time before you travel.

With plenty of forward-planning and an organised approach, you and your dog will be able to have a fun-filled holiday abroad. Just make sure you’ve ticked all the boxes so that there are no hiccups on your journey. If you’re concerned, check your arrangements with your vet well ahead of your travel date. Happy holidays!

[Photo Credit: me’nthedogs ]