If you would like to travel abroad with your pet dog, cat or ferret, you need to make sure they are issued with an Animal Health Certificate. The issue of this certificate can only be completed by an Official Veterinarian, acting on behalf of DEFRA, who will examine your pet and make sure they are healthy enough to travel and meet any requirements stipulated by the European Union or Northern Ireland.
To find out more about what you need to do ahead of travelling with your pet, read on and don’t forget to contact our team to get your pet booked in.
Animal Health Certificates (AHC) can be issued to dogs, cats and ferrets over three years of age, for non-commercial travel reasons only. Assistance dogs will also need an Animal Health Certificate issued to travel to the EU or Northern Ireland. Each AHC is specific to the countries you are travelling through/to and will be issued following a health examination by one of our Official Veterinarians.
It is important to note that your pet will need a new Animal Health Certificate for every trip to a country in the European Union or to Northern Ireland from Great Britain. Each certificate is valid for 10 days for entry into the EU/ Northern Ireland, 4 months for onward travel within the EU and 4 months for re-entry into Great Britain.
Our team are happy to provide you with estimated costs for the Animal Health Certificate(s) you need and the associated veterinary examinations. To find out more about our team of vets, visit our Meet Our Team page.
Please note that you are no longer able to use a pet passport issued in Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) for travel to an EU country or Northern Ireland. You can still use a pet passport issued in an EU country or Northern Ireland.
When travelling to an EU country or Northern Ireland, your pet needs:
You will need to go through a traveller’s point of entry, when you arrive in an EU country or Northern Ireland. A list of these entry points can be found here.
Always check the rules of the country you are travelling to or through for any additional restrictions or requirements before you travel – it is your responsibility to check the current rules for travel and arrange the appropriate documents.
Your pet will need a new Animal Health Certificate for each trip to an EU country or Northern Ireland.
Your pet will not need a repeat rabies vaccination so long as their rabies vaccinations are up to date. If you are unsure whether your pet’s vaccinations are up to date, contact our team who will be more than happy to help you check.
To re-enter Great Britain from the EU or Northern Ireland, your pet will need the following:
It is the responsibility of the pet owner to know the requirements of travel for all the countries they plan to travel to and through. However, Portland Vets are happy to advise where appropriate.
As a practice, we recommend all pet owners contact the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) to double check requirements, to answer any questions you may have or if you need further information. Additionally, for any planned travel outside of the EU we highly recommend contacting APHA as soon as possible so they can advise you of any further requirements that need to be fulfilled to enter your destination country. Their contact details are: