Because we are in the heart of London we probably issue as many ‘Animal Health Certificates’ for pets travelling abroad as any vet clinic in the UK. New regulations are tedious, time consuming and costly but once we have the necessary information the rest is just bureaucracy.

Old UK Pet Passports no longer recognised

The EU no longer recognizes the UKs previously issued blue pet passports.

There are no health and safety changes to taking your dog or cat to the EU, Switzerland or Norway (and now also to Northern Ireland) but there is time consuming information collecting before we can provide you with the new 12-page Animal Health Certificate (AHC).

Each AHC has a unique number and can’t be used again. A new AHC is required for each visit to the EU. The AHC is used for your pet’s return to the UK (or, if your old UK Pet Passport is still ‘in date’ it can be used for re-entry.

Planning your pet’s visit abroad

If you plan to visit the continent with your pet, please tell us at least 10 working days before doing so by emailing . We will email back a detailed questionnaire for you to complete.

As before, your pet must be microchipped and have an up-to-date rabies inoculation. (The vaccine we use is ‘in date’ for three years from the time it’s given.) And as before your dog must visit a vet on the continent between one and five days before returning, to be given a worming pill. (This isn’t needed for returning cats.)

There are no travel restrictions between the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man. 

Your pet may qualify for an EU Pet Passport

If you have a residential address in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, or Northern Ireland and live there for 3 months you can apply in the country of that residence for a Pet Passport.

Ask your local vet to complete an EU Pet Passport for your companion. (In some countries vets have blank passports and in others they have to obtain the blank copy from the local municipal office. All the details the local vet needs are in your AHC

If a vet is issuing a new EU Pet Passport it will not be valid until three weeks after your pet is rabies vaccinated by an EU vet and the passport is completed. Use the AHC we give you when you return to the UK. Your new EU issued Pet Passport can then be used for future visits to the EU, Switzerland, Norway and Northern Ireland.

We use MSD Nobivac rabies vaccine recognised in the UK as effective for three years. Ask your local vet to inoculate with a vaccine that is also effective for three years. Please be aware that although the manufacturer guarantees MSD Nobivac vaccine for three years, some countries require yearly rabies vaccination. Your pet’s EU Pet Passport must comply with that country’s regulations.

We know that EU vets sometimes make mistakes when completing EU Pet Passports. We are sorry but we have no control over how they complete Pet Passports, and we can’t rectify any mistakes that they make. A common mistake is not recording the microchip implant date as before or at the latest the same day as the rabies vaccination. Another common mistake is not accurately entering the rabies vaccination information that is in your Animal Health Certificate or not recording it at all.

If you have obtained an EU Pet Passport for your pet, a veterinarian in Europe must record any future rabies vaccinations in the Pet Passport to continue its validity. GB veterinarians are no longer permitted to record rabies vaccination details in an EU Pet Passport, but vets in Northern Ireland are.


Each country has its own pet health requirements. The minimum in all countries is microchip identification and rabies inoculation. Some countries require tapeworm treatment (as the UK, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Finland, Norway, and Malta do) before entry. Others, for example Japan and Australia, require blood tests for certain animal diseases. In the United States, animal health regulations are State matters and because State officials are not at international airports they are often not enforced.  However please check what the State regulations are and let us know. You are responsible for meeting the regulations of the State you land in, not the State you live in.

If you are travelling with your pet to any country outside the EU please visit for advice. Once you have that advice, contact and tell us where you are going and what you need. Countries frequently change their import regulations so please get advice from the UK government or the country you are visiting. If you ask us what the specific import regulations are regrettably, we simply won’t know.

Once you tell us where your pet is travelling and send up a copy of that country’s import requirements, we can direct you to the UK government website where you apply for an Export Health Certificate (EHC) specific for the country in question. Unfortunately, we are not allowed to apply for an EHC on your behalf.

All the vets at the London Vet Clinic are ‘Official Veterinarians’ and can access and print your EHC and legally sign it on the UK government’s behalf.