Pet travel services

New rules for pet travel were introduced on 1 January 2021 affecting how people travel to the EU or Northern Ireland with their four-legged friends.

Travelling to an EU country or Northern Ireland

Under the new rules, you must ensure that your pet has an Animal Health Certificate (AHC) instead of the previous pet passport. This should be obtained no more than 10 days before travel. You can still use a pet passport issued that was issued in an EU country or Northern Ireland.

You will also need to ensure that your pet is microchipped, vaccinated against rabies and checked by a vet. Dogs travelling to Finland, Malta, Northern Ireland, Norway or Republic of Ireland must also be treated against tapeworm.

The rules currently only apply to dogs, cats, ferrets and assistance dogs. If you wish to travel with any other species, please check for any additional restrictions or requirements before travel. You cannot take more than five pets to an EU country or Northern Ireland unless you are attending a competition or sporting event.

Travelling to non-EU countries

Travel rules to non-EU countries are slightly different in that owners will need to apply for an Export Health Certificate. An EHC checks that your pet meets the health requirements of the country you are travelling to.

Owners will also need to complete an export application form. There is no change to current health preparations or documents for pets entering Britain from the EU or Northern Ireland.

Please contact us soon as possible if you are planning to travel with your pet. To stay up to date with the latest pet travel advice visit or call the Pet Travel Scheme helpline on 0370 241 1710.

General travel tips

When travelling with your pet, make sure they are secured in a travel crate or with a pet seatbelt – not only is a loose pet a serious distraction for a driver, they could also be seriously injured should an accident occur. Please also allow time to take breaks to enable your pet to stretch its legs and have a drink.

For more information on what you need to do before travelling with your pet, please make an appointment with us.

Last updated 7 April 2021.