We are planning a huge van life road trip next year around the UK and Europe, and of course Lottie is coming along too!
Lottie has never left the UK before and this is the first time for us taking a pet abroad, so there was a lot for
us to think about and learn, especially as we are going to be travelling for quite a long time (around a year).

We are planning to travel in a motorhome so the guidance in this post is all specific to that and relevant to motorhome travel, if you plan to travel in a different way then of course the guidance may be different and you will need to look into this.

We wanted to share with you what we have learnt as there is lots to think about!

In order for your pet to safely travel to Europe, there are some specific requirements:

  • Your pet needs to be microchipped
  • Your pet needs an animal health certificate
  • Your pet need a rabies vaccine

How do I get an Animal Health Certificate?

Prior to Brexit, you would need a pet passport for your dog to travel to Europe. Now, this has been replaced by a document called an animal health certificate which you need to travel to Europe or Northern Ireland and you need to get this no more than 10 days before you travel and this needs to be issued by an official vet.

We are registered at our local vets 4 pets and this is part of Pets at Home. Vets 4 pets are able to issue the animal health certificate for us.


When you go to get this from your vet you will need proof of your pets microchip date and vaccination history.


This animal health certificate will then be valid for 4 months for onward travel within the EU or 4 months for
re-entry to Great Britain.

We are not yet sure on the cost, how long it takes to get the certificate or any more specific details regarding this, but we will update this blog post once we have gone through the process of getting this for ourselves!

The animal health certificate should be a recognised document across the EU so we have been informed that there is no specific need to have it printed out in the languages of all of the different countries you are going to, however it may be a good idea to have it in the language of the first country you are visiting which for us will be France.

Rabies Vaccine

Your pet will also need a rabies vaccine and you must wait 21 days after the vaccine before you travel and keep on top of booster vaccinations, the vaccination generally lasts 3 years.

Again, we’ll update this blog post with the specifics at a later date.

Vaccination record

Your pet’s vaccination record in their animal health certificate must show:

  • Your pet’s date of birth
  • Microchip number, date it was put in or read, and where it is on your pet’s body
  • Vaccination date
  • Vaccine manufacturer and product name
  • Vaccine batch number
  • Date the vaccination is valid until
  • The vet’s signature and contact details

Tapeworm treatment for dogs

A vet must treat your dog for tapeworm and record it in the animal health certificate if you’re travelling directly to:

Finland
Ireland
Malta
Northern Ireland
Norway
The treatment must have been given no less than 24 hours and no more than 120 hours (5 days) before you arrive.

The treatment must:
be approved for use in the country it’s being given in
contain praziquantel or an equivalent proven to be effective against the Echinococcus multilocularis tapeworm

Other things to think about

  • Your pet’s food and how much you might need to take and also can you get this through customs
  • The weather – will they need a warm coat or a cooling coat etc
  • Harness and lead – depending on where you are going to be going, you may need to consider getting a good quality harness and lead, especially if you plan to do more adventurous travel
  • Does your pet take any medication that you may need to take with you
  • Dog first aid kit
  • Dog grooming – if you are going to travel for a while, like us you will need to think about your dog’s grooming needs. We have considered buying some dog clippers and keeping Lottie’s coat short ourselves, but if you don’t want to do this you will need to think about whether you will be near a groomers on your travels.
  • Does your dog require any regular vet treatments or have any health conditions – For us, we have to take Lottie to the vets every 4ish weeks for her anal glands, this is something we need to think about on our travels and try to make arrangements to take Lottie to vets in Europe

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