Did you know that in 2019, a whopping 45% of households in the UK registered as having pets. That’s an amazing 12 million families across the whole of Great Britain, All who love sharing their homes and spending their time with many a furry, feathery or scaly friend.
If you’re currently planning on moving to the EU, you’ll want to know how your pets can also make the move with you.
Fortuitously, we’ve prepared this handy guide which tells you all you’ll ever need to know about moving to Europe with your pets.
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Moving with Dogs, Cats and Ferrets
The first thing to do when preparing your dogs, cats and/or ferrets for moving to Europe, is to research the country you’re moving to. This is to find out first whether your animal is even allowed to enter. Basically to make sure your pet isn’t on any banned breeds lists.
Unfortunately, many countries still consider a handful of dog breeds to be dangerous, and some countries do not like certain cats to enter either. There are also some countries that think that foreign ferrets are nasty little blighters who, if able to escape, will go and bully and torment the local wildlife.
For the most accurate and up-to-date information in regard to what is and isn’t allowed admission to any particular country, contact the Embassies and Consulates of the country/region you’re moving to.
Unfortunately, if you do own a pet that is banned in the place you’re going to call home, or if you just cannot fulfil any of the special requirements and obligations for owning a certain type of breed, then you’ll have to consider who should look after your pet instead.
However, this is highly unlikely, and your pert will probably be fine to move to Europe with you. So, the next thing to do is to book an appointment at the vets for your dog, cat and/or ferret, as you need to ask for a rabies vaccination.
Some veterinarians will provide just one, others recommend a course of two injections. Please remember that animals cannot receive a rabies vaccine before 3 months old. Also, you cannot leave the UK for another EU country, until 21 days after the primary vaccination. The day after the vaccination has been done is counted as Day One.
Animal Health Certificate
Whilst you’re at the vets, you should also ask them to prepare an Animal Health Certificate (AHC). Which will mean having your dog, cat and/or ferret microchipped – if not chipped already. The AHC must be produced no more than 10 days before you plan to travel. The only other requirement is for the animal to be wormed, depending on the country you are going to. This will need to be detailed on the animal health certificate.
Moving to Europe with Rabbits, Hamsters, Guinea Pigs and Rodents
These lovely little critters don’t have to undergo rabies vaccinations or BE microchipped like dogs, cats and ferrets. However, countries in Europe do have their own rules and regulations regarding these animals, so it’s always worth contacting Embassies and Consulates first. For example, Germany will only let you bring in three of these animals. Ireland requires you to give 24 hours notice of importation, while France requests that you get each animal a Certificate of Good Health. This must be in both English and French to testify that your pets carry no sign of disease.
For France, this certificate should be issued between one and five days before entering the country.
Pet birds do not include farm birds such as chickens, turkeys, ducks or geese, and they also don’t include racing or homing pigeons.
Much like their fluffier counterparts, many European countries have their own special requirements when allowing pet birds onto their land. Therefore it’s worth getting in touch with a representative from your new country to ask them to provide you with the most up-to-date information available.
Many European countries will require your birds to have a vaccination against Avian Flu, plus a Certificate of Good Health written in the local language and signed and stamped by an official vet.
Snakes, Lizards, Tortoises, Fish and Other Exotic Animals
As with all the other animal friends we’ve come across, the best way to get the most accurate information is to contact your new country/region’s Embassies and Consulates.
As we’ve seen, preparing pets for European travel can be a bit of a lengthy process. It may be the case that you’ll have to reconsider when you’re going to move, to accommodate all those visits to the vet and the waiting involved.
It’s also worth remembering that with all the vet appointments, you’re going to have to incur some expenses. It might be worth calling your veterinarian now to ask how much this is all going to cost you.
And speaking of expenses, I also highly recommend that you get in touch with your pet insurance company. This is to make sure that it provides full European cover, especially now we are out of the European Union. The only other option is to cancel it and then take out new pet insurance in your new country.
UK out of Europe
As we have now completely left the EU, for moving to Europe with your Pets there is more info on the changes from the 1st January 2021 here on the Government’s website.
Alternatively, if you’re looking to chat about a removals service from the UK to Europe, sin pets, then feel free to go here for a superfast quote about that.
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