pet relocation: cute dog relocating to the UK

All You need To Know About Pet Relocation To The UK

The UK is a frequent destination for pet travel. However, there are many rules and requirements you will need to know before doing so. While there is no quarantine needed for pet relocation to the UK, if the import steps are followed, building a safe and smooth move plan for your pet can be a delicate process.

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Relocate your pet to the UK? Here is all you need to know before doing so.

There are various import requirements you will need to do when pet relocation to the UK. As UK is a rabies-free country, these requirements need to be strictly followed, to prevent your pet from having to quarantine upon arrival.

Requirements needed include:

  • Pets entering the UK will need to be microchipped prior to their rabies vaccination
  • A rabies vaccination and certificate is needed 21 days prior to the final vet visit
  • A rabies antibody titer test is needed if you are relocating from an unlisted country
  • An EU health certificate is needed to be filled by your pet’s vet
  • Tapeworm treatment for dogs
  • Endorsement of paperwork to be approved by your local USDA

Before relocating your pet, there are also multiple regulations you will need to be aware of.

There are two different types of pet travel you can choose when relocating your pet to the UK — commercial and non-commercial pet travel.

If your pet is going to fly non-commercially, they will need to fly within 5 days of their owner. If you didn’t meet this 5-day rule, you can still relocate your pet under a commercial move. However, this will increase your cost of relocating and meet stricter import requirements.

Commercial pet relocation to UK will require a health certificate completed within 48 hours of their departure. Once your pet has arrived in the UK, you will need to pay at least £44 of DEFRA taxes. This amount will differ, depending on the size of your pet. Due to these stricter requirements, a commercial relocation may take longer than a non-commercial one.

You will also need to note that not all dog breeds can enter the UK. These breeds include:

  • Pitbull Terrier
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Braziliero (Brazilian Mastiff)

If you are relocating your pet which resemble any of the above breeds, it could be seized by the authorities and returned to their place of origin.

Pets relocation to the UK will need to arrive in a manifest cargo — for their safely and accountability. This means that you will need to acclimate your pet to their crate early, practicing regular crate training.

Pets relocation to the UK can be costly.

Some expenses you should consider include:

  • Purchasing a travel crate

As mentioned, you will need a travel crate when relocating your pet. This crate will also need to meet the particular airline’s requirements. These creates can cost from $50-$400, depending on the size of your pet.

  • Vet visits

Vaccinations, check ups and health certificates are necessary when relocating your pet, and can add to your relocating costs. These vet visits can range from $50 to $300, depending on necessary procedures.

  • Airline tickets

Airline tickets will be the largest costs when relocating, as pets need additional care and attention throughout their journey. The rates for air tickets are generally more expensive for pets than regular passengers. These rates will also differ, depending on the type of airline you choose and the size of your pet.

  • Additional expenses

There are also additional expenses you may need to consider, including government endorsements, ground transportation and permits. 

Overall, the cost of relocating a pet to the UK will depend on various factors. In general, relocating a pet can cost around $4,000 to $5,000.

Handling pet relocations may be overwhelming — managing these costs and logistics during the relocation process can be complicated and stressful. Thus, you can also consider hiring professional pet relocations to help with this move.

As the market for pet relocation is competitive, here are a few things you can look out for:

  • Go for an International Pet and Animal Transport Association (IPATA) certified service. This international accreditation certifies professional pet transportation specialists, providing you with a peace of mind knowing your pet is in good hands during this relocation process.
  • Ensure the company you will go for is able to handle door to door relocation to the UK.
  • Read reviews to ensure credibility.


Relocating your pet to the UK can be a challenge. Most of the time, it is a highly complex process that requires careful management of time, budget and resources. However, with a credible pet relocation service, this process will be a breeze.

Relocating to the UK with your pet soon? Find out more about life in the UK and what to expect in our UK country guide! Start your journey with Moovaz today!

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