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Travelling abroad with a pet

Travelling with pets is becoming more and more common. Take action well in advance when you are planning to travel abroad with your pet.

Pet passport for the trip

A certificate for a pet, or a pet passport, is required for dogs, cats and ferrets when travelling in EU countries. The purpose of the passport is to prove that your pet can be identified and that it meets the conditions for animal health required for transportation between the member states. You can use the pet passport also when travelling to a country outside the EU.

You can obtain a pet passport from a vet. Before issuing the passport, the vet will check that your pet has an identification mark (tattoo or microchip), and that it has been vaccinated against rabies. Information about the animal and the owner, the identification mark, vaccinations, possible echinococcus medication as well as the determination of rabies antibodies are recorded on the passport.

Find out the export regulations of the destination country

Finland has not set export regulations for pets, so you will need to find them out yourself regarding the destination country when departing Finland. Before the trip, find out what the authorities of the destination country require when entering and what is required when the animal returns to Finland.  If you are travelling outside the EU, you should contact the embassy of the destination country in case of any special requirements. As the owner of the animal, you are always responsible for the acquisition of information, so you should familiarise yourself with the requirements carefully in order to prevent unpleasant situations. Check that the information is up to date before each trip with your pet.

Take any required vaccines well in advance

To be able to travel abroad with your pet, it must be vaccinated against rabies at least 21 days before the trip. The vaccination must be indicated on the pet passport or other vaccination certificate. The vet will mark the last day of validity of the rabies vaccination on the pet passport. The rabies vaccines currently used in Finland are valid for two or three years depending on the vaccine if the vaccine has been given to an animal that is over a year old.

Discuss any other vaccinations, vaccination schedules as well as, for example, worm medication and tick repellents with a vet.

Travelling by different means of transport

Together by car. Your pet may not travel in a car unsecured; instead, transporting it in the uncovered boot of a passenger car where it has enough space, in a transport cage or on the back seat of the car where it has been secured with a separate seat belt harness is allowed.

By plane. If you plan to fly with your pet, always check the varied practices of airlines regarding the transportation of pets well before the trip. Some companies allow you to transport small pets, such as dogs and cats, in the passenger cabin on flights if the combined weight of the animal and the pet carrier does not exceed eight kilos. On the other hand, some airlines will only transport pets in the aeroplane’s cargo hold, or not at all.

On the waves. You can travel with your pet by ship provided that it is a route trip. When booking your trip, make a contract on pet transport because only a limited number of animals is permitted for each departure. Read more detailed instructions on the company’s own website.

Is your pet insurance up to date?

It is important that the insurance for your pet is also valid when travelling, and OPs insurance is valid within the Nordic countries. The animal, medical treatment expenses, animal liability and loss-of-use insurance policies are also valid temporarily, for a maximum of 12 months, in other EU countries and Switzerland. If necessary, contact us about expanding the territorial scope of the insurance.