Entering Portugal with Pets

Author Veterinary Consultant
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Entering Portugal with Pets

Entering Portugal with Pets

Portugal is a member of the European Union and adheres to the same procedures for importing pets as the other EU Member States. It is essential to study Portugal's import requirements early to avoid problems at the border. Not having the necessary documents may result in being refused entry, or in extreme cases, your pet being euthanized if you decide not to turn back.

Preparing for the trip

Acquiring the required documents, undertaking the de-worming procedure, and providing the animals with the required vaccinations are crucial steps to ensure a successful trip. The basic requirements for the importation of animals into Portugal are as follows:

>Microchipping. All animals traveling to the EU require micro-chipping since 2011. Microchip serves as an electronic pet passport and contains vital information about the pet and its owners. Animals born before 2011 can be identified via a clearly visible tattoo, but this rule only applies to certain cases.
Vaccination. One of the compulsory vaccinations required for the journey to Portugal is a rabies shot. Rabies vaccination should not occur before applying the microchip implant. Furthermore, pets entering Portugal must undergo a mandatory quarantine period of 21 days following the vaccination. Additionally, Portugal does not allow the transportation of animals less than 12 weeks of age. This is associated with the fact that minimum age requirement for rabies vaccinations is 12 weeks old. It's also important to conduct complex vaccinations, including recording them in the pet's passport.
Antibody tests. Rabies antibody titration serves as a means to assess the presence of antibodies to the rabies virus. Per the guidelines of the European Union, the testing can only be conducted by authorized laboratories, of which «NoviStem» is one such approved provider. Many cities in Russia feature partner clinics, who collect sample material and forward it to «NoviStem» for verification. The certificates issued by our laboratory carry a seal, which affirms that «NoviStem» is an authorized lab complying with all EU regulations.
Deworming. As per the regulations, deworming is imperative and must take place at least every 3 months. Details of these procedures must be carefully recorded in the pet's passport. Therefore, this treatment must be conducted not less than five days before the intended departure date to ensure compliance with EU standards for importation.
Veterinary certificate, Form 1. This certification is issued by the State Veterinary Clinic at your place of residence and serves as a legitimate confirmation that your pet is in good health, with all vaccinations up-to-date. Veterinary certificate, Form 1 is also required for acquiring a Veterinary Certificate Form 5a, which is issued by the corresponding authorities at the airport. The latter document confirms that the pet has received all necessary immunizations and is officially authorized to stay within the EU member territory.
European pet passport. This permanent document, issued by a European veterinary clinic, can replace the Veterinary Certificate Form 5a entirely. Its possession can be particularly helpful for those who frequently take their pets with them during their travels in the European Union.

Custom and Flight

All pets entering Portugal must undergo a veterinary inspection prior to their admission into the country. To meet the requirements for the inspection, it is essential to have all necessary documentation, such as the pet's passport, on hand. Additionally, the inspector can assess the general condition of the pet and review its veterinary records.

Requirements for transporting pets on board an airplane to Portugal are determined by the air carrier company, although, there are some consistent mandates. TAP Air Portugal, Portugal's national airline, stipulates that animals below 15 weeks of age are not allowed onboard The explanation for this is the fact that the first rabies vaccination can only be administered at the age of 12 weeks and it takes three weeks for the immunity to develop.

An additional factor to be aware of is that only one animal per kennel is permitted on a flight per passenger. Hence, if you plan on traveling with young children alone, make sure to check with the airline beforehand, as they might not allow kennels with pets onboard in such cases. Pets can be transported either in the hold or in the cabin, depending on the airline's specific regulations. The following are the regulations for transporting animals in the aircraft cabin:

  • Pets must be stowed in kennels with air vents, whose ventilation openings are sufficiently small to prevent them from squeezing through.
  • Pet kennels must abide by the size and weight criteria established as part of the hand luggage requirements.
  • Kennel weight cannot exceed 12 kg.
  • If there is enough space, two non-aggressive pets can be placed in the same kennel.
  • Passengers with a pet kennel have to be seated next to a window seat, with the exception of emergency exit rows.

If the kennel's dimensions do not meet the airline's criteria for cabin transportation, your pet will be shipped in the aircraft's hold. The combined weight of the animal and the container should not exceed 75 kg.

Notifying the airline carrier about your pet's accompanying you is essential. The number of available seats for passengers with pets is often limited, hence the air carrier may refuse to transport your pet. It is recommended to make a prior request for permission.

Occasionally, tickets for passengers with pets can be fully booked in advance. This often happens when the EU hosts major dog, cat and other animal exhibitions with attendees from different countries, including Russia. In these instances, you must ensure that you purchase tickets in advance, either at the airport or via dedicated online services. Pet transportation is a paid service, and charges must be paid accordingly.