Want to take your best friend with you on your next trip to Portugal? We’re talking about your pet! Whether you’re looking to fully relocate or just spend a weekend in the capital of Lisbon, Portuguese airlines allow you to bring your dog, cat, or ferret with you. Take a look at this detailed guide to find out how to do so. From required documents to whether your dog can travel in the cabin with you, we don’t leave any questions unanswered.
Pet Travel Documents & Requirements for Portugal
First of all, you can only travel to Portugal through commercial flights without quarantining your animal with dogs, cats, and ferrets. Portugal has set up a number of requirements that you need to make sure you follow. You will need a Pet Passport, issued by your vet that will also track vaccinations. If you are not in the EU, including the UK, you cannot get an EU pet passport, instead, you will just get an animal health certificate which is valid for 4 months.
Your pet needs to be vaccinated against rabies, either with the one, two, or three-year vaccine. Rabies vaccines must be administered at the same time or after your pet is microchipped. This is another requirement. The microchip must be ISO-compliant! Pets must also wait at least 21 days after receiving the rabies vaccine before arriving in Portugal. There are no other mandatory vaccinations. You will also need to fill in a health certificate prior to the flight and then one within 10 days of arrival, signed by a veterinarian.
Also, pets that are less than 15 weeks old are not allowed to travel.
Let’s recap! To travel to Portugal you will need:
Cabin or Hold: Where Will My Pet Travel
Knowing that your pet needs to travel in the hold, rather than in the cabin with you, can be stressful. This will depend on the airline, but for the most part, dogs and cats in soft container up to 8 kilograms can be carried in the cabin. If your pet is an assistance dog, they can travel with you in the cabin at any weight. Pets in containers up to 32 or 45 kilograms will travel in the hold. The container or crate must be suitable for transporting animals.
Tips for Traveling with Pets to Portugal
Traveling with a pet can be stressful. There are plenty of things to consider from required documentation to the comfort of your pet. Here are our top tips for traveling with pets to Portugal:
- First, talk to your vet to make sure your pet is in good health to travel.
- If your pet is a dog or a cat weighs over 32 kilograms, make sure to purchase a suitable crate. Add their favorite toys and blankets to make them feel comfortable. However, do not overdo it by taking up what little room your pet already has in a crate.
- Make sure you have all the necessary paperwork and that vaccinations are up to date.
- Vets suggest not feeding your pet on the day of travel. We know, this is tough, but stress diarrhea is a common occurrence, as well as motion sickness.
- Hydrate your pet! Depending on the airline, you should include a bowl with water to the inside of the crate.
- Check whether their are restrictions on your pet’s breed. In Portugal, it can be harder to send these breeds: Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Dogo Argentino, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Rottweiler, and Tosa Inu.
- Book your pet’s ticket in advance and check out the airline’s website for information on traveling with pets.
- Let your pet get used to the crate at home by feeding them inside it for weeks before the flight.
- DO NOT give your pet a tranquilizer, this can be dangerous as it can interfere with a pet’s ability to control body heat at high altitudes.
Is Portugal Pet-Friendly?
Portugal is definitely a pet-friendly country with more than half of Portuguese households owning a pet. The abundance of public parks and beaches are perfect for taking dogs on walks and allowing them to explore nature, without being stuck in an apartment. Some shops and restaurants are even marked as “pet friendly,” allowing you to bring your pet in on a leash. However, most restaurants do not allow pets inside, but due to the warm weather, you can also enjoy a meal alongside your pet on a terrace. There are a number of pet-friendly hotels in Portugal.Pets are not allowed on specific beaches during the summer, but you will always find beaches where this is not the case. In most public transports pets are not allowed, except trains and buses where they must wear a muzzle. Animals are also protected under Portuguese law and in 2014, the mistreatment or abandonment of pets became punishable with fines or even prison.
Frequently Asked Questions about Traveling with Pets to Portugal
What documents do I need to take my dog to Portugal?
In order to fly with a dog (or a cat or ferret), you will need the following documents:
- Pet passport issued by a vet with up-to-date rabies vaccine
- Proof of ISO-compliant microchip
- Health certificate filled out before flying
Can I take my dog on holiday to Portugal?
Yes. You will need to purchase an extra pet airline ticket and figure out whether your pet will go in the hold or cabin with you. This will depend on the airline, but for the most part, dogs and cats in soft container up to 8 kilograms can be carried in the cabin. If your pet is an assistance dog, they can travel with you in the cabin at any weight. Pets in containers up to 32 or 45 kilograms will travel in the hold. You will also need to gather the following documents: an EU pet passport issued by a vet with up-to-date rabies vaccine, proof of an ISO-compliant microchip, and an animal health certificate filled out before flying. If you are not in the EU, including the UK, you cannot get an EU pet passport, instead, you will just get an animal health certificate which is valid for 4 months.
How much does it cost to take a dog to Portugal?
The cost of taking a pet to Portugal will depend on the airline. For TAP, the Portuguese airline, it can cost anywhere between €70 and €180 for a pet ticket depending on where you’re flying from. For flights from Europe, Morocco, Tunisia and flights between Accra and São Tomé it costs €70. For most intercontinental flights, it will cost €150. The only exception to the latter is if you’re flying from the Dominican Republic where it costs €180.
Don’t forget about other costs, such as the pet crate, the microchip, vaccine, and the EU pet passport. If you are an EU resident, an EU pet passport alone can cost around €150 but lasts the whole lifetime of your pet. Expect to pay at least €300 to €500 for all this, including an EU pet passport. However, prices will depend on your location and veterinarian of choice.
Do I need to microchip my pet to travel to Portugal?
Yes. All pets traveling to Portugal (only dogs, cats, and ferrets allowed) must have a microchip implanted that is linked to an EU pet passport or a health certificate completed by a veterinarian for non-EU citizens. The microchip must be implanted before the rabies vaccination is given.
What kind of pets can you take to Portugal?
Only dogs, cats, and ferrets can fly to Portugal through commercial flights. If you want to relocate another animal such as a bird, the rules are much different and these usually involve quarantining your animal. A bird will need:
- To have a health certificate by a licensed vet and be in isolation in the original country for 30 days before import OR
- The bird must quarantine in Portugal for 30 days after entering the country OR
- Within the last 6 months and not before 60 days before the trip, your bird was vaccinated against avian influenza using a H5 vaccine OR
- The bird must isolate for 10 days before the trip and take a test for the Avian Influenza H5N1