Dogs and cats travel between UK and Europe all the time and as Europe has fewer cases of rabies now than 30 years ago, it is a welcome treat that pets can travel so easily.

In order to travel to Europe, pets need a pet passport. There are more details about the pet passport here.

There is a very definite order of how to correctly get your pet a passport for entry into Europe and then back again into UK.

Step 1: Your dog or cat needs a microchip.

Step 2: They then need a rabies vaccination. They must be at least 3 months old before they have this. Some rabies vaccines in the UK last for 3 years and others will last for 3 years but need a top up after one year, so you need to know when the vaccine expires.

Step 3: Your vet issues you with a pet passport and 21 days after the initial vaccination, your pet can travel to Europe and back again.

Step 4: If your pet is travelling by plane, then the airlines demand that they are checked within 5 days of the flight to ensure that they are fit and healthy

PetAir UK is run and owned by vets, so we are perfectly placed to help you with all aspects of any journey to Europe. All European countries accept the pet passport, but there are some exceptions and changes to the rule depending on if they are within EU or just European, for example:

Cyprus and Greece ask that dogs and cats travelling there are treated against ticks and tapeworms 24-48 hours before they check in for their flight.

Switzerland is in Europe but not in the EU, so the Swiss have similar rules for the importation of pets to the rest of Europe, but they will not allow dogs with docked tails into the country.

Sweden class imports of dogs and cats into as commercial or non-commercial depending if the owner is on the same plane entering Sweden or not. The rules for entry are very different. Non-commercial imports of dogs and cats into Sweden are relatively simple, but require the owner to be on the same plane. Commercial imports are much more complicated and require TRACES and BALAI certification. So usually, it makes sense from a cost and simplicity point of view for the owner to fly back to UK and then fly back to Sweden on the same plane – PetAir UK can help arrange this. Often the owners don’t see the pets in UK, as they fly back and then immediately out to Sweden again. PetAir UK ensures that the pets are on the same plane as the owner leaving UK.

If you have not owned your pet for more than 6 months, your pet in under 6 months old, you are changing ownership (i.e. if you are rescuing an animal from abroad) or you cannot travel within 5 days either side of your pets movement, then please do contact us for further information.

Flying pets to Europe is both simple and tricky. The veterinary requirements are simple, but the logistics and planning can be complicated, as many European airports only accept pets landing at certain times, so the number of flights PetAir UK can use to fly your dog or cat to Europe are limited. Also, the planes used for travel from the UK to Europe are often smaller, and so larger dogs can only travel on certain flights.

At PetAir UK, we’re very experienced at flying pets to Europe and we can plan around all the little rules and regulations to ensure your pets travel comfortably and safely.

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