Traveling with your pet

Pet Travel - New Rules from 1st January 2021

Before your dog, cat or ferret can travel to the EU or NI for the first time after 1 January 2021, you’ll need to ensure a few criteria are met, some of which are a bit different to the existing requirements. The main change is that you’ll need a document known as an animal health certificate (AHC) instead of a pet passport.

To be able to travel with your pet the main, existing requirements still apply:

  • You must have your dog, cat or ferret microchipped.
  • You must vaccinate your dog, cat or ferret against rabies – your pet must be at least 12 weeks old before it can be vaccinated.
  • You must then wait 21 days after the primary vaccination before travel.
  • A tapewormer must be given in most circumstances before re-entry.

An animal health certificate (AHC) must be obtained no more than 10 days before travel to the EU and is valid for a single trip only.

To obtain an AHC for your pet you will need to contact the practice to arrange an appointment with one of our vets (specifically an ‘Official Vet’ or OV) to sign the certification. Prior to this, or if you have any associated queries, it may be a good idea to phone and discuss with one of our vets over the phone.

As long as you keep your pet’s rabies vaccinations up to date (usually every 3 years), you will not need to get repeat vaccinations for repeat trips to the EU or NI.

Your pet’s AHC will be valid for 10 days after the date of issue for entry into the EU or NI, will be valid for onward travel within the EU or NI for 4 months after the date of issue, and valid for re-entry to Great Britain for 4 months after the date of issue.

No rabies blood test is needed if the pet is remaining in the EU fir the duration of the trip and not travelling to or through any ‘unlisted’ countries.

Your pet will need a new AHC for each trip to the EU or NI.

Please be aware that these appointments may be limited during busy periods and due to possible high demand so please be patient with us.

If you have any questions about the above, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


For other countries you will need to contact DEFRA yourself to find out the rules you need to comply with. 

Is there anything else I should do?

While you are abroad, your pet may be at risk of other serious diseases transmitted by ticks and biting insects which are not present in the UK, and can be passed on to humans. We advise treating your pet for ticks and biting insects while you are abroad and can provide you with further information on the risk levels and options for treating your pet while you are away.

What if my move is permanent?

If your pet is travelling abroad from the UK and not returning, you should contact the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency for details of the requirements for the destination country.

Full information about travelling with your pet can be found on the GOV UK website.

The helpline number is 0370 241 1710     (Mon-Fri: 8am-6pm)

* See DEFRA website or contact DEFRA for a list of non-EU approved countries.







Latest News & Events

Feel free to contact us for any advice you may need

Shepton Veterinary Group Limited
Allyn Saxon Drive
Shepton Mallet BA4 5QH

©2024 Shepton Veterinary Group Ltd., All rights reserved.
Privacy PolicyTerms & ConditionsCookie Policy