Updated 10 June 2024

Traveling with pets can be a challenging endeavor, especially when moving to a new country. According to a survey by the American Pet Products Association, nearly 85 million families in the U.S. own pets, and a significant number of these families relocate annually. If you’re planning a move to the UK, understanding the Pet Travel Scheme is crucial. This scheme simplifies the process, ensuring your pet can travel without enduring quarantine. In this article, we’ll guide you through the necessary steps and requirements, making your relocation as smooth as possible.

Understanding Your Responsibility

Taking care of your pet’s travel arrangements is your responsibility. While we’ve been helping pet owners relocate for over a decade, some tasks, like vet visits, are on you. We’re here to guide and support you through the process.

Essential Paperwork

Your pet will need its own passport. If you live in an EU country, Gibraltar, Croatia, Switzerland, or San Marino, getting this is straightforward. However, if you’re from elsewhere, you’ll need a third country veterinary certificate.

Example: USA to UK

If you’re traveling from the USA, you need a health certificate from an accredited vet. This certificate typically costs $38 and includes a rabies vaccination. It must be stamped by USDA, VS Area Office, or APHIS to be valid. You can mail the form with the rabies certificate and payment or visit the nearest office, but remember to make an appointment.

Required Vaccinations

Rabies Vaccination

Rabies vaccination is mandatory for all animals entering the UK. Your pet must be at least 12 weeks old to get the shot. The vaccine details, including manufacturer and dates, must be recorded in the pet’s passport or health certificate. Note that there is a 21-day waiting period after the vaccination before your pet can enter the UK.

Tapeworm Treatment

Dogs must undergo tapeworm treatment between 24 hours and 120 hours before arrival. This treatment must be administered by a vet and recorded in the pet’s passport or health certificate. The treatment must be effective against Echinococcosis, containing Praziquantel. Treatments like Nexgard, Stronghold, Frontline Combo, and Advocate are not accepted.

Microchipping Your Pet

Your pet needs a microchip for identification. This must be done before the rabies vaccination. The chip number must match the number in the pet’s passport or health certificate.

Microchip Specifications

The chip must meet ISO standards 11784/11785:

  • 15 digits
  • Non-encrypted
  • Operating at 134.2 kHz

Note: Many US-based chips, such as AVID or HomeAgain, operate at 125 kHz and are not ISO standard. These will not work with most scanners. Therefore, your pet might need a new microchip that meets ISO standards.

Final Tips for Smooth Travel

  1. Start Early: Begin the paperwork and vet visits well in advance.
  2. Check Requirements: Verify all details and requirements for the Pet Travel Scheme specific to your departure and arrival countries.
  3. Stay Organized: Keep all documents in one place for easy access.
  4. Consult Experts: Use professional services for guidance through the process.

How LondonRelocation.com Can Help

At LondonRelocation.com, we specialize in making your move to the UK as seamless as possible. Our team offers expert guidance on the Pet Travel Scheme, ensuring you meet all the necessary requirements to avoid quarantine and stress. With over a decade of experience in pet relocation, we provide personalized support, helping you with paperwork, vet appointments, and all other aspects of the process. Let us take the hassle out of your move so you and your furry friend can enjoy a smooth transition to your new home.


Relocating with a pet involves numerous responsibilities, from ensuring their comfort to managing extensive paperwork. The Pet Travel Scheme makes this process less daunting by providing clear guidelines to avoid quarantine. By securing the necessary documents, vaccinations, and microchips, you can ensure a smooth transition for your furry friend. LondonRelocation.com is here to help you every step of the way. With over a decade of experience, we can guide you through the complexities of the Pet Travel Scheme and make your move to the UK seamless. Contact us today to learn more about our relocation services and ensure a hassle-free experience for you and your pet.


What is the UK Pet Travel Scheme?

The UK Pet Travel Scheme allows pets to enter the UK without quarantine if they meet specific health and documentation requirements, ensuring a smooth relocation process.

What is the pet travel rule?

The pet travel rule requires pets to have a valid passport or third-country veterinary certificate, up-to-date rabies vaccination, tapeworm treatment (for dogs), and a microchip for identification.

What is the meaning of pets scheme?

The Pet Travel Scheme (PTS) is a set of regulations that enable pets to travel between countries with minimal restrictions, avoiding quarantine by meeting specific health and identification standards.

How much is international pet travel?

The cost of international pet travel varies widely based on factors such as distance, airline, size of the pet, and necessary documentation. Typically, it can range from $200 to $2000 or more.

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