If you are travelling with your pet abroad, you must be prepared for the trip. It includes all the necessary paperwork, vaccinations, and general preparations for a pet’s trip. It would help if you also considered the country’s regulations and laws regarding pets.
Travelling to Europe with pets can be a daunting task. There are strict requirements for pets entering the country, and it is important to ensure that you have all the necessary documentation and that your pet will not disrupt the flight.
The European Union (EU) introduced a regulation on travelling with pets, stipulating that all pets must be kept in carriers or other enclosures. This article will discuss all the rules and regulations for bringing pets into Europe.
What Do You Need To Do Before You Travel With Your Pet To Europe?
To avoid any unwanted situation, you need to make sure that your pet is up-to-date on the following things before you travel with it:
– Your pet must be vaccinated, i.e., they have a rabies vaccination and up-to-date microchips
Ensure you have all the necessary documentation, including a rabies certificate, health certificate, and passport. At a minimum, all countries will require a rabies certificate and proof of good health
– Ensure that your pet is not too large or too heavy so as not to disrupt the flight
– Make sure that you understand what kind of food is allowed on board. Find out if there are any restrictions on carrying liquids in containers over 100ml in size
– Check whether or not you will need a crate for your pet
You must consult with your vet before you travel abroad with your pet so they can provide all of the necessary information. They will also be able to provide all necessary vaccinations that may be required by law in that country.
A vet can also list other things you might want to take with your pet on their trips, such as food, toys, or medications they may need while away from home.
Rules and Regulations for Bringing Pets into Europe
The European Union has strict rules about pet travel. The EU lists specific animals that are banned from entering the union. It also has a list of countries that are not allowed to import pets at all, and some other countries have restrictions on what type of animals they can import.
However, travelling to another EU country (27 EU countries + Norway and Northern Ireland) with your pet is easy. There are no strict rules for travelling inside Europe with your pet except for a few, which are:
The only pets allowed are dogs, cats, or ferrets
You must be travelling for a non-commercial purpose with your pet
You must undertake the trip for non-commercial purposes
Pets must be vaccinated against rabies at least 36 hours before travel and provide strict instructions for their owners.
You must get your pet microchipped with an ISO-compliant microchip, ensuring that all their microchip details are properly recorded. You may be unable to prove ownership if the chip isn’t registered.
The cat, dog, or ferret may be required to have treatment against the tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis before starting its trip to Europe, depending on destination.
Here is a complete list of regulations you must follow before travelling to Europe to ensure your pet’s
How Many Pets Can I Take To Europe?
The maximum number of pets which can accompany you on your non-commercial trip to Europe is five. However, you are allowed to bring more pets in certain cases, such as:
– Your pet will participate in the exhibition, some sport or a competition
– You are taking your pet for training in the above
In the case of the above scenarios, the pet must be above six months old to participate in such activities.
You must also submit health, veterinary or sanitary certificates and other necessary details in written form to the respected department beforehand. You can easily get these certificates after a full veterinary checkup from your concerned vet.
Own A Valid European Pet Passport
Any pet entering the EU must have a valid pet passport, the common veterinary entry document.
Note that coming from the UK this is an Animal Health Certificate and is valid only for one trip, although once within Europe you can freely travel across borders on that document, subject to each country’s specific entry requirements which you’ll find below.
An official veterinarian will issue the pet passport or AHC following successful identification, documentary and physical checks performed on the veterinary premises.
Pet Passports and Animal Health Certificates are the only internationally recognised registration of pets entering the European Union since 2002. It enables pet owners to easily prove that their pets have received the appropriate vaccinations and have no infectious microorganisms.
These documents are required for every pet entering a European country.
Your pet will need the following to get its passport or Animal Health Certificate:
Rabies antibody test / titer test – subject to which country is your destination.
Ensure your pet’s vaccination against rabies before travelling to Europe. Make sure you are hiring an authorised veterinarian for this purpose. Furthermore, vaccination validity begins 21 days after primary vaccination protocol completion.
Pet Chips Or Trackers For Travel In Europe
If you are travelling with your pets to European countries, getting them implanted with a microchip is essential. This procedure takes only a few minutes, as a special microchip will be implanted subcutaneously between the shoulder blades of the animal.
This chip contains a unique number that identifies the animal with the help of a scanner, and will help you be reunited with your pet should you become separated.
Rabies Antibody / Titer Test
As already touched about when we mentioned pet passports and Animal Health Certificates, some countries require that your pet must have an RNAT test before travelling. This test is essential to ensure they are sufficiently immune against rabies and to facilitate travel between countries.
Generally, the rabies antibody titration test is performed on your pet after 30 days of rabies vaccination.
The test includes taking a blood sample from your pet and testing it from an authorised laboratory. Your pet’s blood sample will be tested against infected cells to determine rabies neutralising titre.
Ideally, the serum must have up to 0.5 IU/ml of neutralising antibodies.
If the blood shows a smaller percentage, the pet might fail the test, but you don’t need to worry. Give your pet a booster shot and go for the lab test again after 15-30 days. Even in the case of a successful blood sample, it would be best for you to wait 3 months before travelling to Europe.
USDA Endorsement For Pet Travel
If your pet is leaving the USA, you must send all the documentation regarding the destination country to the State USDA office. These documents will be stamped and endorsed here, and the pet should take them before leaving the country.
If you travel to Europe, especially Finland, Norway, Malta, and the Republic of Ireland, you need to ensure that your dog is treated against Echinococcus multilocularis or tapeworm. This requirement is only for dogs. The treatment should be performed within around 24–120 hours before travel.
Don’t forget to record your dog’s tapeworm treatment on its passport or official third-country veterinary certificate. Some requirements for the treatment include:
Treatment must contain Praziquantel to treat Echinococcus tapeworm effectively.
Stronghold, Advocate, Nexgard Spectra, Frontline, or Frontline Combo are prohibited treatments.
Entry Requirements For Pets Around Europe
Most importantly, European countries are fairly similar in their pet regulations. However, there can be some differences that may be important to you as an owner or pet. If you plan to travel with your pet to another EU country, it is important to read up on their pet import requirements and complete a vaccination certificate. Here are the entry requirements for pets in 27 countries in Europe:
Entry Requirements For Pets In Austria
Austria is a country in the European Union. It has been a member of the European Union since 1995 and is located in Central Europe. The entry requirements for pets differ depending on what kind of pet you have and what country you are entering Austria from.
For example, if you are an EU citizen with your pet from an EU country to Austria, there are no additional requirements for getting your pet into the country.
However, if you are not an EU citizen or coming from outside of the EU with your pet, then there may be additional requirements that need to be met before being able to bring your pet into Austria. Here are the general entry requirements for pets in Austria:
All dogs, cats, and ferrets (except breeding females) imported into Austria must have been identified with a microchip before the rabies vaccination, an original Rabies certificate signed by an authoritative vet, plus acurrent one-year “primary” vaccine.
Other necessary vaccinations for dogs to travel to Austria include Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, and Distemper. In the case of cats, the vaccines include feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Panleukopenia (FVRCP), and Calicivirus
Entry Requirements for Pets In Belgium
The Belgian government has set up a list of entry requirements for pets, and the following are some of them:
Pets must be vaccinated against rabies and other diseases
Pets must have a microchip containing the owner’s details and an identification tag with contact information
Pets should not pose any danger to public health or safety
Entry Requirements For Pets In Bulgaria
Bulgaria requires that all pets be microchipped and vaccinated against rabies and tick-borne encephalitis.
If you have adopted a pet from the United States, your pet has already been subjected to the USDA and possibly the CFIA inspections. Your veterinarian must obtain a signed authorisation from each animal owner stating that the animal has been vaccinated for rabies at least 30 days before entering Bulgaria.
You must register your dog with the Belgian Association of Canine Identification and Registration in Bulgaria.
Entry Requirements For Pets In Croatia
The entry requirements for pets in Croatia are not very different from those of other European countries.
Pets can enter Croatia with a valid pet passport / animal health certificate and vaccination certificate. They must also be microchipped and fit for the journey.
Entry Requirements For Pets In Cyprus
Cyprus has the same rules and regulations for pet travel as other EU countries. A valid pet passport / animal health certificate must accompany pets entering Cyprus, and a veterinary certificate of good health issued no more than 10 days from the entry date.
You cannot import the following breeds into Cyprus:
Pit Bull Terrier
Entry Requirements For Pets In Czechia
The entry requirements for pets in Czechia are not as strict as in other countries. Pets are not allowed to enter the country without a health and rabies vaccination certificate. Your pets can travel to the Czech Republic 21 days after vaccination.
Entry Requirements For Pets In Denmark
European countries such as Denmark require pet owners to conform to strict rules and regulations regarding owning pets. The entry requirements for pets in Denmark depend on what type of animal you bring in and where you are coming from.
If you’re coming from a country outside the EU, the animal must have a valid rabies vaccination certificate and be microchipped. You also need an import permit, which You can obtain by contacting the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration.
If you’re coming from another EU country, the animal must only have a valid rabies vaccination certificate.
In Denmark, all canines must be marked and registered in the Danish Dog Register before they reach 8 weeks of age.
As a dog owner, you must have a dog insurance policy. Your dog will be insured (in your name) against just about everything that might happen to it. This comprehensive insurance provides peace of mind for you and others, especially if your dog shows abnormal behaviour sometimes.
Entry Requirements For Pets In Estonia
Pets are not allowed to enter Estonia if they have a history of biting or attacking people. Dog species considered dangerous such as Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, and Dogo Argentino, are not allowed to enter Estonia. Other pets, such as cats and ferrets, can enter the country with the proper documentation.
Entry Requirements For Pets In Finland
The main common entry requirement for pets in Finland is a valid rabies vaccination.
The second requirement is a pet passport, which you can obtain from an authorised veterinary doctor. Pets must be microchipped before they leave the country of origin and have an EU pet passport or animal health certificate to enter Finland.
Entry Requirements For Pets In France
As other European countries France also requires a valid pet passport, rabies and tapeworm vaccination, and dog microchipping before allowing your pet to enter.
Entry Requirements For Pets In Germany
You must complete the following requirements to travel with your pet to Germany:
Your cat, dog or ferret must be identifiable via a microchip
Pets must be at least 8 weeks old and vaccinated against rabies
You will need to wait 21 days after the vaccine administration to travel to Germany
You must obtain a health certificate from a USDA-authorised veterinarian (if travelling from the US)
Entry Requirements For Pets In Greece
If you wish to bring a pet into Greece from a country outside the EU, the animal must have been vaccinated for rabies at least 30 days before travel but no more than 12 months. You must present proof of vaccination at the border.
Entry Requirements For Pets In Hungary
If your pet travels to Hungary alone from another European country, the rules are much like other European country requirements for travelling with pets.
Entry Requirements For Pets In Ireland
Ireland is much like other European countries when it comes to entering the country with your pet.
Entry Requirements For Pets In Italy
Italy is much like other European countries when it comes to entering the country with your pet.
Entry Requirements For Pets In Latvia
To bring your pet to Latvia, you must get it micro-chipped and vaccinated against rabies, both of which are essential. In addition, you will have to show your pet has also been treated for intestinal and external parasites. The purpose of the pet’s visit is non-commercial, as stated by the EU rules.
Entry Requirements For Pets In Lithuania
Lithuania has no different rules about pet entry than other European countries.
Entry Requirements For Pets In Luxembourg
Luxembourg has no different rules about pet entry than other European countries.
Entry Requirements For Pets In Malta
The pet owner needs a valid passport and health documentation to transport your dog, cat or ferret to Malta. Tapeworm treatment is also essential for entry to Malta.
Entry Requirements For Pets In the Netherlands
If you have a EU pet passport or Animal Health Certificate you can enter the Netherlands without issue.
Entry Requirements For Pets In Norway
If you are entering Norway with your dog you will need the pet passport or Animal Health Certificate. It is a legal requirement that your dog is given a tapeworm treatment at least 24 hours before entry, and no more than 120 hours before entry.
We did this via land border with Sweden, and can strongly recommend the services of Gothenburg Animal Clinic AB. They fully documented our papers and gave the relevant treatment for around 200SKK.
Entry Requirements for Pets In Poland
Before entering Poland, the pet owner should ensure they are in good health and have no infectious diseases transmitted to humans or animals.
Entry Requirements for Pets In Portugal
While travelling to Portugal, your pet must be at least twelve weeks old at the time of travel and in possession of relevant paperwork as per most other European countries.
Entry Requirements for Pets In Romania
A pet can travel to Romania only when accompanied by the owner or a representative and must not be intended for resale or transfer.
Entry Requirements for Pets In Slovakia
Slovakia has the same requirements for pet entry as most other European countries.
Entry Requirements for Pets In Slovenia
Pets must be vaccinated against rabies at least 105 days before travelling to Slovenia.
Entry Requirements for Pets In Spain
Much like the rest of Europe if you wish to bring your pet to Spain, it must be at least 12 weeks old, be microchipped, be vaccinated against rabies, and have a health inspection certified by a veterinarian.
Pet owners must possess certified copies of the animal’s identification and vaccinations with a Spanish translation.
Entry Requirements for Pets In Sweden
Pets are allowed in Sweden under the same rules as in other European countries. You must register your dog via customs before entering Sweden. You can declare your dog before entering Sweden by clicking this link here.
We entered Sweden from the E20 road connection from Denmark and although being checked at the border for our own identity, they weren’t interested in the customs declaration, only her Animal Health Certificate. It’s still worth declaring your dog before arrival though, avoid any stress!
Travelling With Pets In Europe Summary
Pet owners should note that they must meet certain requirements before they can bring their pets into EU countries. With the help of this article, you now have a detailed breakdown of all EU regulations and requirements for travelling with your pet.
Be sure you include all original pet documents i.e., health/vaccination certificates, laboratory test results, and import permits required by your destination country. We hope you find this article helpful. We wish you and your pets a wonderful journey around Europe!