Taking your pet abroad


After the UK left the EU at the turn of 2021 taking your pet abroad has changed significantly. We no longer issue pet passports and instead, the document is termed an Animal Health Certificate.Please allow an hour for your appointment with our export vet who will guide you through the process.

There are some important differences between the two:

  • An AHC is only valid for one trip, so for every holiday abroad starting in the UK, you need a new AHC, and there will be a charge of £175* (£85 for additional pets) each time.
  • We need to know the country in the EU that you are first arriving in, as we need to choose the correct AHC, which needs to be in English and the language of the EU country of first entry.
  • We need to issue the AHC at a health check appointment within 10 days of travel and it is only valid for entry into the EU for 10 days from the date signed in the UK. It is then valid for up to 4 months of travel around the EU (but only one return to the UK).
  • Dogs need a tapeworm treatment BEFORE TRAVEL to Northern Ireland, Ireland, Finland, Norway and Malta.
  • Dogs need a tapeworm treatment BEFORE RETURN to the UK (there is an exemption for dogs if they have only traveled to Ireland, Finland, Norway or Malta).
  • The tapeworm treatment mentioned above needs to be witnessed by a veterinary surgeon, not just administered at home! The timing in both scenarios (journey out and journey back) is 24-120 hours (1-5 days but precise to the hour) before arrival.
  • As before with the pet passport scheme, your pet must be microchipped and vaccinated against rabies and there must be at least 21 days between date of rabies vaccination and travel abroad. A blood test is not required.
  • As before this arrangement is for pet dogs, cats and ferrets to EU countries; if you wish to take a different species to the EU, or a cat, dog or ferret to a non-EU country, then the rules are different: please contact us and the APHA – Animal and Plant Health Agency (previously DEFRA).
  • And finally, the AHC is a long document so please allow us plenty of time to fill it out, but leave it in our capable hands!

For more information please visit the official government guidelines – https://www.gov.uk/taking-your-pet-abroad

*A non-refundable £50 telephone consultation to plan your trip applies to all travel services and is payable at the time of booking. For clients that are already registered at Hilltop this fee will be deducted from the cost of preparing your travel documentation