Saturday, August 27, 2016

Bring Your Dog to the UK (Part 1)

When we finally decided to go through with the move, one of the first questions we were asked was: "What will you do with your dogs?"

My response? "What will I do with my kids?!"

In other words, it was not a question. Both our dogs are rescues, and moreover, I would never abandon any pet without a really good reason. They're in my will for Pete's sake!

But I won't kid you. It's a long and costly process, with many time-sensitive steps, which I will try to cover here to help anyone planning to bring over their dog.

• Last updated: November 2nd, 2016 •

Is This Guide For You?
This guide is specifically written for YOU to bring YOUR DOG (not new-born puppy) to the UK from QUEBEC, WITHIN 5 DAYS of you moving, to KEEP as a pet. So if you're bringing over a cat or other pet, or if you plan to sell the animal in the UK, or you're bringing it over for someone else, or someone is shipping it to you six or more days before/after you yourself have moved, the following steps may help point you in the right direction, but don't quite cut it.

In either case, I suggest you use my entry as a guideline but make sure you're speaking to your vet to ensure you've got your specific situation covered.

As of Sept. 1, 2016, changes will be made to the health certificates for pets travelling to the EU (UK). Anything stamped prior to August 31, 2016 (inclusively) will be accepted by the EU until December 31, 2016. These changes are reflected in my guide.
The CFIA has created a helpful checklist to ensure you're filling out the correct form, as well as helping you keep track of the documents you will need to keep together. (Wish I'd had one of those last year...)

Step 1: Familiarize Yourself With the Basics
First things first, get onto the government of Canada website for the CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency), and follow their menu to get to Non-commercial Export of Dogs, Cats and Ferrets to the European Union¹.

You will want to read over that first page to get a basic idea of the various steps you will need to complete to bring your dog with you.

As mentioned on the CFIA website, it is strongly recommended to get current info from the UK's veterinary authorities. Often, local vets don't fill out these forms or complete the necessary tests on a regular enough basis to be up-to-date. (For example, my vet thought we still needed the Titer's test for the UK, which we did not need. Luckily, I had already done my research and I knew what we needed, so I didn't have the test done. It would have been a costly mistake.)

Stay Organized
At this point in time, may I suggest you get yourself a large envelope or portfolio where you can consolidate all official paperwork so it stays organized and doesn't get misplaced. Don't forget, you're moving; things are likely to be accidentally lost or discarded.

Foot Notes //
¹ Seeing as websites change all the time, here's a map of sorts to help you find your way if the above link changes:
Canadian Food Inspection Agency > English > Animals > Terrestrial Animals > Exports (or Pet Exports) > Pets (Dogs, cats and ferrets) > European Union > Non-commercial Export of Dogs, Cats and Ferrets to the European Union.