Traveling to Finland with your dog (or cat) is no longer the hassle it once was. As long as you keep in mind a few pet travel requirements, taking your dog to Finland will be quite easy. The rules for cats are the same.
Note that the completion of vaccinations and vet forms can take 3-4 months, so if you want to take your dog to Finland, plan early. Tattooed dogs and cats no longer qualify, a change which has been made by Finnish authorities in favor of microchips.
The most important thing to know when taking your dog to Finland is that two types of pet regulations exist depending on whether you enter Finland from an EU country or from a non-EU country. There is a pretty big difference between these two options, so make sure to abide by the correct one.
Bringing Your Dog to Finland From the EU
First, get an EU pet passport from your vet. Your licensed veterinarian will be able to fill out the EU pet passport as required. To take dogs to Finland from within the EU, the dog must be vaccinated for rabies.
The dog must also have been dewormed for tapeworm. Tapeworm treatment is not required if the animal is imported directly from Sweden or Norway. Detailed guidelines for bringing dogs to Finland are available from the Finnish EVIRA department.
Do not forget to stop at the customs office when arriving in Finland so the customs personnel can check the dog into Finland as needed.
Bringing Your Dog to Finland From a Non-EU Country
Requirements for pet travel are slightly stricter. Like travelers from the EU, you should also get your dog a pet passport if at all possible or have your vet complete the EU Veterinary certificate available on the Finnish animal import and export website.
Taking your dog to Finland from a non-EU country requires the dog (or cat) to be vaccinated for rabies at least 21 days before traveling, and be dewormed against tapeworm max. 30 days before traveling to Finland.
Note that when flying with your dog, you must choose a flight to Helsinki-Vantaa airport for inspection. When you arrive in Finland with your dog, follow the 'Goods to Declare' line at customs. Finnish customs personnel will help you with the process and will check the dog's (or cat's) papers.
Booking Your Dog's Fight
When you book your flight to Finland, don't forget to notify your airline that you wish to take your cat or dog to Finland with you. They will check for room and there will be a one-way charge. (If you wish to sedate your pet for the trip, ask whether the airline's animal transportation rules allow this.)
Please note that Finland renews animal import regulations annually. By the time you travel, there may be slight procedural changes for dogs. Always check for official updates before taking your dog to Finland.