A Guide to Bringing Your Pet to the UK: Must-Know Requirements and Tips

Author Veterinary Consultant
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A Guide to Bringing Your Pet to the UK: Must-Know Requirements and Tips

Visiting the Foggy Albion and the Scottish Highlands.

Imagine exploring the enchanting beauty of the British Isles with your beloved furry companion by your side! For a long time, this dream was out of reach for pet owners due to restrictive quarantine rules. However, with the more flexible policies implemented as of January 1, 2012, travel to the UK with a pet is as simple as to any other European nation.

Import Restrictions on Dog Breeds: Dogs belonging to designated breeds are not allowed to be imported into the UK:

  • pit bull terriers;
  • brazilian files;
  • great danes of argentina;
  • tosa inu.

Additionally, dogs that appear similar to these breeds are also viewed as unacceptable and subject to the same regulations.

Getting ready

Mandatory Requirements for Animal Import into the UK:

  • 12-Week Minimum Age;
  • Veterinary Passport/Certificate;
  • Microchip;
  • Rabies Vaccination;
  • Antibody Titer Test;
  • Deworming (for Dogs Only).

! Important: It is essential to ensure that the necessary processing is completed at least 1 to 5 days (24 to 120 hours) prior to the planned entry into the UK.

Международный ветеринарный паспорт.
International Veterinary Passport. Following successful completion of the deworming procedure, a licensed veterinarian can provide a veterinary certificate Form 1. The veterinarian will also examine your pet's veterinary passport and verify that the necessary vaccinations are up-to-date. This information will be required when you apply for an international veterinary certificate, form 5a, at the airport. (! This certification process is only applicable for countries outside the European Union, which use an official veterinary certificate instead of a veterinary passport).
Чипирование животного.
Microchip. Only microchips that conform to ISO 11784, ISO 11785 standards are accepted in the UK. A note relating to chipping is made in the animal's passport, and a 15-digit identification number is prescribed. Note: If the microchip installed on the animal does not conform to ISO standards, it is essential to have an appropriate reader with you to properly identify it).
Rabies Vaccination. It is essential to ensure that the pet has been chipped BEFORE the rabies vaccination, as failing to do so will render the vaccination invalid. Additionally, the vaccines used for rabies must comply with the regulations and guidelines of WSAVA (the World Small Animal Veterinary Association).
Тест на титр антител к вирусу бешенству.
Rabies Antibody Titer Test. The process of importing an animal into the UK requires a mandatory test for the titer of antibodies to the rabies virus. The veterinarian must take the blood for the analysis no earlier than 30 days after the vaccination against rabies. The analysis must be conducted in an accredited laboratory such as the anti-rabies laboratory of NoviStem LLC. The result must show that the titer of antibodies is at least 0.5 IU/ml, otherwise revaccination will be necessary. Note: there must be a 90-day delay before entering the UK after the blood for the analysis was taken.

Customs and Flight

It is only possible to transport animals into the UK through authorized entry points, such as certain international airports and ports. Specific locations include Heathrow and Gatwick international airports, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester airports, Southampton and Portsmouth ports, Newcastle, etc.

Please note that airlines and airports do not provide transport kennels for animals. Owners are responsible for obtaining the necessary kennels themselves. (Furthermore, Ryanair and EasyJet do not allow dogs on their flights, except for guide dogs.).

For more information regarding the rules and regulations for importing animals into the UK, it is essential to consult with the Embassy or Consulate of the United Kingdom.


Which Transport Kennel is Used for Animal Shipping?
For pet transportation, several certified providers are involved, including Pet Cargo, Vari Kennel, Atlas, and Clipper.
Is there a limit on the size of animals being transported?
No, but larger animals are typically transported in the cargo section, resulting in additional costs for purchasing the kennel, its registration and transportation.
Useful tips

Before traveling to the UK with your pet, it is important to carefully consider and resolve several critical issues in advance. These include a timely animal inspection, chipping and vaccination, rabies antibody analysis, and completing all necessary documents in all appropriate forms. By handling these matters properly and in a timely manner, you can avoid potential problems during the airport check-in process.