Moving Pets Between Germany and the UK or Ireland

The application of the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) allows animals to travel between Germany and the UK or Ireland...

Dogs, cats and ferrets may travel between from Germany to the UK and Ireland without quarantine, provided some (stringent) requirements are met. The system allowing travel is called the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS).

DEFRA, the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, has comprehensive and up-to-date information on the website and can provide an information pack on request.

  • DEFRA website: Pet Travel Scheme (PETS)
  • Pet Travel Scheme
    : +44 870 241 1710
    Open: Mondays to Fridays 08:00-18:00 UK time

Entering the UK, Ireland, Malta or Sweden (until 31 December 2011)

Before entering Britain or Ireland (or Sweden or Malta) from Germany or elsewhere in the EU, an animal must:

  • Have an anti-rabies booster vaccination (the pet must be vaccinated by a vet)
  • Have a blood test. A blood sample will be taken 30 days after the vaccination and will be sent to an approved laboratory to confirm the vaccination has been effective
    • If the sample tests correct, the vet will sign the certificate
    • If the sample tests negative, the vaccination and sampling process will be repeated until successful and there will be a six-month delay (see note below)
  • Between 24 and 48 hours before departure from Germany the animal must be treated for ticks and tapeworm (echinococcosis). This treatment must be carried out by an authorised vet
  • Have microchip identification, a tattoo is not acceptable
  • Have a valid European Pet Passport completed with certificates and documentation of treatments

Note: A passport cannot be issued until six months after a satisfactory blood test. Once the vet has issued the pet's documentation and that six-month period has passed, the pet may enter the UK. The travel process is then much the same as above. The passport must be up- to-date and the rabies booster must be valid.

If the authorities are not satisfied with the animal on entry to the UK it may be held in quarantine until the relevant tests are passed.

Changes to the rules effective 1 January 2012

As of 1 January 2012, the rules regarding moving pet animals to the United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden and Malta are harmonised with the rest of the EU. A blood test after the rabies vaccination will no longer be necessary and the waiting time before entry is shortened from six months to 21 days. Tick treatment will not be obligatory.

Dogs must be treated against tapeworm no less than 24 hours and not more than 120 hours (five days) before arriving in the UK. This treatment must be recorded in the pet passport by a veterinary surgeon. Dogs arriving from Malta, Ireland or Finland do not need to be treated against tapeworm.

  • For more information about tapeworm treatment: Click here

The UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has comprehensive information on the new policy:

  • For more information from DEFRA regarding the new rules: Click here
  • For the leaflet Bringing pets into the UK after 1 January 2012: Click here (PDF)

For information from Sweden and Ireland’s governments:

  • For information on the rules that apply for Ireland: Click here
  • For information on the rules that apply for Sweden: Click here

Further Information