Tips for Traveling With Dogs or Cats to Italy

Dog swimming in Cabras, Italy

Giorgia Grossi / Getty Images

If you're planning to take your pet along with you on a trip to Italy or you're moving there, there are a few rules that need to be followed. Pets could be kept in quarantine or returned home if they don't have the proper papers. Certificates must comply with European Union Regulation 998.

These regulations apply only to bringing pets through Customs into Italy. If you're arriving by air or ship, check for additional rules with your airline or ship company and the U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Italy website; rules and regulations are subject to change. 

The Rules

Each pet you want to take into Italy must have:

  • A European Community veterinary certificate, which must include details about the owner, a description of the pet, and vaccination and identification details
  • A current rabies vaccine; if it is the first vaccination, you cannot take your pet into Italy until 21 days after the vaccination
  • A microchip or tattoo
  • The carrier must be labeled with contact details of the owner
  • The pet must be at least 3 months old
  • Dogs should have a leash and muzzle
  • You must clean up after your dog in public places

Guide Dogs

Guide dogs for the blind must adhere to the same rules to enter the country as regular pets. Once in Italy, guide dogs can travel with no restrictions on all public transportation and are not required to wear a muzzle or have a ticket, and they also can enter all public buildings and shops.

Train Travel

With the exception of guide dogs, only dogs and cats weighing less than 13 pounds (6 kilos) are allowed on Italian trains. They must be kept in a carrier and the owner must carry a certificate or statement from a veterinarian, issued within three months of the train travel date, saying that the animal isn't carrying any communicable diseases or infestations.

There is no charge for small dogs or cats to travel on the train in most instances, but the owner must declare the pet when buying a ticket. On some trains, including regional trains, a reduced price ticket might be required for medium or large dogs. Some trains limit the number of pets that can be brought on board by one owner. 

Bus Travel

Bus travel regulations vary by region and by the bus company. Some bus companies permit animals to travel but charge a full fare.

Plane Travel

Each airline sets its own rules for flying with pets. Be sure to check with your airline for updated information.