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Taking Your Dog Abroad

Taking Your Dog Abroad

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With more than 70 million overseas trips completed by Brits each year, it's no surprise that many of us like to take our beloved dogs with us. Were you aware that in order for you to take your dog out of the country you need to follow strict guidelines in order to allow your animal back into the UK? Just like humans, your dog will need a passport in order to allow it to freely re-enter the UK when you return home from your trip. We have put together a short guide on what you need to do in order for a drama free entry back into the UK.


It is now law within the UK to have your dog microchipped. Your microchip must be an ISO 11784/11785 compliant 15 digit microchip. If your microchip is not compliant with the above you will need to speak to your Vet who will be able to give your dog a compliant chip.

Rabies Vaccination

It is law that all dogs must have proof that they are up to date on the rabies vaccination. This must be after the microchip was implanted into the dog. Important - the first vaccination that your dog receives after being microchipped is referred to as the primary vaccination and must be a one year vaccination. If your dogs vaccination expired before being vaccinated then the new vaccination is reset to being the primary vaccination and must be a one year vaccination. Should you have a new rabies vaccination within the one year of the primary vaccination, this is referred to as a booster. If you are entering the UK with your dog from either a rabies free or rabies controlled country then primary vaccination must have been given no sooner than 21 days prior to entry.

Rabies Titer Test

Sometimes unavoidably your beloved dog will be entering the UK from a high rabies country. If this is the case, your dog must have been firstly microchipped, then vaccinated. You then have a waiting period of 30 days after which your vet should administer a Titer test. Just be sure your vet is using an approved lab when processing the test. You then have 3 calendar months to enter the UK without the dog needing to enter quarantine. This is assuming your test comes back with acceptable levels.

Tapeworm Treatment

Treatment against tapeworm is essential before your dog will be allowed to enter the UK. Unless you are entering directly from Ireland, Malta, Norway or Finland your dog must be treated against certain tapeworm between 1 - 5 days prior to entry by a licensed vet.

Health Certificate

Note the below information is related to you travelling with your dog for non-commercial purposes and DOES NOT involve purchase, sale or transfer of ownership of the dog. The rules are slightly different depending on whether you are entering the UK from an EU country of a non-EU country. Entering from an EU country You will need to speak to your vet and have them complete an EU pet passport for your dog. Unless your rabies booster was given to your dog from a vet outside the EU, you will not need to provide an EU health certificate. Regardless of the country you are entering the UK from, you must sign a Declaration of Non-Commercial Transport which essentially states that your travel is not related to the sale or transfer of ownership of your dog. Entering from a Non-EU country You will first need to have a licensed vet complete the non-commercial EU health certificate for the United Kingdom. This must be within 10 days of your travel. For the USA the vet must be USDA accredited and for Canada the CFIA must endorse the forms issued. If you are travelling into the UK from a different country which is not in the EU, USA or Canada then you must have the forms endorsed by the government agency responsible for the export and import of animals. Providing the rabies vaccination doesn't expire within this time, the form is valid for 4 months and can be used to transport 5 dogs or less. Travelling with more than 5 dogs You can only travel with 6 or more dogs should you be attending a dog show or training event and they must be over 6 months old. If you are not travelling for this reason you must then follow the process for commercial transport.

Pups and Kittens

Puppies and kitten under the age of 12 weeks are not permitted to enter the UK in any circumstances.

Banned Breeds

It illegal to enter the UK with any dogs which are currently on the banned breeds list, which include Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro. You will have to go through the courts should you wish to have your dog enter the UK on an exemption.

Entering the UK from Australia or Malaysia

The following conditions must be met in order for your dog to be allowed to enter the UK from Australia or Malaysia: 1 - The dog has not lived in an area where Nipah disease has been confirmed in the last 60 days 2 - Your dog has had no contact with pigs in the previous 60 days 3 - Your dog has been tested with a negative results to IgG capture ELISA test within 10 days of travel. We would always recommend that you speak to your vet regarding transporting your dog to or from the UK.

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