Brexit and my pets travel: how to prepare

DrPaul -

Brexit and my pets travel: how to prepare

Many UK pet owners regularly travel with their pets abroad and for many years we have worked with clear rules that allow us to prepare for pet travel relatively easily. However, Brexit gives us a fresh set of challenges and uncertainties about how this will all work going forwards.

When the UK leaves the EU, travel requirements will change depending on what category the UK becomes on exit day. If there is a no-deal Brexit the UK will then likely be treated as an unlisted country. In this situation a current EU pet passport issued in the UK will no longer be valid for travel into the EU. The following steps will need to be taken to ensure your pet can then enter countries within the EU:

• All cats, dogs and ferrets must be micro-chipped and be vaccinated against rabies.
• A blood sample must be taken at least 30 days after vaccination and sent to an approved laboratory to show that the vaccination was successful.
• After the result comes back and the vaccine has proven successful you must then wait 3 months from the date the blood was taken before you can travel.

If the blood test result is not successful your pet will need a repeat vaccination and another blood test taken at least 30 days after the repeat vaccination.

• If travelling to Finland, Malta or the Republic of Ireland your pet must have treatment against tapeworm 1-5 days before arriving in one of those countries.
• Obtain an animal health certificate (AHC) which will contain your pet’s vaccination history, date of micro chipping, and the successful antibody blood test result. This certificate is valid for 10 days after the date of issue for entry in to the EU, onward travel within the EU for 4 months and re-entry to the UK 4 months after the date of issue.


In order to return to the UK your pet must have one of the following documents;
1. An EU pet passport (issued in the EU or UK prior to Brexit)
2. The AHC issued in the UK used to travel to the EU-remember this is only valid for 4 months from the date of issue.
3. UK pet health certificate-for travel into the UK only
You will also need to take your dog to a vet 1-5 days before entering the UK for an approved tapeworm treatment (unless travelling from Finland, Malta or ROI)

Finally in order to make sure your pet is able to travel from the UK to the EU and that all travelling requirements are met, you should contact your vet at least 4 months before travelling to get the latest advice.
The current political situation means that the rules on pet travel could change so for the most up to date information then check the government website at:

Paul Manktelow

Veterinary Surgeon

Dr Paul Manktelow is a vet who's worked for almost 20 years on the front line in some of the UK's busiest veterinary hospitals. Paul also appears regularly in the media as a TV and radio presenter, writer, public speaker and podcast producer.