Home UK Rules Immigration Arriving Pets Travel Scheme › Pet Rabies Vaccine and Boosters
Rabies Vaccination Rules: Dogs, Cats, Ferrets

Getting a dog, cat, or a ferret vaccinated against rabies means it can travel in and out of the UK. Check how the pet rabies vaccination rules apply to dogs, cats, and ferrets.

PET RABIES VACCINE: The vet will need proof of the pet’s age. It must be at least 12 weeks old before it can get vaccinated.

It is best to get your pet microchipped before it has the rabies vaccine. Otherwise, the pet will need vaccinating again afterwards.

There are specific rabies vaccination rules for the type of vaccine given. It has to be an inactivated vaccine or a recombinant vaccine approved in the country of use.

Pet vaccine rules also apply to a list of countries accepted by the United Kingdom for pet passports.

Note: The UK accepts pet passport entries from all listed countries in the EU and some Non EU countries.

You will need to wait 21 days after a pet vaccination to enter the UK with the dog, cat, or ferret. The same time limit applies to the last of the primary course of vaccinations.

The 21 day regulation is part of the EU PET Travel rules. The scheme relates to anyone bringing animals into the United Kingdom from:

  • A country within the European Union
  • Another country where pet passports get accepted by the United Kingdom.
  • One of the listed countries.

Rabies Vaccination Rules for Unlisted Countries

The rules are different if you travel with a pet into the UK from a country not listed. In this case you will need to follow these step after having your pet vaccinated:

  1. The pet must have a blood sample taken. The blood test must be at least 30 days after the anti rabies vaccination.
  2. The vet must send the blood sample to an EU-approved blood testing laboratory. The lab can be from inside the EU or outside the EU.
  3. Blood sample results must show the rabies vaccination was successful. That means showing a rabies antibody level of at least 0.5 IU/ml.
  4. As a rule, you need to wait 3 months before travelling from the date the blood sample got taken. But, there is no need to wait if:
    1. The pet got vaccinated and blood tested.
    2. It was also given a pet passport in the EU before travelling to one of the unlisted countries.
  5. A veterinarian must provide you with a copy of the test results. They should also enter the date of the blood sample if they issue a third-country official veterinary certificate.

Note: A blood test will remain valid providing you keep the pet’s anti rabies vaccinations up to date.

Rabies Booster Vaccination

It is important to get regular booster vaccinations for the pet. All due dates for rabies booster vaccination will show in the pet passport or third-country official veterinary certificate.

Note: You may need the certificates for a pet booster vaccination while you travel outside the EU.

Missed Booster Vaccination

What happens if you miss a booster and you are travelling from an unlisted country? In this case the pet needs a vaccination and blood test again. That means you might need to wait another 3 months before travelling.

Pet Vaccination Records UK

The pet vaccination records show inside a passport or third-country official veterinary certificate. The vaccination record must state:

  • The date of birth for the dog, cat, or ferret.
  • The microchip number, date it got implanted or read, and which part of the pet’s body it got inserted.
  • The vaccination date, vaccine manufacturer and product name (e.g. Nobivac).
  • Vaccine batch number and the date the vaccination is valid until.
  • A signature by an authorised veterinarian and their contact details.

Note: The UK immigration authorities can stop a pet from travelling. This may happen if the details inside a pet passport got stamped in the wrong section.

New Style Pet Passports (from December 2014)

Vets only need to fill in the ‘valid from‘ date for a first vaccination (or re-vaccination for missing a booster). The rabies vaccination record may be a sticker. In this case it must get covered by a laminated strip (included with the new style pet passport).

Tapeworm Treatment for Dogs

Any time you want to bring a dog to the United Kingdom it will need a treatment for tapeworm. You must use a vet to treat your dog for tapeworm. He will need to record it in the pet passport or third-country official veterinary certificate.

There is a time frame for dog tapeworm treatment. Dogs must get the treatment no less than 24 hours and no more than 120 hours (5 days) before entering the UK.

Note: Your dog can get refused entry or put into quarantine if you fail to follow this rule. Dogs coming directly to the United Kingdom from Ireland, Finland, Norway, or Malta do not need to get treated for tapeworm.

When you get your dog treated for tapeworm it must have:

  • Approval for use in the country where it got administered.
  • Praziquantel as its active ingredient (or an approved equivalent).

Taking Dogs on Short Trips Abroad

Your dog will need to get treated by a vet before leaving the UK – even for a short trip. You will need to wait at least 24 hours before the dog re-enters the United Kingdom.

Note: Dogs that do not re-enter within 120 hours will need to get another tapeworm treatment abroad. Remember to treat your dog again within 28 days of returning to Great Britain.

The vet must record certain information in the dog’s passport or its certificate. Make sure these details go in the ‘Echinococcus treatment’ section:

  • The identifying name and the manufacturer of the product.
  • The date and time that they treated your dog along with their and signature vet stamp.


PETS Travel Scheme: Check out the current rules for bringing a pet into the United Kingdom.
Pet Microchipping Laws: How do the pet microchip rules function in the United Kingdom?
Pet Passport and Documents: A guide to help you understand how the pet passport scheme works.
Guide Dog and Service Dogs: Travelling abroad with a guide dog or other assistance dogs.
PETS Helpline: How to contact the Pet Travel Scheme helpline or make an official complaint.

Rabies Vaccination Rules for Dogs, Cats, and Ferrets in the United Kingdom