We know that animals are part of the family, so traveling for long periods or moving to another country and leaving them behind is unthinkable. However, the process of traveling with pets is not the same as for humans. So if you want to travel to Europe with a dog, keep following along to check the requirements.
How to travel to Europe with a dog: step by step
First of all, keep in mind that it is not so simple to travel to Europe with a dog. The process is lengthy and must be well planned so that there are no problems at the time of boarding and you need to leave your doggy behind. That is why we have prepared a step-by-step guide with all the steps you will need to follow to make an international trip with your pet. Check it out:
The first step before traveling to Europe with a dog is to have the animal microchipped. The procedure is minimally invasive and performed by several veterinarians. About 1.5 mm long, the chip is installed by means of an injection in the back between the dog’s shoulder blades.
You must use a microchip that meets the ISO 11784 and ISO 11785 standard. After the microchipping, all the animal’s and owner’s data must be registered in the chip system, and the veterinarian must issue a certificate with the date of the procedure.
The rabies vaccine is part of the annual vaccination calendar for animals, however, if you are traveling to Europe with a dog, you need to be aware of it. Microchipping is necessary before to reinforce the vaccine dose. Otherwise, it will not be considered valid for the trip.
If your puppy has already had the annual dose of vaccine when you decide to take him on a trip, no problem. Take it in for microchipping and then give it a new dose. The vaccination card of the animal must contain the vaccine stamp with the manufacturer, batch and date of manufacture, and the signature of the veterinarian.
Anti-rabies serology test
The European Union requires that any animal coming from Brazil present a serology exam to prove the effectiveness of the anti-rabies vaccine in the immune system.
The test is basically a blood test that detects whether the animal has raised antibodies to the disease. However, attention: the test can only be performed 30 days after the application of the rabies vaccine, because it is the time required to take effect in the animal’s immune system.
In Brazil there are few laboratories certified by the European Union to perform the exam (one in Minas Gerais, two in São Paulo, and one in Curitiba). However, in any state there are clinics and pet shops that collect blood and send it for analysis. Because of the complicated logistics, this is one of the most expensive parts of the process. Therefore, it is worth researching the cost in different clinics before performing the procedure, but the most reliable is to do it in a place with practice in the exam.
To perform the serological examination you need to:
- The animal’s vaccination card;
- Microchipping certificate;
- Fasting 8 to 10 hours*.
*Confirm with the chosen clinic if there is any extra preparation.
Important information about anti-rabies serology
The anti-rabies serology is ready in about 30 days and the clinic where the test was done must contact you to get the certificate from the laboratory authorized by the European Union, essential for the trip.
The level of rabies virus neutralizing antibodies in the serum should be 0.5 Ul/ml or higher. If your puppy does not reach the required level of antibodies, it will be necessary to reapply the vaccine.
Issuing of the International Veterinary Certificate – CVI
After gathering all the documents and with the ticket in hand, you must issue the CVI at the International Agricultural Surveillance Unit (Vigiagro) at the airport of departure (check here the units).
To start issuing the certificate, it is necessary to schedule an appointment at Vigiagro at least 30 days before departure so that there are no unforeseen events. You must take the documents requested by Vigiagro filled out (click here for more details) and the microchipping certificate, vaccination card, serology certificate, animal health certificates, airline ticket, and owner’s documents.
The certificate is completely free of charge. Some countries have different requirements, but these can be checked on the Vigiagro website, by clicking here.
A few days before you travel to Europe with your dog (10 days at the most), you need to visit your vet again to have him issue a health certificate for your pet. The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply provides a model to be followed.
These are the steps you must take to travel to Europe with a dog! Also check out some useful information when buying a ticket:
What to do when buying your ticket to travel to Europe with a dog
The ticket must be purchased considering at least 100 days from the time of blood collection for the serology exam. This is because, as mentioned earlier, there are other important steps that must be followed and you need to have time to finalize all of them before the trip.
In addition, it is important to be aware that in most airlines the flight reservation for the animal is made by phone and vacancies are limited. So our tip is that before you buy the ticket you should check if there are still places left for your dog. If so, as soon as you buy your ticket, call and reserve your pet’s space.
Also, before you buy your ticket, check to see if the airline has any breed or size restrictions. Each airline may have different rules, especially regarding weight and price, and where the dog will be transported (cabin or luggage compartment).
Now that you know everything about traveling to Europe with a dog, you can start packing and making the necessary preparations. Do you have any questions? Tell us about it here in the comments!