How to bring your cat or dog to the UK

Relocating to the UK and want to bring your cat or dog across the ocean? Here are some important tips to help get them to their new home happy and safe.


Requirements differ depending on whether your furry friends are arriving from a non-EU listed country (Australia and New Zealand) or an unlisted country (South Africa).

When entering from a non-EU listed country, the requirements are:

It is also important to note that you’ll have to wait 21 days from the date of their rabies vaccination before travelling.

When entering from an unlisted country the requirements are the same as above, but with one addition: A blood test must be taken at least 30 days after the rabies vaccination.

You’ll also have to wait three calendar months from the date the blood sample was taken before travelling. The copy of the test results, supplied by your vet, must show that the vaccination was successful and should be sent to an approved blood testing laboratory.

If your dog or cat was vaccinated, blood tested and given a pet passport in the EU before travelling to an unlisted country, then you won’t have to wait the usual three months before heading back to the UK.

The last requirement is that you use an approved transport company and route. The routes for travelling with assistance dogs differ from the standard ones.

It’s very important that you meet all the requirements before arriving in the UK. Failing to do so will mean that Felix and Fido will be put in quarantine and you’ll have to pay for both the transport costs and the accommodation.

Certainly not what you want to deal with on your first day in a new country.

Alternatively, if this all sounds like too much to deal with and you don’t want to risk getting it wrong, there are a number of professional services who will take care of the admin for you. Three popular companies are FlyPets, Pet Movers and Airpaws.

After ensuring your own visa is in order, we recommend having a look at the information for pet owners on the website. You’ll find a comprehensive list of everything you need to know to make sure your precious pet arrives safely in the UK.


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