Portugal Country Guide

Everything you need to know about moving to Portugal

How to Safely Relocate Your Pet to Portugal

Your pet is a member of the family. Here’s how to get them to Portugal when you make the big move.

Moving to Portugal with a pet requires careful advance planning and attention to the details. Use our comprehensive guide below to safely relocate your pet from the U.S. or Canada to Portugal.

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Overview of Pet Relocation to Portugal

Pets can be brought to Portugal from other countries. They must have an EU Health Certificate completed by veterinarian that is licensed by the appropriate national health office (the USDA in the United States, the CFIA in Canada), and endorsed by your local USDA or CFIA office.


All cats and dogs entering the country are required to be microchipped with EU-recognized chips and have current rabies vaccinations. There is no quarantine requirement. ​


There are several options for bringing your pet to Portugal:

  1. In-cabin
  2. As baggage
  3. As cargo
  4.  Via private jet


In this guide we will review all of the options, including some tips on how to make the trip as smooth and safe as possible for your furry best friend.

General Preparation and Considerations When Relocating Your Pet to Portugal

Before diving into specific requirements, consider these general tips:


  • Consult Your Vet: Start by consulting your veterinarian to discuss your pet’s overall health and suitability for the move. Your vet can advise on vaccinations, microchipping, and other crucial aspects.

  • Pet’s Age and Health: The age and health of your pet will play a significant role in determining their readiness for the journey. Puppies and senior pets might have different requirements.

  • Breed Restrictions: Some breeds are restricted by Portugal, or there may be breed restrictions imposed by your airline.

  • Plan Your Timeline Carefully: You will need to carefully schedule your pre-travel vet appointment and health certificate endorsement to fall within 10 days of your pet’s departure, while allowing enough time to get your health certificate back before departure.

Requirements for Relocating Your Pet to Portugal

Before diving into specific requirements, consider these general tips:


  • Health certificate: Schedule a visit to your veterinarian shortly before your departure. They will issue an EU health certificate, including details of vaccinations and a general health assessment.
  • Microchipping: Ensure your pet is microchipped with an ISO 11784/11785 compliant 15-digit pet microchip. Make sure the microchip’s registration information matches your contact details.
  • Rabies certificate: Ensure your pet is up to date on their rabies vaccination and that you have a certificate for their recent rabies vaccine that includes their microchip number.
  • Parasite control: Make sure your pet is free from internal and external parasites, including ticks, fleas, and tapeworms. 
  • Airline and travel crates: Choose a pet-friendly airline with an accommodating pet policy. Ensure the airline-approved travel crate is well-ventilated, spacious, and comfortable for your pet. It should meet International Air Transport Association (IATA) standards.
  • Arrival and customs: Notify Portugal’s airport veterinarian at the relevant airport of your pet’s arrival and present all the required documents at the port of entry.

Options for Relocating Your Pet to Portugal

There are several main options for bringing your pet to Portugal:


  1. In-cabin: Most airlines allow cats and dogs under 20 lbs to ride in-cabin. If you have a service dog they may also be able to ride in-cabin.
  2. As baggage: Some airlines (most European carriers) allow passengers to check pets as extra baggage 
  3. As cargo: Work with a cargo freight forwarding company to ship a pet to Portugal. This is especially convenient if your pet needs to travel after you leave for Portugal.
  4. In a private jet: By far the most expensive, but most convenient option.
Not sure where to start?

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Portugal Pet Relocation Support

Bring your furry best friend on your new adventure.

This service includes:

International pet relocation support


Optional add-on: manifest cargo booking + customs clearance for manifest cargo pet arrivals (please ask for custom quote)

Disclaimer: StartAbroad is not responsible for the health or safety of your pet

How It Works

Understand your options

Have a call with a pet relocation expert, be presented with all of your options

Pre-travel work

Connect with an accredited vet, complete the proper paperwork, and get it endorsed


Come to Portugal

Come down to Portugal with your pet, complete all customs processes


Pet pickup or delivery

Pickup your pet at the airport, or have them delivered to you


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