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Expat Exchange - Moving with a Pet to Belgium
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Ghent, Belgium


Moving with a Pet to Belgium

By Betsy Burlingame

Mondly by Pearson
Mondly by Pearson

Summary: Prepare for your move to Belgium with a pet. Understand the vaccination needs, travel details, and item restrictions in Belgium. This essential guide helps you navigate the process of moving with your pet and reduce the chance of unnecessary complications.

Moving to Belgium with a pet involves a series of regulations and requirements that must be carefully followed to ensure a smooth transition for your furry friend. Belgium is generally pet-friendly, and it is not uncommon for residents to have pets. However, bringing a pet into the country requires adherence to vaccination and paperwork requirements, and understanding the rules regarding quarantine. While the process may seem daunting at first, with the right preparation, you can ensure that your pet joins you in your new Belgian home without unnecessary stress. In the following sections, we'll delve into the specifics of what you need to know when moving to Belgium with different types of pets, including dogs and cats, and provide guidance on the necessary steps to take before and after your arrival.

Can I bring my dog to Belgium?

Yes, you can bring your dog to Belgium, but there are specific requirements you must meet. Your dog must be microchipped with an ISO 11784/11785 compliant 15-digit pet microchip and vaccinated against rabies. The vaccination must be administered after the microchip is implanted and at least 21 days before traveling to Belgium. Additionally, you will need to obtain a European Union pet passport or a health certificate from a licensed veterinarian. It's important to note that certain breeds may be subject to additional regulations or restrictions.

Can I bring my cat to Belgium?

Similar to dogs, cats are also welcome in Belgium, provided they comply with the country's import regulations. Your cat must be microchipped and vaccinated against rabies. The microchip should be ISO 11784/11785 compliant, and the rabies vaccination must occur after the microchip implantation and at least 21 days before entering Belgium. A valid EU pet passport or an official veterinary health certificate is also required for your cat to enter the country.

Pets that are Prohibited from Coming into Belgium

Belgium has restrictions on certain exotic and dangerous animals that cannot be brought into the country as pets. This includes some breeds of dogs that are considered dangerous and may be subject to specific bans or ownership restrictions. It's essential to check the latest regulations before attempting to bring any pet to Belgium, as the list of prohibited animals can change. Always consult with the Belgian embassy or a qualified pet relocation specialist to ensure that your pet is allowed to enter Belgium.

How do I bring my pet to Belgium?

To bring your pet to Belgium, you must ensure that all the necessary paperwork and vaccinations are in order. Your pet needs to be microchipped with an ISO-compliant chip, vaccinated against rabies, and accompanied by an EU pet passport or a veterinary health certificate if coming from outside the EU. The health certificate should be issued by an authorized veterinarian within ten days of travel. There is no quarantine for pets entering Belgium from EU countries and from countries with a low incidence of rabies, provided they meet the entry requirements. However, pets coming from countries with a high risk of rabies might be subject to different rules, including a titer test and a possible quarantine period. Always verify the latest requirements well in advance of your travel date.

Upon Arriving in Belgium

After your pet has arrived in Belgium, there are a few steps you should take to ensure their well-being and compliance with local regulations. While there is no mandatory quarantine for pets arriving from most countries, you should register your pet with the local municipality and obtain a pet license if required. Finding a veterinarian is crucial for maintaining your pet's health; you can ask for recommendations at local pet stores or from fellow expats. Belgians generally have a positive attitude towards pets, and you'll find that dogs and cats are quite popular. Dog parks are available in various cities, providing spaces for your dog to play and socialize. Remember to keep your pet's vaccinations up to date and always adhere to local pet ownership laws to enjoy a hassle-free experience with your pet in Belgium.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


Mondly by Pearson
Mondly by Pearson

Mondly by Pearson
Mondly by Pearson

Ghent, Belgium

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Flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. Use Promocode: LIFE10 and get 10% off your international health insurance for life!
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