When you decide to travel with your pet to another country, you will need to meet some requirements. Within the European Union (EU), the rules are mostly the same for all countries, with a few exceptions. When traveling to other parts of the world, you need to find the information for the particular country as their rules may differ.
Traveling with a dog, cat or ferret from the Czech Republic to another EU country
Traveling with up to five dogs, cats and ferrets within the EU is treated by the Regulation (EU) No 576/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 June 2013 on the non-commercial movement of pet animals and repealing Regulation (EC) No 998/2003 Text with EEA relevance (Link)
- the animal must be identified using a microchip applied by a private veterinarian before the vaccine against rabies
- tattoo is valid only if it is legible and applied before July 3rd, 2011
- the animal must have a European pet passport issued by an approved veterinarian
- the animal must be accompanied by the owner registered in the passport or an authorized person
- the animal must have a valid vaccination against rabies. The vaccination is valid 21 days after the vaccine application (primary vaccination or the last of the primary course of the vaccinations) or from the day of the booster if the booster was applied still within the validity period.
- Model situations:
a) Your dog has been vaccinated regularly, but you don’t have the documents with you, and he/she received a rabies vaccine when crossing the borders from Ukraine or after arriving to the Czech Republic. The vaccine becomes valid 21 days after the application.
b) You have a puppy. Puppies can be vaccinated against rabies from 12 weeks of age. Your puppy is 3,5 months old and just got its first vaccine against rabies. The vaccination becomes valid 21 days later.
c) Your dog has been vaccinated against rabies the whole life and you have his vaccination passport with you to prove it. The vaccination passport should say how long the particular vaccine is valid.
Before entering the territory of Malta, Ireland, Finland, Norway and Northern Ireland, the dogs must be treated for echinococcosis, which has to be performed 120–24 hours before arrival and it must be confirmed by a veterinarian. It means that you need to give your dog a deworming pill efficient against tapeworms (containing praziquantel) and a veterinarian needs to confirm it to the European pet passport.
Traveling with animals younger than 12 weeks MAY be allowed if the animals have a passport and a written declaration (country specific) that the animals have not been in contact with wildlife species susceptible to rabies, or they are accompanied by their mother which has been regularly vaccinated against rabies before the young animals were born. Animals younger than 56 days MUST be accompanied by their mother.
Traveling with animals between 12 and 16 weeks (when the primary vaccination is not valid yet) MAY be allowed, if the keeper provides a written declaration that the animals have not been in contact with wildlife species susceptible to rabies, or they are accompanied by their mother which has been regularly vaccinated against rabies before the young animals were born.
Details on which countries allow entry of young animals can be found here.
Travelling with more that five animals.
If you need to travel with more that five dogs, cats or ferrets, different legislation applies. The pets shall comply with the animal health requirements laid down in Directive 92/65/EEC for the species concerned and Member States shall ensure that those animals are subject to the veterinary checks provided for in Directives 90/425/EEC or 91/496/EEC, as appropriate. In general, all of the above mentioned conditions apply and the animals have to be accompanied by a “health certificate” issued by a veterinarian 48 hours before the travel starts. The health certificate confirms that the animals have been clinically examined and are in a good health condition and able to travel. Legislation can be found here.
Travelling to the United Kingdom
- Same conditions as for the EU countries apply, if you are travelling from an EU country. Details here.
Travelling to Switzerland
- Same conditions as for the EU countries apply if you are travelling from an EU country. Details here.
Travelling to third countries
When travelling outside Europe, you always have to find out the requirements of each country. Usually, the same as for the EU is required, but some countries require also blood test for certain diseases or for example obligatory quarantine. Search information on official web of state veterinary authority or contact the authority or the embassy directly. Here are rules for some of the most commonly visited countries:
United States of America
Information about bringing an animal into the United States can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) web.
Dogs – complete rules to be found here.
- Entry allowed to dogs coming from territories which are not classified as high-risk for rabies and has not visited such country in the last 6 months.
- If the dog is coming to the US from low risk for rabies country, written (in English) or verbal statements that the dog lived in a country that is NOT high risk for at least 6 months or since birth
- List of high risk for rabies countries here.
- Ukraine is classified as a high risk for rabies country. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working to expedite import permit requests for dogs that originate in Ukraine and surrounding countries for persons wishing to import their personally owned pet dogs. Dogs are still required to meet all of CDC’s entry requirements during the suspension.
- For import of a personal pet dog from high-risk for rabies country (even if the dog has stayed in such country within the last 6 months) CDC Dog Import permit is required. To find out how to apply for the permit, check the official CDC web.
- Each US state can also have different requirements for entry. You can check them here.
Cats – Rules applicable can be found here and here.
- A general certificate of health is not required by CDC for entry of pet cats into the United States, although some airlines or states may require them. However, pet cats are subject to inspection at ports of entry and may be denied entry into the United States if they have evidence of an infectious disease that can be transmitted to humans. If a cat appears to be ill, further examination by a licensed veterinarian at the owner’s expense might be required at the port of entry.
- Cats are not required to have proof of rabies vaccination for importation into the United States. However, some states require vaccination of cats for rabies, so it is a good idea to check with state and local health authorities at your final destination.
The official information can be found here.
When travelling with a dog or cat to Canada, you need a valid rabies vaccination certificate. The European Union pet passport is an acceptable alternative to the rabies vaccination certificate as long as all the required elements outlined below are included.
The rabies vaccination certificate (or European Union pet passport) must:
- be written in English or French
- be issued and signed by a licensed veterinarian
- identify the animal (age, breed, sex, colour/markings, weight, and microchip/tattoo number if applicable)
- state that the animal is vaccinated against rabies
- indicate the date of vaccination
- indicate the trade name and the serial number of the licensed vaccine
- specify the duration of immunity (otherwise, it will be considered valid for 1 year from the date of vaccination)
- have the name and signature of the licensed veterinarian that issued the certificate and the date it was signed
- All information on the certificate must be legible.
Canada does not require a microchip or tattoo identification for domestic dogs imported as personal pets or domestic cats. However, dogs under 8 months of age imported under the commercial category (dogs for retail sale, breeding purposes, show or exhibition, scientific research, dogs in ‘special training status’, and dogs destined for adoption and/or animal welfare organization) must be identified by an electronic microchip.
Canada has strong regulations in place to help prevent injury and suffering of all animals during transport. Learn more about the legal requirements for transporting animals humanely in Canada here.