Just like their owners, dogs need a little holiday from time to time. However, after 1 January 2021, the rules changed regarding travelling abroad to EU countries and Northern Ireland. That’s why it’s important to get clued up before you consider your next getaway with your four-legged friend. Thinking of going away soon? Here’s everything you need to know about taking your dog abroad with you.
How Old Does my Dog Have to be Before I Can Take Them Travelling?
In the UK, dogs can’t travel into or from England, Scotland, or Wales until they are over 15 weeks old. The 15 weeks includes the 12 weeks it takes for them to be eligible for their vaccinations, as well as the 21-day wait afterwards to allow the vaccines to kick in.
What do I Need to Travel With my Dog to the EU and Northern Ireland?
There are a few essential things to remember when travelling abroad with your canine companion, especially when travelling to and from Great Britain. Your dog will need:
It’s important to get your dog microchipped before you go away. While it doesn’t bear thinking about, if your dog does go missing, a microchip is your best chance of having them returned safely to you. Also investing in a good-quality leather collar and lead with your details will help return efforts if the worse was to happen.
Valid Rabies Vaccination
Getting your dog vaccinated against rabies is vital before making any plans to visit the EU or Northern Ireland. Keep in mind that they must be at least 12 weeks old before receiving these jabs, and then you’ll also have to wait 21 days after your dog’s first vaccination before you both can travel.
While treatment for tapeworm isn’t required for all countries, for owners looking to take their dog to Northern Ireland, Finland, the Republic of Ireland, Norway or Malta, you will need to get your dog treated for tapeworm. After getting this treatment, your vet must also enter full details on the AHC (animal health certificate) to which there are more details below.
Animal Health Certificate (AHC)
The AHC is essential documentation when travelling abroad with your dog. It needs to be issued within 10 days of the date you’re heading out of the country and will be valid for four months of travelling within the EU. Remember that you’ll also need to travel back to Great Britain within that same period or your AHC will sadly expire – so keep this in mind when deciding on travel plans!
Other Things to Remember When Travelling Abroad With Your Dog
On top of key paperwork and vaccinations, there are a few other helpful tips to remember to make sure your canine companion remains happy and healthy when you’re away:
- To protect your pooch from heatstroke, make sure to check the weather before you go away or book flights.
- Avoid packing non-essential items by ringing your accommodation in advance and asking which facilities they already offer for dogs.
- Research local dog-friendly sites like pubs and cafes.
- Pack familiar-smelling objects like blankets, treats and favourite toys.
Taking your dog away is a great way to treat both of you to a bit of TLC. Just use this list to ensure everything is in place before letting them know of their upcoming holiday!