Traveling to Poland with Dog – A Proper Tail-Wagging Adventure

Thinking of traveling to Poland with your dog? Well, let me tell you – if you’re planning to travel with your pet within the European Union, it’s important to be aware of certain rules. First off, your pet needs some form of identification – a microchip or a tattoo. Let me say, this is not a top-down obligation for pet owners in our home country, but is mandatory if you’re entering another EU country.

Dog Tattoo Identification Required in Poland

Now, if you’re wondering, a microchip, also known as a transponder, is about the size of a rice grain. It’s placed under your pet’s skin, usually around the neck or between the shoulder blades.

The good thing about this microchip is that it makes identifying your pet quick and easy. Plus, the process is painless. The chip stores your contact information, which can be accessed using a reader.

A vet will do the procedure, and it usually costs around 30 EUR. Sometimes, there are free chipping events (usually in spring). If you want to get a passport for your pet (which you need for EU travel), the presence of a microchip is necessary.

↳ PRO TIP: Do you like traveling? Then before you buy any ticket or book an attraction, check if it's available in this worldwide Viator Database. You may save a lot of money and time. No need to thank me :)

Make Sure Your Dog has a leash in Poland

It’s worth to say that if the transponder doesn’t meet the technical requirements, you or someone authorized by you will need to provide a way to read the microchip during each verification and identity check. Therefore, it’s best to have the chipping done at a vet and not with any equipment from unknown sources.

Back in the day, before July 3, 2011, tattoos were another way to identify pets. Animals marked this way can still travel. According to currrent regulations, this identification method is allowed if the owner can prove that the tattoo was done before July 3, 2011.

Dog’s Vaccination in Poland

Another crucial thing to note when traveling with your pet within the EU is the requirement of a valid rabies vaccination certificate. The vaccination details must be updated in your pet’s passport. I must emphasize, the date of the vaccination should never be earlier than the date when the microchip was implanted.

If your pet gets its first rabies shot after 12 weeks of age, the vaccination only becomes valid after 21 days from the date it was administered. However, for the follow-up shots (also known as booster doses), if done regularly as indicated in the passport, they’re valid right from the day they’re given. So, if you want a smooth journey, make sure these vaccinations are up-to-date.

The Pet Passport in Poland

Being there, you need to know that every pet moving between EU Member States needs a passport. This document is issued by a vet on the spot when the owner asks for it. The cost is around 30 EUR in Europe. It’s valid not just in the European Union, but also in countries like Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, and Vatican City.

When traveling in public buses or train – it is good to have a cage for a dog

Let me present you couple more documents you might need in specific cases:

  • Authorization document: This is a certificate from you, the owner, giving someone else permission to travel with your dog.
  • Health certificate: This is needed when more than 5 animals of the same species are travelling with the owner or another authorized person. This kind of trip is allowed if it:
    • Is for participating in competitions, exhibitions, sporting events, or related training.
    • The owner or the authorized person provides written proof that the pets are registered for the above event or with the association orgsnizing such events.
    • The pets are over six months old.

Health Requirements in Europe

In some countries, you’ll need to make sure your pet is protected against other diseases or specific parasites. For instance, in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Finland, Norway, and Malta, there’s a rule that your pet needs to be treated for the tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis.

This has to be done no more than 120 hours but not less than 24 hours before you plan to enter the country. However, pets moving between these countries don’t need to follow this rule.

Restrictions on Homeless or Shelter Animals in Europe

In Norway, as of July 1, 2018, certain animals can’t enter. These include dogs and cats that don’t have an owner, come from animal shelters, are up for adoption, come from temporary homes, or are street dogs and cats.

Restrictions on Certain Dog Breeds

Some EU states don’t allow what they describe as dangerous dog breeds or types to enter their country. Rottweilers and pit bulls are a couple of examples. If you need more details on the requirements for each EU Member State, you can find them here.

Travelling with Puppies or Kittens Under 12 Weeks Old

If you’ve got a puppy or kitten under 12 weeks old, yes, you can bring them to the EU. Member States might allow you to bring in dogs or cats from other Member States, even if they’re under 12 weeks old and haven’t had their rabies vaccination, or if they’re between 12 and 16 weeks old and have been vaccinated but don’t meet the validity requirements. But there are a couple of conditions:

  • The owner or the authorized person must sign a declaration saying that the pets haven’t had any contact with wild animals that could carry rabies from the time they were born until they travel.
  • The pets must be travelling with their mother, who they still depend on, and her identification document should show that she had a rabies vaccination that met the validity requirements before the pets were born.
Important note: Polish rules don't allow puppies or kittens without a valid rabies vaccination to enter Poland. You can find more info on the European Commission's website.

What Happens if You Forget Your Pet Passport or Vaccination Record?

Here’s what happens if your pet isn’t following EU rules when you get inspected, according to Article 35 of Regulation 576/2013. The authority inspecting you can:

  • Send your pet back to the country it came from.
  • Keep your pet in quarantine until it meets the requirements.
  • If sending it back or quarantining it isn’t possible, they might have to euthanize it.

Just to let you know, the person responsible for the pet during the journey has to pay for all of these official actions. So, you need to make sure you’ve got everything you need for your pet before you travel.

Traveling with a dog on train in Poland requires a cage

Travelling by Car with Your Pet

If you want to travel by car with your pet, get to know the rules for safely transporting animals. The foreign police often check whether your dog is properly secured, like with belts, for example.