Obtaining a Pet Passport
The Pet Passport allows your pet back into the UK from three weeks after the rabies vaccination, depending on the countries you have visited, but you may also need other documentation to gain entry into countries abroad.
What you must do to take your dog or cat abroad. The rules for pet travel have recently been updated for pets travelling after 28 December 2014. The rules are different for different countries and should be fully read and understood before plans to travel are finalized. It is vitally important to view the most current detailed advice on DEFRA Pet Travel Scheme website before travelling with your pet.
Microchipping - First your pet must be microchipped as a method of permanent identification. This ensures that one pet cannot travel with another’s documentation.
Rabies vaccination - The vaccine that we use consists of a single dose that lasts for 3 years.
Pet Passport - This is usually issued when your pet has its rabies vaccination. There is no need for a blood test since 1st January 2012.
For travelling within the EU and from certain other approved countries into the UK, dogs and cats can travel as part of the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS). To qualify for travel between EU countries and return to the UK after 28 December 2014, the pet must have met the following criteria in the order shown:
- The pet must be microchipped
- Vaccinated against rabies (and kept fully up to date with boosters)
- Have a pet passport issued by us
- Have at least a 3 week interval to have elapsed from the date of initial rabies vaccination before travel
- Certain other basic conditions also need to be met, since for example, travel must be via an approved route with an approved carrier
Please note that pet travel to the UK prior to 2012 required dogs and cats to pass a blood test assessing the response to rabies vaccination. In addition a tick treatment had to be applied 24-48 hours prior to return. These two rules ceased to apply from 1 January 2012, although an obligation to treat for the dangerous Echinococcus multilocularis tapeworm, which is endemic and increasing in continental Europe, before return is likely to remain while the UK remains free of this parasite.
Since 1 January 2012, dogs and cats can also qualify for entry into the UK from non-PETS approved countries without quarantine on the basis that they meet a number of specific criteria. These include Microchipping, rabies vaccination and blood testing to assess the immune response 30 days following rabies vaccination, followed by a 3 month wait before travel. For further information on this or further clarification of the PETS rules please visit the DEFRA Pet Travel Scheme website or contact them via their PETS helpline on +44 (0)870 241 1710
However pets that travel abroad with their owners are susceptible to infection with diseases like Rabies, Leishmaniasis (spread by sandflies), Heartworm (spread by mosquitoes), Babesiosis (spread by ticks), and Ehrlichiosis (spread by ticks). Whilst there is no vaccine available for all of these ‘so called’ exotic diseases, you can take steps to protect against them. Please contact us for further advice, or call in to pick up the leaflet 'Taking Your Pet Abroad' published by the BVA Animal Welfare Foundation.
To arrange for microchipping, rabies vaccinations or the issuing of a Pet Passport please call reception to make an appointment.
The Pet Travel Scheme Explained
This scheme applies to dogs and cats normally resident in the United Kingdom, and only allows travel to qualifying countries. These were initially limited to Europe but there have been recent additions. For more information about these please contact the PETS Helpline (01228 403600).
Entering EU Countries
The Pet Passport can now be used to get your dog or cat into any EU country from 21 days after the initial rabies vaccination. Rabies boosters and worm treatments are recorded in the passport.
Other countries still have additional requirements and so we advise that you contact DEFRA. Their helpline number is 01228 403600.
Some ferry companies also request a ‘fitness-to-travel’ certificate to be issued by a vet 24-48 hours before your journey, so do check when you book. There is a page in the passport for this purpose.
Entering Non–EU Countries
Most of the other qualifying countries require some form of certification. Please contact DEFRA for more details about the requirements for your destination, and of any country that you are planning to travel through.
Many European countries have similar laws in place to our ‘Dangerous Dogs Act’ but they do not necessarily involve the same breeds. In particular Dobermans, Rottweilers, Bull Terriers and other bull breeds may be affected. For more information contact the embassy for the countries you are planning to travel through or stay in.
24-120 hours before getting onto the ferry, train or plane to the UK your pet must be treated for tapeworms by an official veterinary surgeon, who will complete the relevant section in the passport. A charge will be made for this, which appears to be around £30. Your transport company will be able to provide details of practices that can provide this service. Do let us know of any that you would particularly recommend as we can then help to pass on this information. At your port of departure, you will be asked to complete a declaration that your pet has not been outside the qualifying countries. Your pet will then be scanned to check the microchip and your paperwork will be checked.
Any animal that does not have the correct paperwork will be delayed until duplicates are obtained. If you cannot meet the requirements, your pet will have to go into quarantine on arrival to the UK.
There are a number of diseases, not seen in this country, that can be caught from insects abroad. In many cases, these will be fatal.
Heartworm – A parasite, transmitted by mosquitoes, that lives in the heart and large blood vessels.
Babesiosis – A tick-borne disease that affects dogs, destroying their blood cells.
Erlichiosis – Another tick-borne disease, similar to Babesiosis.
Leishmaniasis – A disease carried by sandflies that can also affect people. It is present in Mediterranean countries.
Echinococcus multilocularis – A tapeworm present in many European countries that can also affect people.
To help to protect your pet against these diseases, we recommend that you start to treat your pet before you travel and continue treatment throughout your holiday. Various options are now available so please discuss your requirements with the vet.
We are now able to obtain some of the products that were previously only available abroad, such as Scalibor collars.
- Annual vaccination
- Microchip fitted
- Rabies vaccination
- Official Pet Passport
- Certification required by countries visited/travelled through
- Fitness-to-travel certificate for transport company
- Our telephone and fax number!!!!
- If possible – details of a veterinary surgery close to where you are staying
- Details of a veterinary surgeon close to your port of departure to the UK for worm treatment if not done before
- Recent clinical history and any known allergies
- Check with embassy for ‘dog laws’
- Lead and poop scoops
- Usual food and treats – allow extra in case of delays
- Food and water bowls
- Bottles of water for the journey
- Bed, blankets & toys
- Grooming kit, towels and shampoos for wet/ muddy walks
- Flea & Tick Treatment
- First aid kit
- Adequate supply of usual medication
- Insurance – check that your pet’s usual cover will pay for treatment abroad, or take out temporary holiday cover.