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Vaccination schedule for international pet travel to Italy

When your pet dog or cat travels to an international destination, one of the first steps in the travel preparation is to complete all the vaccinations required. Every country has a time-bound vaccination schedule, and it is crucial to follow the process for your pet to be able to enter the country. If you are planning to travel to Italy with your pet dog or cat, read on to understand the vaccination schedule to be followed.

Find out your country category

The country category of the origin country has a bearing on the pet import regulations of the destination country. Most countries have different import rules depending on the rabies status of the country of origin. The rabies status indicates if the country has a low incidence or high incidence of rabies.

Italy has classified the countries into three categories:

  • EU countries: European Union member countries fall into the first category. 
  • Third countries: Rabies-free or countries where rabies is controlled. Third countries are Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Ascension, Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Bermuda, Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba, Bosnia and Herzegovina, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Canada, Chile, Curaçao, Croatia, Faroe Islands, Falkland Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Gibraltar, Greenland, Hong Kong, Iceland, Jamaica, Japan, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Montserrat, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Norway, Russian Federation, San Marino, Switzerland, Singapore, St Helena, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St. Martin, St Pierre and Miquelon, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, Vanuatu, Vatican City, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Wallis and Futuna.
  • Non-listed countries: All countries not mentioned in the two categories above are countries where rabies is present.

Vaccination schedule for pets travelling from the EU and third countries

Pet dogs and cats flying to Italy from rabies-free countries require a course of the rabies vaccination before travel.

  • The rabies vaccination must be administered after the microchip is implanted
  • It must be a WHO-recommended vaccine, either a recombinant vaccine or an inactivated vaccine, and must be administered according to the manufacturer’s instructions
  • The pet must be at least 12 weeks old when they receive the vaccination
  • The vaccination must be given at least 21 days before the date of travel
  • Details of the vaccination such as the name of the vaccine, batch number, validity period and date of administration must be recorded in the pet passport or the rabies certificate.

Vaccination schedule for pets travelling from non-listed countries

Non-listed countries have a high incidence of rabies, and pets travelling from these countries need to take a rabies titre test (RNATT) to demonstrate that they are adequately protected from rabies. The rabies antibody test measures the level of antibodies in the pet’s blood to check if the immunisation is effective. Pets travelling from these countries must take the rabies titre test in addition to the rabies vaccine.

  • The blood sample for the test must be drawn 30 days after the primary vaccination. If it is a booster dose, the sample can be drawn after 21 days.
  • The sample must be sent only to an EU-authorised lab for analysis.
  • The level of the antibodies in the blood must at least 0.5 IU/ml.
  • Your pet must wait for a mandatory waiting period of 180 days from the date of sampling to travel to Italy.

International pet transport to Italy

All pet import regulations stipulated by the government must be fulfilled satisfactorily to travel with your pet to Italy. Your pet can be refused entry or face extended quarantine at your expense if all conditions are not met. In rare cases, the pet can be sent back to the country of origin. If you are planning on travelling to Italy with your pet dog or cat, get in touch with Petraveller for more details about the vaccination schedule and a detailed pet travel plan.