Taking your Pets Abroad

To enter other European Union (EU) countries from the UK you should:

  • get your pet microchipped (although some countries accept a tattoo)
  • vaccinated against rabies (although Sweden does not require this when a pet travels direct from the UK).
  • You should then obtain an EU pet passport. This will allow your pet to enter most other EU countries. However, Malta, and we understand Cyprus, have additional entry requirements, and to enter the Republic of Ireland other than direct from the UK, and to re-enter the UK, your pet must have a blood test. Your vet will advise you on the timing of this. This can be done before you leave the UK or while you are in another qualifying country. To enter Sweden your pet must also be treated for tapeworms using a product containing praziquantel no more than 10 days before entering that country although this treatment is not required for direct entry from the UK.

Please contact the authorities (e.g. the Embassy) of the country you wish to enter, before you travel to check the requirements. Please note you should always contact the Embassy of the country concerned within the UK, rather than the British Embassy in the country you are travelling to.

There are no requirements for pets travelling directly between the UK and Ireland.

Qualifying European Union (EU) countries and territories

UK-resident dogs, cats and ferrets can travel to any of the EU countries and territories shown below and return to the UK under the Scheme. Pets that come from any of these countries can also enter the UK under PETS as long as they meet the rules. Pets must not have been outside any of the EU or non-EU listed countries in the six calendar months before travelling to the UK.

A limit of five pets per person has been introduced by the European Parliament and Council and is applicable to all listed countries, for dogs, cats and ferrets only.

(1) Dogs, cats and ferrets prepared for PETS in, or returning under PETS to the UK from, the Republic of Cyprus may enter or re-enter the UK without quarantine. However, PETS compliant animals travelling from north Cyprus (the area north of the Buffer Zone) must be licensed into quarantine for 6 months on arrival in the UK. This must be arranged before the animal travels.

(2) Includes St Barthelemy and St Martin (French part of the island)

(3) No preparation or documentation is necessary for the movement of pets directly between the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

Pets normally resident in the Channel Islands, Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland can enter the UK under PETS from any qualifying country if they meet the rules. Pets that have first entered the British Isles under the Scheme can then travel between the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and the Republic of Ireland without the need for extra documentation. However, you are advised to take your PETS documents with you in case you need to show them.

Owners of pets entering the Channel Islands or the Republic of Ireland from outside the British Isles should contact the appropriate authorities in those countries for advice on approved routes and any other requirements.

  • For Jersey visit the States of Jersey website or e-mail rva@gov.je.
  • For the Republic of Ireland visit www.agriculture.gov.ie or e-mailpets@agriculture.gov.ie, or ring the Helpline on +353 1 6072827.

21 day wait

For EU countries where more stringent entry requirements do not apply, the EU has introduced a wait of 21 days from the date of the first rabies vaccination before a pet can enter those EU countries. However, if the vaccine manufacturer’s data sheet requires more than one vaccination to complete the primary vaccination protocol, the 21 day wait applies from the date of the final vaccination of that protocol. Your vet will advise you further.

Booster vaccinations are valid for entry from the date given provided they are given on time (according to the instructions in the vaccine manufacturer’s data sheet where the previous vaccination was given).

Since it may take time for EU Member States to adopt this change into their import legislation, pet owners are advised to contact the authorities of the relevant EU country to confirm the appropriate timing of the rabies vaccination under their current import regulations.

  • Advice on entering Sweden
  • Advice on entering the Republic of Ireland
  • Contact the Maltese authorities for advice on entering Malta.
  • Contact the Cypriot authorities for advice on entering Cyprus. There is also important information you should know about if you are taking your pet to north Cyprus (the area north of the Buffer Zone) and wish it to return to the UK.

Travelling with a PETS certificate

PETS certificates may be used to enter other EU countries (except Sweden and the Republic of Ireland) until they expire. If you want to return to the UK with your dog or cat you must meet the rules.

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