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Moving abroad with pets

What’s in this article?

  • Norway revealed as the best place to move to with your pets
  • Weather and how it affects your pets
  • The best ways to travel around Europe with your pets
  • Documentation and vaccination requirements
  • Take a look at the full results
  • Methodology
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Which European country is best for UK residents to relocate to with their pets?

The UK is known for being a nation full of pet lovers, whether that’s dogs, cats, guinea pigs or, for some, even tarantulas!

However, the UK isn’t the dream living destination for many, with lots of people hoping to move out of the UK and relocate to a new European destination.

For those looking to move out of the UK, it’s essential to ensure that their new home is going to be the best place for their four-legged friends.

We have analysed 43 capital cities from countries across Europe, looking at flight times, pet quarantine times, vaccination requirements, and even average weather conditions, to reveal the best cities across Europe to move to with your pets from the UK.

Norway revealed as the best place to move to with your pets

Norway has been revealed as the best place in Europe to move to from the UK with your pets. With an average flight time of around one and a half hours from the UK to Norway’s capital, Oslo is just a short distance away and makes the perfect destination for you to move to with your furry companions. 

Oslo has a low average yearly temperature of 7.25 degrees celsius, with high temperatures only reaching 18 degrees celsius during the peak summer months. This means that it’s the ideal place for you to walk your dogs outside all year round, without much threat from extreme heat and hot road surfaces. In fact, some breeds thrive in colder temperatures, such as Huskies and Malamutes. You should be cautious with smaller dogs like Italian Greyhounds and Chihuahuas, for example. They may need a warm coat for the chillier days! 

Following Oslo, Ireland has been crowned the second best place in Europe to move to from the UK with your pets. The flight time from the UK is nice and short, sitting at only one hour from London to Dublin, meaning that your pets won’t struggle too much on the plane. In fact, you’d be able to get a ferry with your pets if you were moving from the UK to Ireland, which would be much easier for both you and your furry friends. 

Weather and how it affects your pets

When considering which country and city you want to move to with your pets, it’s important to know what the weather conditions are like in that location and find somewhere with the optimal conditions for your animals.

Dogs shouldn’t be walked in temperatures above 20 degrees celsius as it can cause them to suffer from heatstroke, which can be fatal. However, if you do plan on moving to a country with a warmer temperature than the UK, it will be worth switching up the times of your daily walks.

Walk your dog in the early hours of the morning and in the late hours of the evening, at the coolest points in the day. If you wouldn’t feel comfortable walking outside with a fur jacket, boots, and a hat, then your dog probably shouldn’t be walking in those temperatures either. You should also check the ground temperature to protect their paws. If you can’t walk barefoot, then neither can they!

As for cats, they tend to cope better than dogs in warmer weather, mainly because they can find their own cooler areas in and around the home to stay comfortable. However, if you have a long-haired cat, they might need more help to cool down. Groom your long-haired cats more often once you’ve moved to a warmer country in order to help them cool down quicker by losing any loose fur. This might also apply for other long haired pets, like rabbits and guinea pigs.

The best ways to travel around Europe with your pets

As for flying with your pets, they will not have the same experience as you and the rest of your family when travelling via plane to your new country. Neither dogs, unless registered assistance dogs, or cats are allowed to be stored in the passenger cabin, therefore they will be stored with cargo.

For many pets, and pet owners, this is quite a stressful experience and therefore, the shorter the length of the plane journey, the better it is for the pets and their owners.

However, if your pet is also comfortable being in your car, it’s worth considering catching a ferry for part of your journey, instead of a plane. Although you can’t bring your pet up to the main part of the ferry, it is allowed to stay in your car in the below section of the boat.

The Eurotunnel is another option, though it will take much longer to get to your destination. Your pets will likely be much more chilled out and relaxed in the comfort of your own car, hill out and relax in the comfort of your own car. For more information, visit the Eurotunnel website.

Documentation and vaccination requirements

Each country has its own documentation requirements for pets and regulations are subject to change, so it’s worth checking the most up to date information on current guidelines before you travel with your pet.

As it stands, to enter the EU from the UK with a dog, cat, or ferret, you should adhere to the following requirements:

  • You require an Animal Health Certificate (AHC), which must have been issued no more than ten days prior to travel. This is valid for four months, so will typically cover you for a return trip, however, you will require a new AHC for each new departure from the UK.
  • Your pet must have a registered microchip.
  • Your pet must have a valid rabies vaccination. You do not need a rabies vaccination for each trip and can travel so long as the vaccinations are up-to-date.
  • Dogs require tapeworm treatment ahead of the flight.

Please note that these requirements also apply to assistance dogs and animals. You also cannot travel with more than five pets, unless it is for a competition, show, or sporting event.

Within the EU, from one EU country to another EU country, pets can travel freely without restrictions.

For more information, please see the European Commission’s advice.

Take a look at the full results


In order to reveal the best and worst places to move to with your pets from the UK, we have ranked 43 European countries and their corresponding capital cities on a range of points. 

Firstly, the average yearly temperature for each of the capital cities has been collected from This has allowed data to be collected for each capital city, displaying the average temperature all year round. 

The number of days in quarantine for both cats and dogs and the data revealing the amount of vaccinations needed has been collected from

The average flight length from the UK has been collected from, looking at flights from London to each capital city. 

Once all of the above data was collected, each data point was marked on a rank system, with the lowest rank (1) going to the best data point, and the lowest rank (43) going to the worst data point. These ranks were then averaged out to reveal the final ranking order for each country.