US Service Animals – Bringing A Dog To The UK | Regulations & Vaccinations

Dog with suitcase

A trip to the United Kingdom is a dream vacation for many families. Few other destinations have the same combination of amazing scenery, captivating history, architecture and culture as the UK. With so many beautiful landscapes and flowing pastures, travelers with pets may see the UK as a great place to bring along the family dog.  Many dog owners may wonder if it’s possible to travel to the UK with a dog. Bringing a dog into the UK is allowed as long as several requirements are met. 

Regulations Regarding Bringing A Dog Into The UK 


The UK requires that animals have a microchip before entering the country. The microchip must be given by a licensed veterinarian or veterinary nurse. The microchip must be inserted after or at the same time as the animal’s vaccinations. If not, the animal will need to be vaccinated again. A microchip that meets International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards can be read by chip readers on most airlines, trains, cruise and ferry companies. If the microchip does not meet ISO standards, the dog owner must bring their own microchip reader. If the microchip cannot be read, it’s possible that the dog may be quarantined. In any case, the dog will be required to be re-chipped, re-vaccinated and get a new health certificate before entering the country. It will need to wait the appropriate amount of time before attempting to enter the UK. 

Health Certificate

Dogs entering the UK are required to have an official health certificate from a licensed veterinarian. The health certificate must be issued within ten days of the time the animal will enter the country, and can be used for up to four months across the UK from the date the animal enters the country. The health certificate should include information about the dog’s age, health, vaccinations, date and area of the microchip, and any other pertinent information. It should also include information about the dog’s veterinarian. 


All dogs entering the UK must be vaccinated against rabies. The dog must be at least twelve weeks old before it is vaccinated. Dogs must wait twenty-one days after the vaccination before entering the UK. Dogs entering the UK must have all regular booster vaccinations before entering the UK. All vaccinations must be done after the animal is microchipped and must be listed on the health certificate. 

Parasite Treatment

Dogs must be treated for tapeworms at least 24 hours and no more than 120 hours before entering the UK. The tapeworm treatment must contain Prazaquantel or an equivalent ingredient that is effective against the Echinococcus Multicocularis tapeworm. The information and date of the treatment must be recorded on the health certificate.


The dog owner’s passport will need to be presented along with the animal’s documentation when entering the UK. 

British Airlines

Other Information and Requirements 

  • Airlines, cruise ships and travel companies all have different policies regarding animal travel. Make sure to check with each company regarding regulations, fees and required documentation. 

  • All animals must enter the UK within five days of the pet owner. Animals arriving more or less than five days of the owner’s arrival date will be quarantined or denied entry. 

  • The UK requires travelers to fill out a declaration saying the owner is not planning to sell the animal, transfer ownership or leave the pet in the country. 

  • Travelers must check that the company they are traveling with and route they are taking is an approved company and route by the UK, as only some are permitted for travel with animals. 

  • If traveling with multiple animals, all of the above documentation will be required for each separate animal. Additional animals may incur extra fees from airlines, trains or cruise companies. Travelers aren’t permitted to bring more than five animals into the UK unless they are attending or training for a competition, sporting event or show. The animals must be over 6 months old and the owner must have evidence of the show or event to present during travel. A declaration must also be filled out detailing the event and confirming the animals meet all requirements to enter the UK. 

  • Because the UK consists of several countries, the dog owner will need to keep the animal’s documents on hand for entry into each separate country in the UK, whether traveling by air, land or sea. 

The dog’s microchip will be scanned upon arriving in the UK, and all of the documents will be checked. It’s important to research the requirements thoroughly and make sure all documentation is provided. Even if an airline or cruise ship allows a dog to travel, the animal could be turned away or even quarantined for up to four months if all of the documentation is not presented at the port of entry to the United Kingdom.