Almost every pet owner experiencing the process of relocation to London assumes their pet will come with them.  While healthy dogs, cats and ferrets are very welcome in the UK there are several steps to ensure their arrival will coincide with the family’s.  Thankfully, quarantine is not needed, but six months or more are.  For Americans moving to London planning the move well in advance is the key to a successful and smooth move – especially when it comes to the furry family members.

The requirements for dogs, cats and ferrets moving to London are relatively simple and strait forward.  It would be in a family’s best interest to ask London relocation agents about the current requirements immediately upon deciding on the international move to make sure all requirements are known and met.  Relying on the internet is helpful, but not always a reliable source.

Currently, the requirements of which families experiencing international relocation should be aware are:

1)    Each pet should be microchipped with the microchip able to be read.  Inspectors will not rely on the ID number but will physically check the chip. The microchip must be implanted before the rabies vaccination.  All animal identification is done solely through the microchip.

2)    All pets must have had a rabies vaccination within 12 months of moving to London, provide an original rabies certificate including the microchip number, date of the vaccination and length of the vaccination period (some are good for one year,  others for two years).

3)    All pets must have a Rabies Fluorescent Antibody Viral Neutralization (FAVN) blood test to be accepted into the UK.  There is only one facility in the US that performs this test.  After the blood sample is received the pet must wait six months before the results are ready.  Since this test takes so long, it is highly recommended that the pet owner research all necessary procedures before the blood is delivered.

4)    A letter from the veterinarian is needed stating when the microchip was implanted, when the rabies vaccination was given and when the blood was drawn for the FAVN test.

5)    No more than four months before moving to London a EU vet form must be completed by a veterinarian.

6)    A USDA endorsement must be completed.  A veterinarian will have to provide documentation of all required vaccinations and tests so that the US can allow the pet to leave the country.

7)    One to two days before the family’s international relocation the pet must see the veterinarian so that an International Health Certificate can be issued.