Travelling With Your Dog: Europe Edition

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If you are planning a trip to Europe this summer, you will probably have lots of questions: what countries can I travel to, how much does pet travel cost and what are the pet travel requirements?

Summer holidays are here, and travel is back!
Since Great Britain left the European Union (EU) on 1st January 2021 the procedure for travelling with your dog has changed significantly. British issued pet passports are no longer valid in the EU and have been replaced with the Animal Health Certificate (AHC).

Let’s start from the top!
It is important to know that if you fail to follow the rules when travelling to the EU then you may be fined, or your dog may be quarantined for up to 4 months! So, it’s really important that you do your research before you travel. Guidelines are being changed and updated regularly.

Each country has different legislation, and the UK has strict requirements that must be followed too. Here are the key points to consider:

  • Microchip your dog before they have their initial rabies vaccination or at the same time.
  • Microchipping is now a legal requirement for dogs in the UK.
  • Ensure your Vet records the chip number accurately.
  • A Rabies vaccination must be given 21 clear days before you are due to depart the UK.
  • Your dog must be at least 12 weeks old before receiving their rabies vaccination. This must be given by a Vet and accurately recorded.
  • Vaccination records must be up to date with all the required details. You can be stopped from travelling if the details are in the wrong place.
  • Tapeworm treatment is required for dogs 1-5 days before re-entering the UK. Check this very carefully before travelling home and arrange a trip to a Vet before your return journey.
  • Your Vet will complete the AHC, but this can be no more than 10 days before you travel.

Once issued, your pet’s Animal Health Certificate is valid for 10 days to gain entry to the EU or Northern Ireland, 4 months for onward EU travel and 4 months for re-entry to Great Britain.

It must be completed by a Vet that is trained to do so and each entry must be signed, dated and stamped. We advise that you let your vet know as soon as possible when you are travelling and make sure to factor in plenty of time to allow them to complete the AHC, it is a complex document that needs to be completed in both English and the language of your destination country. Vet practices are very busy at the moment! The cost for this service is in the region of £150.

Through mediterranean Europe the disease Leishmaniosis is present and therefore your dog may also require a vaccine for this before travel.

Your dog must be at least 16 weeks old to travel and if you’re flying then your dog may be able to travel in the cabin with you, or they will be travelled in a crate. Check with your airline.

Please make sure your dog is comfortable being confined in a crate, practice lots of positive crate training at home before you travel. No toys are allowed in the crate on a flight.

On the Eurotunnel, dogs must stay within the car at all times and on the ferry, dogs are not permitted on deck.

For further advice check with Taking your pet dog, cat or ferret abroad: Travelling to an EU country or Northern Ireland – GOV.UK (

Through our pets app, myBuddy we always provide the best guidance we can to help you with issues that affect your pets, whether cats, dogs, rats, rabbits or reptiles. However, we would always recommend you call your vet or get in touch via the myBuddy app.