Moving to another country is stressful. But moving along with your beloved pets? Don’t worry, we’ve been there two years ago and would love to share our experience to make it as easy as possible for you. This is a short guide that will help you with relocating to Sweden with pets.
Due to our past experience, I’m going to concentrate on cats and dogs but if you think about relocation with different species and need specific information, let me know with the comments. I’ll show you where to look for the required info or try to contact you with people who may know more.
Requirements for transporting pet
First step should be making a good plan for the move. If you make a list of all things and formalities that must be done before, during and after your relocation to Sweden with pets, the whole process will be much easier and less stressful.
The requirements are different, depending on which country you’re arriving from. In general, there are three main groups: EU countries, countries outside the EU where rabies is under control and non-EU countries where rabies is NOT under control.
Always make sure you meet all the requirements because if not, your pet may be euthanised on the border!
If you travel to Sweden with pets from EU countries and Andorra, Gibraltar, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Northern Ireland, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican City must fulfil the following requirements:
- The animal must be ID-marked with a microchip before or during rabies vaccination. The microchip number must be included in the pet’s passport and installed by a vet or person who’s got approval to microchip animals.
- Your pet must be vaccinated against rabies. To get the primary vaccination it must be at least 12 weeks old. After primary vaccination, there are 21 days of quarantine – during that time your pet has to remain in your homeland. In the case of revaccination, it varies from country to country but it must be done within the previous vaccination validity.
- Your pet has to have a pet passport issued by a veterinarian. It has to contain the microchip number, animal species, sex, date of birth, name of a pet owner with the signature and valid rabies vaccination.
- You must inform Swedish customs about pet arrival. You can do it online on this website. While crossing the border, choose the “Nothing to declare” line. If you don’t do it online, you have to make it at the border.
More specific information for the countries listed above, you can find by clicking on the button below.
Non-EU countries where the rabies situation is documented and monitored
If you travel to Sweden with pets from countries outside from EU and according to the World Organization of Animal Health rabies situation is documented and monitored, you must make sure that:
- The animal is ID-marked with a microchip before or during rabies vaccination. The microchip number must be included in the pet’s passport and installed by a vet or person who’s got approval to microchip animals.
- Your pet is vaccinated against rabies. To get the primary vaccination it must be at least 12 weeks old. After primary vaccination, there are 21 days of quarantine – during that time your pet has to remain in your homeland. In the case of revaccination, it varies from country to country but it must be done within the previous vaccination validity.
- In some cases, an EU pet passport is not enough. In that case, you have to prepare a health certificate. It has to be issued by an official veterinarian (not all countries have one) so make sure you start formalities well ahead of time. Make sure your certificate is issued correctly. There are two certificates:
- CANIS-FELIS-FERRETS modelled on Chapter 38 of Annex II to EU Implementing Regulation 2021/403 – used in case your pet is not travelling with you but with another authorised person within 5 days of your own trip.
- The health certificate E9.207 is used in other cases (the pet doesn’t change its owner, is travelling with the owner travels with groups of up to 5 animals) and can be ordered from this website. Note! Delivery may take some time.
- Pet from a non-EU country bust enter the EU by so-called Entry Point – it must be taken through it in the first EU country you arrive. This is the place where the health certificate is stamped and then it’s valid for up to 4 months.
More specific information that applies to your country, you may find by clicking the button below. Make sure you read special requirements for pets travelling from Malaysia and cats from Australia.
Non-EU countries where the rabies situation is not under control
If you travel to Sweden with pets from countries like Brazil, Egypt, Georgia, Iran, etc. where the rabies situation is not under control, the following rules apply to you.
Pets traveling with their owners from Ukraine may be exempted from some of requirements due to the war on Ukraine. Check the details on the page here.
Pets travelling from this group of countries must meet all requirements for non-EU countries that are listed above and additionally present the results of the titre test that shows the amount of rabies antibodies. The blood sample can be taken after 30 days from rabies vaccination – if two doses of vaccination are needed as primary vaccination, the sample can be taken only after the second dose. The laboratory conducting the test must be approved for antibody testing for rabies.
Make sure you have enough time – the health certificate can be issued no earlier than 3 months after the blood sample was taken!
Check specific requirements by clicking the button below.
Preparing your pets for travel
In general, you can enter Sweden by three different routes – by air, ferry and road. If you want to read more about travelling with pets by ferry, check this post, where I describe conditions for pets on Stena Line ferries.
You, as the owner, know your pets best and probably have travelled with them many times. Besides travel requirements for entering Sweden, it’s worth visiting the vet to discuss the possibility of using some sedatives before or during your travel to Sweden with pets.
Arriving in Sweden with pets
Relocating to Sweden with pets is just the first step of your journey. There are some things you must take care of soon after your arrival or even just before that.
Registering your pets in Sweden and handling all formalities
If you plan to settle in Sweden with pets, you have to know that all dogs and cats must be officially registered. Registration cost is 40 SEK online or 100 SEK if registered on paper. To use e-service, you must have a personnummer with a valid Bank-ID.
Finding suitable accommodation for yourself and your pets
I’m not going to lie – finding accommodation in Sweden is hard even if you don’t relocate with your pets. However, it is not impossible. Unfortunately, most of “second-hand” contracts would forbid keeping pets in the apartment. Your solution may be trying to find a “first-hand” contract.
There will be a separate post about finding accommodation in Sweden but below you can find examples of websites where you can try to find your housing:
- Bostad.Blocket.se – mostly private announcements
- BoplatsSyd.se – queue you can join for 300 SEK/yearly – doesn’t require personnummer
- Victoria Hem – queue-free hyresvärd (we had our first apartment from them) but personnummer is welcome
Some newbies in Sweden try to rent Airbnb at first – it is not the cheapest option, but definitely worth trying if you’re out of any other options. Remember that longer stays at Airbnb often get discounts.
Settling in Sweden with pets
The border crossed, accommodation found – it’s time to finally live your life in Sweden with pets. From now on it gets only easier, I promise, but there are still a few things to take care of.
Finding local veterinarians and pet care facilities
In Sweden, pet healthcare facilities are divided into plain clinics and pet hospitals. In general, hospitals are more expensive. Be prepared for higher costs also in case of emergency, especially during the weekend (starting with Friday afternoon).
Most of the places will have English-speaking staff, if you are from a non-English-speaking country and do more research, I’m sure you can find a place with vets that speaks your mother tongue.
Here are some useful Swedish words connected to pet healthcare:
- veterinär – vet
- djursjukhus – animal hospital
- akutmottagning – emergency department (during the weekend)
- djurförsäkring – animal insurance
If your pet gets a medicine from the vet, it appears under your personnummer in the system. However, if you need medicines for the pet before you’ve got personnummer, your birth date will be enough (sometimes along with the address, depending on the prescribed medicine).
Locating pet stores and places to purchase pet supplies
Probably most of the pet supplies you can get online at much more attractive prices. However, there are some chain stores located in strategic Swedish cities. If you register as a member of a loyalty programme, you can also get attractive discounts and special offers.
The most known are:
Tips and advice for pet owners in Sweden
Culture and rules regarding pet ownership in Sweden
Sweden is a country where not being a problem for others is extremely important. This counts also toward owning a pet. If you didn’t spend much time on your dog’s training, it’s high time to do it now. Swedish pets attend training and socialize with other animals from the very beginning so most of them are obedient and quiet.
Besides basic rules, like cleaning after your dog in public places, it is not welcome to walk with your pet without a leash outside designated areas (but don’t worry – there are many). It is also forbidden to enter most of the beaches during the high season (mostly from May to September but you have to check each beach individually).
Unleashed pet must be trained so it comes back every time when called. Also, always make sure the area is suitable for unleashed dogs. Some areas may have specific rules, like national parks or nature reservations.
Healthcare, insurance, and emergency procedures – Sweden with pets
When relocating to Sweden with pets, you need to consider vet costs that may be really high. This is why in Sweden pet insurance is an extremely popular service. There are many companies to choose from, and each of them has its own requirements, pricing and exceptions. It is important to match the offer with your pet’s health condition at the moment of signing the contract.
From our experience and our vet recommendations, I will mention here one company – ManyPets. It may be not the cheapest one possible but offers wide protection, doesn’t have age or breed restrictions and in general doesn’t make trouble with covering treatments.
Tips for walking, resting, and other aspects of living in Sweden with pets
As I mentioned at the beginning, Sweden is a perfect country for active pet owners that love to spend time outdoors with their dogs and cats. There are some less-attended trails where you can unleash your dog without consequences but in general, try to do it only on hundlekplats or hundrastplats. If you plan to visit a national park or nature reservation, read carefully the rules that apply to the specific area.
I hope I gave you all the information you needed to relocate to Sweden with pets. I keep my fingers crossed for the process to be as much stress-free as possible. Don’t hesitate to share your questions or experiences in the comments below!