Relocating to the Netherlands with your pet

travelling with pets
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Updated 2020-03-06 13:27

For the majority of us, pets are the equivalent of family members. So when you're moving overseas, you don't want to leave them behind. Thankfully, there are ways to move to the Netherlands without keeping Fido back in your home country. Find out the laws and regulations regarding bringing your pets to this country.

Requirements for travelling to the Netherlands with a pet

The Netherlands is a rabies-free country, which means they work hard to keep it that way. As a result, their requirements for bringing pets may be a bit more stringent than in other countries.

In general, all cats and dogs within the country must have an ISO 11784/11785-compliant 15-digit microchip implanted underneath their skin.

Also, they must be vaccinated against rabies, and this must be documented in their pet passport. The pet passport is another requirement to bring your pet over.

Moving from within the EU

Are you moving from within the EU? Then your pet will need a microchip, pet passport, and the rabies vaccination. Also, your pet has to be older than 15 weeks. If it's younger and only just gotten its first rabies shots, you have to wait at least three weeks before you can bring it into the country.

If you're bringing a dog over, you have to register it and its microchip within two weeks of your arrival in the Netherlands. Make sure you do this promptly, as failure to do so can result in prison time or a fine of up to €19,500.

Moving from outside the EU

If you're moving from outside of the EU, your pets will still need a microchip, pet passport, and the rabies vaccination. However, there's one additional requirement: a virus titre test. This is a blood test that proves your pets have active antibodies to the rabies virus.

This test needs to be done within one month of your pets' vaccination shots and at least three months before you leave for the Netherlands.

Types of pets you can bring to the Netherlands

Most rules and regulations apply to dogs and cats, as well as ferrets. However, you're free to bring other types of pets; you just have to do further research on what additional permits and/or documentation you need.

The NVWA has a rubric you can use to determine what things you need. Do note that the site's in Dutch; you can use your browser's translate option to get a better understanding of what they're asking for.

Flying to the Netherlands with your pets

If you're planning on flying with your pets, you're required to purchase a kennel where your pet can adequately move around and be ventilated. You will want to check the International Air Transport Association (IATA) requirements before you buy one so you're 100% sure it fits onboard.

For those who are travelling on flights lasting less than 10 hours, some small dogs and cats can be brought into the cabin. Most airlines allow one pet per passenger and a maximum of two in the cabin.

Your pet's container has to fit under your seat, and it must have proper ventilation. The bottom also has to be waterproof.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.