Moving to London With a Dog

Diego Arriving at Heathrow

Diego Arriving at Heathrow

Moving to the UK with a dog was no easy feat.  But we managed to do it without leaving Diego in quarantine so yay!

Requirements for Bringing Your Dog in to the UK

So let’s get the biggest obstacle many people think of, out of the way.  You do not need to quarantine your pet to bring him or her from the USA.  This used to be the standard procedure but since has been lightened up quite a bit.

Ok.  Now that we have that cleared up, let’s break down the timeline for things you need to get accomplished in order to bring your four (hopefully) legged friend to the UK.

  • He must be microchipped.  Do this BEFORE you get your rabies vaccination.  Dog must have up to date rabies vaccination 21 days before flying
  • Before 21 days of departure, your dog must have
    • Microchip
    • Up to date rabies vaccination
  • Within 5 days of departure and no more than 1 day before, you must have
    • Tapeworm treatment
    • UK health certificate signed by a vet
    • Take this UK health certificate to your nearest USDA office and have it signed by their vet (call 847-699-2450 for your nearest USDA office)

Bring to the USDA appointment

  • UK health certificate (from your veterinarian) with the below items:
  • Current Rabies vaccination certificate signed by vet.
  • dogs: treated for tape worm no more than 5 days before flight and not more than 1 day before – vet signature.
  • Current Rabies vaccination certificate.
  • Proof of microchip inserted BEFORE most recent rabies vaccination.
  • Sticker from microchip.

Flying With Your Dog

There are only certain airlines approved to carry your dog into the UK.  For the sake of ease, I recommend going with British Airways.  As of the time of writing, IAG Cargo manages the transit for your dog between the USA and the UK.

There are kennel requirements for flying your dog to the UK, so be sure you get one that allows him to stand up without hitting his hears to the top, and has room for him nose to stretched tail so he can be comfortable.  Exact measurements are available from IAG cargo.

When it’s time to book your flight, give IAG a cargo a call.  This part is important – Not all flights can carry dogs in to the UK.  If you want to arrive at the same time and day as your dog, make sure you check with IAG Cargo the flight numbers of the flights that are capable of carrying your dog in to the UK for your desired date.  Contact IAG pet booking line at 866-333-2292.

Living in London With a Dog

This will be your biggest challenge.  Once you’ve overcome all of the obstacles of getting your dog in to the country, finding a landlord that will actually permit your dog is an entirely different monster.  Compared to nearly any city in the USA, London is one of the least pet-friendly cities I have encountered.  You have a couple of options.

  • Try using sites like GumTree and SpareRoom to negotiate the terms of allowing a pet in your flat
  • Use an agency such as Foxtons and let them do the work of finding a flat in an area you desire that allows a pet.  The only downside is that they will charge a higher fee than what you can find dealing directly with the landlord. Also, they tend to only have more expensive flats, from what I’ve seen.

Once you’ve settled that, however, you are ready.  Now that our dog is over here and living in a pet-friendly home, he’s enjoying going out for walks in the garden and life is a lot less stressful!

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