Relocating to the UK with Pets
Flying to the UK with your pets is very stressful for you as well as for them. When you arrive, you do get a quick call to say your pet(s) has or have arrived safely. That is such a relief. At Pets Lets, we work with leading pet travel experts, so we know how the process works and can help. We also work with a pet-friendly taxi company between London and London Airports.
What happens on Arrival
Once pets land into the UK, whether it is Heathrow or Gatwick Airports they are taken from the aircraft directly to the Airports Animal Reception Centre (ARC). Some airlines such as British Airways, carry out this themselves. Otherwise it will be the ARC staff members. Allow 1 – 1 ½ hours just for this part of the process.
Once pets arrive at the ARC they are then checked over to ensure they have landed safe and sound. Their microchip number is then read and noted down before releasing them into the kennel or cattery. Pets from the EU remain in their crates. This may well change with Brexit.
The kennels have an indoor space and outdoor run for the dogs to have free movement between the two. The inside area is heated and temperature maintained so the pets remain comfortable. Beds and blankets are provided for comfort and food and water is provided. The cattery has no outdoor area however they are provided litter trays.
Paperwork is then put into a first come first serve queue to wait to be checked.
Once paperwork is provided the green light and all outstanding charges have been paid custom procedures can begin. If there are any discrepancies with the paperwork either the pet will be held or an urgent request is sent out to the vet who issued the health certificate/pet passport. This is handled by the authorities directly.
Once custom procedures have been completed the owners are contacted with an update to let them know that all is fine and the pet(s) can be released.
The whole process can take 6-8 hours depending on how busy the authorities and customs are on the day of arrival.