UK: Initial Vet Visits

Let's make sure you're off to the right start and following the regulations for importing your pet(s) to the United Kingdom!


Feel free to also refer directly to the UK Government website for the requirements.

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

  1. Microchip
  2. Rabies Vaccination
  3. Final Exam & UK Health Certificate
  4. Tapeworm Treatment (dogs only)

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 to the UK are NOT permitted.

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 the UK until at least 21 days after the Rabies vaccination is given.  The Rabies vaccine must also be 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)
  • FULL name of vaccine product (ex. Defensor 3)
  • Serial # of the vaccine
  • Original ink vet signature
  • Vet license #

3. Final Exam & UK Health Certificate

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

There are two different international health certificates for the UK 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 UK Health Certificate must be completed within 10 days prior to travel.
  2. If no one is traveling within 5 days before or after the pet, then a Commercial UK Health Certificate must be completed 2 days prior to travel.  

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

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

4. Tapeworm Treatment (Dogs Only)

Dogs must be given a tapeworm treatment between 24-120 hours (1-5 days) prior to ARRIVAL to the UK. 

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

The vet must use a tapeworm treatment containing Praziquantel.