If you are a pet owner planning to travel or relocate to Italy, then you will naturally want your pet to tag along too. However, like in many other countries, there are laws and requirements in Italy that regulate entry of pets into the country. Fortunately, you simply need to follow the regulations in order to travel with your favourite pet. Make sure that you understand the regulations before you travel to avoid last minute disappointments at the port of entry.

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• For a start, the Italian law requires that your pet is 3 months or older before it can be allowed to enter the country.

• Remember to have the pet checked by a veterinarian and issued with a European Community veterinary certificate before traveling. You will also be required to have the pet vaccinated against rabies, especially for cats and dogs. The pet should have received the rabies vaccine 21 days before entering Italy. For safety’s sake, make sure to put a mark or label on your pet in case it gets lost while on transit. A simple tattoo, collar, or even a microchip will do.

• In Italy, you will need to have a European Union pet passport, which is usually provided by a qualified veterinary surgeon, before you can travel with your favourite pet around the country. The surgeon will vaccinate the pet and insert a microchip in the animal’s neck. The microchip will also be helpful in tracking and locating the pet should it get lost. A European Union pet passport allows you to travel with your pet in most destinations all over Europe.

• After Brexit, UK nationals cannot use the existing pet passport scheme. Instead you’ll need an animal health certificate (AHC) for your pet. Allow at least 1 month to arrange this and relevant vaccinations. You should better speak to your vet before you travel to get the necessary documents and ensure you’re compliant with the EU Pet Travel Regulations.

• Fortunately for pet owners, most hotels, apartments, and villas in Italy have a pet friendly policy that allows visitors to come along with their pets. However, while traveling make sure your pet has enough supply of food to last the journey as many airlines do not serve cat or dog food. In Italy, you can travel around with your pet as long as it is securely locked inside a cage. Anyway you should check every detail with the company as laws can vary. Guide dogs used by blind people are however exempted from the majority of these rules.

Above all, make sure that your pet is healthy and comfortable before taking it on a long international flight.