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    A labrador guide dog at Heathrow

    ​A Labrador guide dog assisting its owner at Heathrow.

All assistance dogs travelling to Heathrow must:

We require at least 72 hours notice before your scheduled departure to issue your pre-approval letter.

Dogs which have been trained by an organisation that is a member of International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF) or Assistance Dogs International (ADI) will be recognised as assistance dogs. Dogs which have received equivalent training or testing may also be recognised on a case by case basis, providing that our officers have appropriate evidence of the dog’s safety to travel by air.​​

Unrecognised assistance animals are those that do not meet the criteria listed above. They are subject to a checking fee of £390 which the owner must pay direct to us.

USA arrivals

Information for you and your vet can be found on the USDA website. You will need a Veterinary Certificate to EU (625KB) issued by your vet which must be accompanied by supporting documentation for the rabies vaccination, usually in the form of a certificate or vaccination booklet (The microchip number must be present). Instructions to assist your vet can be viewed below:

You may find the following websites useful:

Stage 1 Notify us

Please email the Heathrow Animal Reception Centre.

Please limit your attachments to a maximum of 5MB.

We need the following information

  • The email subject line should be in the format of "Assistance: flight number and arrival date"
  • Airport of origin (3 digit code) and country of origin
  • Airline booking reference (PNR number)
  • Your assistant dog's name and description (breed, colour)
  • PETS paperwork. This will be your Veterinary Certificate to EU (and supporting documents), or EU Pet Passport. Please include any relevant training certificates for your dog.

Your pre-approval letter can be issued without seeing endorsement and tapeworm treatment (dogs only). We will check for these on arrival (stage 4).

Stage 2 Paperwork check

We need to check your assistance dog's paperwork in advance to ensure compliance with PETS. Emails will be answered between 7am and 3pm UK time, Monday to Friday. We aim to check your paperwork within 72 hours.

Stage 3 Payment & pre-approval letter

When we have checked your paperwork and taken payment (if applicable) we will issue your pre-approval letter. You should forward your pre-approval letter to your chosen airline and show it to the check-in staff.

Payments can only be accepted via telephone on +44 (0)20 8745 7894; from the USA this number is 011 44 208 745 7894. We accept all card types except American Express. Please do not send any payment details via email or fax.

Your pre-approval letter will be emailed to you shortly after payment (if applicable).

Stage 4 Enjoy your flight!

​Please keep all the original paperwork with you ready to show HARC staff when you disembark the plane. Your dog's microchip and original paperwork will be checked which shouldn't take longer than five minutes. When finished we will issue a certificate which you must present at immigration.