Blogs > Life in the UK / Relocation

Can I bring my pet with me to the UK?

  • September 18, 2019

You can enter or return to the UK with your pet cat or dog if it meets the following criteria:

  • It has microchipped
  • It has a pet passport or third-country official veterinary certificate
  • It has been vaccinated against rabies
  • If you are travelling from an ‘unlisted country’, it will need to have a blood test
  • Must have had tapeworm treatment

If you do not follow the above steps, then your pet may be put into quarantine for up to four months or get refused entry if you travelled by sea. You will be responsible for any fees or charges.

Click here to find out if your country is listed or unlisted.  

What documentation will I need to bring with me to the airport?

  • Provide the correct certification with your import
  • Enter the EU through a border inspection post (BIP), where checks will be carried out to make sure that the import conditions have been met

You may also need:

  • An import licence or authorization
  • A commercial document

EU Pet Passports

If you are travelling from the EU, you will be able to obtain an EU Pet Passport which can be issued by an official veterinarian in the EU. So, if your pet is coming from a non-EU country then you will not be able to obtain an EU Pet Passport and you will need to follow the above-listed requirements and steps.

The Five-Day Rule

If you do decide to bring your pet to the UK with you, then you must travel to the UK within five days or their pet’s arrival in order to avoid being labelled as ‘commercial’ shipment. Whilst you can still important your pet as a commercial shipment, the health certificate will be different which means the timeline for completing the health certificate is much tighter and so, the import taxes will be higher.

What if I want to leave the UK with my pet?

If you decide to return back to your home country with your pet, you will need to follow the pet import requirements for your destination before you depart the UK. Depending on what country you are travelling to, you may need to obtain an export certificate from DEFRA.

For further information on how to import or export your pet to the UK, visit the GOV. website.

Relocation to the UK

If you are an international doctor and you need support with relocating to the UK, email your CV to [email protected] and we can support you in securing an NHS post and on your journey to the UK today.

Join our Facebook Group

Are you a member of our Facebook Group? When you join IMG Advisor, you will join a community of doctors all looking to relocate to the UK and join the NHS. We post a series of blogs and vlogs into the group every single day. We will also always be on hand to answer all your relocation queries.


Subscribe to our YouTube channel! We have over 35 videos on everything you need to know about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS!

References (2019). Bringing Dogs and Cats to the UK - A Simple Guide | PetRelocation. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Sep. 2019].

GOV.UK. (2019). Bringing your pet dog, cat or ferret to the UK. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Sep. 2019].


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