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 pets 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 pet owners 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 the collection of the required documentation needed to take your pet to other countries. Customs officials will need to see these documents in order to clear your pet through customs, 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 form for the country you will be visiting (they are all different) completed by your veterinarian and endorsed by a USDA veterinarian. You airline may also require and health certificate, especially if your pet is flying under an air waybill in the cargo hold. A microchip certificate can identify when your pet’s microchip was implanted and which veterinarian administered the implantation. This is important because your pet must be identified by a microchip prior to receiving the rabies vaccination.
  • Your pet’s rabies certificate or inoculation record which must be attached to the certified Annex IV form.

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

UPDATE: As Brexit has occurred, note that the United Kingdom is no longer be a part of the European Union and UK Pet Passports are no longer be accepted for pets entering the EU. To enter the EU from the UK, your pet will need either an EU Pet Passport with the most current rabies vaccination recorded in it or an Animal Health Certificate (AHC) issued by an Official Veterinarian in the UK. The AHC can be used to travel throughout the EU for 4 months after issuance or until your pet’s rabies vaccination expires, whichever comes first. It can also be used to reenter the UK during the 4 month validity period.

More details on how Brexit will affect your pet.

Every country in the world will require a health certificate and proof of rabies vaccination, although the rules for additional treatments and testing vary widely from country to country. You should have a health certificate completed by your veterinarian prior to travel. This certificate is also referred to as a Veterinary or Sanitary Certificate.

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 prior to travel for a health certificate. Other tests and treatments, such as tapeworm, internal/external parasites, microchips, and rabies titer tests, if required, will affect the cost. Endorsement by a government veterinarian will always incur a fee. 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 Australia), you have to plan 6 months in advance. 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 forms and instructions on over 220 countries all over the world. You can also post questions on our blog homepage and we will answer them promptly. More information pet passports can be found here:


Pet Passport – what is it? Why does your pet need one? How much will it cost? — 172 Comments

  1. Meso – the United States is very cat friendly. What you have done will be enough; however, your cat should have a current health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian within 10 days of travel.

  2. Hi, I will be traveling with my cat to Florida from Jeddah Saudi Arabia in December. My cat is fully vaccinated and has a microchip. I want to know the requirements to take my cat to Florida also what documents will I need at the port of entry (Florida) ?
    Which airline will be suitable to fly with my cat in cabin ? I?m planning to travel with Turkish airline though !

    Please help me I don?t want to leave my cat behind..

  3. Please note that Ireland is not a United Kingdom Country.Northern Ireland is the only section that is and it is not a country
    Giving that the United Kingdom is exiting the EU, rules for animal going to Ireland will be different to the UK rules.

  4. Merv – the health certificate is valid for 30 days to return to the US unless your airline requires a more recent health certificate. The rabies certificate you use to enter Germany will still be valid.

  5. Julia – you can find regulations to import your Boston Terrier to Germany here and there are links to further instructions and forms if you need them: No titer test needed; however, your Terrier will need an EU Health Certificate issued within 10 days of travel and endorsed by your State USDA office. You will need to give your airline advance notification to fly with your ESA and special forms may be required. More info here:

  6. Hello. I am traveling with my dog from the US to Germany and back. I will stay for 4 weeks in Germany before I return to the US.

    Which documents do I need in order to re-enter the states?
    Is the health certificate that I will be taking with me to Germany (signed 10 days before departure) still valid for my return to the US or do I have to get a new health certificate in Germany?

  7. Hello, my ESA dog (Boston Terrier) will be flying with me for the first time to Germany. We live in the US.
    From my understanding my dog needs the following: Health certificate, valid rabies vaccine (ours is a 3 yr one and valid til 2021), Microchip (implanted before rabies shot).

    Do I need anything else? Does he need to do any titer blood testing? Is my 3 year rabies vaccine valid and acceptable?

    Please help me, we are flying out in December and I am worried that we don’t have enough time left.

  8. Our Labradoodle is qualified as an ESA dog. We are planning the first of a few trips to Mexico this winter. This is our first experience flying with him. I have gone online to check out Mexican rules for entering, but am a bit confused. Besides an updated vaccination sheet, what else is required? I would appreciate a detailed explanation to avoid any issues once we arrive. Thank you so much.

  9. Emma – your cat will need to conform to the regulations listed here: It will need a pet passport reflecting a current rabies vaccination administered after a microchip is implanted and more than 21 days before travel. Lufthansa through Frankfurt may be an option for airline. Ask them if they will fly your cat in the cabin if it is small enough else it can fly as checked baggage.

  10. i would like to take my cat on a flight from glasgow to wales. can i get some information how i can do this. i dont have a passport for my cat and am wanting a quick flight

  11. Janice – your service dog will be fine to enter every country you listed with the exception of Malta. Your dog must have a tapeworm treatment administered by a licensed veterinarian between one and five days of entering Malta. You will need to arrange a vet visit in the country you visit just prior to entering Malta.

  12. Hello – we have a certified hearing dog that will be traveling with us on a Cruise beginning in August of 2020. The cruise lasts 46 nights & originates in Amsterdam & visits various ports in Europe including France, Portugal, Spain, Monaco, Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, Greece, & Malta. She has been pre-approved for travel aboard the cruise ship, however, we wish for her to be able to disembark with us at the various ports of call. She will have the necessary paperwork to travel from the US into Amsterdam by a certified veteranian and the Department of State. We also plan to have her European passport updated by a certified veteranian once we arrive in Amsterdam. She has a microchip implanted and will of course have current rabies vaccination. Is there anything else we will need to have that will allow her to disembark at the various ports?

    Thanks you so much for your assistance. Janice

  13. Hello,
    I’d like to transport my cats from Greece to NY. The problem is in order to exit Greece the pet has to have a microchip. The US doesn’t require one. Even worse is the fact that there’s a difference in the types of microchips used in the EU (15-digit) and the USA (9 or 10? digit). EU scanners can’t recognize US microchips and vice versa. So, I would have to use EU microchips just to exit and these would be useless in the US. Any hope of getting a dispensation?

  14. Silvana – Hola, la UE es bastante estricta en cuanto al cumplimiento de sus regulaciones. Ni Francia ni Espa?a tienen instalaciones de cuarentena que conocemos, pero ciertamente a su perro no se le permitir? la entrada a ninguno de los dos pa?ses porque se requiere la prueba de t?tulo tanto en Panam? como en Brasil. Es probable que sus aerol?neas no acepten a su perro, ya que no cumple con las regulaciones para ingresar a la UE. Puede llevar a su perro a un pa?s controlado por la rabia como M?xico, Chile, Argentina o los EE. UU., Vacunarlo contra la rabia y esperar 21 d?as antes de viajar. Se debe colocar un microchip antes de la vacunaci?n contra la rabia.

  15. hola! mi pareja y yo queremos viajar a de Paraguay a Espa?a. el vuelo que tenemos es de Paraguay (asuncion)-Brasil(sao paulo)-Francia(paris)-espa?a(madrid). De Paraguay a Brasil vamos en la aerolinea Gool y de ahi con la aerolinea air france con escala en paris. nuestro vuelo es para los primeros dias de febrero/2019. Queremos llevar a nuestro perro mestizo de 1 a?o 6 meses, la vacuna contra la rabia le corresponde en enero pero deseamos vacunarlo ahora para luego realizar el analisis serologico despues de 30 dias y me quedaria 30 dias de cuarentena antes del vuelo. he leido que debo esperar 3 meses pero no sabria si exigen para nuestro pais. que pasaria si viajamos con nuestro perro sin cumplir los 3 meses de cuarentena?

  16. Mical – no passport required for flying domestically. You should contact your airline to see if they will require a health certificate and proof of rabies vaccination.

  17. I know this might sound weird but do you need a passport for a dog going from California to Washington State?

  18. Ralf – the only information that a non-EU vet can record in an EU Pet Passport is the echinococcus (tapeworm) treatment. No vaccinations can be entered by a non-EU vet. Instead, any relevant vaccinations must be listed on an EU health certificate.

  19. Jadzia – to import your Husky to the United States, it will need proof of current rabies vaccination and a health certificate. If your pup has an EU Pet Passport, this will be accepted in the United States for proof of vaccination. Air France will get you to Detroit nonstop from Paris. You may want to contact them about making a reservation for your Husky as accompanied checked baggage.

  20. My fianc?e and I are planning to move from France (his home) to Michigan, USA (my home) in about four months and we need to bring our 2 year old huskey with us. As far as I know he is completely current with all vaccines etc. but I’m having trouble navigating the requirements between the country and state regulations. Would our veterinarian know what tests/paperwork we might need from him or is there a checklist somewhere to help guide me through this process?
    Thanks in advance for any advice,

  21. Bob – you will likely need to fly out of a large international airport like Lima. Did you look at LATAM? They fly a 767 out of Lima that may accommodate a larger crate. We are located in the United States (MIA) and not authorized to book transport out of Ecuador. You can search for an agent at Your bird will qualify for home quarantine as long as you have an original health certificate that was issued in the U.S. prior to your bird leaving the U.S. The bird must be clearly identified on the health certificate by name, breed, color, markings, and identification (microchip, leg band, or tattoo). You must provide a copy of this document during the import permit process. More info here: We can assist in MIA should that be needed. You can reach us at

  22. Hello
    I am planning to return to the USA from ECUADOR in the next few months, and need to bring my two dogs and a parrot.
    the parrot originated in the USA and has pet passport papers for reentry.
    the two dogs are from EC. Problem is one is Rottweiler, with crate is over 100 LBS. other is small poodle mix.
    I would like any help you can give on who to contact to arrange for manifest cargo for the dog, and possibly both if it is less to send all that way. The Bird I believe also has to go that way, as she did on the way down. Not sure on that.

    I can plan to arrive in MIA to make everything easier with agriculture dept.
    in looking over the airlines that carry pets, none seem to take over 100lbs . Can you guide me on who to check for cargo?
    thank you so much for your help and insightful web site

  23. Georgia – they need to speak with the vet tomorrow about getting a pet passport. It will be required to return to the UK. They will also need to wait for 21 days after rabies vaccination to return to the UK. Be sure their pet is microchipped before rabies vaccination. Also, a tapeworm treatment by the vet between one and five days of entering the UK if their pet is a dog.

  24. my friends have come to france with their dog without knowing they needed a passport – can they get back to the uk – they will get a rabies jab tomorrow

  25. P.L. – we always recommend that pets traveling internationally have an international health certificate. In the United States, entrance requirements are dictated on the State level and most of them are looking for proof of rabies vaccination and a current health certificate. Additionally, your airline may also require one. You do not need to go to a special vet, just one that is licensed to practice by your government.

  26. Hello,
    we are planning to move from Germany to the United States next year, bringing our 2 dogs. they are chipped and get rabies vaccination every year. They both have a blue EU pet passport from our vet.
    Maybe you can help me finding out whittles they need for entering the USA??? I found out that they need a health certificate from vet?! Is it ok if they get it from our vet or do we need to go to a “special Vet”???

  27. Ines – you can find requirements to import your dog to Lebanon here and there are links to further instructions and forms if you need them: We cannot quote costs but we can look at your route and see what airline serves you efficiently and what the layover airports are. You will need to give us your origination city/country for further comment.

  28. i will be going to lebanon for a 2 month vacation i have a 8 month old rottweiler he will be about 10 months when we go . I dont want to leave my pup with anyone because im sure they wont take care of him like i do. What am i supposed to do exactly and ABOUT how much does it cost for his passport and everything all in .

  29. Chloe – the health certificate will be good for 4 months of travel in the EU. If you will be there longer than that, you can get your dogs an EU Pet Passport. Additional requirements depend on the country you are leaving from. See Also know that, when flying AF, if you have a layover, your dogs will need to clear customs in the layover country.

  30. My husband and I going to be in France from Sept 1 to Feb 1 (so, 5 months) and I am bringing TWO dogs, one 30 # dog in cargo and one 14.5 # dog on the plane. I have checked with Air France and downloaded a certificate that says, ” MODEL HEALTH CERTIFICATE FOR THE NON-COMMERCIAL MOVEMENT INTO A MEMBER STATE FROM A TERRITORY OR THIRD COUNTRY OF DOGS, CATS OR FERRETS IN ACCORDANCE WITH ARTICLE 5(1) AND (2) OF REGULATION (EU) No 576/2013″. I assume I need to get an EU passport once I am there. Both dogs are >16 weeks of age (one is 16 YEARS!) and both have rabies vaccinations and microchips. What else do I need to do?

  31. Ruben – we refer to a “pet passport” as the documents required to import a pet to a specific country. If you are in the EU, then you can get an EU Pet Passport for your dog, cat or ferret from your veterinarian. What country will you be traveling to?

  32. i need info nation about Passport for my 3 dogs
    they have all the recor up date include chip where i need to go and get the passport
    how much they cost for each one.

  33. October 2018, my wife and i will travel to the Philippines and we are bringing our small dog with us. What do we need to do so that we can bring our dog with us? Please help us and thank you!

  34. U. O’Connor – all commercial airlines will require that your pet flies into the UK and Ireland as air cargo. You can fly into mainland EU with your dog in the cabin as long as it can fit comfortably in an airline-compliant pet carrier and your airline will allow it. From the mainland, you would need to look at ferry options to Ireland. Many of these ferries require that your dog travels in a car. Irish Ferries is one such example.

  35. Can I bring my dog from NY to Ireland on vacation? He is 18 lbs and I don?t want him in cargo. What airlines may I use?

  36. Hello Malena – if you want to avoid the cargo requirement into the UK, then you may want to consider flying to AMS, taking the train to Rotterdam and taking a pet friendly ferry like Stena to Hull. You do not need an EU Pet Passport to do this. The EU health certificate that your vet completes within 10 days of travel will be good for 4 months of travel within the EU. If you are there longer, you can get your pet an EU Pet Passport from a vet in the EU.

  37. Hello!
    I have big concerns about bringing my dog from Jakarta to UK. I’ve already have an agent who is in charge of all the necessary documents. I’m in the UK but with a good advice I can choose between take her as a cargo or go there and bring her like a exceed luggage buying a ticket and going there.
    Well, It seems, I can take the dog through out 2 ways;

    1- with KLM to Amsterdam, like a luggage exceed and then from Amsterdam to UK by land or by ferry. cheapest option but I don’t know how I can take my dog from there, Amsterdam to UK without the EU passport. She is from Jakarta so I will only have all the required documents ( import, health.. microchip, titer Rabia blood test…etc)

    2- like cargo;
    2a- with Malaysian airlines with which one I have lot of concerns about how they treat pets but is the shortest way, less hours to London. I saw terribly reviews only from customers flying without I’m afraid of how they can treat an animal if the are so rude with the normal customers)
    2b- with kLM again but like cargo to get into UK. More hours that with Malaysian airlines.
    As a cargo it’s so expensive but if I do it from Amsterdam would be cheaper and I would travel with here in the same plane, and also I trust more in KLM to bring pets. But in this case my concern is the one I mentioned before. If I will be able to travel with those documents to UK, but without passport.
    I knew also I can do it from France but I’ll have the same problem that travelling to Amsterdam. Will it be necessary to do an European Passport once I get Those cities?
    I’m not sure if I explained well all my concerns, about to take her into UK by land or ferry, about Malaysian airlines, the bed way to bring here and also the cheapest way.
    Thanks so much in advance


  38. Susie – the airlines will never give you a guarantee that your pup will be on the same flight as you are; however, you can request to see the manifest before you board. Pups flying as air cargo as subject to the demands on the cargo hold, a bit more than those flying as checked baggage. If not on your flight, then the airline will prioritize the transport on the next flight and will care for your dog during the holding time. That said, when you land in London, a registered agent must pick up your dog and take it to the Animal Reception Center where you will claim it. Normally, the process can take 2-4 hours to complete. The agent is normally arranged by the airline and built into the price of the ticket.

  39. I am at my wits and trying to get my little 9 pound dog into England. Airlines give such different opinions that I dare not book a flight. I?m happy to have my dog in cargo but would like it to be on the same flight as myself. How do I go around guaranteeing that.? Rather than a transport company that may not get in or be around when I get there either can anyone help me?

  40. Vanessa – veterinary officials must have told your husband why there was a problem with your dog. Were the veterinary offices closed? If you still need assistance, this agent may be able to help you:

  41. My husband flew in our pet to the USA from Honduras and is flying back, but once at the airport they won?t let him get on the plane with our dog….although she has all her papers in order. What can we do.

  42. Hello Fi – we intended to say Northern Ireland, of course. What page are you seeing this statement on?

  43. hello,can you please correct the above error?
    You wrote ” If you are visiting one of the United Kingdom countries (England, Ireland or Scotland) …” The Republic of Ireland is not in the United Kingdom so like any country it has its own legal system which would also involve it’s own laws around bringing animals to Ireland . Thank you

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