What you must do to bring your pet dog, cat or ferret into the UK from the European Union (EU) and listed non-EU countries.

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First published:
1 February 2019
Last updated:

Microchip your pet

The first step is to properly identify your pet using a microchip. The microchip must be inserted by a qualified person.  A qualified person can be:

  • a veterinary surgeon, nurse or student.
  • someone who has attended a microchipping course,  with a practical element, before 29 December 2014
  • someone who attended an approved microchipping course (Approved by Welsh Government, Scottish Government or Defra).

Vaccinate your pet

Once the microchip has been fitted, your pet must be vaccinated against rabies. There is no exemption, even if your pet has a current rabies vaccination. The minimum age for vaccination against rabies for the purposes of pet travel is 12 weeks.  The length of the waiting period before entry to the UK is 21 days after the vaccination date. If the vaccination is in two parts the 21 day wait will be from the date of the second vaccination. So, pets are not able to travel until they are at least 15 weeks old.

Get pet travel documentation

If your pet is being prepared:

  • in an EU country, you should get an EU pet passport
  • in a non-EU listed country you will need to obtain an official third country veterinary certificate. Please note that Croatia, Gibraltar, Norway, San Marino and Switzerland also issue passports.

Treat your dog for tapeworm

Before entering the UK, a vet must treat your dog (including assistance dogs) for tapeworm. The treatment must be given no less than 24 hours and not more than 120 hours (5 days) before you arrive in the UK.

NB. You do not need to treat your dog for tapeworm if you are travelling to the UK from Finland, Ireland, Malta or Norway.

Arrange approved travel for your pet

Your pet must enter the UK from a listed country: