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Moving a Pet to the UK (England, Wales, Scotland)

Rules and Regulations for International Pet Shipping

What Pet Travel Documents Are Needed to Travel to the UK (England, Wales, Scotland)?

In order for pets to enter the United Kingdom (England, Scotland or Wales), they must travel using an approved route. The only exception is if you're traveling from UK countries, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland.

Cats, dogs, and ferrets entering the United Kingdom are regulated by the UK Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA) and by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine if you are traveling to Northern Ireland.

Documents required for pet travel to the UK depend on where your pet has been living. An international health certificate is required, but there are different versions for different countries. If you don’t comply with all of the import requirements, your pet may be quarantined for up to four months or to sent back home. Depending on who you are using to clear customs, there will be additional documents you must submit in order for your pet to be cleared. This typically includes a copy of your passport, your own e-ticket to the UK and other customs forms.

If you don't want to be charged an import tax for moving your pet into the UK, then you will also need to complete the Transfer of Residence.      

Vaccines

Rabies Vaccinations
Pets must have a valid rabies vaccination that has been administered ATER the microchip was implanted and at least 21 days prior to travel. Pets less than 12 weeks old (too young to be vaccinated) are not allowed to enter the UK.

A microchip must be implanted at the same time or prior to the primary rabies vaccination (see the microchip information below). Immunizations given prior to microchipping are not valid and must be repeated.

The “primary vaccination” (the first one given after the animal has been microchipped) is only considered valid for one year, even if it was a 2- or 3-year vaccine. Your pet can travel within 1 year of rabies vaccination with current microchip and rabies vaccine proof.

If it has been more than a year since your pet received their primary vaccination, you must provide documentation that your pet has been continuously vaccinated since the primary rabies (without letting them expire), after the microchip. If you cannot provide a complete history of vaccinations after the microchip, then your pet could face a 21-day quarantine upon arrival in the UK. 

If you cannot provide the documentation for the rabies vaccine history, then you will need to revaccinate your pet for rabies and wait 21 days before they can travel.  

**It is much easier just to revaccinate your pet and wait 21 days instead of hunting down old vaccine records from previous veterinarians.

Other Vaccinations
While the UK does not require additional vaccinations, we strongly recommend that your pet be up to date with the following.  These are typically required for boarding and are advisable for travel. 

Dogs - 

  • DHPP (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus)
  • Bordetella (Kennel Cough)
  • Leptospirosis

Cats - 

  • FVRCP (Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, Panleukopenia)

Blood Tests

Dogs, cats, and ferrets are only required to have a Rabies Titer Test for travel to the United Kingdom if they are traveling from an unlisted country

If your pet is traveling from an unlisted country, then in addition to the required microchip and rabies vaccination, they will also need: 

  1. A rabies titer blood sample taken at least 30 days after the rabies vaccination.

  2. The blood sample  must be send to an EU-approved blood testing laboratory from either inside the EU or outside the EU.

  3. The results of the blood test must be greater than or equal to 0.5 IU/ml.

  4. Your pet has to wait 3 months from the date the blood sample was taken before they can travel - you do not need to wait if your pet was vaccinated, blood tested and given a pet passport in the EU before traveling to a country that is not listed.

  5. Your pet will need to travel with the blood test results and they must be reported on the health certificate. 

Tapeworm Treatment

Dog and Cat SleepingDogs Only

Dogs must be treated for tapeworms by an accredited veterinarian within 1 to 5 days (24 to 120 hours) of arrival to the UK. The treatment must be effective against Echinococcus multilocularis and must contain praziquantel as the active ingredient. The active ingredient and manufacturer’s name must appear on your pet’s health certificate, along with the date and time the treatment was given. (The treatment may be administered after the health certificate has been officially endorsed.)

Health Certificates

Dog Riding In CarThe UK divides foreign countries into three categories.  

‘Part 1’ Listed Countries

These countries can use a Pet Passport as the proof of rabies and microchip but the pet will need to travel on the Great Britain health certificate:

European Union countries plus Andorra, Azores and Madeira, Canary Islands, French Guiana, Gibraltar, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, Guadeloupe, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Martinique, Mayotte (French territory), Monaco, Norway, Réunion (French territory), Saint Barthélemy (French Territory), San Marino, Saint Martin (French part of the island - French territory), Switzerland or Vatican City State.

'Part 2' Listed Countries

These countries cannot use a pet passport and must travel on a Great Britain health certificate:

Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Ascension Island, Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Bermuda, BES Islands (Bonair, Saint Eustatius and Saba), Bosnia-Herzegovina, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Curaçao, Falkland Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Japan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Montserrat, New Caledonia, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Russian Federation, Saint Maarten, Singapore, St Helena, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Pierre and Miquelon, St Vincent and The Grenadines, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, USA (includes American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the US virgin Islands), Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna.

Unlisted Countries (all others)

These countries cannot use a pet passport and must travel on a Great Britain health certificate.  These countries also have additional requirements (see blood testing section).

Non-Commercial Health Certificate:

A Non-Commercial Health Certificate can be used if the pet owner is traveling within 5 days before or after the pet. This must be completed within 10 days prior to the pet's travel date.  **If you have a dog, they will still require the tapeworm treatment between 1-5 days prior to arrival to the UK.

The final exam, health certificate and tapeworm treatment (if you have a dog) must be completed by an accredited veterinarian.  The health certificate will then be sent to the official government office for official endorsement.  In the USA, a USDA Accredited Veterinarian completes the health certificate and the local USDA office will place their official endorsement stamp on the documents.   

Commercial Health Certificate:

A Commercial Health Certificate must be used if the pet owner is traveling more than 5 days before or after the pet or if you have more than 6 animals traveling together. This certificate can only be completed within 48 hours prior to the pet's travel date.  **If you have a dog, they will still require the tapeworm treatment at the same time as the exam.

The final exam, health certificate and tapeworm treatment (if you have a dog) must be completed by an accredited veterinarian.  The health certificate will then be sent to the official government office for official endorsement.  In the USA, a USDA Accredited Veterinarian completes the health certificate and the local USDA office will place their official endorsement stamp on the documents. 

You may not submit health certificates electronically. For more information, please visit the UK government website

Dog Ready For Travel

Import Permit

Dogs, cats, and ferrets entering the UK do not require an import permit.

Photo of Pet

You are not required to produce a photo of your pet to transport them to the UK, but we're sure you have plenty of those on your phone anyway!

What Are the Pet Restrictions for the UK (England, Wales, Scotland)?

Banned Breeds

Banned Dogs

The United Kingdom does not allow import or ownership of the following dog breeds:

  • Pit Bull Terrier
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brasileiro

Please refer to the UK government website for more information about banned breeds

Age Restrictions for the United Kingdom

Dogs, cats, and ferrets that are younger than 12 weeks old may not enter the UK. If they are between 12 and 16 weeks old, they may enter only after a 21-day waiting period following rabies vaccination.

Do I Need a Microchip for My Pet to Travel to the UK (England, Wales, Scotland)?

Dog waiting on microchipYes. Microchips must be implanted before or at the same time your pet is vaccinated for the primary rabies vaccination. This is because the unique microchip ID number must appear on every one of your pet’s health documents. Microchips must be ISO 11784 or 11785 compliant. If your pet has a current microchip that doesn’t meet this standard, your vet can safely implant another one. If this is the case, then you may also need to revaccinate your pet for rabies after the microchip is implanted and wait 21 days before they can travel to the UK.

We strongly recommend that you register your pet’s microchip with Global Pet Register, as this is the only pet recovery database that functions worldwide.

What Are the Quarantine Requirements for a Pet Traveling to the UK (England, Wales, Scotland)?

There is no quarantine period as long as you comply with all the pet import requirements. If you do not, your pet may face up to four months in quarantine. 

Are There Any Area Specific Pet Requirements in the UK (England, Wales, Scotland)?

There are more rules if you’re entering the UK with a cat from Australia or a cat or dog from Malaysia.

Top Destinations in the UK (England, Wales, Scotland)

Our United Kingdom pet shipping services include:

  • Door-to-door pet transport
  • Assistance with international health certificates and other travel documents needed for animal transport to the United Kingdom (outlined above)
  • USDA endorsement of all relevant documents where required
  • Airline-approved travel kennels provided with personalized labels, identification and emergency notification instructions
  • Customs clearance and delivery to your home
  • Local pet taxi service to and from the airport, your home, veterinarian or boarding facility – available in major UK cities as well as their surrounding areas
  • Travel consultation and flight reservations

We will inform you of your pet's full itinerary before the trip and we will update you as your pet travels to the United Kingdom.

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