Moving Your Pet to the UK: 7 Essential Steps You Need to Follow

Ugo Arinzeh

April 26, 2023
Taking my dog with me to London

Moving your beloved pet from one country to another can be a daunting process. However, with the right preparation and knowledge of the process, it can be a stress-free experience for both you and your fur baby.

If you are planning your move from the U.S to the U.K. with your pet, here are seven critical steps you need to follow.

1. Check if your pet is allowed by the company you are travelling with.

Before embarking on the journey with your pet, you need to check if the airline or shipping company allows pets on board. Different companies have varying regulations on pet transportation, and some may have restrictions based on breed or size. It is crucial to make sure that your pet meets the company’s requirements to avoid any last-minute surprises.

Dog Case

2. Get the necessary tests and vaccinations

The UK has strict rules and regulations regarding the import of animals, and it is essential to comply with these to avoid any issues with customs. Your pet will need to undergo specific tests and vaccinations before they can enter the UK. The required tests include a rabies antibody test, which should be carried out at least 30 days after your pet has received a rabies vaccination. Additionally, your pet will need to be vaccinated against leptospirosis, canine distemper, and infectious hepatitis.

Cat Vaccine

3. Obtain a health certificate

To be allowed into the UK, your pet will need to have a health certificate signed by a licensed veterinarian. The certificate should show that your pet is healthy and has undergone all the necessary tests and vaccinations. Additionally, the certificate should be issued no more than ten days before your travel date.

Health Certificate For Pets

4. Obtain a pet passport

A pet passport is a document that contains all the necessary information about your pet, including their identification, vaccination status, and health certificate. You can obtain a pet passport from your veterinarian or the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). Your pet passport should be valid for the duration of your pet’s stay in the UK.

Pet Passport

5. Fill out the Declaration Form

Prior to departing on your trip to the United Kingdom with your pet, you must complete a Declaration form confirming that your pet is not being brought into the U.K. for commercial purposes and providing evidence of your ownership. This means that you aren’t planning on selling your pet while in the United Kingdom.


6. Pick your mode of transportation

Choosing the right mode of transportation is essential for the comfort and safety of your pet during the journey. You can either transport your pet via air or sea, depending on your preferences and your pet’s needs. It is essential to research and choose a reputable airline or ferry that specialises in pet transportation.

Travel With A Pet

7. Double-check that you have everything you need to travel with your pet

Before you embark on your journey, it is crucial to double-check that you have all the necessary documents and supplies for your pet. This includes your pet’s health certificate, pet passport, vaccination records, food, water, and any medication your pet may need during the journey.

Because of the rules and regulations for importing pets into the United Kingdom, be sure to double-check with the website for United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) for updated regulations.

Travelling With Your Pet

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, moving your pet from the US to the UK may seem like a daunting process, but following these 7 critical steps will make it easier and stress-free. Ensure that you have all the necessary documents, vaccinations, and transportation arrangements to ensure the comfort and safety of your furry friend during the journey. Good news is when they get to a city like London, there will be so many places they are welcome and can enoy!

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