For years, it was very difficult to take your pet (or service dog) to the United Kingdom and it included a mandatory quarantine for as much as six months. Only if you had to move to the U.K. would you consider taking your pet. Then, about 10 years ago, the Pet Passport Program was set up. It became possible, with very careful and six months in advance planning to bring your dog to the U.K. without any quarantine. But it was very complicated. Now, starting January 1, 2012, the U.K. will harmonise it’s pet travel rules with the rest of the E.U. and things can be done much easier and quicker. You can then enter the U.K. with a pet with as little as one month worth of pre-planning, a task that takes 5 months or more today.
You now must do the following (this is a quick summary so be sure to check the details on the link below):
1. Insert a microchip in your dog if they don’t already have one (this id’s the dog to be sure that the dog is the same one that is vaccinated for rabies).
2. Vaccinate the dogs for rabies at an approved vet and (this is important) be sure that the vet reads the microchip and records the microchip number with the rabies documentation at the time of the shot.
3. Get the appropriate paperwork for an international pet passport (your vet may have this and a health certificate from your vet).
4. Wait at least 21 days before entering the U.K. This is to allow the rabies shot enough time to be sure that it worked and that the dog didn’t have rabies at the time of the vaccine.
5. Make sure that the microchip that your dog has is one that the E.U. scanners can read or bring your own reader. (They cost about 300.00 or you can rent one).
No longer required after January 1, 2012 is the blood test to prove that the rabies vaccine was effective and the 6 month wait after the blood test. This will greatly reduce the time, money and complexity on preparing your dog for travel to England.
Note that this is now the same requirements as entering other E.U. countries from the U.S. or Canada. Also note that if you have already done steps 1 and 2 above (your dog was microchipped, then had a rabies shot with the microchip number recorded) and the rabies shot has not expired and 21 or more days have passed since the shot you will, after January 1 be able to immediately take your dog to the U.K. with no waiting period at all. There are still paperwork requirements, entry rules that tell you how you must enter the U.K. and other rules to pay attention to.
For the details, see the official page at: