Pet Travel: Navigating the Process of Exporting Dogs & Cats to Europe with an Animal Health Certificate (AHC)

Dog on holiday, Animal Health certificate

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What to know when traveling with your pet to Europe.

The bond between humans and their furry companions knows no boundaries, and it’s not uncommon for pet owners to relocate or travel with their beloved dogs and cats. If you’re considering exporting or going on holiday with your four-legged friend to Europe, understanding the process and requirements is crucial to ensure a safe and smooth journey. One essential document you’ll need is an Animal Health Certificate (AHC), a vital component in facilitating the international movement of pets. This article will guide you through the process and requirements for exporting dogs and cats to Europe using an Animal Health Certificate.

The Animal Health Certificate: An Overview

An Animal Health Certificate (AHC) is an official document issued by an authorised veterinarian and endorsed by the appropriate government agency. Its purpose is to certify that your pet is healthy, free from contagious diseases, and meets the entry requirements of the destination country. In the case of exporting dogs and cats to Europe, the AHC plays a pivotal role in ensuring the well-being of your pets and the health of other animals in the receiving country.

Process and Requirements to attain an ACH.

      1. Microchipping and Identification: Before you embark on the journey of exporting your furry friend, ensure they are properly identified with a microchip. The microchip must meet ISO standards and should be registered with your contact information. This step is essential for accurate identification and tracking of your pet.
      2. Rabies Vaccination: Rabies is a significant concern when exporting pets. Your dog or cat must be vaccinated against rabies and maintain up-to-date vaccinations. Ensure that the vaccination is administered by a licensed veterinarian and recorded in your pet’s health records.
      3. Waiting Period: Most European countries have a mandatory waiting period after rabies vaccination before pets can enter. The waiting period is 21 days, during which your pet should not travel.
      4. Veterinary Examination and Health Certification: A certified veterinarian ( Official Veterinarian) approved by your country’s government agency should conduct a thorough examination of your pet. This examination ensures your pet is healthy and free from infectious diseases. The Official Veterinarian will then issue the Animal Health Certificate (AHC), which serves as an official endorsement of your pet’s health.
      5. AHC Endorsement: After the veterinarian issues the AHC, it must be endorsed by the official government veterinary authority. This endorsement validates the AHC’s authenticity and compliance with international regulations.
      6. Language and Format: The AHC must be completed in the official language of the exporting country and may need to be translated into the language of the destination country. It should also adhere to specific formatting requirements, including the use of official letterheads and signatures.
      7. Timely Submission: Submit the completed and endorsed AHC to the appropriate government agency responsible for animal exports. Ensure you do this within the specified timeframe to avoid any delays or complications.
      8. Pet Travel Arrangements: Plan your pet’s travel logistics well in advance. This includes booking flights, ferries or trains securing an approved travel crate, and making arrangements for your pet’s comfort and safety during transit.
      9. Entry Requirements: Research and understand the specific entry requirements of the destination country. Some countries may have additional health tests or treatments that your pet must undergo before entry.
      10. Arrival in Europe: Upon arrival in Europe, your pet and the accompanying AHC will be subject to customs and veterinary inspections. Make sure your pet’s identification matches the information on the AHC, and have all required documentation readily accessibleVets 2 Your Pets ltd can Facilitate all Requirements for Pet Travel to Europe

    Vets 2 Your Pets ltd can Facilitate all Requirements for Pet Travel to Europe.


    Exporting dogs and cats to Europe is an exciting yet intricate process that requires careful planning and adherence to specific requirements. Vets 2 Your Pets have a number of Official Veterinarians ( OV) across the UK to carry out pre-travel health checks and supply the vital ACH Documents needed for travel. Our vets will conveniently visit you and you pets at home to carry out all the necessary vaccinations and check and documentation. The Animal Health Certificate (AHC) is a crucial document that ensures your pet’s health and well-being while complying with the regulations of the destination country. Vets 2 Your Pets can help you navigate and following the outlined process and requirements so you can embark on this journey with confidence, knowing that you’ve taken the necessary steps to provide your furry friend with a safe and smooth transition to their new European home. See our website to attain a Animal Health Certificates (AHC) supplied by Vets 2 Your Pets

    Pet Passport - Export & Travel. Animal Health Certificate

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