Aspiring NHS Doctors: Relocating to the UK with Pets

Relocating with pets

Are you worried about the prospect of relocating to the UK with your pet? Many aspiring NHS doctors ask us if it’s possible to relocate with their pet and how to go about it. The process can be complicated and there are many things you need to consider. We have put together some key points you need to consider when moving your pet from one country to another.

Can I bring my pet to the UK?

The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) allows certain pets to enter the UK without needing to spend any time in quarantine. However, this is only if you have completed all the essential documentation, vaccinations, and tests.

The following dog breeds and crosses can’t be imported into the UK:

  • Pitbull Terrier
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Braziliero

Make sure you check on the Gov website to see if any breeds have been added to this list.

How many pets can I bring with me when I relocate to the UK?  

You must make sure you don’t relocate to the UK with more than five pets.

Your pet must arrive in Great Britain no more than 5 days before or after you, or you’ll have to follow a different process.

All pets relocating to the UK need:

  • Rabies vaccination
  • A microchip – this will need to be a 15-digit ISO chip
  • A rabies antibody blood test
  • Tick treatment
  • Tapeworm treatment (cats don’t need to be treated against tapeworm)

*Your pet needs micro-chipping before the rabies vaccine, and the vaccine needs to happen at least 21 days before you fly to the UK*

What pet documents do I need when relocating to the UK?

Once you have completed all the specific requirements listed above you will be able to go to your vet and process a pet passport and certificate. You will also be able to ask your vet for advice before you travel.

How much does it cost to ship my pet to the UK?

The cost of shipping a pet to the UK can vary widely. Prices can depend on a number of factors such as the size, weight, and breed of your animal. This is definitely something to consider when budgeting. As a rough estimate, it can cost anywhere between £500 and £4,000 to ship a dog or cat. Looking into budget airlines will help with decreasing the costs of relocating to the UK with your pet.

Does my pet have to quarantine once it arrives in the UK?

The great news is that there is no quarantine if you follow the correct steps above. However, your pet will be checked when it arrives in the UK. If it doesn’t meet the pet travel requirements this will cause significant problems with the relocation process.

Who can look after my pet once I start working in the NHS hospital?

When you start working in the NHS, you will need to consider who is going to look after your pets whilst you’re at work. Your hours might be long and unpredictable. It’s always best to know someone who can be on standby to look after your pet at home.

For dog sitters, you can take a look at Borrow My Doggy. There are plenty of dog sitters and dog walkers who can look after your dog at a low cost locally.

For cat sitters, you can take a look at Cat in a Flat. There are plenty of cat sitters who can pop in to play with your cat or who can stay over-night at short notice if you get caught on a long shift at your hospital.

Will these rules change over time?

Importing pets into the UK is ever-changing and it’s important to check the government website for updated requirements.

Are you looking for a new role within the NHS?

If you’re an international or UK-based doctor who is interested in relocating to the UK with your pet, please register your details and upload your CV today.

We have supported thousands of doctors like you to make the move before. Our dedicated onboarding experts in India as well as our award-winning digital relocation software, Red Carpet, will help relieve the administrative burden. We’ll help you apply for your visa, secure flights and accommodation, set up a bank account, tips for relocating to the UK, and much, much more.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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