A Complete Guide to Bringing Pets to the UK 

bringing pets to the uk

Bringing your pet to the UK can be challenging. There are many things to consider, particularly when it comes to the rules and regulations for bringing pets to the UK. One big thing to remember is that the UK prides itself on being rabies-free. This means they have strict requirements for importing pets to maintain that status. You must follow the rules if you want to bring your dog, cat, or ferret when you move to or visit the UK. We know how important your pets are to you and are dedicated to ensuring a smooth and stress-free journey for you and your furry companions. If you plan to travel or relocate to the UK with your pet, we’re here to provide you with all the essential information and guidance. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process for bringing pets to the UK, including vaccination requirements, microchipping, health certificates, and RNATT Test.

Requirements For Importing Pets to the UK 

requirements for importing pets to the uk

When bringing your pets to the UK, specific requirements must be met to ensure a smooth entry into the country. Here’s a breakdown of the key requirements you need to be aware of:

Vaccination Requirement

Pets such as dogs, cats, and ferrets must receive a rabies vaccination before entering the country. This vaccination helps protect against the transmission of rabies, a serious and potentially fatal disease. The vaccination should be administered by a licensed veterinarian and kept up to date per the recommended schedule. Following these vaccination requirements gives you a smooth and worry-free journey to the UK with your furry friends.

Note: If you are bringing a pet from a listed country, the vaccination must be given at least 21 days prior. If you bring a pet from unlisted countries, the vaccination must be given 4 months prior.


To ensure a smooth process for bringing your pets into the UK, having them microchipped before or at the same time as they receive their rabies vaccination is essential. If the microchip is implanted after vaccination, they must be vaccinated again. The initial step in preparing your dogs and cats for entry into the UK is to ensure they are identified with an ISO 11784 and 11785 compliant 15-digit pet microchip. Your veterinarian should implant the microchip. Make sure you get documentation about the microchip manufacturer and instructions on how to register your pet’s details in their database.

Rabies Neutralising Antibody Titre Test(RNATT) 

RNATT stands for Rabies Neutralizing Antibody Titre Test. It detects rabies virus-neutralizing antibodies (level of rabies serum in the bloodstream) after vaccination. If you’re travelling to the UK from an unlisted country, it is necessary for your dogs and cats to have a blood sample taken by a certified vet at least 30 days after receiving their rabies vaccination. This sample must then be tested in an approved lab to ensure that the rabies antibody level is at least 0.5 IU/ml. After the blood sample is taken, your pet can only enter the UK after a waiting period of 3 months. As long as you keep up with your pet’s rabies vaccinations on time, the rabies blood test remains valid.

Note: Bringing dogs and cats from Hong Kong and Singapore to the UK does not require the RNATT Test.

Health Certificates 

When bringing pets into the UK, whether it is dogs or cats, you must obtain an official veterinary health certificate. This certificate needs to be approved by a government veterinarian in the country where your pet originates. For dogs, the health certificate should be obtained within 5 days before arrival, while for cats, it can be done within 10 days before arrival. These regulations are in place to ensure the health and safety of pets entering the UK and to prevent the spread of diseases.

Tapeworm Treatment 

There are also import regulations regarding tapeworm treatment for dogs only. Before bringing your dog to the UK, it must be treated against tapeworm by a veterinarian, and the treatment must be recorded in a health certificate.

Pet Quarantine Requirements 

The UK does not have mandatory quarantine for dogs and cats as long as all pet import criteria are met. The UK allows pets to enter the country without quarantine if they meet the above-mentioned requirements. These requirements include having a microchip for identification, vaccination against rabies, an RNATT test, and an official health certificate.

Bringing Pets to UK Before/After Brexit 

Brexit refers to the United Kingdom’s (UK) decision to leave the European Union (EU). The term “Brexit” is a combination of “Britain” and “exit.” 

Before Brexit, travelling with pets to the UK from European countries (EU) was relatively straightforward due to the European Union’s pet travel scheme (PETS). Under this scheme, cats, dogs, and ferrets could travel freely between EU member states and the UK with a pet passport, microchip, and rabies vaccination.

After Brexit, the rules for travelling with pets from EU countries to the UK changed. The UK implemented its own rules for pet travel. Pet owners travelling from EU countries to the UK now need additional requirements mentioned above.


Bringing pets to the UK involves several required import regulations that must be followed to ensure a smooth and successful relocation process. From obtaining health certificates and adhering to vaccination requirements to fulfilling specific criteria for countries listed under Part 1 or Part 2, it is essential to navigate these regulations correctly to ensure the well-being and legal entry of your beloved pets into the UK. The process can be complex, so the assistance of a professional pet relocation company can be immensely beneficial.

When you choose our pet relocation service for the UK, we will make the necessary arrangements and guide you through each step. We have the knowledge, resources, and experience to handle the process of pet transportation, customs clearance, and other procedures. Our goal is to ensure your pets’ well-being and safe arrival in the UK, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your relocation with confidence.

Expert Pet Relocation Services to the UK!

When you opt for our pet relocation services to the UK, rest assured that we prioritize the safety, comfort, and legal compliance of your beloved pets throughout the entire journey. Our experienced team understands the complexities of UK pet import regulations, from securing necessary health certificates to coordinating vaccinations and microchipping. We handle all aspects of pet transportation with meticulous care, ensuring seamless customs clearance and adherence to all required procedures. With our expertise, you can confidently navigate the complexities of relocating your pets, knowing that their well-being is our top priority. Trust us to provide comprehensive support, allowing you to focus on settling into your new life while we ensure a smooth and stress-free arrival for your furry companions in the UK.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the required import regulations for bringing pets to the UK?

The required import regulations for bringing pets to the UK include: -Obtaining a health certificate issued by a veterinarian -Ensuring up-to-date vaccinations -Microchipping your pet -Rabies Neutralizing Antibody Titre Test (RNATT) for unlisted countries

Do all pets need to be microchipped before entering the UK?

Yes, it is mandatory for all pets (dogs, cats, and ferrets) to be microchipped before or at the same time as they receive their rabies vaccination.

Are health certificates necessary for bringing pets to the UK?

Yes, an official veterinary health certificate is required for both dogs and cats.

Are there any quarantine requirements?

There are no mandatory quarantine requirements for pets entering the UK if all import regulations are met.

Dr Matthew Murdoch

Dr Matthew Murdoch

Veterinary Surgeon, Director

Dr Matthew is a UK-trained practicing Veterinarian and a globally recognized expert in pet travel who is committed to providing safe and smooth journeys for your beloved pets. His compassion and care for animals are second to none.