Pet Passport – what is it? Why does your pet need one? How much will it cost?

Pet Passport - why it is important for international pet travelThe term “pet passport” was originally popularized in the European Union (EU) where dog, cat or ferret owners could get a blue pet passport from their veterinarian under the Pet Travel Scheme and travel freely through the EU member countries. This is still true today for people living in the EU. It will last for the lifetime of the pet as long as the rabies vaccination is kept up to date and you don’t run out of pages.

However, for pet owners residing in countries outside of the EU, a “pet passport” is simply a term we use to represent all of the pertinent documentation needed to take your pet to other countries. Customs officials will need to see these documents in order to clear your pet, and the inconvenience caused by losing them can be significant.

Your veterinarian can help you create a pet passport for your pet to enter almost any country in the world. For example, if you are from the United States and are visiting most European Union countries, then the pet passport will consist of the following:

  • The Annex IV and APHIS 7001 forms (if required by your airline) for the country you will be visiting (they are all different) completed by your veterinarian and endorsed by the State USDA veterinarian.
  • Your pet’s inoculation record which must be attached to the certified Annex IV form. (Sometimes the inoculation record is referred to as the Rabies Certificate.)

If you are visiting one of the United Kingdom countries (England, Ireland or Scotland) or Finland or Malta, your pet will need proof of a tapeworm test to complete your pet passport.

UPDATE: When Brexit occurs, note that the United Kingdom will no longer be a part of the European Union and UK Pet Passports will no longer be accepted for pets entering the EU. The requirements will depend on how the UK is classified by the EU after Brexit. More details on how Brexit will affect your pet.

Every country in the world will require a minimum of proof of good health and a rabies certificate, although the rules for additional testing vary widely from country to country. You should have a health certificate completed by your veterinarian. This certificate is also referred to as a Veterinary or Sanitary Certificate. Sometimes, import permits and other testing is required.

The cost for a pet passport will depend on your veterinarian’s fees, the fees for microchipping (if required), and the fees for completing and endorsing the necessary forms. There will always be a trip to the vet just prior to travel for a health certificate. Other tests such as tapeworm, internal/external parasites, microchips, and rabies titer tests, if required, will affect the cost. USDA endorsement in the USA or CFIA endorsement in Canada will add $38.00 per form at this writing and if a titer test is required, the costs rise to $121.00. Many countries also require an import permit and they will charge for processing it.

The first thing to do is to find out the requirements to bring your pet to your destination country. In some cases (like Hawaii), you have to plan 6 months in advance to avoid quarantine. The key to avoiding delays at the border and/or quarantine when traveling with your pet is to have your pet passport complete and accurate for the countries you are visiting.

You can find information on country requirements in our immigration section and pet passports with instructions on over 220 countries all over the world. You can also post questions on our blog homepage or forum and we will answer them promptly. More information on pet passports can be found here:


Pet Passport – what is it? Why does your pet need one? How much will it cost? — 156 Comments

  1. Cassie – the US is pretty pet friendly. Your dog will need a rabies certificate and health certificate to return. Ask your airline whether you can use the paperwork that you used to travel to Ecuador to return or whether they will need to see a new health certificate. (the US considers them good for about 30 days, but the airlines may vary on that.) Your dog will also need a screwworm inspection by a licensed vet in Ecuador between one and five days of entering the US.

  2. Hi,
    I adopted my dog from a shelter here in the united states but we are planning on travelling to Ecuador and back with him. Where can I find information on how hard it is going to be to get him back? He is rescued and I do not want to have to have him quarantined thanks

  3. You will need to have ownership of your dog changed before leaving the UAE. Your passport must be shown at customs and must match the owner’s name in the passport. The EU regulations are sensitive to change of ownership, so you will want to get that done before you travel.

  4. Hi , planning to take my dog from Dubia to Romania at my family house with a shor escale in Doha.
    She was 6 mnth old when purchased and already residing in Uae , I have the passport however the name of the owner , is the actual breeder from Croatia .I am the second owner sonce then , will i have problems boarding and clearing customs ?!

  5. Sanjidah – you can find requirements to import your kitty to the United Kingdom here with links to further forms and instructions if you need them: There will be no quarantine when entering the UK if these regulations are followed. We would note that Pakistan is considered a high-rabies country by the EU, so the rabies titer test in step #3 will be required.

  6. I want to bring my kitten back to the UK after living in Pakistan for a year. UK has the toughest procedure for pets coming into the UK. We he be quarantined for 6 months. Please help.

  7. Hi Bryan – yes, the EU Pet Passport has you covered as long as no rabies vaccinations are administered while you are in the US (assume not!). You may want to confirm with your airline that a health certificate is not required. Each of them has their own requirements.

  8. Hi, quick question. My Shih Tzu moved with me to the Netherlands a year ago from the U.S., California specifically. All paperwork was in order (thanks to your website actually). We are heading to Boston for two weeks for XMAS. He has a recent EU passport (just got it last week), he had a rabies vaccination a year ago before moving to the NL, it is good for 3 years. From what I am reading, going to the U.S. is not going to be a problem, the question I have is coming back to the NL, is there anything I need to do? I believe the EU passport has me covered, but wanted to confirm.

  9. Hi! I had no idea about a pet passport. I am going to Aarhus, Denmark for Christmas. How soon can I get my pet’s passport? Do I have to contact the airline or my vet for pricing? He is 2 years old and does it have a breed restriction?

  10. Stephen – as the ferry is operating within the UK, there should be no requirements outside of (maybe) microchipping. Best to contact the ferry line as to what the requirements are. They are the ones who will be responsible for your pet’s having the proper documentation.

  11. Ada – if your puppy is under 3 months of age (carry proof with you), then Canada’s pet import rules do not apply. If it is over 3 months of age, it must be vaccinated for rabies. There is no wait time after the vaccination to enter Canada. You should ask your airline whether a health certificate is required.

  12. Ada – if your puppy is 3 months of age, then it should be vaccinated for rabies. Canada does not have any wait time after the rabies vaccination. If it is younger than 3 months when entering Canada, no import rules apply. Your airline may require a health certificate, so you want to check with them about that if you are flying.

  13. Hi,what I need for entrance to Canada with3months old puppy? She will have 1month rabies I need an import permit? How to be prepared for CIFA?

  14. Im thinking of traveling with my small service dog from the US to Bariloche, South America in the fall. Where an i find out what is needed?

  15. Pingback: What 'Brexit' Means for Pet Travel – New York Times – Osmorsa News

  16. Dora – the screwworm test must be done between one and five days of entering the US if you are entering from a country that is listed here: The health certificate should be issued within 10 days of travel. As for the heat, you need to contact your airline about that. The airlines will not transport pets in the hold if the temperature exceeds 85 degrees anywhere along the route. If there is a late night departure and/or early morning arrival when the temperatures are not as high as mid-day that is an option. Delta and United both have programs in place to deal with the heat at LAX but not sure whether it will extend to your originating country.

  17. I am flying to Los Angeles with my border collie in July, he has a passport,got his latest rabies vaccination as well. Do I need to treat him against screwworms just right before? Also, the certificate from the vet has to be not older than 10 days before travel?
    Since it’s July, what happens if it’s too hot for him to travel to LA and we already have our tickets and reservations?
    Thanks for your help! This site is great, has lots of practical information!

  18. Leyla is your pet small enough to travel in the cabin? If not, and your dog has a snub-nose (which it probably has) then you need to be careful about transporting it in the summer due to the higher temperatures. You can try Lufthansa or Turkish Airlines. They may not carry your pet in cargo to Texas which is very hot this time of year.

  19. Hi, I am in Kosovo and I would like to take my dog to Texas. My dog is a mix of a pug and a Pomeranian.

  20. Manju – you can find requirements for pets to enter the US here: Your Shih Tzu will need a rabies certificate showing a current rabies vaccination administered at least 30 days before entering the country and a health certificate issued within 10 days of travel. Also, a screwworm test between one and 5 days of entering the US.

  21. Planning to travel to the US in around Dec with my Shh-Tzu..Does he need a ‘Pet Passport’ as shown? Or do all the docs and certficates from the vet in India qualify my pet to enter the US?
    How early before our travel should I apply for the import permit and how? How long does it take to get the approval? Thanks

  22. Hello Sir/Madam,
    I would like to relocate my cat from China to Mauritius,I am a Mauritian citizen and I want to travel with it to there. could you please give me some suggestions about,
    Thank you.

  23. I need to relocate my pet (Dog – female – dashund) from India to Nigeria..Please help..!

  24. Sanjay – you can find requirements for importing your dog here: To export your pet from India, within 7 days of export, your pet will need a health certificate from their vet as well as an Animal Health Certificate from the Animal Quarantine and Certification Service as well as all documentation required for their destination country.

    You will need to find an airline that flies the entire route. As you will be traveling with your dog, it should be able to travel as checked baggage, so you will need to contact the reservations number to make a reservation for your dog. It will need to travel in an IATA compliant pet crate. Get this early so your dog can get used to it.

  25. I am from India and would like to take my pet dog – a golden retriever , to chile , due to transfer, I would to know the procedure for taking my pet through air.

  26. hello admin im from philippines..i will bring my dog going to VIENNA AUSTRIA. what are the requirements..?thank you.

  27. Hello Jacky – the requirements for importing a pet to Mauritius are listed here: As South Africa is widely considered to be a high-rabies country, you will need to show evidence that there have been no incidences of rabies in the area where your pets reside for the past 12 months in addition to meeting the other requirements. You may want to inquire whether your pets will be allowed entry directly from South Africa:

  28. Hi
    I want to immigrate my beagle from south africa to mauritues.
    What is the process? How long will he need to stay in quarantine? He is up to date with his shots.

  29. Ivana – the requirements for importing a pet to Hungary are listed here: Your pet will need to be microchipped with a 15 digit microchip, vaccinated for rabies and a USDA-accredited vet must complete the Annex IV form within 10 days of travel for endorsement by your State USDA office. As long as you are flying in and out of Brussels on Brussels Airlines, your pet should not need a transit permit (if it does, then ask your airline). Also ask them whether they will require you to claim and recheck your pet on the second leg of the flight. (more airlines are doing this). If so, then instead of an Annex IV form for Hungary, you will need an Annex IV form for Belgium.

  30. Hello,

    we will be traveling from Washington DC to Brussels and then from there to Budapest. We are flying with Brussels airlines. When I was booking the ticket over the phone, I spoke to multiple representatives and had different answers regarding this issue. The last one said we will need following:
    export, import or transit permits
    health and/or vaccination certificates
    animal ID

    Now we will have health and vaccination certificates, but we don’t have the animal ID since we are flying from US, I guess that’s just a European thing? Also, the import/export permits, what exactly is that? Where can I get those forms and where to endorse them? How long does it take? Our flight will be in less than 4 weeks.

    Thank you..

  31. Trish – Service animals are subject to the same requirements as are regular animals. Each one of the islands you mention has different regulations. St Kitts requires a blood titer test 30 days before entering. You can requirements for all the countries you mention here: Click on the drop down arrow to find your country. Each page has links to instructions and forms if you need them for a small fee. (we work very hard keeping them up to date) Unless the cruise line has a special arrangement with the port authority for service animals, you should be prepared to show officials this information.

  32. Maria – unless you live in the EU, a pet passport is simply a collection of documents required to take your pet to another country. Your vet can help you with completing them. Depends on what country you are going.

  33. I have a certified Service Dog and would like to take him on a Carnival Cruise to Eastern Caribbean (St. KITTS, St. MAARTIN, San juan, Grand Turk) Dog has chip, all vaccinations, and just had tapeworm & heartworm tests come back negative. It takes 30 days and $170 for titer test. We will get an International Health Certificate from our local vet. We also plan a shorter trip to Bahamas. Any suggestions as he will be traveling to islands by my side forever? We own a sailboat and hope to travel more.

  34. What is pet passport? Where can I get it.I have dog book from vet which recorded all vaccines & treatments that considered pet passport.

  35. Sanjogta – you can find requirements to take your dog to Australia here: Note that there is a list of DAFF-approved countries where pet owners can enter directly with their pet. If your dog originates in a non-Daff approved country, then you will have to enter an approved country and conform to their regulations for the last series of tests.

  36. pls help me as i need requierments and details regarding taking my dog to australia melbourne would prefer through air

  37. I’m From the Philippines. How can I get all the required document for my Dogs to be able to travel in different country like Kuwait, Canada and USA?

  38. How can I find a list of USDA Certified Vets to get my pet passport? We are in the Port St. Lucie, FL area.

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