Travelling overseas with your pet

You need an Animal Health Certificate or Export Health Certificate to take your cat, dog or ferret into the EU. Find out more about the documents you’ll need to travel overseas with your pet.

Updated 14 January 2020  | 4 min read

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Key points

  • For EU travel, take your pet to the vet to get an animal health certificate no more than 10 days before you travel
  • Your pet will need to be microchipped and vaccinated for rabies
  • Make sure you have pet insurance that covers your pet abroad, and don’t forget to sort out your own passport and insurance

What do I need to know when travelling with my pet?

If you want to take your pets overseas, you’ll need to get an Animal Health Certificate (AHC) for travel to an EU country or Northern Ireland. To travel to a non-EU country you need an Export Health Certificate (EHC). Both of these need to be signed off by a vet.

Your pet needs to be microchipped and will need to be up to date with rabies vaccinations to get either of these documents from your vet.

Which pets require a passport or similar documentation to travel abroad?

Cats and dogs and ferrets will need an AHC or EHC to travel. 

Can I still get a pet passport after Brexit?

No, not in the UK. The rules for travelling to the EU with  your pet changed on 1 January 2021.

Read the latest advice for travelling to Europe with your pet after Brexit.

Travelling to the EU frequently with your pet

Your pet will need a new AHC for each trip, which you’ll need to arrange at least 10 days before you travel, every time. The AHC proves you’ve kept vaccinating your pet for rabies.

What animals can I travel with?

It’s not just dogs, cats and ferrets you can travel with. You’ll need to check the specific regulations of the country you plan to travel to, and have the right documentation and vet records, but you should be able to travel with:

  • Rodents
  • Horses
  • Rabbits
  • Birds
  • Invertebrates
  • Amphibians
  • Reptiles 

Can I travel with my pet to any country?

The requirements for your pet to be granted entry vary by country. There are extra conditions if you're travelling to an unlisted country – somewhere that’s not on the list of EU and non-EU countries.

For up-to-date information check government guidelines.

What happens when I bring my pet back home?

When you return to the UK, your pet’s microchip will be scanned and AHC or EHC checked.

If you don't have the right documents, your pet could be taken into quarantine or sent back to the country you've just travelled from.

What if I have more than one animal?

The number of pets you can normally travel with is limited to five. If you want to travel with more than five dogs, cats or ferrets, the group of animals will need an additional health certificate and will be subject to checks at point of entry.

Your journey must also be for non-commercial reasons, which excludes the sale of animals.

Insurance for pets abroad

You can get insurance that covers your pets while they’re abroad. If you already have pet insurance, your pet might be covered – check your policy before you travel. Most horse, dog and cat insurance will cover trips abroad, assuming all of the paperwork required to travel is in place.