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Moving a Pet to Portugal

Rules and Regulations for International Pet Shipping

What Pet Travel Documents Are Needed to Travel to Portugal?

cat ready for pet transportPortugal welcomes pet dogs, cats, and ferrets who wish to join their families relocating to the country. If you’re moving from the US or another non-European Union country, your pet can arrive by air at any of Portugal’s official international ports – Lisbon, Faro, or Porto.

Pet Travel Documents & Requirements

Each country makes its rules that relate to importing pets, visiting, or staying. The requirements are similar in many ways, but the details depend on where you live now. For example, if you and your cat, dog, or ferret live in another European Union country and your pet already has a current EU Pet Passport, you won’t have to obtain additional paperwork to bring your pet into Portugal.  

If you presently reside outside the European Union, there are several steps you will need to follow in order to move your pet to Portugal. Again, the details depend on exactly where you’re coming from. If you live in the United States, this USDA web page explains how to move your pet to Portugal. That said, you can also keep reading to learn all the essential information.

Read carefully, because it is critical that you follow each of the requirements precisely. If your pet arrives with incomplete or incorrect documentation, they may be sent home, quarantined, or even euthanized. The last thing any country wants is a pet to bring diseases or pests with them.

If your pet will not be traveling with you, you must also sign an authorization form for whoever will accompany or transport your pet.

Rabies Vaccinations

cats in need of rabies shots for their trip to Belgium

Portugal requires all pets to be vaccinated against rabies prior to arrival. The rabies vaccinations must be administered AFTER the microchip is implanted. The rabies vaccination for pets traveling to the EU must be greater than 21 days old and less than 1 year old at the time of travel. If your pet's vaccination will be over 1 year, then a new vaccine will be needed at least 21 days prior to travel.

All EU countries also require microchips to be ISO-compliant. So if your pet has another type of microchip, they will need to get a second one (and both numbers will have to appear on his documentation). If your pet’s microchip is the right type but was implanted before they were vaccinated for rabies, they will need to get a new rabies vaccination and wait at least 21 days before entering Portugal.

Other Vaccinations

Except for rabies, Portugal’s pet import rules do not require any additional vaccinations. However, you should consult your new veterinarian in Portugal about any recommended locally-specific vaccines or preventative treatments.

It is recommended that cats and dogs are vaccinated for the following. Do note that if your pet will be boarding, these vaccinations will be required.

  • Dogs: DHPP (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus), Bordetella (Kennel Cough), Leptospirosis, CIV (Canine Influenza Virus)
  • Cats: FVRCP (Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, Panleukopenia), Feline Leukemia

Blood Tests

Portugal does not require additional blood tests required for dogs, cats, or ferrets unless your pet is coming from an "unlisted" country.

If your pet is traveling from an "unlisted" country, then a rabies titer blood test will be required. The rabies titer test must be completed at least 30 days after their rabies vaccination and at least 3 months before traveling to the EU. This test must be completed by an authorized (USDA-Accredited) vet and the sample must be sent to an EU approved laboratory.

Tapeworm Treatment

Your dog won’t need tapeworm treatment to move to Portugal.

Health Certificates

Dog ready for transportThe requirements outlined below apply to you if your pet will enter Portugal within 5 days before or after your own arrival date, and if you have fewer than 5 pets total. This is the most common scenario. If you are departing from the USA, the health certificate required for travel can be found on the USDA website

If you are traveling with more than 5 pets or your pet(s) will arrive outside the 5-day window noted above, then Portugal requires you to use a “commercial” health certificate. It doesn’t matter whether you’re making the arrangements yourself or our Starwood Pet Travel team is handling the details for you.

The health certificate must be completed and signed by an accredited veterinarian and then endorsed (counter-signed and stamped or embossed) by the USDA APHIS Veterinary Medical Officer in your state. Portugal will allow the accredited vet to electronically complete and sign the certificate, but the USDA must use an original ink signature and emboss the documents. This document must be completed within 10 days prior to your pet’s arrival in Portugal.  

Import Permit

Portugal does not require pets to have an import permit. However, if you will be importing more than 5 pets, or if your pet will arrive in the country more than 5 days prior to or after your arrival, then additional paperwork is required.

What Are the Pet Restrictions for Portugal?

Banned Breeds

Staffordshire Bull TerrierEvery country has different rules regarding banned or conditionally-accepted breeds of dogs and cats. Portugal requires pet owners to sign a Statement of Responsibility if your dog is on the list below and you expect to be in the country longer than four months. If you are making a permanent move, you’ll need a Notification document for your dog as well, and he or she will have to be neutered. If your dog is a purebred with pedigree documentation, you may be granted an exception:

  • Brazilian Fila
  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Tosa Inu
  • Pit Bull Terrier

Age Restrictions for Portugal

Portugal does not allow importation of kittens, puppies, or baby ferrets that are less than 15 weeks old and whose rabies immunization is less than 21 days old at the time of entry. 

Do I Need a Microchip for My Pet to Travel to Portugal?

Cats Need Microchip Before Trip To Belgium

All dogs, cats, and ferrets must be implanted with a microchip that meets ISO standard 11784 or 11785. (The number will be 15 digits.) The microchip must be implanted BEFORE the rabies vaccination. If your pet currently has no microchip, get that done first because, as noted above, that number just appears on all documentation. If your pet a non-ISO compliant microchip, you can have your veterinarian implant another microchip that does meet ISO standards. This will not harm your pet. Otherwise, you will have to:

  • Carry a chip reader that customers officials can use to scan your pet, or
  • Notify Portuguese customs ahead of time so they can have the right type of scanner available

What Are the Quarantine Requirements for a Pet Traveling to Portugal?

Portugal does not quarantine incoming pets that are accompanied by all the proper import/health documentation.

Are There Any Area Specific Pet Requirements in Portugal?

Because your pet must be personally checked in upon arrival, you are required to give 48-hour advance notice of the arrival time. If you are working with a pet transport company, they will handle this on your behalf.

If you are coming from peninsular Malaysia, your pet must not have had contact with pigs or have lived somewhere with confirmed cases of Nipah disease within the last 60 days. Pets must test negative for Nipah within 10 days of export, using an IgG capture ELISA test performed in an approved lab.

If your pet is a cat and you’re coming from Australia, they may not have lived anywhere where there have been confirmed cases of Hendra disease within the past 60 days.

Our Portugal pet shipping services include:

  • Door-to-door transport
  • Assistance with health certificates, import certificates, and other travel documents needed for animal transport to Portugal (outlined above)
  • USDA endorsement and consular legalization (when needed) of all relevant documents where required
  • Airline-approved flight kennels provided with personalized labels, identification and emergency notification instructions
  • Customs clearance and delivery to your home
  • Local pet taxi service to and from the airport, your home, veterinarian, kennel, or groomer – available in major Portugal cities as well as their surrounding areas
  • Travel consultation and flight reservations

We will inform you of your pet's full itinerary before the trip and we will update you as your pet travels to Portugal.

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