Dog Travel Rules

We are planning to take our dog with us on our sailing trip.  He has an EU (Irish) pet passport and is fully rabies vaccinated, so most of the border crossings should be simple.

Our intended route is something like:

  • UK
  • Netherlands
  • Germany
  • Denmark
  • Sweden
  • Norway
  • Back to the UK from one or more of the above countries.

This page summarises the rules as I understand them, and gives links to the information sources that I have used.  Please don’t rely on this without checking on the official websites for yourself!  In all cases, these rules apply to non-commercial transport of up to 5 dogs accompanied by their owner.

Netherlands

From another EU country this is simple: just need to have a passport and valid rabies vaccine.  The original vaccination must be at least 21 days ago, but it is ok if a booster was given more recently than that.

https://www.government.nl/topics/animal-welfare/question-and-answer/can-i-bring-a-pet-from-another-country-to-the-netherlands

https://english.nvwa.nl/topics/travelling-to-the-netherlands-with-your-dog-or-cat/travelling-from-eu-member-states-to-the-netherlands

Germany

Seems like there are no rules other than the standard EU ones if you are moving between EU countries, except that there is a list of banned “dangerous dog breeds”.  This list includes Staffies and Staffie crosses.

http://www.zoll.de/EN/Private-individuals/Travel/Entering-Germany/Restrictions/Dangerous-dogs/dangerous-dogs.html

Denmark

The same EU rules apply.  You do not have to enter at an official “Traveller’s Point of Entry” unless you are coming from outside the EU.

If you stay longer than 4 weeks you must register your dog.  There is also a list of banned dog breeds, like Pit Bulls and American Staffies.

https://www.foedevarestyrelsen.dk/english/Self-Service/Guides/Pages/How-to-travel-with-your-dog.aspx

Sweden

Usual within-EU rules apply.  If you are coming from Norway the rules are similar.

“The animal must enter Sweden at a customs station, where you must report to a customs officer that you are bringing a pet animal.”  Note that this is not the same as having to enter at one of the two “Entry Points” (which are airports in Gothenburg and Stockholm).

http://www.jordbruksverket.se/swedishboardofagriculture/engelskasidor/animals/import/dogscatsandferrets/bringingadogcatorferretfromaneucountryoraneurelatedcountry.4.295b2341134f64e5d6280001082.html

Norway

You need all the usual passport and rabies stuff.  However, unless travelling direct from the UK you also need to have a certificate from a vet showing that the dog has recently had tapeworm treatment.  This can either be:

“given in the country of departure no less than 24 hours and no more than 120 hours before entering Norway”

or

“regular treatment every 28 days and the dog has been treated minimum two days before entering Norway”

This applies even for Norwegian dogs that have been on a day trip to Sweden!  The first option is the most common one.

If you are coming from Sweden and your papers are in order then you are allowed to use the green channel at customs.

As usual, there is a list of banned breeds.

https://www.toll.no/en/goods/animals/travelling-with-pets-to-and-from-norway/

https://www.mattilsynet.no/language/english/animals/travelling_with_pets/travelling_with_dogs_cats_and_ferrets_from_eucountries_to_norway.23686

Back to UK

This is the hard one.  The main problem is that you not only have to enter at one of a handful of official entry points, you also have to arrive on a registered carrier.  So you are definitely not allowed to sail back from Europe with your dog on board.

The general consensus seems to be that the lowest stress option is to fly to Paris and then cross the channel in a car on the Eurostar train.  There are companies which will come across the channel in a dog-transport van to collect you and the dog.