Arriving in the UK with pets by air

Travelling with pets can be a stressful ordeal for both owner and companion, especially when considering all aspects of immigration to the UK. Your pets’ well being and safety is one of the most important things to have guaranteed before setting off on your journey.

Here’s everything you need to know about how to prepare for your arrival into the UK with pets, the procedures that follow upon arrival, and how our dedicated Airpets services can alleviate the hassle and stress of the entire process.

Preparing For Your Arrival

Before you set off on your journey to the UK, it’s essential to make sure you have all the necessary documents required for your pet to enter.

The specific regulations and requirements for bringing your pet into the UK vary depending on the country you’re coming from:

  • Whether you pet is arriving from a listed or unlisted country, the City of London provides a good overview of the UK entry requirements here.
  • When arriving from the USA, please visit the USDA for more detailed look at process
  • When arriving from Canada, please visit the CFIA

You will also need to make sure you have all reservations relevant for pet travel to Heathrow in place before setting off. This includes veterinary appointments, airline booking and space at Heathrow’s border control post. The best way to ensure you have met with the above requirements and make reservations in good order is to enlist the help of a pet travel agent based in your country or city of departure. You can find a list of pet agents, searchable by region on this list accredited and updated by IPATA.

Upon Arrival

All pets coming into Heathrow, regardless of country of origin, must go through an official live animal BCP (Border Control Post) in order to clear UK Customs checks before heading home. At Heathrow this is known as the Heathrow Animal Reception Center (HARC), which is responsible for receiving and caring for thousands of animals coming into the UK each year. There, your pet(s) will go through processes of health inspection as well as paperwork checks to ensure everything provided complies with UK regulations regarding animals movement. This procedure may take anywhere between 4-8 hours.

How We Can Help

Our Animal Lounge at London Heathrow Airport (LHR) is here to alleviate the stress of travel on both and your pet. After travelling apart for long periods of time, the last thing you need is to fret about how, where and when to pick your pet up after customs.

Located opposite Heathrow Terminal 5, our prime location makes for a convenient and comfortable place to be reunited with your pet after a long journey.

Heathrow Animal Lounge and Home Delivery Service

We will act as nominated clearance agent for your pet consignment arriving at Heathrow’s Animal Reception Centre (HARC). We work with you and your airline to provide all advanced notices and information to the authorities, ensuring a swift clearance for your pet. After receiving notice from Heathrow’s Animal Reception Centre that your pet has successfully passed Customs checks, we will arrange collection from the airport (a short 5 minute drive from our facility) and from there we can accommodate your pet in our 5* Pet Hotel, leaving time for you to settle in your new UK home before you welcome your pet.

Alternatively if you are happy to wait at the airport for your pet to clear through customs and go home together, we can arrange for further transport for both you and your pet with our preferred taxi service partners.

Our transport services guarantee a First Class experience for your travelling pet.

Home Delivery Service

If you wish to get settled in your UK home ahead of reuniting with your pet but can’t return to collect from Heathrow, take advantage of our special home delivery service. We can deliver pets to any UK mainland address was well as some European destinations by request. We have a team of dedicated pet transport drivers and climate-controlled vehicles that are committed to your pets comfort, safety and overall well being.

Our Dedicated Pet Transport Vans

The standard delivery takes place on either the same or next day following the pet(s) arrival to the UK.

Get Ready for Stress-Free Travel!

Our facilities and services ensure that pets receive the care and attention they deserve after the stressful process of travelling. With your pet attended to by our dedicated and professional staff, they’ll never have to feel alone or left behind throughout the entire process of arrival and relocation.

Book your arrival now and travel with your mind at ease, knowing your companions are in good hands!

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