Taking a Dog to Iceland

Woman waiting at airport with dog and bags

Jenny Elia Pfeiffer/Getty Images

International travel with your dog (or cat) is quite complicated and it is usually advised to leave your dog at home when traveling to Iceland. Requirements for taking your dog to Iceland can be quite strict and include several forms, an import application fee, and 4 weeks of quarantine.

Note that the completion of these various vaccinations and forms can take several months, so if you want to take your cat or dog to Iceland, plan early.

The Process

The import applications for dogs and cats are available from the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority. After the application has been sent in with proofs of health and treatments, it will likely be approved within 2-3 weeks. Then, you must take care of the import fee (about 20,000 ISK) and schedule the quarantine in Iceland for your dog or cat.

It is important to read over all the requirements regarding necessary vaccinations (e.g. rabies, parvo, distemper), examinations, medical treatment etc. since some have to be completed well in advance of taking your dog to Iceland. The blank form for the Certificate of Health and Origin by the Chief Veterinary Officer of Iceland is the only certificate that will be accepted.

Please note that Iceland renews animal import regulations every year. By the time you travel, there may be slight procedural changes for dogs. Always check for official updates before taking your dog to Iceland.

Dogs are not popular pets in Iceland and they were actually banned in Reykjavik from 1924 to 1984.

No Help for Travelers

Unfortunately, there are no short-term permits available to bring your dog to Iceland for a short vacation—all the paperwork above is aimed at people moving to Iceland permanently. It is surely a lot of work just to take your pooch for a 2-week trip. It is not too practical to do this in Iceland and it is not advised to subject your pet to it since it will cause more stress to the animal (and you) than it might be worth it. Rather, consider leaving your dog (or cat) at home with friends or family to watch over it. The reunion between the animal and you after your trip will be that much sweeter, that is for sure.

You can also consider one of the countries that are more dog-friendly than Iceland, including Denmark or Sweden.