Vaccination schedule for international pet transport to Switzerland
Switzerland is extremely pet-friendly like most European countries. It is estimated that almost half the Swiss population owns a pet, with more families owning cats than dogs. Switzerland is a rabies-free country, and your pet will have to be completely vaccinated against rabies and other pet diseases before travelling to the country.
Find your country category
When you travel to Switzerland with your pet dog or cat, the country of origin determines the vaccination schedule to follow. Countries are categorised into three categories for international pet travel based on the existence of rabies in the country. Rabies-free countries are usually in Category 1.
Switzerland, like many European countries, recognises three categories of countries for pet import. They are:
- EU member states, European states and territories: Rabies is absent in these Category 1 countries, which includes Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, Finland, France, United Kingdom, Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia, Andorra, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Greenland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, and Vatican City State.
- Countries with zero or low-risk of rabies: Category 2 countries are Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Ascension Island, Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Bermuda, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, Bosnia and Herzegovina, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Curaçao, Falkland Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Japan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Montserrat, New Caledonia, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Russia, Saint Helena, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Singapore, Sint Marteen, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, the United States of America with American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna.
- Countries with high rabies risk: Category 3 countries are countries where rabies is prevalent. All countries not mentioned in the categories above fall in Category 3.
Vaccination schedule for pets travelling to Switzerland from low-risk countries
Pets travelling to Switzerland from low-risk countries need to be immunised against rabies before they can enter Switzerland. The rabies vaccination must be administered according to the manufacturer’s instructions at least 21 days before the date of travel.
If your pet is travelling from a European country or an EU member country, details of the vaccination such as the batch number, brand name and date of expiry must be recorded in the pet passport as proof vaccination. The vaccine must be a WHO-approved recombinant or inactivated rabies vaccine.
Do not forget to implant the microchip in your pet before the vaccination, if it is not already implanted.
Vaccination schedule for pets travelling to Switzerland from high-risk countries
Category 3 countries have a high incidence of rabies and pets travelling to Switzerland from these countries have to be effectively immunised against rabies. The rabies titre test (RNATT) has been devised to test the effectiveness of the rabies vaccine. The test measures the level of antibodies in the pet’s blood to check if the vaccine has triggered an immune response.
The test sample must be drawn 30 days after the rabies vaccination and sent to an EU-authorised lab for analysis. The antibody level must not be less than 0.5 IU/ml to meet Switzerland’s pet import criteria. Your pet must then wait for 90 days from the date of sampling for the RNAT test before being able to fly to Switzerland.
International pet travel specialists
Living with Switzerland with your pet dog or cat is extremely enjoyable, considering how pet-friendly the country is. International pet travel to Switzerland can be overwhelming, especially if you are travelling for the first time with a pet. Your pet dog or cat must meet all pet travel requirements, including the vaccinations, health checks and the documentation. Failure to meet all the criteria will result in extended quarantine, or worse, your pet will be sent back to the country of origin. An experienced pet travel agency can assist with the move and ensure the relocation is safe and stress-free.