Travelling with a Pet from the UK to Europe

Travelling with a Pet After Brexit

What has changed Since Brexit?

Travelling with a Pet from the UK to Europe (cat, ferret and dog) changed on the 1st of January 2021 due to Brexit. Prior to Brexit pets travelled on a UK EU passport but these are now invalid. An Animal Health Certificate is required in replacement of the passport however, it does expire every 4 months and cannot be used for more than one return trip.


I get asked many times on how I travel backwards and forwards to the EU with my dog, so I have summarised and hopefully simplified the process below. I have also shared a possible work around option which has saved me lot of hassle and money.

UK Pet Passport

Option 1: The Official Way

What do I Need to Travel with My Pet from the UK to Europe?

To travel with your pet to and from Europe your pet will need the following:


1. A Microchip

2. A Rabies Vaccination (see below for more information)

3. Tapeworm treatment may be needed depending on which country you are travelling to (see below for more information)

4. An Animal Health Certificate which can only be issued once the above criteria is complete (see below for more information).

Rabies Vaccination Timeline & Cost

Your pet must be at least 12 weeks old to receive the first vaccination. The full course will be 3 doses within a 28-day period and usually costs between £50-70. Your pet will need 3 doses before you travel, and you must wait for 21 days from the first vaccine for your departure date. The vaccine will need to be given every 3 years.

When is Tapeworm Required?

If travelling with a dog, Tapeworm must have been given by a vet between 24 hours and 120 hours of arrival when travelling to the following countries.


  • Finland
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Norway
  • Malta

To confirm tapeworm is for dogs only and not required for cats and ferrets. Tapeworm usually costs £5-20 depending on the weight of your dog.

Please note: Prior to re-entering into the UK a vet must have given tapeworm to your dog between 24 hours and 120 hours of your travel date. I have often used the travel companies vet recommendations when I have not known a local vet in the country I am travelling to.

Animal Health Certificate

The animal health certificate can only be issued by an Official Veterinarian, and it needs to be issued within 10 days of the date you travel. The same certificate can be used to exit the UK and re-enter the UK but please be aware the certificate expires after 4 months and can only be used for one return trip. If your return trip to the UK is after the 4-month expiry date you will need to obtain a new Animal Health Certificate from an Official Veterinarian in Europe. If you make a second trip to the EU, you will need a new certificate. An animal health certificate usually costs around £160-£180.


The Health Certificate will provide confirmation of your pet’s vaccine and microchip, but I would advise that if you had an old passport or you have a vaccine card to take that with you when you travel.

Option 2: The Work Around

Having a passport document saves time and money by removing the need to make a visit to the vet and paying for a Health Certificate every time you leave the UK (£160-£180). As the UK do not provide passports the only option is to get yourself an EU passport. I managed to get my dog an EU passport in the Netherlands last year using the details in the invalid UK passport and a local Netherlands vet visit. To obtain an EU passport from an EU country you will need a minimum of the below criteria, please check country specific requirements for any additional requests.

  1. Microchip
  2. Rabies vaccination (some countries require the vaccine to have been given within the last 12 months)
  3. A local address (friend, family, place you are staying)
  4. A Physically visit to the vets to check your pet’s microchip and documents

The vet will issue the passport to you before you leave, if you meet all the above criteria it will usually take about an hour. Costs can vary depending which county you are in from 50 euros to 200+ euros.

Please not that all details are correct from the date of this blog post. For latest details and more information on travelling with your pet see the official UK Government website below.


Taking Your Pet Abroad – Gov.UK


Bringing Your Pet to the UK – Gov.UK


Good luck with your travels and as always, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask!


Much Love Emma & Jamie xx

Pet Passport

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