Travelling to the UK information for competitors

The Kennel Club welcomes overseas dogs competing at UK licensed events, but bringing your dog into the UK takes some organisation. Of course you will need to comply with all the regulations required for the Pet Travel Scheme, but there are many other regulations that require consideration, from travelling safely in a car to travelling on planes or ferries. These regulations can change on a regular basis, so it is wise to check before you leave.

Welfare of your dog

Dog welfare is of primary concern to the Kennel Club. When deciding whether you want to travel to the UK to compete with your dog, you really need to decide whether it is in your dog's best interest to travel a great distance to compete in the UK. If you are certain that the welfare of your dog will not be compromised when travelling to the UK, then the following information should be useful to you.

Quarantine Regulations

There are strict rules on bringing your dog into the UK, although since 1 January 2012 the process is much easier and quicker (and less expensive). You need to act 4-6 weeks before you travel. Quarantine and Pet Passport - full details.

Activity Register

Dogs entered on the Kennel Club's Activity Register are eligible to enter the International Agility Festival and other Kennel Club licensed agility shows without needing to have pedigree documents. The Register is open to crossbreeds, rescued dogs and pedigree dogs without formal papers. You can apply to enter an eligible dog on the Activity Register using the Kennel Club's Form 5.

Owners of dogs registered as pedigree dogs with recognised kennel clubs (which are members of, or affiliated to, the FCI) should instead obtain an Authority to Compete (ATC) number - see below.

ATC (Authority to Compete) Number

You can obtain an ATC number to compete in the Kennel Club International Agility Festival , or any other Kennel Club licensed agility shows while you are in the UK. Your dog should be registered with a recognised kennel club. You should apply for an ATC number at least one month before entries for the relevant agility show close. 


It is strongly advised that you consider travel insurance which will cover you and your pet for emergency overseas veterinary costs, kennelling fees and third party liability.

Air travel with your dog

  • When flying into the UK, ensure that the airport has the facilities to cater for dogs entering the UK under the Pet Passport Scheme - not all airports in Britain have signed up to the Scheme yet.
  • Ensure that your dog has sufficient water in its flying crate and that this will be checked by the airport staff before your dog is loaded onto the aircraft and at any stop-overs.
  • On arrival in the UK, Customs may request that you give a value for your dog. Although viewed by Customs as imported 'goods', you should not overstate the value of your dog since this attracts tax.

Staying in the UK

  • Once in the UK, be aware that not all hotels will accept dogs. If they do, they may make an additional charge for its stay. (Please see our Accommodation Guide for more information)
  • Transport your dog safely, preferably by using a special dog guard, dog cage or canine harness. Always ensure your dog has plenty of ventilation and shade in a car and that fresh drinking water is always readily available.
  • Never leave your dog unattended in a car for long periods of time, and NEVER in hot weather.

Dog laws in the UK

Please be aware of dog laws in the UK. The Kennel Club Information Guide, Do you know dog law? will assist you.

Further relevant information on travelling with your dog in the UK can be obtained by reading the Kennel Club Information Guide Road travel with your dog.



Related Topics

International Agility Festival
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