Pets Travel

Pet Advice

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Priory Lodge Vets
31 Pembury Road

Pets Travel


The UK has now left the EU and has been granted Part 2 listed third country status under the EU Pet Travel Scheme. This means the requirements for travelling to the EU and Northern Ireland with your pets have changed significantly. Current UK pet passports are no longer valid for travel. While we make every effort to ensure our guidance is accurate, we recommend that you visit the government website for up-to-date information: https://www.gov.uk/taking-your-pet-abroad

The Pet Travel Scheme allows pet dogs, cats and ferrets from certain countries and territories to enter the UK without quarantine as long as they meet specific conditions. It only operates on some sea, air and rail routes to England. Entry requirements have not changed since Brexit, but requirements for owners wishing to travel to the EU is more onerous than before.

We strongly recommend that you ascertain the certification requirements of the country you plan to visit or travel through at least a month in advance. Also note that your pet cannot enter another EU country until 21 days has passed following the date of your pet’s rabies vaccination.

Please note that guidance on this page relates to travel within the EU. If you plan to travel further afield different rules will apply. Please speak to one of our vets for if you need further advice.

Travel requirements

  • Microchip – £26.74
  • Rabies vaccination – £70 (pets have to be older than 3 calendar months before they can be vaccinated)
  • Issue of an Animal Health Certificate by an OV (Panel 2 Official Veterinarian appointed by Defra) within 10 days of travel- £180 (£70 for additional pets travelling at the same time) OR you should be able to use a valid EU Pet Passport.
  • You have to wait 21 days after vaccination before your pet may travel to another EU country or Northern Ireland. Your dog must be treated for tapeworm using and approved product not less than 24 hours and not more than 120 hours (1-5 days) before its scheduled arrival time in the UK.
  • Arrange for your pet to travel with an approved transport company on an authorised route

How do I obtain an AHC?

You can download AHC Guidance and AHC Questionnaire by clicking here.

The Animal Health Certificate is a ten page bilingual document and takes considerable time to complete. We ask that you speak to us at least 4 weeks before your planned travel date to ensure that all travel requirements are met. We have prepared a questionnaire to help us gather the required information. Please note that there is a surcharge of £53 if you give us less than 14 days notice.

You need to know the exact date of travel and the first country you will enter in the EU. You need to provide us with proof of your pet’s microchip and most recent rabies vaccination. This can be in the form of a Pet Passport or a vaccination certificate.

An appointment at the surgery will be required within 10 days (within 5 days for Ireland/Finland/Norway and Malta) of travel.

Please note that you will need to sign a declaration on the day that the AHC is issued.

It is the owner’s responsibility to supply accurate documentation and information as we are unable to issue an AHC without it.


Health considerations

You should consider the welfare of your pet and whether it will benefit from being taken abroad with you. You should be aware that your pet may be exposed to parasites and diseases which do not normally occur in the UK.  Your veterinary surgeon will be able to advise you on the precautions you need to take as well as preventative treatments where appropriate. If you would like further information on some of the common diseases that your pet may be exposed to, then click on the names below:

Pets Travelling Within the British Isles

Pets resident in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man or Jersey can travel freely between these countries without the need for any documentation.

Permitted Routes and Carriers

Your pet may enter the UK by air, rail or sea.  Please refer to the helpline or website for a full list of permitted routes and carriers.

Animal Health Certificate Duration of Validity

The Animal Health Certificate is valid for 4 months for onward travel within the EU and/or re-entry to the UK. Your pet will need a new Animal Health Certificate each time that you leave the UK.

Certificate of Treatment for Tapeworms

The tapeworm treatment required for dogs only (using authorised products) is required between 24 and 120 hours (1-5 days) before the scheduled arrival time in the UK. For Day Trippers, the required treatment will be administered by your vet locally. In these circumstances, it is recommended that a further treatment should be administered 28 days after return. No treatment is required for dogs entering the UK directly from Finland, Norway, Ireland and Malta.

For pets staying abroad for longer, the treatment must be administered by a foreign vet and the required details recorded in the Animal Health Certificate (or your pet’s EU passport, sections VII). You must not administer the treatment yourself. The vet will charge for this service. The tapeworm treatment must be administered each time that your pet travels.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained herein is accurate.  However, Priory Lodge Vets cannot accept any responsibility for the information provided.  Legislation may change considerably in the future, please contact DEFRA to confirm this information before travelling.

Further information

Further information can be obtained from the following sources:

PETS Helpline – Tel: 03000 200 301 – (8am – 6pm Monday to Friday)

PETS e-mail: pettravel@apha.gsi.gov.uk (enclose your postal address and daytime telephone number)

DEFRA website: https://www.gov.uk/taking-your-pet-abroad

DEFRA central operations for animal exports: Tel: 03000 200 301 – or email: petexports.carlisle@apha.gsi.gov.uk

Last updated December 2021

Annual policies tend to have the lowest premiums, but will turn out to be poor value if your pet develops a chronic condition. Lifetime policies are obviously more suitable if your pet develops a long-term ongoing condition such as arthritis; the premiums tend to increase as the animals ages and the excess (the proportion of the claim which the policy-holder pays) may increase substantially at a certain age, but exclusions will not be applied. Certain breeds may be more prone to develop chronic conditions and prospective owners should consider this when selecting an insurance policy. It is important to look at the fine print when selecting a product or seek advice from an insurance adviser.

You can insure your pet against accidents only or third party liability cover (often included in householder policies). In addition to cover for veterinary fees you can add certain other benefits to the policy such as advertising and reward if your pet is lost, boarding fees cover if you have to stay in hospital, holiday cancellation cover in the event of your pet’s illness and death from injury cover to name a few. Make sure that you know which treatments are excluded by your insurance policy. Pre-existing conditions or those arising within 14 days of the policy date are usually excluded. Most policies will also not cover expenses relating to pregnancy and giving birth, conditions an animal was born with, home visits, dental treatment and diet food.

It is clear that some policies may not cover you against every eventuality and that your choice of policy will depend on your circumstances and budget. It’s usually better to have some cover than none at all.