If you’re planning on moving to Portugal, you’re set for a wonderful adventure.

This sunny Iberian paradise comes with glorious beaches, beautiful architecture, delicious wine, pork, and seafood dishes – and several of the tastiest ways to use eggs.

But you won’t be able to look forward to your exciting move until your pet is permitted passage to Portugal. After all, what good are amazing experiences without your favourite animal in the world by your side?

Thankfully, we’ve got you covered with our comprehensive guide. Follow these steps, and you and your pet should be enjoying life in Portugal in no time.

If you’ve got a furry friend (i.e. a pet) that needs taking abroad, the world of international pet relocation can seem pretty muddling. 

That’s why we’ve partnered with Starwood, who are experts in the field. With their global door-to-door service and almost forty years of experience, Starwood will take genuinely good care of your pet. Simply fill in this quick form and receive a free quote today.

man with dog enjoying city view in Porto

Soon you too could be enjoying a view in Porto with your furry friend

Can you bring your pet from the UK to Portugal?

Yes, as long as you follow the rules.

If you’re planning on bringing your cat, dog, or ferret with you to Portugal, you’ll just need to follow the bureaucratic and medical rules surrounding their entry.

The only common exception to this rule is that Portugal will block the entry of any kittens, puppies, or kits (that is, baby ferrets) who are less than 15 weeks old.

What are the requirements for bringing a pet to Portugal?

Documentation

Every pet that enters Portugal must have an Animal Health Certificate issued by an Official Veterinarian, according to the UK government.

Your chosen vet must sign this certificate no more than 10 days before your pet departs for Portugal, and must do so in a different colour ink to the one used to print the document.

You’ll only need an import permit if you have more than five pets to transport to your new home.

Microchip

Portugal, like all European Union nations, requires pets to be fitted with an ISO-compliant microchip before entering the country.

Your vet can take care of this – just make sure they use an ISO 11784 or 11785 microchip.

If your pet already has a different microchip, they must still be implanted with one of the two above, and the number on both microchips must be noted on your document.

Vaccines

Your pet will need a rabies vaccination before entering Portugal.

For the jab to be considered valid, it must take place at the same time or after your pet has received their ISO-approved microchip.

The one-year, two-year, and three-year varieties of the rabies vaccine are all permitted by Portuguese authorities.

However, the three-year version is only classified as a booster shot. If that’s all your pet has received, they’ll have to get a one-year or two-year vaccine before they travel.

If this is your pet’s first rabies jab after getting their ISO-approved microchip, they must wait 21 days before entering Portugal.

Rabies is the only condition Portugal compels you to vaccinate your pet against, but you should ask your vet about a few other potential jabs.

If you’re moving with a dog, ask whether they should be vaccinated against distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parainfluenza, parvovirus, or bordetella, and follow their advice.

And if you have a cat, ask about jabs that protect against feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia.

cat lying in the old town of Obidos in Portugal

Follow the right steps, and your cat can will be able to relax in Portugal all they like

Other requirements

At this point, you’ll be ready to send your pet on a flight to Faro, Lisbon, or Porto.

Whichever location you choose, you must inform the airport’s officials of your pet’s presence on the flight at least 48 hours before its arrival in Portugal.

If you hire a pet relocation company, they will generally take care of this step for you – along with many other steps.

When your pet lands, they won’t be quarantined if their documents are all in order, and will be able to leave the airport to travel to their new home with you.

The only exception to this is if your pet cat is travelling to Portugal from Australia.

In this case, the cat won’t be allowed in if they’ve lived anywhere with confirmed cases of the Hendra virus in the previous 60 days.

After you and your pet have made it past the border, you’ll be legally compelled under Decree Law No. 82/2019 to register them with the Sistema de Informação de Animais de Companhia (SIAC), which is run by the General Directorate of Food and Veterinary Affairs.

It costs €2.50 (£2.15) to sign your animal up to this national registry of cats, dogs, and ferrets – but if you fail to do so, you’ll pay a fine of at least €50 (£43), and as much as €3,740 (£3,210).

You must also inform the SIAC if your pet goes missing, is recovered, or dies, or if you and/or the pet move home.

How much does it cost to move your pet to Portugal?

It’ll cost you around £160 to send your pet to Portugal, on average.

Your pet’s one-way airplane ticket to Portugal will cost around £100, and the other main expense will be their pet crate.

It must be a model approved by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and must have enough space for them to not just fit, but stand up, turn, and generally move around comfortably.

The average dog is about 43cm tall, and will therefore need a crate costing around £70.

If you’re sending your average 24cm tall cat to Portugal, you’ll need a crate costing roughly £50.

And just to warn you: most pets can’t travel in the cabin with their owner.

The average cat is about 4.5kg, the average dog is around 18kg, and a medium-sized crate weighs 5kg. Considering your pet and crate must usually weigh under 8kg in the cabin, your animal will probably go in a pressurised, temperature-controlled section of the hold.

For a more accurate idea of your pet’s relocation costs, we recommend you get a specific quote for you and your pet.

That’s why we’ve teamed up with Starwood, who have been shipping pets all over the world for nearly 40 years. Just pop your details into this quick form and they’ll get back to you.

Are there any breeds banned from entering Portugal?

No, but there are restrictions placed on the following dog breeds:

  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brasileiro
  • Pit Bull Terrier
  • Rottweiler
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Tosa Inu

If you have a dog that’s mixed with any of these breeds, you’ll need to sign a Statement of Responsibility/Liability at the point of entry.

And if they haven’t already been neutered, they’ll need to be.

Purebred pets may be handed an exception, as long as you have documentation proving that they’re pedigree dogs.

Next steps

By now, you should be fully prepared to ensure your beloved pet makes it to Portugal safe and sound.

But if you want to take all complications out of this process, we recommend getting in touch with Starwood.

Their experts can take care of everything, remove any stress surrounding your pet’s journey, and allow you to focus on the rest of your move.

Whether you’re planning on transporting a cat, dog, or ferret to Portugal, just fill in this quick form and Starwood will get back to you.