Tips for Traveling to Europe With Your Dog
These are some of the items that should be on your checklist:
Contact the consulate or embassy for each country you’ll be visiting for information about any pet requirements you must meet.
Make sure your dog is healthy and his vaccinations are up to date. You must bring a health certificate from a veterinarian who is certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). (If your vet is not USDA certified, ask for a referral to one who is.)
The fee and processing time for the endorsement varies; contact the Veterinary Services Area Office in your state for more information.
Different countries have different requirements for the health certificates. For instance, some countries require the forms to be bilingual. You can look up the countries you’ll be visiting and download health certificates on the USDA’s International Animal Export Regulations web page.
Most European countries require your dog to either be microchipped or have a clearly readable tattoo. Since customs agents may use different brands of scanners, bring your own scanner that works with your dog’s microchip.
Note that per the European Commission, the microchip must be implanted in your dog before he is vaccinated against rabies in order for the vaccination to be considered valid.
Pet passport – The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) system allows dogs from the U.S., Canada and certain European countries to enter the UK without being quarantined. It also allows UK residents to travel to other European countries with their dogs without the need to quarantine. PETS has two parts: one that certifies the dog is vaccinated against rabies and does not have the disease, and another that certifies the dog has been treated for ticks and other parasites up to 48 hours before arriving in the UK.
Check your airline’s regulations for shipping pets. This is especially important if you are traveling during the summer. Many airlines do not allow animals in the cargo area between June and September. Short-snouted dogs are not allowed on some airlines. Small dogs may be allowed to fly as passengers in the cabin; note that you will have to buy a separate ticket for your dog in advance of your flight. Make sure your crate meets your airline’s requirements.
Breed Restrictions – If your dog is a Pit Bull or mix, be aware that this and other so-called “vicious” breeds are banned in some European countries and areas, such as northern Ireland.
Once you arrive in Europe, observe each country’s pet laws.
In Italy, for example, pet parents are required by law to clean up after their dogs in public places.
If you are planning to travel by train, be sure to check whether dogs are allowed on board. In Italy, dogs must weigh 13 pounds or less to be allowed on trains, and they must be kept in crates.
More information can be found on the USDA website.
Next Week: Tips for Traveling to Mexico and South America With Your Dog