Navigating the Maze of International Dog Travel Regulations

The regulatory landscape surrounding dog travel is complex, heavily influenced by the concerns of disease transmission – especially rabies – and invasive species introduction. Various nations have set up distinct regulations to mitigate these concerns, making it essential for pet owners to be well-informed before traveling with their furry companions. To help you get a sense for what’s required, we’ve compiled the requirements for several popular destinations.

What’s Required to Bring a Dog Into the European Union (EU)?

  • A pet must be reunited with its owner within 5 days of relocation if traveling unaccompanied. Compliance with animal health rules is mandatory for import into or trade within the EU.
  • For pets without an EU Pet Passport, a clinical examination is necessary 1-5 days before entry into EU member states. A valid EU Pet Passport eases the process for pets returning to the EU. Check out our quick guide to getting an EU Pet Passport for your dog.
  • Certain countries outside the EU but operating under the same EU Pet Travel Scheme rules include Andorra, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, among others.

What’s Required to Bring a Dog Into the United Kingdom (UK)?

  • Travelers can enter or return to the UK with their pet dog if it:
    • Has been microchipped.
    • Holds a pet passport or health certificate.
    • Has been vaccinated against rabies, with a blood test required if traveling from an unlisted country.
  • Other requirements include using an approved route unless traveling within the UK or from Ireland, filling in a declaration if not selling or transferring pet ownership, and usually having a tapeworm treatment for dogs.
  • If these rules are not followed, pets may be put into quarantine for up to 4 months or refused entry if traveled by sea, with any fees or charges being the responsibility of the pet owner.

What’s Required to Bring a Dog Into Canada?

  • A current rabies vaccination is essential for dogs over three months old, except for certified assistance dogs. While health certificates and microchips are not expressly required, they might be requested by customs officers, so it’s best to come prepared..
  • Dogs without a rabies vaccination certificate must be vaccinated at the owner’s expense within two weeks of arrival.

What’s Required to Bring a Dog Into Australia?

  • Australia requires a health certificate, microchip, and proof of rabies vaccination.
  • Dogs, except those from Norfolk Island, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands or New Zealand, are also required to stay in quarantine upon entering Australia. Australia has fairly stringent quarantine rules in the world In order to prevent the introduction of rabies and other diseases to the continent. Consequently, you can expect to be separated from your dog for 30 days. (To get an idea of how serious they are about this, look no further than that the time Johnny Depp famously was forced to leave Australia for trying to circumvent these rules by bringing his dogs to Australia in his private jet.)

What’s Required to Bring a Dog Into Japan?

  • Dogs may be imported into Japan with a quarantine of less than 12 hours if all conditions are met. These conditions include rabies vaccinations and a waiting period of 180 days post-vaccination.
  • Pets failing to meet the requirements are subject to a maximum quarantine time of 180 days, and the entire process can take up to six months.

Hopefully this article has given you a better sense of the diversity and complexity in dog travel regulations across different regions. And while it can be a hassle to get all these items together, it’s worth it to have your pup along with you on your adventures. Happy travels!