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Pet Tips

Traveling with Pets to Italy

When planning a move to Italy, have no fears you do not have to leave behind your four legged family member(s), dogs, cats or other pets not on the endangered species list.  It is advisable to begin the process of obtaining necessary documents (Health Certificate and proof of rabies inoculation) as early as possible to assure you comply with animal health regulations.

Contact the Italian Embassy or Consulate for a Bilingual Health Certificate (for your convenience you can download a copy here ) to be filled out by your USDA Veterinarian.  If traveling with more than one pet, remember a Certificate is required for each pet.

Pets can travel from the US to Italy providing they have the following:

  1. A valid Veterinary Certificate (stating owners address and details, a description of the animal, details of identification and vaccinations)

  1. A valid rabies vaccine not less than 20 days and more than 11 months prior to departure.  If the rabies vaccination was the animal's first vaccine then it must wait for 21 days before entering the country. There is no time delay with booster injections; providing there is proof that the booster was administered before the last vaccine had expired.  The animal must be coming from an area that has been rabies-free for at least the last six months.

  1. A tattoo or a microchip (compatible with standards)

  1. The cage or carrier must be labelled with the owner's name, and their (or a nominated person's) address and contact numbers in Italy.

  1. Once in Italy, an Italian vet can issue an EU Pet Passport allowing travel within Europe. (see below)

  1. An animal must be more than three months old to enter Italian territory.

  1. To introduce pet animals in Italy from third countries, it is NOT necessary to subject the animals to tick or echinococcus (tapeworm) treatments.

The Health Certificate must be dated no earlier than one week before your pets’ departure from the US.

Traveling with Guide Dogs to Italy

Guide dogs for the blind entering Italy must adhere to the same requirements as other domestic pets. Once in Italy your service dog has unhindered access to all public buildings and shops and may travel unrestricted on all public transportation.

Guide dogs travelling on Italian public transportation are neither required to have an individual ticket nor to be muzzles.

Pet Carriers for Travel to Italy

All cats and dogs travelling to Italy must travel in an approved pet carrier/container. The carrier must be big enough for the animal to stand, sit and turn around in during the journey. The container must allow adequate ventilation.  

In the plane, your pet will travel in a special climate controlled cargo area, or if small, may travel with you in the passenger cabin.

Passengers travelling with pets should be aware of the many travel restrictions imposed by American carriers. The restrictions vary considerably from one carrier to another. Therefore, contact airlines early about their current requirements and familiarize yourself with specific restrictions well in advance of your anticipated travel date.


Remember to book cargo space as early as possible as airlines may limit the number of animals travelling to two per flight.


What is the European Pet Passport?

The European Pet Passport allows for cats and dogs to freely cross borders in Europe. It is an official document, identical for all European countries and written both in English and in the language of the country that issues it, which contains obligatory information concerning an individual animal:

The Pet Passport is valid for the duration of the pet’s life. Each passport is numbered for identification purposes.

How to Obtain the EU Pet Passport

Only a licensed Italian vet may issue the passport, and vaccinations should be kept current by the vet.  Before issuing it, the vet will confirm that the animal:

For more information on the EU pet passport, a model of the pet passport and questions and answers please consult the following websites:

What about other Pets?

Passengers may enter Italy with up to a maximum of five pets as long as they are included in the following list:

Birds (small birds with the exception of parrots, see below), dogs, cats, fish (small), common frogs, common reptiles, rodents (except rabbits and hares), common lizards and green lizards, and small turtles.

Passengers may also enter Italy accompanied by a maximum of 2 parrots for the larger species or up to a maximum of 4 parrots for the smaller species as long as they are accompanied by a certificate of origin and health attesting that there were no cases of psittacosis in the last 12 months within a radius of 15 miles from the place of origin.

For additional information regarding EU regulations and travel requirements for other pets, including International health certificates for the export of animals from the United States, please refer to the APHIS website at:

Please contact us if you would like to receive a FREE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) FACTSHEET for Airline Travel Procedures.

Remember also to check the Independent Pet and Animal Transportation Association for additional advice on transporting pets and pet transport services.

Every effort has been made to provide accurate and up-to-date information, however you are strongly advised to double check with the Italian Embassy or Consulate to be sure of the most current requirements as regulations can change suddenly.  We can accept no responsibility for the consequence of any action taken of the basis of information contained in these pages.