How much do Animal Health Certificates Cost?
If you’re planning to travel with your pet from the UK to the EU, you’ll need an Animal Health Certificate.
However, the cost associated with obtaining this certificate is a common query among pet owners. In this blog post, we’ll delve into what an Animal Health Certificate is, the factors influencing the cost of an Animal Health Certificate, and the average price charged by vet practices.
What is an Animal Health Certificate?
An Animal Health Certificate is an official document issued by an Official Veterinarian that confirms your pet’s rabies vaccination status and verifies they meet the necessary health requirements to travel from the UK to the EU. They replaced pet passports following Brexit.
For an Official Veterinarian to issue an Animal Health Certificate, your pet must be microchipped, and have a valid rabies vaccination. The rabies vaccination must be still in date, and it must have been administered at least 21 days before an Animal Health Certificate can be issued (unless it is a booster rabies vaccination, in which case this 21 day wait doesn’t apply).
From the date the Animal Health Certificate is issued, you have 10 days to depart for the EU (the date it is issued counts as day 1), so your appointment to get one will need to be just before you travel. The certificate is valid for travel within the EU (including Switzerland) for a period of 4 months, however if you leave the EU and return to the UK, you will need another Animal Health Certificate to re-enter - Animal Health Certificates are single use only.
For more information on Animal Health Certificates, see our in-depth FAQ page, or contact us if you can’t find the answer to your question. The UK Government also has a useful section on Animal Health Certificates here.
Factors influencing the cost of Animal Health Certificates
Availability of Official Veterinarians
Not all veterinary surgeons can complete Animal Health Certificates. They must have completed an additional qualification, to become an Official Veterinarian. Not all practices have Official Veterinarians, and some practices may only have a one or two Official Veterinarians across their network of branches. This is a key factor influencing the price vet practices pay, as they may have limited availability of Official Veterinarians, so they have to charge a higher price as a result.
Time Required to Complete the Certificate
Animal Health Certificates are typically 9-11 A4 pages long. They take a while to prepare as the Official Veterinarian is required to manually strike out and stamp multiple parts of the document depending on the circumstances. Most Official Veterinarians are primarily doing clinical work in vet practices, and often have to put aside additional time in their diary in order to prepare the certificates. As a result, vet practices have to price the Animal Health Certificates according to the time it takes for the vet to prepare them, when they could be doing clinical work instead.
Notice Given to the Vet Practice
Many vet practices require a few weeks’ notice in order to prepare all the documentation to issue an Animal Health Certificate. Vet practices or veterinary travel clinics will typically charge a higher price for appointments made at short notice.
Professional Indemnity Insurance
Animal Health Certificates are tricky documents to prepare and issue, and errors are sometimes made, particularly when vets aren’t used to preparing them, or when the travel is more complicated. Vet practices need to take out professional indemnity insurance as a result, in case any errors lead to the pet being denied entry into the EU.
Number of pets
Up to 5 pets can go on the same Animal Health Certificate, which means issuing a certificate for 5 pets doesn’t take quite as much time for a vet to issue 5 separate certificates. Veterinary practices may charge less for additional pets as a result.
Whether the pet is travelling with or without the owner
There is extra work involved when the owner isn’t travelling with their pet, but instead the pet is travelling with either a named person or a transport company. Vet practices may charge an additional fee for this extra admin, so it’s worth checking this if you’re not going to be the one accompanying your pets on their journey.
How much do Animal Health Certificates cost?
There is no set price for Animal Health Certificates; vet practices and travel clinics are free to charge what they like. As a result, prices vary massively.
Based on feedback from our customer base, the average price vet practices charge is around £220-250 per pet (most practices do not discount additional pets). This aligns with research done by the Guardian in 2021.
At PassPets, standard Animal Health Certificates cost £99 for the first pet and £50 per additional pet, with a 10% discount for repeat customers.
Tips to Manage Costs
Before booking in with your current vet practice, it’s worth calling a few other vet practices or travel clinics to see if you can get a better price elsewhere. Veterinary travel clinics, such as PassPets, often have much more experience issuing Animal Health Certificates than vet practices, and they often charge much less.
At PassPets, we charge £99 for the first pet, and £50 per additional pets, with a 10% discount for repeat customers. We currently have two locations, one in Havant (near Portsmouth) and the other in New Malden (South West London). Many of our customers are not local, but chose to collect their Animal Health Certificate en route to their channel crossing.
Book well in advance
Many vet practices and vet travel clinics will charge more for bookings made at short notice. Ensure you book well in advance to make sure you can get the best price available.
Some veterinary travel clinics offer a discount for repeat customers (at PassPets, it’s 10%). So if you require another Animal Health Certificate in the future, it’s worth booking with the same provider to save cost.
Why you should choose PassPets for your Animal Health Certificates
At PassPets we pride ourselves on providing an exceptional service at a low price. Unlike most providers all our staff have an in-depth knowledge of Animal Health Certificates and the requirements for taking pets abroad, and you can speak to them anytime by calling us on 023 9245 3650 or 020 8137 8970.
We have a large team of Official Veterinarians, with a huge amount of experience issuing Animal Health Certificates and other documents required for pets travelling abroad. Our locations are very accessible and easy to find, particularly for customers who aren’t local and would like to collect their AHC on their date of travel.
We have thousands of happy customers who have used our service (see our Google reviews for some testimonials).
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions around Animal Health Certificates or if you would like to book in with us.