How to Get an EU Pet Passport for Your Dog

This is a guest post from Cathi Bert-Roussel. 

Traveling through Europe with your pet is one of the most rewarding experiences a globe-trotter can have. While most European countries are incredibly pet-friendly, getting into Europe with a pet is not always so easy. Travelling around Europe and subsequent visits become a lot easier once you get an EU Pet Passport for your pet.

Note: Anecdotally, there have been reports that it is now more difficult to get EU pet passports in France, following Brexit and an influx of British citizens trying to obtain EU pet passports. Some vets will now only issue pet passports to French residents. However, there haven’t been reports of this in other EU countries.

EU pet passport

Travelling to Europe Without an EU Pet Passport

First-time pets traveling to the Continent must carry a seven-page EU pet import license (also known as EU Annex IV). This complex and confusing document must be filled out by your vet and endorsed by your country’s animal regulatory agency no more than 10 days prior to departure.

Following all of the steps toward completion takes about seven to nine days. Timing is critical to having the document in hand prior to departure. The form can be found on most EU embassy websites.

Benefits of Getting an European Pet Passport

Once you arrive in Europe, an EU Pet Passport is relatively easy to acquire and can be used on return trips to the continent, eliminating the need for the horrible EU Annex IV. The European Union Pet Passport scheme allows holders to travel with their pets to and from the EU and between European Union countries.

The program was created to establish a standardized protocol for EU residents to transport their companion animals in and out of the region. The little blue passports are issued only by official EU veterinarians for dogs, cats and ferrets when transported for non-commercial purposes.

There are several benefits to having an EU Pet Passport including hassle-free border crossing with your pet, eliminating the need to fill out confusing paperwork and a convenient place to store your pet’s inoculation record.

Traveling through Europe with a Pet Passport in hand means no additional required travel documents are needed for your pet.

What’s Inside an EU Pet Passport?

The actual passport contains your pet’s health status, your name and address, pet identifying information such as breed, physical traits and microchip number and an optional pet photograph. As long as your pet’s rabies vaccination is kept current and recorded in the passport by a licensed veterinarian, this document never expires.

How to get a Pet Passport
The ID page in an EU Pet passport © Cathi Bert-Roussel
Pet passport Europe
Pages for your pet’s rabies vaccination records © Cathi Bert-Roussel

How to Get a Pet Passport

I obtained an EU Pet Passport for my dog during a six-month stay in Paris. At first, I was worried that not having EU citizenship or permanent resident status would disqualify me from applying. I found out this was not true.

It was an easy exercise and completed in a 30-minute visit to a veterinarian clinic. The cost was 70 Euros, and when compared to what I spent for Danny’s Annex IV ($150 USD all in), very reasonable.

The steps to obtaining a pet passport are simple. The first is to make an appointment with an official EU veterinarian (nearly all practicing vets in Europe are “official”).

A quick Google search for English-speaking vets led me to Dr. Pierre Metivet in Paris. When making the appointment, tell the office staff the purpose is to obtain an EU Pet Passport.

You will need to bring the following items when meeting with the veterinarian:

  • Annex IV form completed by your home vet and endorsed by your country’s official veterinary regulatory body (USDA in the United States),
  • Your pet’s current rabies certificate or rabies titre test results no less than 21 days old
  • Microchip information, date of implantation, chip number and issuing company information (this info is also on the Annex IV)

At the Vet Appointment

At the appointment, the attending veterinarian or staff will take your pet’s vital signs, scan for a microchip and address any health concerns or questions you have. The veterinarian will perform a basic health exam on your pet, review your paperwork and fill out the passport book.

If you plan to travel to the UK, Ireland, Malta, Finland or Norway during your Europe stay, be sure to ask the veterinarian about additional entry requirements for these countries. Each requires a tapeworm treatment to be given within 1 to 5 days before arrival. Your EU vet can advise you on the appropriate timing of the medication dose.

And a Pet Passport Photograph!

The second step is to purchase one passport style photograph of your pet and affix it to the space provided in the book. The size should be 2 x 2 inches (50mm x 50mm). Including your pet’s photo is optional but I was told by Dr. Metivet it is better to have one as you do not want to give any customs official a reason to deny your pet entry into a country.

Dog Passport
Good times exploring Paris © Cathi Bert-Roussel

You may find you never need to show your pet’s EU passport except upon entry to Europe. But having one means your pet has met all requirements for legal presence and is free to travel throughout Europe (with limited exceptions). An EU Pet Passport means the only thing you and your furry travel companion have to worry about is having a good time.

Bone Voyage!

About the Author

Cathi Bert-Roussel is a North Carolina based writer and editor of Triangle Paws Magazine. She is an avid world traveler with her dog, Danny, who has more stamps in his passport than she has. When not traveling, she and Danny sniff out dog-friendly establishments in her home-town of Raleigh.

Since originally publishing this post, I’d thought I’d go into a little more detail about some aspects of how to get a pet passport that come up repeatedly. So here’s some more detailed information on two  key aspects: how long it takes and the cost to get an EU pet passport.

How Long Does it Take to Get an EU Pet Passport?

Generally, an EU pet passport can be issued on the spot. However, it is best when you make an appointment that you advise the veterinarian staff that you want to get a pet passport, in case they don’t currently have any blank passports.

The duration of the appointment will depend on the veterinarian needs to do to fill in the passport. If your dog already has a microchip and has been vaccinated against rabies, then the appointment will be quick, generally 10-30 minutes.

It may be longer if your dog needs to be microchipped and hasn’t yet been vaccinated (or this may be done over multiple appointments).

How Much Does an EU Pet Passport Cost?

Cathi mentioned above that it cost her €70 to be issued a pet passport in Paris, including a basic health exam and using the Annex IV paperwork. However, the cost to get an EU pet passport can be more expensive or cheaper than this, especially between different countries.

Based on response in a Facebook group that I’m a member of, the cost of an EU pet passport can be as low as €10-€15. There were reports of EU pet passports costing this little from the Netherlands, France, Italy and Spain.

However, this is probably more likely if you visit your regular vet or if get a pet passport in addition to other vet services, charged separately.

Pet passports can sometimes be more expensive, especially if you combine it with a worming treatment or rabies booster. Here are more examples of charges:

  • When I visited a vet in Paris in May 2017 – €55 (including worming treatment for the UK)
  • Someone who visited a vet in the UK in November 2018 – £57 (€67)
  • Someone who visited a vet in Spain in April 2019 – €30 (plus €45 for yearly vaccinations and rabies booster)
  • Someone who visited a vet in Calais out-of-hours – €90
  • In Germany, according to The Points Guy – €75 (including re-vaccination for rabies)
  • In the UK, according to MoneySuperMarket – £60 (€70)  (Or £112 including microchip and rabies vaccination)

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92 thoughts on “How to Get an EU Pet Passport for Your Dog”

  1. This was incredibly helpful! I went through all of this the hard way and you basically detailed everything I learned in such a clear and concise way. I’m sure many have found this helpful (even me reviewing the points and especially the pet passport part!) Thanks so much!

    • You are very welcome. I must admit that I was very intimidated by the prospect of getting the pet passport. But once I started the process, I was amazed at how easy it was. The hardest part was calling a veterinarian to make an appointment with my terrible French.

        • I haven’t yet travelled to the US myself, but I’ve confirmed the requirements with someone that has travelled multiple times from Europe to the US. They’ve stated that in addition to taking their EU Pet Passport with the rabies certificate, they go to the vet a day or two before their flight and get a certificate of good health. In this the vet states the dog is up-to-date on all its vaccines and is generally in good health to be traveling.

          Note that if it’s the first rabies vaccine, your dog needs to wait at least 30 days to fly. Check out these links for more information:
          Full list of rules for travel to the US:
          Specific details on rabies vaccination:

          (I’ll be writing a more in-depth post about this later in the coming months.)

          • For the UK resident post Brexit and post 2021 – I assume all your advice would be based on being resident or a second home owner in the EU? Visitors to the EU can also obtain an EU Pet passport but it would appear not to allow you entry into the EU from an outside country. (check you listed status)
            Anyone still going for a Pet Passport by transfer of information from an AHC should check that the date of chip implantation/application is shown to precede the rabies vaccination and not the ‘date of reading’ at the visit – or have the issuing Vet give a rabies booster .

          • Prior to Brexit, most vets in the EU would issue EU pet passports to anyone. However, post-Brexit, many are now only issuing pet passports for local residents, with this differing from country to country.

  2. Very useful, thank you!

    How does your dog do on long flights? Mine has been in his pet carrier up until 8 hours and he did great. But I’ll be flying for about 10,5 hours AND there will be a 7 hours time difference. I’m wondering how this will go.. Care to share your experience?


    • The only long flight we’ve done with our dog was from Australia to Europe, where due to regulations he had to go in the hold. The flights we’ve done in Europe have only been short (up to 2 hours), although we’ve done an overnight ferry crossing to the Netherlands where he was on the ship for at least 10 hours. And while we could take him out to a deck area, he wouldn’t consider it for doing his business as there was no grass or similar!

      10.5 hours isn’t much longer than 8 hours, so hopefully your dog will cope as well as on previous flights. I wouldn’t worry much about the time difference. He won’t notice it as first, while in artificial environments, and dogs tend to sleep a lot more in the day compared to us humans so probably adjust easier. Our dog was fine with the 10 hour time difference between Australia and Spain. He probably had less jet lag than we did!

      • One year later! Thank you for your reply. I did travel to Belgium a year ago. Everything went well, I got the EU passport 10lbs dog again to Belgium in a couple of weeks. I did notice that (US) airlines are make no it more difficult to travel with pets.

        Oh, when I got back to the US last year – after 7 days – everything went smooth. I declared him and they did not ask for paperwork as he came from Belgium, which is considered a “safe country” for rabies in the USA.

  3. Cathi,
    I will be travelling back to Europe with my pup in June. We have lived in France before and I got her an EU Passport while there. However, her rabies vaccine will need to be given again in the USA before we go, so do you know if I will still need all the extra paperwork? (As if she didn’t have an EU Passport) And if I don’t dpes the vaccine still need to be administered by a USDA accredited veterinarian? Thanks in advance! Always nice to hear of other well travelled pups!

  4. This is crazy! How would I get EU passport for my dog here in Canada if there is no EU approved veterinarian in whole country?

    • You can only get the EU passports when you are in Europe. Instead, in Canada get an authorised veterinarian to complete an “EU Annex IV”, or “animal health certificate”. This may need to be also endorsed by the relevant government authority. For more details, see and speak to a vet in Canada familiar with preparing dogs for travel.

      The EU Passport is designed for dogs living in Europe, or at least spending an extended period in Europe. It’s not required for a dog to enter Europe.

  5. Hi~ Thanks so much for the information! I brought my dog from the U.S. last year to Finland and am living here permanently now. My dog doesn’t have an EU passport but we want to take a 4 day vacation to Barcelona on June 1st 2018. Do you know if I can just use paperwork that I have from the U.S. or if I need to acquire an EU passport?? Also, Finland required tapeworm treatment when I was coming from the U.S. but if I just take this short trip to Barcelona, do I still need to get a tapeworm treatment there during my 4-day stay before flying back into Finland??

    Thank you in advance 🙂 !!!

    • Jene – Hope you got the detailed reply that I sent you via Facebook! For any other readers, the short answers are yes, you’ll need an EU passport, as the papers are only valid for 4 months, plus you’ll need to get the tapeworm treatment again, and that will need to be recorded in your new passport.

  6. Thanks for your answer ! It give detailed information for me to get a EU pet passport for my cat. We plan to travel to Ireland after France. Have you travel to Ireland ? Do you know whether there is an airline from France to Ireland that allow pet to travel with people rather than traveling alone as a cargo? I did try to find some information but failed. But as you suggested, I will contact with Dr. Pierre Metivet for extra requirements for Ireland. Anyway, thank you so much!!

    • That’s great to hear about the pet passport! Unfortunately, both Ireland and the UK only allow pets entering the countries to travel as cargo, except for service dogs – this is a government regulation. (This doesn’t apply travelling the opposite direction, to there are a few airlines that allow pets to travel in the cabin or as checked-baggage when leaving.) If you don’t want to have your cat travel as cargo, there’s two alternatives. If you have a car you can take the Eurotunnel or a ferry across the channel, then drive across England, then take another ferry to Ireland. If you don’t have a car, from Paris the best option is to take the train to Dieppe, the DFDS ferry to Newhaven, trains across England, then one of the ferries across to Ireland. I discuss the options for transporting a pet to the UK in this post: All the best!

      • Hi,thanks for your useful information. But I am wondering whether there is a possibility for me to take a ferry from France to Ireland directly rather than going to England firstly then transiting to Ireland. Do you have any experience for this?

        • Chris – I’m annoyed I didn’t think of this earlier! I don’t have experience with taking ferries on this route, but looking on line, there are 3 ferry companies that cross between France and Ireland:
          1. Irish Ferries – Pets are allowed for foot passengers, you’ll need to carry your cat onboard in a cage/box. Kennels are available, although I couldn’t see the details for the French crossings. See:
          2. Stenaline – Pets are allowed for foot passengers, but you must pre-book a kennel, which operates on a first-come, first-served basis. I’ve travelled before with my dog on Stenaline between Scotland & Ireland and England & Netherlands, and found them to be really pet-friendly. See:
          3. Brittany Ferries – Unfortunately, foot passengers aren’t allowed pets.
          Have a great time! – Shandos

  7. I will be flying to Paris from Toronto the beginning of January and staying 3 months.
    I have a vet who is familiar with the process and also know to get the gov’t agency paperwork, BUT when I arrive in Paris, I will get on a TGV train to Nice. I can get a Pet Passport in Nice, but will the paerwork I have be enough for travel on the train? I have tried to look at the various sites, but cannot figure it out.

    • Diana – That will be fine. I’ve sometimes seen in the train rules that a pet passport is required, but I have never had this checked. I’ve travelled by train in many European countries (France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands…) Just keep the paperwork from Canada with you in case – their main concern will be that the dogs has been immunised against rabies.

  8. Shandos, thanks to your post, I’ve got EU pet passports for my two dogs in Spain.
    It was amazing and unforgettable experience!! And I think I’m really lucky to find your post by googling.
    Thank you again.

  9. Shandos, I’m getting an EU passport in Switzerland this week (I come here every year (the month of June) then back to the US and I return to Switzerland in August. I don’t need anything to travel back home to the USA (she’s going home correct?).
    Also she’s one year old so she only has a one year rabies shot (not 3 years..that’s the next one). When I return next June she will have had her 3 year rabies shot in the USA with her vet in April. Can I just bring her papers from US vet showing her Rabies booster along with the EU passport or do I have to go through the old process of health certificate from vet then USDA approval? Thank you so much…hope this wasn’t too confusing

    • Andrea – For returning to the US, you’ll need the proof of rabies vaccination plus a health certificate. I’m not 100% sure if the health check entry in the EU Pet Passport is accepted (I’m not flying to the US myself until October), so I would request a typed letter from your vet in Switzerland. (From “A licensed veterinarian must complete and sign a veterinary certificate. This certificate should be in English or be accompanied by a version translated in English. It should identify the animal, the dates of vaccination, the manufacturer and the expiration date of the rabies vaccine.”) Some airlines also require a health certificate.

      That’s a tricky case about the rabies booster. It’s not clear on the EU website, but the relevant UK website states: “Get a third-country official veterinary certificate if your pet needs a booster vaccination while you’re outside the EU.” I would follow this guideline – which unfortunately means a health certificate from a US vet then USDA approval.

      However, one way to get around this would be to have the rabies booster while you are in Switzerland, and have the vet record it on your new pet passport. I know the vaccine isn’t due yet, so I would check with the vet about this. I did something similar – my dog had a 3 year rabies vaccine before arriving in Europe, but then I had a booster after 1 year in Europe. Partially as some countries don’t recognise the 3 year vaccine, but also so I had the entry in the EU Pet Passport and it makes paperwork a lot simpler.

      Enjoy your summer in Switzerland – I’m very jealous, we loved our time there!

  10. This is such a great post! Quick question. Where did you purchase a pet photo? I’ve got the passport for my cat and am traveling with her this week-end from France to Spain, but have no idea where to get a photo. Did you just take your dog into a photo booth?


    • I recommend using a photo booth, unless you want to print out one of your own photos in a photo printing shop. If you can’t get it done in time, don’t worry, it shouldn’t cause any problems, it’s just good to have it too.

  11. Woww, this article was really interesting. We traveled from Amsterdam to Los Angeles with our cat and we have the EU passport but his rabies vaccination gonna expire 2 days before we fly back to Amsterdam I can not find any information about, can an U.S. Veterinarian stamp the new vaccination into the EU passport or not? I am afraid only an EU Veterinarian can stamp into the EU passport. What do you think?

    Ps: I hope you enjoy your time in Europe. 🙂 We have spent 5 months in California and we love it. 🙂

    • Hi Kristina – Definitely don’t have a vet outside of the EU enter a rabies vaccine into the EU passport! This technically invalidates the entire passport. The EU website doesn’t cover this scenario, but on the UK government website (, which is a lot more detailed) they state: “Any booster vaccinations or blood tests carried out from outside the EU must be recorded on a third-country official veterinary certificate.” This means you’ll need to visit a government approved vet in the US for the rabies shot, then have a certificate filled in (see: and certified by the USDA within 10 days of flying back. It’s a lot of hassle, I know, especially as sometimes checks are lax going into the EU. Many vets in the US should know the steps. All the best! I’m heading to California for the first time in October and looking forward to it 🙂 Shandos

  12. This is very helpful, many thanks for sharing it! I was wondering whether you had any issue with having the rabies vaccine only handwritten? My previous vet used stickers for each vaccine/worming etc but the last rabies was entered in writing and slightly concerns me whether they will be problematic about it when I’m travelling via plane in a few weeks. Many thanks for your help!

    • When I went to the UK, I had an issue raised with the rabies vaccine, as it was dated before the reading date for the microchip from when the passport was issued. However, I got around that by showing other older documents with the microchip number. No mention was made of it being written, rather than the stamp. And no issue was raised when we flew in Europe.

      I wouldn’t expect that you have issues, as long as the full details of the vaccine are recorded. Also, it’s a newer requirement that clear plastic stickers are placed over the writing, so it can’t be changed. Did your new vet do this?

      • Hello,

        Many thanks for your reply! I only heard that it needs to be covered with plastic sticker only when a sticker is placed in for the vaccine? Can you please share where they say that the whole area has to be covered with laminated stickers? 🙂 I have clear sticker above previous vaccine stickers but never heard that everything needs to be covered up now.

        • I can’t actually find anything online, but this was mentioned to me by the vet I saw in Germany in December 2018. Maybe she meant when it accompanied the sticker placed for the vaccine. She put it over the handwritten information accompanying the vaccine.

    • Dear Shandos,

      I will be traveling with my baby to Germany this September and plan to get a pet passport. What address should I provide in applying for the pet passport as I am not an EU residence.

      • Annie – I just put in my home address, back in Australia. The vet had no issues with the address not being in France (where we got the passport). Enjoy your trip!

  13. Hi, I am traveling from Japan to Paris with my dog and I want to travel further to uk within 5 days of arriving in Paris . I have got the following documents….. microchip ,rabies vaccine ,rabies blood test ,healt certificate from vet , any advice on more documents that may be required? I will be using the Euro tunnel to travel to uk
    Any advice ?

    • Alina – I assume the health certificate from your vet is the Annex IV form (EU health certificate) required by the EU? That’s all that’s required to fly to Paris.

      But the UK also requires your dog to be administered a worming treatment by a vet, between 24 hours and 5 days of arriving in the UK. If you were travelling immediately on to the UK (less than a day), it’s possible to get this before flying to the EU and have this recorded in the EU health certificate. But as you’ll be spending extra time in Paris, I recommend visiting a vet in Paris. They will also give you an EU pet passport to record the worming treatment. Make sure they record the time, as the UK authorities as strict about it done to the hour.

  14. Hello, Thank you for all of the info.

    I also read on the UK site about ‘third country’ vets not being authorized to add ‘third country’ rabies vaccines into the EU Pet Passport. I am really starting to think that this is a UK thing only.

    Today my pup got his EU Pet Passport in Italy (yay!), and at the very serious and official ASL office, ALL the people I asked said that of course a US vet who is authorized (meaning licensed) to give a rabies vaccine is also authorized to input the US rabies vaccine into the Pet Passport. When I explained what I had read on the UK site, they were completely perplexed and said it made no sense. UGH! The ASL vet also said I should take the passport back to the US vet so that he may input the rabies vaccine info into the passport.

    It is so frustrating because now I don’t know what to do. I don’t really need the pet passport to travel out of Europe, but I definitely want to avoid getting those USDA papers again when I come back in 3 months.

    Another issue that is confusing me is Italy’s ‘pet export certificate’ I read about on the US-Italy consulate page. It said that to leave Italy, the dog must have a current rabies shot administered no less than 20 days before travel and no more than 11 months before travel.
    Again, my pup has a valid 3 years rabies vaccine (from only 22 months ago), and the Italy ASL vet said of course that is no problem – She is going to fill out his health certificate using that information since according to Italy, my dog is up to date on his rabies vaccine.

    There could not be a group of folks in Italy that would know more about how the system works than these people today. This was the very official ASL office that deals with these issues every day.

    Thanks for any input or experiences w/ this

    • Kay – I’ve always been told to not let vets outside of the EU write in the pet passport, at least the rabies section. (I’ve heard conflicting information about recording worming treatments.) I would try and get a rabies vaccine inside the EU so it could be recorded in the passport and avoid heading to the USDA office again.

      I’m not sure about the export certificate for Italy. It seems to be different compared to elsewhere in the EU (it wasn’t required when I flew from France to New York). I know someone who flew from Italy to the US, but I can’t remember their name, otherwise I would put you in contact with them. Maybe also check with the airline you’ll be flying? They’re usually the ones who check the pet paperwork.

  15. Hello,
    I am leaving Italy to go to Canada one way and i will be travelling with my cat. To leave Italy directly to Canada is a Pet passport necessary if Canada does not require this?

    • Laura – The pet passport is really only needed to travel between the EU countries and some other countries in Europe. I doubt it is necessary to travel to Canada, just check what Canada requires. For instance, when I flew from Paris to the USA, on arrival in the USA I just showed my rabies certificate from Australia (as it was just a simple one-page document) not my dog’s pet passport.

      An extra heads up, I’ve heard from someone else in one of my Facebook groups that when flying from Italy out of the EU, you might need a health certificate from the ASL vet office. This person was flying with Alitalia and was told by the airline. Check with your airline when you book for your dog.

      • Great thank you so much that is what i thought. I have checked with Canada about what they require and what the airline requires and neither need a pet passport. I have just been hear other things from vets in Italy that they need it anyways. It seems like an easy process anyways i might just do it anyways to be on the safe sides. Thanks so much!

  16. Hi there, I am trying to flight my dogs from Australia to Vienna. It is so complicated, I am super stressed.
    I am trying to find out the necessary paperwork for this.
    Do we only need then the ANNEX IV signed by a vet in Australia and then show this in Europe for the passport?
    Also, I have only found a “model” of the ANNEX IV, but i don’t know if this is the paper that I need to use. They all say “model”, so I am confused if I can use this form or not.

    How did you manage to bring your dogs to Europe? Did you do it by yourself or with a company? which airlines?

    Thank you


    • Claudia – When I download the certificate form the official EU page (, it also says model on the top. I can’t find the original certificate I used to take my dog to Europe, but I’m guessing it also said that. One point to consider – you may need the German certificate for arrival in Vienna. I would check with your airline, or use the German certificate to be safe.

      In addition, for your dog to travel to Europe, they will need a rabies vaccination at least 21 days before hand and you’ll need to fill in the declaration that it is a non-commercial movement. See the link above to download this document. Your vet needs to be fully registered for exporting pets – double check first, I had to switch the vet I used.

      You’ll also need to fulfil the requirements for exporting a pet from Australia – see this post: Basically a Notification of Intention to Export and an appointment just before export to issue the Export Permit and Health Certificate. (They will stamp your rabies certificate and Annex IV certificate.)

      To simplify the process, consider using a pet transport company. This is what I did the first time I left Australia with my pet flying to Madrid. (I used Jetpets – see this post: ) They will look after all of this for you, organising the paperwork and appointments. Additionally, most airlines flying dogs out of Australia, particularly on most routes to Europe, will require you to use a pet transport company.

      Hope this helps and best of luck with your move!

    • Jacqueline – Sorry, I haven’t visited a vet in Barcelona, so can’t find one. I recommend asking around on an expat group on FB.

  17. Hi Shandos
    Brilliant that you are doing that.
    I am travelling to Portugal in September with my 1 year old Maltipoo.
    I’ve travelled through France, Spain & Portugal before with my Yorkie’s
    Looking forward to our next trip.
    And looking forward to your tips on travelling with a doggy
    Trisha & little girl doggy Bobbi

  18. Hi – thanks so much for this post, super helpful! I am moving from Singapore to Paris this summer and am preparing the necessary health certificates. I was planning to get my dog her pet passport in Paris after I arrived, and then
    leave shortly thereafter to spend a couple of weeks in August in Amsterdam. However, I read somewhere that when I get the pet passport in Paris, my dog will need to get a new rabies vaccine that is administered by an EU vet and that I then won’t be able to travel with her for 21 days afterwards. Could you confirm whether or not that is true?

    • Jess – The great news is that you can travel within the EU for 4 months with the health certificate you use to travel there. This includes travelling to Amsterdam. You should get the certificate stamped by customs on arrival, but paperwork for dogs is rarely checked when crossing borders by road or train. When flying, a health certificate should be good enough if the airline check-in staff wants to see paperwork, but some airline may insist on a pet passport.

      When getting the EU pet passport, some vets insist on a new rabies vaccine, but not all. We got an EU pet passport in Paris and the vet transferred over his existing records. Although we did have the hiccup when crossing into the UK, that they queried why the rabies vaccine was dated before the pet passport. (We kept and showed his older paperwork.) I’ve mainly heard of vets in Germany insisting on a new rabies vaccine.

      One other reminder – when crossing into the UK, Ireland, Finland, Norway and Malta, your dog will need a worming treatment done by a vet between 24 hours and 5 days before your arrival. We got our pet passport when this was required. Also, the current rules for UK apply until the end of the year and end of Brexit transition, it’s still up in the air what happens after.

  19. Hi, this is a great article. Thank you! I have a couple questions. I came to Europe from the USA about a year ago, I originally had the USDA certificate for my dog but I got him a pet passport after I arrived. There was a fiasco with them reading his microchip for the passport so I had to get him a new one that could be read by a European reader and then he required a new rabies shot as well. Now I may need to return to the US next month and then hopefully come back to Europe in early December. His rabies vaccine was only good for 1 year because they would not count his previous one (which was only a year old too) which was done in the US with a different microchip number. The shot registered in his passport expires on December 20th, 2020, but I will likely return to the EU two weeks before that. I am thinking it would be best to get him another rabies shot before we leave next month though (I really hate giving him so many shots though, this will be the 3rd rabies shot in only 2 years time) so we have no issues returning here. My questions are: Is it ok to go to a vet in Spain or Portugal to get his rabies shot even though he has an Italian Pet Passport? Can I use his pet passport to return to the EU from the US without the need to obtain the dreaded USDA certificate or a health certificate or anything? Thank you for any help! – John

    • Definitely get the rabies shot before leaving the EU, in case your return flight is delayed. The you will only need his EU pet passport with the up-to-date rabies shot to return to the EU, no USDA certificate required. However, if he got his rabies shot in the US, then you would need to get the USDA certificate again.

      Depending on your airline, you may need to get a health certificate for the flights, they should let you know if this is required when you book, or to be safe double-check with them. This can be done at any vet, without government endorsement.

      And yes it’s fine to go to a vet in Spain or Portugal for the rabies shot, despite having the Italian pet passport. My Dachshund has a French pet passport, but he had his rabies shot in Germany, plus has other entries from worming treatments in other countries. Just as long as they are in the EU, so don’t get a vet in the USA to record rabies shots in there.

      To enter the USA, there is nothing required for dogs flying from Europe, not even the rabies certificate these days. However, you mentioned Italy, so I thought I should mention that if you fly out of Italy back to the United States, there is an pet export certificate unique to Italy, that has to be obtained from an authorised veterinarian of the local ASL (Azienda Sanitaria Locale). I’m not that familiar with the details as I haven’t flown out of Italy, but this doesn’t apply in other countries.

  20. I will (hopefully) be exporting my dog to Slovakia after Covid restrictions lift. If my dog is in-cabin, do I need to get a certificate for each country (e.g.) land at Charles De Gaulle for layover, on to Vienna, final stop on air travel, then on to train to Slovakia. I can’t find any information to say if I need a separate certificate for each country my dog “touches down” or if the final destination is the certificate I need. Any advice?

    • Robin – It’s fine to get the one certificate. I’ve heard advice from others that it should be for the final destination, but considering the requirements for all three of these countries is the same, it doesn’t really matter – I’d get it for Austria (final flight destination) or Slovakia (actual final destination) but if you leave the airport in France you could get it for France.

      Once you arrive in Europe, the certificate is valid for moving around in the EU for another 4 months, although try to get it stamped when you arrive. For most people arriving with a dog in the cabin, they are surprised that customs aren’t interested in seeing the paperwork most of the time, and just wave people through. (The main check of the paperwork is when you check-in to your flight.) But try and get it stamped here, that is meant to be the procedure when using it to cross borders later, but it’s really only the UK (and perhaps Malta) who closely check paperwork when crossing borders within the EU.

  21. I spent 8 months in Italy with my dog in 2020- 3 planned and 5 extra due to Covid-19. I tried to get her a pet passport but I was told because I did not have legal residency or EU citizenship that I was not eligible. The vet even called the licensing/issuing authorities to double check. I was very disappointed.

    • Keelin – That’s really disappointing to hear. I think I once heard of someone else having issues getting an EU Pet Passport in Italy as they also weren’t a resident, but haven’t come across this in other countries.

  22. Thank you so much for this detailed article. Just a question please. Do you know if I need a local address or live in Paris to obtain the EU Pet Passport? I live in Istanbul and travel a few times a year to Europe. I already have all the documents required. I tried to get the passport in Italy but I failed because I wasn’t a resident. Thanks in advance!

    • I had no issues getting it in Paris, without a local address. I’ve heard from some others recently that they also had problems getting one in Italy, but haven’t heard of that happening in other countries.

  23. Very interested to read your article as I live in the UK which (because of our lunatic government) will no longer be an EU country as from 1 Jan 2021. From that date our UK-issued EU pet passports will no longer be valid for travel to Europe – instead we will be required to produce Animal Health Certificates. As we will become a Part 2 listed country (same as US) I am hoping that your experience will enable us Brits to obtain EU pet passports issued in an EU country that we can use for all subsequent trips.

    • I’ve already heard from other UK residents that they plan to get EU pet passports. Based on my own experience and other reports, this should be no issue in France, Spain and many other countries, but I’ve heard reports it’s not possible in Italy for non-Italian residents.

  24. I hope we are still able to get an EU pp in France even though we are are not resident there. Today our vet in UK told us an AHC takes one hour to complete and costs £125. We checked with another veterinary practice and they quoted the same price. We go back and forth five times a year so it could cost £625 extra each year. I hope this is renegotiated.

    • Alistiar – I too hope the situation changes, I can imagine a lot of regular travellers with try to get an EU pet passport. I had no issues getting one in Paris (I am Australian). I’ve only heard of issues getting them in Italy if you are not a resident.

  25. Hello, I am hoping to get my dog a EU passport. We’ve had one before Brexit,but now have to pay £140, for health cert,that doesn’t include anything else. She’s chipped, rabies,blood test for anti bodies, and wormed.We are currently in Spain, but hope I could do the EU passport in Ireland. Does anyone know if you need a permanent address in Ireland to acquire one from a vet there. Thanks

    • I haven’t heard reports from people getting EU pet passports in Ireland, so I’m not sure if this is required. I have heard reports of needing residency when visiting some vets in France, but not usually in Spain.

  26. I managed to get a french pet passports for my 2 dogs but they wouldn’t transfer rabies vaccination records in from uk on my ahc
    Does it mean when booster required it will be ok to put in french passports when I return for holiday in France

    • Rabies boosters can only be entered into an EU pet passport by a vet in the EU, not in the UK. If a vet outside the EU enters rabies vaccines it invalidates it.

  27. Would you have a recommendations for an English speaking vet in Madrid, Spain that specializes in EU Pet Passports? I am relocating there with my toy poodle for 6 months or more. I have been searching on Google but cannot find anything. Thank you!

  28. Have you ran into any cases where a person other than owner has been able to get the passport completed? I had to leave my dog in Italy due to heat embargo but didn’t have ability to get passport before we left.

    He is staying with our friends until I can get him back but they were told they werent allowed to get the passport done for me? Have you heard anything about that?

    • I haven’t heard of this before, although I probably haven’t come across cases where people other than the current owner attempt to get an EU pet passport. I’m not that surprised, as some countries are clamping down on issuing pet passports, since the UK left the EU and many UK dog owners have tried to get EU pet passports abroad.

      Depending on where you are now located, would a health certificate be enough to fly your dog? Also keep in mind that some countries treat dogs that are imported separately from their own (over 5 days apart for the EU) as commercial transports.

  29. Great info. The price for GB health certificates in the UK has increased. As of Aug 2021 in Glasgow, the health certificate cost £150. I had to get one to fly to MX.

  30. I am from the UK (Scotland) and have a small Chihuahua. I usually fly into Amsterdam and take the DFDS ferry across to the UK when returning from a trip. Now with Brexit, everything is a mess. I have always just needed the GB pet health certificate. I am currently on holiday in Mexico and scheduled to return at the end of January. I have been informed that in order to take my dog outside the airport to go to the ferry she must have an EU pet heath certificate. Yet, to cross on the ferry to the UK she needs the GB pet health certificate. Mexico will not do two health certificates. I thought maybe I should get an EU passport for her once in Amsterdam yet I am hearing the Vet will not transfer to the EU passport her vaccination record. She had a rabies vaccination in July 2021 and will have had a tapeworm treatment 24 hrs before we board the plane in Mexico.

    • Brexit has made things so much more difficult! I have heard the UK are still pushing to be a Part 1 country like Switzerland, which would be virtually the same as the previous set-up, except without EU on the UK pet passports, but I’m not holding my breath.

      That’s frustrating about the Amsterdam vet not being open to transferring the vaccination record onto a new EU pet passport. Perhaps try another vet? Alternatively, I know of other travellers who have had their pets re-vaccinated for obtaining the passport, but her last one was so recent. Another option – could you ask the Amsterdam vet about issuing a GB health certificate for you?

      Hope this helps

      • Update: Only one Vet would do a GB certificate if I bring it with me. Not sure how to get one. The same Vet will do an EU passport and she will transfer the rabies information which is wonderful. Now it’s getting clarity regarding tapeworm treatment. One Vet here in MX says I’ll need it to go to the Netherlands but I’m not seeing that on the NL gov site. I will get it in Amsterdam and wait for 24 hrs to take the ferry. I don’t want her getting it twice in one week.

  31. Hi Shandos,
    I wonder if you could clarify a small point for me concerning microchip information included in the details on the EU animal passports.
    We have two dogs which we have been taking to France under health certificates.
    But have now obtained EU passports. Within in this there are the details of the microchip with the numbers but we do not have the original printed bar code.
    Our French vet has signed and hand written the numbers accordingly and covered the page relating with self adhesive film so no contamination can occur.
    Our reason for uncertainty is we were refused entry the last time we tried travel to because the rabies jab was administed in uk. However this has now been rectified and is included in the new passport. But we don`t want anymore problems. Last trip cost us £270 extra for health declarations. Regards, Colin

    • Colin – That should be fine. The same thing has been done in my EU Pet Passport and I know of others who probably have the same. Best of luck with your next trip!

  32. I was just told by a vet in Italy that I need to be a resident and that my dog needs to be registered with the Italian kennel club to get the European Passport. Anyone had this experience. Any workarounds?

    • Ouch!! Vets in French have started cracking down on issuing pet passports if you’re not a resident (since Brexit and an influx of English visitors), but this is the first I’ve heard of issues in Italy. Perhaps try another vet? Alternatively, I haven’t heard of issues in other countries, but it’s probably just a matter of time.

  33. Thank you thank you thank you!!! I’d reached out to several veterinarians and all said they wouldn’t issue a passport without French residency!

    I called Dr. Metivet and they were very kind – we have an appointment scheduled for the day after our arrival!

  34. I received my dogs passport October 2023 from Paris, France.
    I am flying to Italy, May 17th, 2024. Do I need to see a Veterinarian in Italy when I arrive or before I leave for a new stamp? My dogs rabies expires 11/1/2025.


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