Moving to another country can be a complex process, and if you're planning to bring your beloved pet with you to the UK there are additional steps you need to consider. This guide will provide the essential information you need to help ensure your furry friend can make the journey with you safely and legally.


First and foremost, your pet should be microchipped. This microchip serves as a permanent ID for your pet and should be implanted before any vaccinations are administered. The microchip number needs to be recorded in the pet's health certificate or passport.

Rabies Vaccination

Next, your pet must receive a rabies vaccination. This vaccination should be at least 21 days old at the time of the pet's final health examination before departure. It's important to note that the vaccine must be administered after the microchip is implanted. There are different requirements for the validity of the vaccine depending on whether it is a one-year, two-year, or three-year vaccine. The vaccination record must show the pet's date of birth, microchip number, vaccination date, vaccine manufacturer and product name, vaccine batch number, the date the vaccination is valid, and the vet's signature and contact details. Regular booster vaccinations are also required for your pet. This rule applies to pets coming from EU countries and listed countries such as the United States -- if you're coming from an unlisted country, stricter rules will apply.

Transfer of Residency (ToR) Declaration

When moving to the UK with pets, you will need a ToR Declaration, which replaces the C5 Customs Form. This form can be secured before travel, or a tax can be paid upon arrival. Applying for the ToR in advance is advisable, as it can take two weeks to 30 days to process. If you arrive without this form, a Customs VAT will be payable on deposit before the pet is allowed to be released, which can be expensive.

Five Day Rule

Pet owners must fly within five days of their pet in order for the move to be considered "non-commercial". If you can't meet this Five Day Rule, the move will still go ahead, but it will be considered a commercial move, which increases costs and changes the import requirements and timeline.

Tapeworm Treatment for Dogs

If you're traveling with a dog, it must usually have a tapeworm treatment.

Travel Company Policies

Before you travel, check if the company you’re traveling with will accept your pet for travel. Some companies also require proof that your pet is fit and healthy to travel, such as a letter from a vet or certain information in your pet passport.

Authorizing Someone Else

If you can't travel with your pet, your pet can travel with someone else if you've authorized it in writing.

Important Note

Remember, these rules apply to Great Britain (England, Wales, and Scotland). There are different rules for pet travel in Northern Ireland. Also, be aware that if you're planning to sell, rehome, or transfer the ownership of your pet, if your pet is arriving more than 5 days before or after you arrive, or if you're bringing more than 5 pets, there are additional rules that you need to follow.

While this guide gives a broad overview of the requirements for moving pets to the UK, it's important to check the latest regulations on the official UK government website or contact a professional pet relocation service to ensure you have the most up-to-date information. Regulations can and do change, so confirm the current requirements before you make your plans. Safe travels!

We're thrilled to introduce our new course: "Moving Your Pet From the U.S. to the United Kingdom: The Ultimate DIY Guide". Designed for pet owners planning a move from the United States to the United Kingdom, this comprehensive course equips you with the knowledge and skills necessary to relocate your pet. It's the same proven process our team uses when working with clients, and it's all available at your own pace. The course covers everything from navigating country regulations and paperwork to facilitating travel logistics, making your pet's journey as seamless as possible

Have questions? Our UK team is here to help! Read more about bringing pets to the UK, and contact us if you're ready to set up a pet transport consultation.


PetRelocation Team


Air Travel, Microchips, News


Cats, Dogs


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