For the past 10 years we have been very lucky to be able to travel to the continent with our 4 legged companions – our dogs, cats and even ferrets. This was relatively straight forward as long as our furry friends had their rabies vaccination, waited 21 days, had a microchip and an EU passport. Then on re-entry to the UK they had to have their worming tablet.

However with the UK now having left the EU things are a little bit different ……. This includes the freedom to travel with our pets.


The situation is different at the moment due to the current global pandemic in which the government is advising against international travel, but we are getting enquiries into what travelling with your pet may look like when this is a realistic option.

During Brexit Great Britain (GB) has become a Part II listed Third Country for the purposes of pet travel. If you want to travel to an EU country or to Northern Ireland (NI) your pet will need the following:

  • A valid rabies vaccination
  • A microchip
  • An Animal Health Certificate  (AHC)
  • Tapeworm treatment if you are travelling directly to Finland, NI, Norway or Malta.

An AHC is provided by your vet which needs to be signed by an Official Veterinarian (OV), we have a number of OV’s at each of our Swaynes’ branches. 

The AHC is valid for entry into the EU or NI for 10 days and allows 4 months onwards travel within the EU and to allow re-entry into GB. Remember on return to GB you will still need to ensure that your pet has been given its tapeworm treatment on the continent, 24-150 hours before return.

You may not need an AHC if your pet has a pet passport which has been issued in an EU country or Northern Ireland so please speak to our OV’s before travelling. The AHC documents are a longer certificate and require a longer time allowance for our vets to complete. Please call your local Swaynes’ branch to discuss the cost of the examination and completion of an AHC.

More information can be found on the government website by searching for “taking your pet abroad” www.gov.uk

If you have any questions about AHC or travelling with your pet please don’t hesitate to contact your nearest Swaynes’ branch. As Brexit and the pandemic are still very current there maybe further changes which we will try to inform our owners of if and when they arise.