Last Updated on March 18, 2024 by Jawad Ali

 Taking your pet with you on international travel is quite a complicated process, especially because your country of destination determines how many rules and regulations you have to follow, as well as existing international regulations.

There are several steps you must carry out within a specified time frame, and with accuracy when planning a pet travel. If you fail to meet the necessary steps, your pet might be denied entry, quarantined for an extended time, or required to run more tests.

Requirements for pet immigration

Rabies titre test

Your pet will be required by rabies-free or rabies-controlled countries to carry out rabies neutralising antibody titre (RNAT) test to measure the antibodies in your pet’s blood post rabies vaccination to ensure your pet is sufficiently immune.

This test is carried out 30 days after the rabies vaccination and must be carried out at a certified laboratory, just as the blood must be drawn by an accredited vet. The pet must be declared properly immune before entry.


One of the most crucial international pet travel requirements is the implantation of a microchip in your cat or dog before travelling. The chip contains your pet’s health records, vaccination information, and contact information, so that a customs official or vet can access the information by scanning the chip.

Treatments against external and internal parasites

Many countries require your pet to receive external and internal parasite treatments before entry. External parasite treatment covers ticks and fleas, while internal parasite treatment covers tapeworm and heartworm treatments. These treatments must be done before your pet flies into the destination country.


When carrying out pet immigration, you need to present a record of your pet’s vaccinations, especially vaccinations such as DHLPP for dogs.

Documentation (Pet Passport, Health certificate, and import permit)

You will most likely need to provide a health certificate from an accredited vet, as well as a pet passport, depending on the country you’re visiting. This is a requirement for most EU countries as these documents help them access the health status of your pet and how much treatment your pet has received.

Many countries require you to apply for an import certificate before your pet can enter, and improper documentation could prevent your pet from entering. You might need the help of an accredited pet relocation company like Ferndale to handle the paperwork for you. Ferndale, IPATA member since 1997, offers complete door to door pet relocation services and will handle all the arrangements including official documentation, veterinary matters, and all health requirements necessary for your pet to give you a seamless process.

Understanding country categorization

The different countries of the world can be loosely categorized into 3, as far as pet travel is concerned, and this is in line with the country’s rabies status. There are the high-rabies countries, the rabies-controlled countries, and the rabies-free countries.

If you’re relocating with your pet to a country with the same category as yours, the process will be straightforward. However, moving between categories is often stressful, especially if you’re moving into a rabies-free country from a high-rabies country.

To make the process more seamless, you are advised to work with an experienced pet relocation company to handle all the nitty-gritties on your behalf.

As a post note, always ensure that you feed your cat or dog at most 6 hours before your flight and ensure that there’s water available on the door of their crate. This is because your pet won’t be fed or given water by the airline during the flight.