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International pet transport to Finland: Here’s what you should know

Like most European countries, Finland is pet-friendly and is tailor-made for fun adventures with your pet. Pets are welcome in most public places, including public transport. You can enjoy hiking, camping, visit a dog beach, and do much more with your pet in Finland.

International pet travel to Finland can be tricky; there are several rules and regulations to be followed for your pet to be allowed in the country. Pet import rules in Finland change depending on the country your pet is flying from. If you are planning to move to Finland with your pet dog or cat, here’s all you need to know:


A microchip is a small electronic transponder that is implanted under the skin. It has information about your pet and can be read by a microchip reader. It is essential for international pet transport, and most countries around the world insist on a microchip before travel. The microchip is safe and is a great resource to help trace your pet if they are lost or stolen.

If your pet is travelling to Finland, they will need an ISO-compliant microchip that uses HDX or FDX-B technology. Make sure the chip is implanted before your pet dog or cat receives the rabies vaccinations.

Know your country category

Pet import regulations differ depending on the rabies status of the country the pet is travelling from. Usually, it is easier to move between low rabies countries than from high rabies countries to low rabies. Like most EU member nations, Finland recognises three country categories:

  • Category 1: EU members and other European countries and territories are classified in this category. Rabies is absent or low in these countries.
  • Category 2: Countries outside Europe where rabies is absent or low are grouped in this category. They are Ascension Island, United Arab Emirates, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Aruba, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Barbados, Bahrain, Bermuda, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, Belarus, Canada, Chile, Curaçao, Fiji, Falkland Islands, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Japan, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Cayman Islands, Saint Lucia, Montserrat, Mauritius, Mexico, Malaysia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, French Polynesia, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Russia, Singapore, Saint Helena, Sint Maarten, Trinidad and Tobago, Taiwan, United States of America, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna.
  • Category 3: Non-listed countries that are not mentioned in the two groups above fall in the third group. These countries have a high incidence of rabies.

Vaccinations for pet travel to Finland

Pet vaccinations protect your dog or cat from life-threatening diseases and help halt the spread of such illnesses among other animals. Vaccinations are an essential requirement for international pet travel. Most countries insist on up-to-date vaccinations before travelling to protect the local animal population from introduced and exotic diseases.

If your pet is travelling to Finland from a category 1 or 2 country, they will have to be vaccinated against rabies. Your pet must be at least 12 weeks old to receive the rabies vaccination, and they must wait for 21 days after the date of injection before travelling to Finland.

The rabies vaccine must be a WHO-approved inactivated vaccine and must be administered according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The date of vaccination, the period of validity and other vaccine details must be recorded in the Pet Passport for pets travelling from the EU. Pets flying in from non-EU countries need a health certificate with all the vaccination details recorded in it.

If your pet is travelling to Finland from an unlisted category 3 country, they will need a rabies antibody test in addition to the rabies vaccination. The rabies titre test or the serum rabies antibody test checks the efficacy of the rabies vaccine by testing the level of antibodies in your pet’s blood. Your pet needs a minimum antibody level of 0.5 IU/ml to enter Finland. The blood sample for the antibody test must be drawn after 30 days after the rabies vaccination. The blood sample must be analysed at an EU-approved laboratory. Your pet must then wait for three months from the date of the test to fly into Finland.

Treatment for internal parasites

Dogs travelling to Finland need to undergo an Echinococcus treatment one to five days before the date of journey. The Echinococcus treatment is not mandatory if your pet is flying directly from the United Kingdom, Norway, Ireland or Malta. Make sure your vet records the date and details of the treatment in the pet passport or health certificate.

Health certificate

All pets travelling to Finland need a health certificate issued by an authorised vet in the country of origin. Pets travelling from EU member nations do not need a health certificate if their pet passport is up-to-date. The health certificate must have the following information:

  • Name and identification of your pet
  • Microchip details
  • Details of rabies vaccination
  • Details of the rabies antibody test, if required
  • Details of the Echinococcus treatment
  • Name and contact information of the pet owner

If you are flying to Finland with your pet, it is considered non-commercial transport only if you travel with less than five pets. Pet owners with more than five pets have to follow commercial pet import regulations to bring them into Finland. Pet parents must travel within five days of your pet’s flight, and your pet must not be brought into the country to sell or transfer to another owner.

Puppies and kittens travelling to Finland

Puppies and kittens from Category 1 countries can enter Finland if they are younger than 12 weeks of age if they are accompanied by a declaration from the owner that the pet has not left its place of birth from the time of birth till the date of import and hasn’t had contact with wild animals at that time.

Puppies and kittens can travel to Finland from category 2 countries only after they receive their rabies vaccination at 12 weeks of age. They must wait for 21 days after the immunisation before travelling to Finland. Puppies and kittens younger than 15 weeks cannot enter the country.

If your pet is travelling from a category 3 country, the wait is longer. Your pet must wait for three months after the rabies antibody test after their primary rabies vaccination. Puppies and kittens from these countries have to be at least seven months old to travel to Finland.

Flying into Finland

Pets flying in from high-rabies countries can enter only at Helsinki. Upon arrival, all pets will be examined by an official for any signs of disease and ill health if your pet is in good health, and all the documentation is in order, you can take your pet home immediately. If your pet shows signs of illness, they will be sent to a licensed vet for further examination and tests.

There is no quarantine for pets in Finland, as long as all pet import rules are met satisfactorily.

Partner with trusted pet travel specialists

International pet travel can be baffling for first-time travellers because of the complex rules and regulations. Planning your pet cat or dog’s move during your own international move can be daunting and stressful for pet parents. An accredited pet travel agency can help you accomplish this journey with ease. 

If you are planning to bring your pet to Finland, get in touch with Petraveller for more information on international pet transport and a detailed pet travel itinerary.