Importing Pets to Europe

Please review the requirements below to ensure your pet is compliant with the European pet import regulations. These requirements are for pets traveling from the USA to Europe.

The requirements for cats and dogs to enter Europe are as follows:

  1. Microchip
  2. Rabies Vaccination
  3. Final Exam & Health Certificate
  4. Tapeworm Treatment (dogs only) - Only required for pets traveling to the UK, Ireland, Finland, Malta & Norway

We do NOT recommend your pet travels over the weekend as it can be difficult to sort out issues with vets & customs should a problem arise.  In some cases, weekend arrivals are NOT permitted at all or you will incur additional fees.

1. Microchip

Your cat or dog must be implanted with an ISO compatible microchip BEFORE the most recent Rabies vaccination. 

ISO compatible microchips have 15 digits and the chip should be scanned at every vet visit to ensure it is readable & consistent with your pet's records. 

2. Rabies Vaccination 

AFTER the microchip is implanted/scanned, your pet must be given a Rabies vaccination. 

Your pet cannot travel to Europe until at least 21 days after the Rabies vaccination is given. 

Please note that the United Kingdom and Ireland will only accept a Rabies vaccination that is greater than 21 days old AND less than 1 year old at the time of travel.  If your pet's Rabies vaccination was given more than 1 year before travel, you will need to get a new Rabies vaccine at least 21 days prior to travel. 

The Rabies Vaccination Certificate must contain the following details:

  • Date given
  • Date due
  • Pets details & microchip number
  • FULL name of manufacturer (ex. Zoetis, Merial, Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck)
  • FULL name of vaccine product (ex. Defensor 3, Imrab 3, Rabvac 3, Nobivac-1)
  • Serial # of the vaccine
  • Original ink vet signature
  • Vet license #

3. Final Exam & International Health Certificate

Your pet must be examined by a USDA Accredited Veterinarian between 2-10 days prior to travel and the vet must complete the correct International Health Certificate. 

There are two different typed of international health certificates for pets traveling to Europe, depending on when you are traveling in relation to your pet.  

  1. If the pet owner / family member is traveling within 5 days before or after the pet, then a Non-Commercial Health Certificate must be completed within 10 days prior to travel.
  2. If you have 6 pets or more OR no one is traveling within 5 days before or after the pet, then a Commercial Health Certificate must be completed 2 days prior to travel.  

We can provide you with specific instructions for these appointments and will let you know when you should bring your pet in to the USDA Accredited Vet.  After the exam, the Health Certificate must be sent to the USDA for their official endorsement.  

The ORIGINAL signed Rabies Certificate, proof of microchip and USDA-endorsed Health Certificate must travel with your pet on the day of departure. 

4. Tapeworm Treatment (Dogs Only) - Only required for pets traveling to the UK, Ireland, Finland, Malta or Norway

Dogs must be given a tapeworm treatment (Echinococcus multilocularis) between 24-120 hours (1-5 days) prior to their ARRIVAL to the UK, Ireland, Finland Malta or Norway. 

This treatment must be reported on the Health Certificate & must be administered by the USDA Accredited Vet in their office. 

The vet must use a tapeworm treatment containing Praziquantel.  

5. Other Recommended Vaccinations

While customs does not require additional vaccinations for cats & dogs, we strongly recommend making sure they are up to date with the following. 


  • FVRCP (Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, Panleukopenia)


  • Bordetella (Kennel Cough)
  • DHPP (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus)

If your pet will be boarding before or after their flight(s), then most boarding facilities do require these vaccinations.


You can also view these requirements here