If you're planning to bring your pet into Italy, there are a few rules that need to be followed. Pets can be kept in quarantine or returned home if they don't have the proper papers. Certificates must comply with European Union rule 998.
Important: These regulations apply only to bringing pets into Italy. If you're arriving by air or boat, check for additional rules with your airline or ship company. This information was current as of summer, 2009, but I am not a pet travel expert and rules and regulations may change at any time. Check the USDA web site for current information and forms.
Italy Travel with Cats, Dogs, or Ferrets from Countries with Low Incidence of Rabies
As of this writing in 2009, countries with low incidence of rabies include Australia, Canada, and the United States.
Each pet must have a 15 digit ISO compliant microchip that operates at 134.2 kHz or the owner must provide a scanner. Find out more about or buy a Microchip.
Each pet over three months old must have a Veterinary certificate or pet passport showing that the pet has been vaccinated by a licensed veterinarian against rabies and certain other diseases at least 30 days before travel and is healthy. The certificate or pet passport must be bi-lingual (in Italian and the owner's language) and completed by the veterninarian not more than 30 days before travel. The form is then sent to USDA for a stamp and returned to the pet owner. The veterinary certificate can be downloaded from the Embassy of Italy forms page or you can purchase a Pet Passport for Italy Travel that includes the form.
It's recommended that dogs also be vaccinated against hepatitis, distemper and kennel cough and cats be protected against feline gastro-enteritis and typhus.
Dogs should have a leash and muzzle. Italy has laws requiring owners to clean up after their dogs in public places.
Italy Travel with Cats, Dogs, or Ferrets from Countries with High Incidence of RabiesEach pet from a country with a high incidence of rabies must also have a blood test performed at an approved laboratory at least 90 days before entering Italy.
Train Travel with Pets in ItalyWith the exception of guide dogs for the blind (who can travel without a certificate), only dogs and cats weighing less than six kilos are allowed on Italian trains. They must be kept in a cage 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 certain trains, including regional trains, a reduced price ticket may be required for medium or large dogs. Some trains limit the number of pets that can be brought on board by one owner. See Trenitalia Rules for Traveling with Pets for details.
Bus Travel with Pets in ItalyBus travel regulations vary by region and by bus company. Some bus companies permit animals to travel but charge a full fare.
Plane Travel with Pets in ItalyEach airline sets its own rules for flying with pets. Be sure to check with your airline for updated information about flying with pets.
Traveling and Staying in Italy with PetsFour-legged Tourists has more information about traveling in Italy with pets including a page with links to hotels and accommodations in Italy that allow pets.
More Information about Traveling to Italy with Pets ItalyCheck the USDA web site for updated regulations and information.
Moving2Italy2 has many useful links to information about traveling or moving to Italy with your pet.