Bringing Dogs and Cats to the EU - A Simple Guide

So, you’re moving to Europe? Paris! Brussels! Amsterdam! How exciting! We want to make this journey with your best friend, your pet! We have good news: If the import steps are followed correctly there is no quarantine for cats and dogs entering the EU from the United states.  

Take a look at our guidelines below to make sure you are prepared to successfully bring your dog or cat to the European Union.

Time Requirements:

When starting from square one need at least 21 days to plan your pet’s move, but recommend at least a month of preparation time

Vaccination Requirements:

Next, your pet must meet the import requirements put in place by the European Union. If you are doing your own research this could be daunting, but it’s quite simple. Your cat or dog needs:

  • An ISO compatible microchip: This is a 15-digit microchip. If your pet has a non-ISO compatible chip (usually having 9 or 10 digits) it may be feasible to use as well, but if you have time our official recommendation is to get the 15 digit chip to save time at customs clearance upon arrival into the EU. The microchip must come before any of the following steps.
  • A rabies vaccine: after you get a microchip, your pet needs a valid rabies vaccine. This must come after the microchip. You can get this vaccine the same day as your microchip implantation so long as the vaccine is administered after the microchip is implanted.  This vaccine must be at least 21 days old at time of travel
  • Other vaccines: no other vaccines are mandatory for entry into the European Union from the United States, but we highly recommend having your pet up to date on DHPP and Bordetella vaccines (for dogs) or FVRCP vaccine (for cats).

Final Veterinarian Appointment:

For export from the United States to any foreign country your pet must have a country specific health certificate issued by a USDA Accredited Veterinarian. This health certificate then must be sent to your state’s USDA office (or the office advised on the USDA website ) for endorsement.

A few notes:

  • Ask your veterinarian if they have the proper USDA accreditation. If your paperwork arrives to your state’s USDA office and it is issued by a veterinarian that does not have the proper accreditation it will be rejected & will cause delays for your pet’s move.
  • The health certificate cannot be older than 10 days old at time of arrival into the EU. Make sure to arrange this appointment in the proper amount of time
  • The country specific health certificates can be found on the USDA website. If the country you are traveling to is a non-English speaking country (Spain, Italy, Greece, etc…) your pet will need a bilingual certificate.

dog in Europe

The good news is, the EU is one of the less stressful destinations since it requires minimal vaccinations, preparation time and does not require a TITER test . However, we understand that the process can be daunting and we would love to help!

Need an expert to help plan your pet’s move? Contact us to set up a consultation with our EU pet travel team.


PetRelocation Team




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