The UK is a destination for pet lovers, especially after the strict pet regulations were relaxed. If you’re planning to visit or live there permanently, you will probably bring your pet along. There are various steps you need to consider to ensure you meet the legal requirements and protect the welfare of your furry friend. Look out for the following before traveling with a pet.
**DISCLAIMER: At the time of publication for this post, we are amidst the COVID-19 global pandemic. Please consult with the World Health Organization and Center for Disease Control before traveling.**
Pet Assistance Information
Before traveling with your pet to the United Kingdom, you need to have the basics covered, like finding a new veterinarian. It can be hectic to take care of the necessary formalities like finding vets and information involved with pet travel. If you make a mistake, your pet might have to quarantine for months in a foreign kennel. Therefore, ensure you know the important information such as:
- how many pets you can bring
- required treatments and vaccinations
- mode of traveling
- getting necessary documentation (like a pet passport)
Having your pet microchipped is the first step you should take before you travel to the UK. The microchip has to be ISO 1178/11784 complaint. If not, contact Border Inspection officials and inquire if there are scanners that can read your pet's microchip. Other options include bringing your own scanner or have your veterinarian implant a compliant microchip if your pet's chip is readable.
Proof of rabies vaccination must be provided for your pet to be allowed to enter the UK. For over 100 years, the UK has been free from rabies. After having a microchip implanted, vaccinate your pet against rabies.
The first vaccination should last one year, and if it expires before you travel, have your pet revaccinated. A three-year rabies vaccine does not act as a primary vaccine, but only as a booster.
If you are traveling from a country with high-rabies infections, after receiving a primary vaccine, your pet will have to wait for 30 days before getting a rabies titer test.
Only dogs require this treatment, and it should be administered 1–5 days before your pet enters the UK. The treatment date must, therefore, show on their health certificate.
Your pet’s health certificate confirms that your pet has been vaccinated against rabies and other diseases. Therefore, it should be certified and signed by an accredited veterinarian.
Length of Your Stay
As much as we love our pets, traveling with them can be difficult. The process of preparation can cost even more than your ticket. If you are coming for a short vacation, you might reconsider bringing your furball along. It simply might not be worth it!
However, if you have an indefinite leave to remain, either for study or employment, you will have to bring the most important member of your family along. It's inevitable.
The UK is a great destination to travel with your pets. However, you need to follow the due process and fulfill all requirements to ensure a smooth entry for you and your pet. Keeping in mind that you're traveling with your pet, you need to pack like a pro. After you pack your bag and necessities, pack some items for your pet like the carrier, and avoid packing food items.
Before you set off to the UK, read our other articles about traveling!
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