Traveling with Pets to Portugal

Written By Lara Silva

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. In Portugal, the following breeds are banned: Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Dogo Argentino, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Rottweiler, and Tosa Inu.

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 your pet’s breed is not banned. In Portugal, the following breeds are banned: 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.
Photo by Charles Deluvio (Unsplash

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
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33 COMMENTS

  1. @Lara,
    Thanks for this detailed post.

    We are flying to from Ireland to Lisbon next week but only got the rabies vaccine this week so it won’t be the full 21 days prior to arrival.

    Do you know how strict they are on the number of days given that we are from a non rabies country?

    Also, what is the worse case scenario? Would they simply turn us back?

    • Hi Jamie,

      Thanks!

      I would definitely not take the risk and contact your airline to ask as I am not sure how strict they are. Sorry for not being able to answer your question!

  2. Hi Lara,
    We are planning to visit Portugal and bringing our cat with us for 3 months with tourist visa (our passports granted us visa on arrival in Schengen countries for up to 90 days). Would the procedures that you mentioned is applied? or do I need to apply special permit for our cat to enter Portugal?
    Thanks.

    Regards,
    James Tan

  3. Hi Lara

    I am planning on immigrating to Lisbon later this year and I have an African Gray Parrot that I need to bring with me from South Africa. Please could you send me a link or give me any advise on how to begin the process of getting him ready to travel with me. I’ve been told there are several forms and documents that need to be provided but I can’t seem to find an itemized list anywhere of the exact necessities. I would really appreciate any help with this.

    Thank you.

    Regards
    Michelle Marques

  4. Hi
    Planning to visit Portugal from Canada. Other than rabies and microchip. Do our pets need any other testing. It was suggested it be dewormed. But why do that treatment if she doesn’t needed? In addition. I don’t see anything about deworming for Portugal

  5. Hi Lara,

    Thank you for the detailed post.

    We are traveling to lisbon next week. Is there a specific health certificate that we have to fill in before we fly or is it a general health certificate to say that our dog is healthy.

    He does have a pet passport with all the necessary information in it like rabies etc. We are flying from amsterdam.

    Kind regards,
    Anneri

  6. Good morning Lara,

    We are traveling from the US to Portugal for a 3 month stay and we are bringing our pet (dog). We have all the necessary paperwork for him to travel but I was told that I had to contact the “dgav” to arrange for a vet to be present to examine the dog and the paperwork upon our arrival. Is this a true fact and if so who do I contact?

    Terry

  7. Hi Lara,

    I am travelling to Portugal by car from London, and travelling through France and Spain. Do you know if there are any other regulations if your going there by car? Do you need another health certificate on the way back or does the one certificate you have cover the way back too?

    Thanks !

  8. Hi Lara,

    We are traveling to Portugal with our service animal in August.

    I read a posting that one of the required shots must be given 45 days before travel. Do you have any information about this or other travel in Portugal with a service dog.

    Thank You!

    Jonathan & Heidi

  9. My dog came to UK from Czech so had rabies in Dec 2019 – its valid until Dec 2022 but we are planning on taking him to protugal, will he need a booster even though he isn’t due one?
    Thank you

  10. Hello, we are traveling from the United States and will be porting in Funchal on a transatlantic voyage. Do we need the 3 requirements mentioned above in your article or something more? Please advise. Also, any suggestions or links will be very helpful. We will also be porting in Casablanca, Morocco, Barcelona, Spain and Genoa, Italy. Thank you.

  11. Hi Lara,

    My family and I would like to Immigrate to Portugal from South Africa. We have an American Bully, is this breed allowed?

    Thank you!

  12. Joe M. We are looking for a transatlantic ship that will allow our dog. What line are you traveling on? This would be greatly helpful!

    Liz B.

  13. hi!
    great article! Planning to bring my pet rabbit to Portugal, but confused about the rules. I’ve heard they allow rabbits, but some sites say no rabies required and not much is needed for rabbits, but some sites say it’s the same for all animals. Also, another question, when making a pet passport, will that be for all EU countries? We plan to stop in another EU country before entering Portugal. Thanks for your help!

  14. Hi Lara,

    Can you please advise if TICA pedigree certificate is required for traveling with a Bengal cat? I was told by one of the travel agencies this is needed in order to enter Portugal with my cat. However, I cannot find this information on Directorate General of Veterinary Medicine or anywhere online.
    Thank you!

  15. I have an 11 year old Toy Poodle who has an exemption from rabies vaccine here in my home in the US due to bad reactions. Does Portugal ever allow exemptions for serious reactions?

    Thank you for a great article!

  16. Hey,

    I am planning to travel to Lisbon in 9 days and am planning to bring my dog. He is 4 and has all his shots / rabies vaccinations but I have never microchipped him. I am reading that he needs to be microchipped before the rabies shot? Do you know how strict this is – would able to just get him microchipped before the trip?

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