Since the 1st of January 2021 British pets are no longer allowed to freely enter EU countries or Northern Ireland (NI) using a pet passport that was issued in England, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

However, your British pet may travel freely to EU countries and NI if their pet passports were issued in an EU country or Andorra, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Greenland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Northern Ireland, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and Vatican City State.

When travelling to and from Great Britain (GB) to the EU with your pet or assistance dog, they will need a microchip, a valid rabies vaccination (your pet must be at least 12 weeks old before they can be vaccinated), tapeworm treatment (if needed), an animal health certificate (AHC) which needs to have been issued within 10 days of the date of departure from Great Britain.

In addition to the above, if you are travelling with your dog directly to Finland, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Norway or Malta you will need to get your dog treated for tapeworm.

Your pet will need to receive treatment one to five days before arriving in any of these countries. Your vet must also enter full details on the AHC following treatment.

What should I do when I arrive in the EU?

When you arrive in the EU, you will have to visit a Travellers’ Point of Entry and show official proof of your pet’s AHC, microchip, vaccinations and tapeworm treatment (if required) before being allowed to travel further.

The AHC will be valid for four months of travelling within the EU. Your pet will need a new AHC for each trip to the EU or NI.

If your pet has an up-to-date rabies vaccination history following your first AHC, they will not need a repeat rabies vaccination before travelling to the EU or NI.

However, if you are travelling direct to Finland, Republic of Ireland, NI, Norway or Malta, you will need tapeworm treatment for each trip.

How old does my pet need to be before they can travel?

In Great Britain your pet cannot travel into or out of England, Scotland or Wales unless they are over 15 weeks of age. This includes the 12 weeks it takes to be old enough to get their vaccinations and a 21 day wait afterwards to allow the vaccine to take effect.

Research additional requirements

Before you travel you must check if there are any diseases or parasites to be aware of or laws in a country that are different to those here in the UK. For example, there are diseases in the southern Mediterranean and other areas which it’s advisable to protect your pet against.

Make sure you ask your vet about any health risks and for advice about protection against ticks, mosquitos and sand-flies, which can spread diseases. There may also be other hazards, such as blisters to the feet from hot surfaces or poisonous snakes which you and your pet are not familiar with.

Laws on dog ownership vary between countries; in Italy, for instance (as well as aboard some ferries), all dog owners can be asked to muzzle their pet in public, so you will need to purchase one and ensure your dog is trained to wear one and always keep it with you.

More information

Visit the government website

Call the government’s pet travel helpline on 0370 241 1710 Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5.00pm (closed on bank holidays)

Government’s pet travel helpline at:
Email: Britain within that period or your AHC will expire.

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