All You Need for Traveling to EU with Your Dog

Right up front, this will be a longish one, but you are here for a reason. So let’s get started.

For us, the most challenging part was finding out which papers Lorry needed in the first place. I am not sure about your country, but Montenegrin bureaucracy is not at the highest level, and we had more trouble finding information about what we had to do, than actually doing it.

The next few paragraphs will outline in detail everything your dog needs to cross the EU border, with extra advice if you are travelling from Montenegro. Note, this is just for the “non-commercial movement” of pet animals, meaning you don’t plan to sell them in the EU.

The Basics

  • Your puppy has to have a dog passport and to be marked either with a chip or a permanent tattoo.

(Micro)chipping costs around 20 to 35 euros, depending on the vet. For most puppies, this is done when they are babies. Chipping allows dogs to be identified (their name, age, country of origin, the owner’s name and contact information) if they ever get lost or stolen. Many people mistakenly believe that the chips work like  GPS tracker, but that is not the case. Their value is in storing information that later on can be accessed by scanning.

Click here for information that applies to pooches travelling from Montenegro.
As opposed to most countries, we do not have a centralised database that carries information about all chipped dogs. Instead, the vet who chips your dog stores the information in his database. Unless, of course, you decide to visit all vets in Montenegro and enter your dog’s information in their database as well.

 

But look at that level of enjoyment! How could one even think of leaving him at home?
But look at that level of enjoyment! How could one even think of leaving him at home?
  • After being chipped, your pup has to be vaccinated against rabies by an authorised veterinarian.

You dog should be at least 12 weeks old at the time you administer the vaccine. After that first one, you have to vaccinate your dog against rabies every 12 months and you have to make sure to document each vaccination in your pup’s passport.

Ultimate Goal: The Health Certificate

  • You have to have a proof that the rabies vaccine is providing the necessary protection. That proof is a rabies antibody titration test conducted by an approved laboratory.

You can conduct the blood test 30 days after your dog received the rabies vaccine. To get the approval, the test results must show a level of neutralising antibody to rabies virus in serum equal to or greater than 0,5 IU/ml. Now, this is when it gets hairy.

Sometimes, the first vaccine does not create the necessary number of neutralising antibodies. In that case, you have to first vaccinate your dog again, wait another 30 days and conduct the blood test once more. This is why I advise you to start the testing procedure at least two and a half months before your trip. You never know if a do-over will be needed. The price of testing depends on the laboratory you are doing it in and the state regulations. It’s best if you check with your vet.

Click here for information that applies to dogs travelling coming from Montenegro.
In our case, you may need even more time. We don’t have an approved laboratory for rabies antibody titration testing in Montenegro so you have to send the results to Pasteur Institute in Novi Sad via FedEx. Getting the results back can take up to 20 days, so it’s best to start a soon as possible.

 

On the upside, once you get the paper proof that you dog is protected from rabies, you don’t have to do the testing ever again. You just have to keep the original laboratory report and to re-vaccinate your dog against rabies every 12 months.

Shooting the breeze, looking fab! :D
Shooting the breeze, looking fab! 😀
  • You have to treat your puppy against parasites (Echinococcus multilocularis) no more than 120 hours and no less than 24 hours before your trip.

Same as before, the treatment has to be certified by the administering veterinarian and entered in your dog’s passport.

  • You have to have a health certificate completed and issued by an authorised veterinarian, and subsequently endorsed by the competent authority.

First, you have to do a health check at your vet and get a written confirmation that your dog is healthy and able to travel from him. Then, you have to go and get an official health certificate by an authorised institution in your country. The regulation here differs for each country as we all have unique veterinary certificates.

Click here for information that applies to pooches coming from Montenegro.
The authorised institution in our country is Veterinary Administration of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Montenegro. In order to get the certificate, we had to go to the Veterinary Directorate (working hours from 10am to 3pm) and submit a request accompanied by: dog’s passport with records of all vaccinations and parasite treatments, health certificate issued by our vet (5 euros), results of rabies antibody titration testing and two deposit slips. The first deposit slip should amount to 3 euros, account number 832-6142-07. The second deposit slip should amount to 5 euros, account number 832-3161234-88. In both cases, the beneficiary is the Budget of Montenegro (Budzet Crne Gore) and the service is Tax (Taksa).

 

To apply for a certificate, you will need all the above-mentioned documents. Make sure to make photocopies – the authorised body will take the copies for themselves and the originals travel with your dog. It usually takes one day to get the certificate. Please note that your certificate will list the date and place of your entry in the EU so have that information ready.

See, it wasn’t that hard!

I hope this helps! For more information, you should find everything here. It will take you a few days to get all the papers ready but once you do, you are ready to roll.

Have a safe trip and don’t forget to send us pictures! 🙂

Post Author
Sanja Gardasevic
Used to travel in books, now she combines it with real-life adventures. Proud parent of the cutest dog in the world (so, not biased at all). Incorrigible romantic.

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