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? — 162 Comments

  1. Joan – to re-enter the US, your dog will need proof of current rabies vaccination. The vaccination should be administered 30 days or more before travel. You should ask your cruise lines if they require a health certificate.

  2. I am going on a five day cruise leaving Tampa Florida and stopping at Cozumel and Cayman Islands
    The dog will not. Never leave the ship fr the entire cruise. What papers do I need to board in Tampa where I live and to return after the cruise into Tampa Florida
    Plse be specific
    As I will not visit th two islands will I need anything fr those countries l
    Plse rsvp asap

  3. Em – enforcement is one of the hardest things to predict. What we can say is that characteristics resembling breed standard is what officials look for. Please email us at for more information on breed characteristics.

  4. Do you happen to know how countries determine breed? I am interested in moving to Thailand; however, they have banned pit mixes. I have a pit/hound mix; he’s around 35 pounds and as sweet as can be. He has that classic pit large mouth, but is smaller than what the breed is typically recognized as. On paper, my vet has him listed as a hound mix. Should I be worried that he would be rejected from Thailand?

  5. Shawna – the passport is a term for the collection of documents required to import your pet to another country. No official booklet required.

  6. Hi, are pet passports needed to move a dog from Singapore to Thailand? I’ve already got health and vaccination certificates as well as export permits, but have not heard of any pet passport being needed for entry into Thailand. Thanks in advance.

  7. Generally, puppies and kittens do not travel before 8 weeks of age and so, can be microchipped and get a pet passport to travel. Ask a vet is there is a minimum age. Be very careful about pet scams. We would drive to see the puppy as well as the mother and father before paying any money for a puppy. Too many scam artists selling sick puppies.

  8. Hi I have seen a puppy for sale uk & I live in the uk wondering why the pupy have had passport she live in the uk how young can you geta pass port for a puppy kind regards

  9. Ashley – your dog must be vaccinated for rabies no sooner than 3 months of age and wait for 30 days before entering the US. It can fly unaccompanied back to the US via air cargo or you can enlist courier services to accompany it. If you need courier service, send an email to (our sister company) and we would be happy to quote the cost.

  10. Hello to anyone that can help me!! I was recently in Belize with my husband, on our honeymoon cruise…. I came across a stray dog that I am trying to rescue and adopt, as well as get back home to South Carolina in the USA permanently. Would your organization fly to Belize City airport for transporting him?! What would be the costs also?

  11. I am from Estonia and want to bring my cat to Ireland and permanently live there. Is a pet passport with details of the vaccine and microchip sufficient? Or do I need to notify any relevant government bodies in ireland or stopover cities during my flight with SAS?

  12. Hi, I plan to move to Morocco for 3 months and want to take my dog with me. We will be travelling from Ireland. What do I need to take him and bring him back to Ireland when we return?

  13. Valere – if you are flying in and out of the US on the same airline, then your airline should transit your dog through the US as long as your layover is not over 3 hours. If you are changing airline companies in the US, you will need to claim and recheck your pet. As your pet needs to enter Ireland as air cargo, this will mean you will need to claim your dog at your airline’s cargo department and clear customs before checking in at the second airline. Also you will need to check with your second airline to see whether they are looking for another health certificate issued by a US vet.

  14. I’ve recently adopted a street dog, non pure breed in Mexico, and want to travel to ireland with him, this will involve a layover in the US, any ideas where to start with the documentation involved? Any help much appreciated.

  15. Hi, I’m traveling from El Salvador to Ireland and would like to take my labrador (around 90 pounds) and my mini schnauzer (around 25 pounds) with me. What are the requirements that I should comply with? And also, which airlines / routes are better for this journey?

  16. ******* “If you are visiting one of the United Kingdom countries (England, Ireland or Scotland)”… *********

  17. Joyce – follow the regulations for France as that will be your point of entry to the EU. You can use the same health certificate to enter the UK. Don’t forget the tapeworm requirement.

  18. Hi, I am from the US looking to relocate to the UK. I have a pug and due to the UK’s regulations, I do not want her to travel in cargo and am thinking about going through France and taking a car over to the UK. Can I use the requirements listed for each country for a US entry or do I need to get an EU passport for my dog in France to get into the UK? Thank you in advance!

  19. Mary Ann – if you want your Pug to enter the EU on the way to the US without accompanying your pet, it will need to follow this process: 1. microchip (15 digit) 2. rabies vaccination (in that order but same vet visit is fine) 3. 30 day wait 4. rabies titer test 5. 90 day wait. 6. EU health certificate within 48 hours of travel. Honestly, the unaccompanied import may not be permitted from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It would be far easier to import your Pug to Canada or northern EU cities where the temperatures are not as hot as the US and Canada’s regulations are less stringent than the EU.

  20. Hello,
    I recently adopted a pug in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and would like to take him to live with me in the United States. To avoid traveling to the States during the hotter months, I am planning on meeting my friend somewhere in Europe the last week in March and he will take the pug back with him to New York the 1st week in April. The previous owner claims the pug has a microchip already but I do not have the documentation. Can you recommend a particular country & airline in Europe that my friend and I could meet to make this an easy move for our pug? Any advice you could give would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!


  22. Aniela – you can find step-by-step instructions on how to import your pet to Poland here and there are links to further instructions and forms if you need them: Follow the steps in order.

    The regulations depend on what country you are importing your dogs from. If it is a rabies-controlled or rabies-free country, the titer test in step #3 will not be required. You can click for the list of countries if you do not know.

  23. I plan move to Poland wit may dogs !I don’t now what cine document And shouts May dogs need ! I try fend in the internet Bat I have so mix information That I am completely lost ! I now that pet need passport and health certificate and so micro chip bat what use !
    What cine shouts ?
    If sum bury now correct answer please let me now !
    Thanks !

  24. Misty – you can find requirements to import your dog to France here and there are links to further instructions and forms if you need them: We would note that, because the EU considers the Philippines as a high-rabies country, the titer test in step #3 will be required. Be sure the steps are done in order. You will also need to be aware of import regulations for the Philippines for when you return. You can find them here: If your Shih Tzu is too large to fly in the cabin, know that it is a snub-nosed breed and only a few airlines will fly it in the cargo hold.

  25. Hello I am thinking to bring my shihtzu to France from Philippines for 3 months. Does she needs to be quarantine? What does she need to be with me in France?

  26. Do you happen to know what the protocall will be since we will be returning to Ireland after a year or two? Will he need to be quarantined before flying back into the EU? Thanks for your help 🙂

  27. Justine – I have corrected my comment. There will be no quarantine when entering Canada with your YorkieVery sorry about that. Typed too fast.

  28. Thank you Susan,he is microchipped so that’s good. Do you have an idea on how long he would have to be quarantined for? Or possibly direct me to a site that may have some additional info on the process itself. I’ve checked the major airlines and the links that they provide but have come up short. Thank you 🙂

  29. Justine – you should really have your dog microchipped as well. There is no waiting period after the rabies vaccination for entering Canada, however, there is a waiting period for all other countries. If you get stuck during a layover, you will want to vaccinate your pup at least 30 days prior to traveling. There will be no quarantine when entering Canada with your EU Pet Passport and your Yorkie’s rabies vaccination.

  30. Hi there, I will be moving back to Canada from ireland with my Yorkie puppy (he will be 11/12 months old once we fly) will my dog need to be quarantined? I know he needs a passport already and have an apt for that and his rabies shot closer to the planned travel date

  31. Shirler – it depends on what country your Yorkies are traveling to and where they are traveling from.

  32. I have 2 little yorkies how much i a passprt for them can i get them on the same passport

  33. Gary – if you will be your n the EU for 4 months, you can get an EU Pet Passport which you can use to travel back and forth, otherwise you will need to get an EU health certificate every time you travel.

  34. Hi Gery – the pet passport when traveling to the EU is the collection of documents required to enter the country with your dog. You can find these requirements here with links to further instructions and forms if you need them: The requirements apply to service dogs as well. You can use the same documents to re-enter the US on a 10’day trip.

  35. Hi,
    I am taking my service dog from New York to France for 10 days. I travel to Europe a few times a year. Is there a pet passport I can get? Can i get it in NY or do I have to get it in France? I read that the only way the rabies shot is valid is for a Vet in EU to give it and write it on the documents.
    Please advise. Thank you so much!

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  37. Tariq – you can find current requirements to import your pup to the UK from the US without quarantine here and there are links to further instructions and forms if you need them: Your pup’s pet passport will be the documentation required to enter the UK. We will note that, because the US is considered a rabies-controlled country by the EU, the rabies titer test referenced in step #3 will not be required.

  38. What is needed to travel with my pup to the U.K. And back to the us? Am I able to get him a pet passport? (Not sure if it matters but I am a USA and British citizen). I have all his medical records and he is microchipped. I wanted to avoid having to quarantine him

  39. Hi Karen – it will take a minimum of 6 months to import your cat to Australia from any country unless your cat is microchipped, vaccinated for rabies and has had a titer test within the past 24 months. We also note that Indonesia is not an approved country for direct import to Australia, so, although you can start the process in Indonesia, you will need to move your cat to an approved country about 6 weeks prior to import to Australia for additional tests and treatments. You can find details about importing your cat to Australia here: http://www/

  40. Hi I want to take my cat from Indonesia to live in Australia with me. What do I need to do. How long will this take!. Thanks

  41. Hola,
    I like to take my yorkie from New York United States to El Salvador, Central America for two months. What do I need to do to take him and bring him back to the USA

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