Traveling with Dogs

LAWS SPECIFIC TO THE NETHERLANDS

  • Dogs with cropped ears or docked tails are allowed to compete in the World Agility Open, as long as the dog was not born in the Netherlands.
  • The cage or carrier in which the animal is traveling must be labeled with the name, address in the Netherlands, and phone number of the owner or the owner’s representative.
  • In the Netherlands, people are required to clean up their dog’s waste and to always carry equipment to collect the waste. So if you pick up after your dog, be sure you have another plastic bag on you before disposing of the one you just cleaned up.
  • There is no quarantine to bring a dog to the Netherlands. Once in the Netherlands, animals need a passport, according to the European Union model, in order to travel to other countries the EU.

GENERAL INFORMATION

The European Union (EU) regulations known as the EU Pet Passport have been in force since October 2004 and allows for qualifying domestic animals to freely cross borders in Europe.

Dogs entering the EU or crossing its internal borders are subject to standard requirements:

  • an EU pet passport
  • and identification microchip, and
  • a vaccination against rabies.

The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) provides for qualifying domestic pets to travel to and from the UK and Ireland without undergoing quarantine.

Some countries (Sweden, UK, Ireland, and Malta) impose additional conditions over and above those laid down by the EU before they allow animals into their country. Dog owners need to be aware of these regulations if they intend to travel within the EU or if their dog will cross into these countries en route to the Netherlands.

A vet in an EU country will only issue a pet passport when they have confirmed that the animal is identifiable by a microchip in the neck and that it has a valid vaccination against rabies and a blood test to prove that this vaccine is still effective. See the EUROPA Animal Health & Welfare website for a full list of EU-approved countries.

If you have any questions regarding bringing your dog to the Netherlands, please consult the Netherlands embassy in your home country. The embassy should also be able to provide any specific forms that you need. For example, some countries, such as the United States and Canada, require that dogs traveling to the Netherlands must be clinically examined by a certified veterinarian before leaving their home country. The health certificate must be endorsed by the Department of Agriculture to indicate that it is an official document.

MICROCHIPS

Your dog must be identified with a microchip that meets ISO (International Standards Organization) specifications 11784 and is capable of being read by a device compatible with ISO 11785. This is a 15-digit ISO compliant microchip that operates at 134.2 kHz. After the microchip is inserted, then your dog must be vaccinated against rabies. If your dog has been vaccinated before it was fitted with a microchip, it will have to be vaccinated again.

As of 3 July 2011, tattoos are no longer accepted for travel.

RABIES VACCINATIONS

European rules require that animals be given regular rabies booster vaccinations in accordance with the vaccine manufacturer’s recommendations. An animal that has received regular boosters on the recommended schedule, and that has a current vaccine against rabies, can enter EU countries at any time. However, if the animal’s rabies vaccination expired before it was revaccinated, or it is the animal’s first rabies vaccination, you need to wait 21 days after the rabies vaccination has been given to travel.

Your dog must be microchipped before being vaccinated. Before vaccinating your dog, make sure your vet reads its microchip number and enters it on your dog’s vaccination record.

If your dog has been vaccinated against rabies before it was identified by a microchip, it will have to be vaccinated again. This is to make sure that your dog is correctly identified when it is vaccinated.

Dogs entering an EU country from a country with a high incidence of rabies must have a blood titer test 1 month after vaccination and 3 months prior to departure. Refer to the Annex II of Regulation (EC) No 998/2003 to determine which countries this applies to.

DOGS TRAVELING FROM WITHIN THE EU

Each EU country follows essentially the same system and will issue an EU Pet Passport for the dog in question in its country of residence (as long as this is within the EU). This passport contains certain obligatory information about the animal, such as its unique identification number and proof of valid vaccination against the rabies virus. Some countries also include other information such as other current vaccinations. The passport is valid throughout the life of the animal.

A new style Pet Passport was introduced on 29 December 2014. Any passport issued before 29 December 2014 will remain valid for the lifetime of the pet or until all the treatment spaces are filled. All passports issued on or after 29 December 2014 must be in the new format.

Pet Passport forms in different languages are available on the EUROPA website.

DOGS TRAVELING FROM THE UK

Dogs may travel between the UK & Ireland and Europe without quarantine, provided some stringent requirements are met. The system allowing travel is called the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS). DEFRA, the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, has comprehensive and up-to-date information on the website and can provide an information pack on request.

Not less than 24 and no more than 48 hours before you expect to set foot on UK soil again, your dog must be treated against tapeworms and ticks by a vet. This treatment needs to be documented in the dog's passport.

DEFRA website: Pet Travel Scheme (PETS)
Telephone: +44 870 241 1710
Email: helpline@defra.gsi.gov.uk

DOGS TRAVELING FROM THE USA & CANADA

To bring your dog into the Netherlands from the USA or Canada, it must be accompanied by a third country official veterinary certificate. This certificate must show that your dog has been microchipped and vaccinated against rabies.

In the USA and Canada, the official health certificate is the bilingual Annex IV Veterinary Certificate for the UK. The health certificate along with your microchip implantation record, rabies certificate must be sent to your local USDA (in the USA) or CFIA (in Canada) office for their stamp of approval.

You must arrive in the Netherlands within 10 days of the certificate being issued. It is valid for 4 months from the day it was issued or until the vaccine’s expiration date, whichever is first. Animals without the certificate will be denied entry into the Netherlands.

Once in the Netherlands, a local vet can issue an EU Pet Passport allowing travel within Europe.