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Restrictions and restrictions associated with a pandemic have little to do with pets. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is no evidence that pets could be infected with coronavirus.

IDEXX Laboratories, a world leader in veterinary diagnostics and software, has not yet detected any positive results in domestic animals of the coronavirus strain responsible for COVID-19 disease causing respiratory disease in humans. These results are in line with the opinions of experts that COVID-19 is primarily transmitted directly by humans.

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Identification above all

When choosing a journey, we must be aware that our animal must be primarily identified. Dogs, cats and ferrets are marked by implanting a transponder or by means of a clearly legible tattoo made before July 3, 2011.

Animals marked with a legible tattoo before that date may still be moved in accordance with applicable regulations and such marking shall be treated as in accordance with the provisions of the Regulation if, during the movement, they are accompanied by evidence confirming the marked with a tattoo.

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Today, however, the so-called microchips. This is a very small, specialized device equipped with a 15-digit code that can be read using a special reader. The microchip is implanted under the animal’s skin. The procedure is painless and resembles a simple injection.

It can be carried out in most veterinary offices. The cost should not exceed PLN 100, but many local governments allocate a certain amount of funds to animal marking every year, so ask your veterinarian if such an offer is available at the moment.

It is also important to register your pet in the database after the chip has been implanted.

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Pet passport

The passport is the second key condition for trouble-free travel. It is usually managed to obtain it in the same veterinary office that undertook to implant the chip into the animal.

The passport contains the following information:

  • location of the transponder or tattoo and the date of its implantation or application, or the date of transponder or tattoo reading, as well as the alphanumeric code indicated by the transponder or appearing on the tattoo,
  • name, species, breed, sex, color, date of birth given by the owner and any characteristics or distinctive features or peculiarities of the pet,
  • name and contact details of the owner,
  • name and surname, contact details and signature of the authorized veterinarian who issues or completes the identification document,
  • Owner’s signature
  • information on vaccination against rabies,
  • date of blood sample collection for testing anti-rabies antibody level by titration,
  • information on the application of any preventive health measures to diseases or infections other than rabies,
  • other relevant information regarding the pet’s state of health.

It is also worth remembering that every dog ​​or cat traveling abroad must have a passport, regardless of whether its owner is covered by this obligation.

However, if the animals travel in the company of a non-owner, a written authorization from the owner for non-commercial pet movement must be issued.

Mandatory vaccination

Another obligatory element is vaccination against rabies, which applies in virtually every European country. Against rabies, you should vaccinate an animal older than 3 months, but if your pet is younger than 12 weeks simply can not go abroad.

In the case of animals vaccinated for the first time in their lives, or when the interval between vaccinations was longer than 365 days, vaccination becomes valid after 21 days. On the other hand, in the case of subsequent treatments – which according to the law should be performed on dogs once a year – vaccination becomes valid on the day of its performance. When it comes to vaccination against infectious diseases, they are not necessary, but the most recommended. The cost of rabies vaccination is about PLN 30.

In addition to the formal requirements listed, which are the absolute basis for crossing the border, there are others. It is advisable to take our dog’s health book, in which we have entries about other vaccinations for infectious diseases and previous deworming. Remember that our dog will be carefully examined by a doctor or qualified customs officer during check-in.

If, despite important vaccinations and deworming, he gains doubts as to the animal’s state of health, he has the right to refuse us entry. That is why just before the trip it is worth to make sure that our pet is healthy and does not suffer from any ailments. In case of even a hint of suspicion, we’d better leave him at home or postpone the trip to another date.

Additional Requirements

According to the Delegated Regulation of the European Commission, in the case of transporting dogs to Great Britain, Ireland, Finland, Malta and Norway, these animals are subject to prophylaxis against tapeworms Echinococcus multilocularis with a preparation containing praziquantel or another pharmacologically active substance which alone or in combination has proven anti-mature properties. and immature forms of the parasite.

Prevention against tapeworms should be carried out within a period of not more than 120 hours, but not less than 24 hours before the date of their planned introduction into these countries.

Pursuant to national regulations, some member states do not allow the import into their territory of dog breeds or dogs of the breed type commonly referred to as dangerous, e.g. Rottweiler or Pitbull. Details of other requirements in individual Member States can be found on their European Commission websites.

It is also worth knowing that from July 1, 2018, you cannot bring dogs and cats that do not have an owner, come from animal shelters, are for adoption, come from temporary homes, and homeless dogs and cats to Norway.

Sanctions for non-compliance

The Chief Veterinary Inspectorate reminds and warns that when traveling with a dog, cat or ferret in the territory of the European Union, it is absolutely necessary to comply with the rules on the movement of companion animals set out in EU regulations. According to the regulations, if during the inspection non-compliance with EU regulations is found, the competent authority at the place of the control may:

  • return the pet to the country from which it left (from which the movement was initiated),
  • quarantine the animal until it meets the requirements of the regulations,
  • if it is impossible to send the animal back or if its quarantine is not feasible, euthanize it.

All the above official activities are carried out at the expense of the person responsible for the animal during the journey.

Dog on board the plane

While traveling by car does not impose greater requirements on the animal’s owner, a trip by plane must be “well thought out and prepared in advance.

Most airlines provide this service, although almost all carriers stipulate that the possibility of purchasing the service depends on the current availability and its confirmation is not guaranteed. Unfortunately – the low cost airlines WizzAir, Ryanair or EasyJet – do not allow the transport of any animals. The exception is a guide dog that travels with a passenger in need of assistance.

Animals can be transported in three ways:

  • on board the aircraft in a container,
  • in the luggage hold,
  • in the cargo hold – as cargo.

The method of transport depends on the weight and size of the pet and the regulations of the country of destination.



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