Getting Your Pet Passport
Since 2000, you can take ferrets, cats, and dogs between the UK and a select number of countries without having them quarantined. You will need a pet passport to be able to do this.
A pet passport contains the pet's date of birth, microchip number, owner details and a description of the animal. Much like a human passport, the passport also acts as an identification document.
Before you can take your pet abroad, you should take your furry friend for some medical tests and vaccinations by an official veterinarian. These tests and vaccinations will be listed in the passport, such as proof of its rabies vaccination, a rabies blood test result and evidence of certain treatments. It will also have information on anti-parasitic treatments your pet has received.
Why do I need a pet passport?
Thanks to the Pet Travel Scheme, pet passports have facilitated pet owners to travel to Europe and beyond for holidays alongside their furry friends. If you are going outside the EU, you may need to get a third-country official veterinary certificate.
Here is a step-by-step guide of what you need to do to allow your pet to travel:
- Step 1 - Have your pet microchipped (if not done already)
- Step 2 - Have your pet examined and vaccinated.
- Step 3 - Get the pet travel documentation from your vet (Pet passport or official veterinary certificate)
- Step 4 - Arrange approved transport company on an authorised route (if applicable)
When you travel internationally and arrive at the airport, ferry port or train station, your pet passport or official veterinary certificate will be checked by a government official. This will also occur when you return back to the UK.
Pet travel to Europe after Brexit
Until 1 January 2021, the status quo continues for travelling to Europe with your pet. It is not entirely clear what will happen after that date as the UK and European Commission negotiations are ongoing.
To make sure your pet can travel to the EU after, contact us at least four months before you travel for the latest advice. You can also find out more about the categories and requirements on the pet travel to Europe after Brexit section on the government website.
Conduct your research before you travel
Before returning to the UK with your pet passport, dogs will need to have a worming tablet administered by a vet in the country you are travelling back from. This tablet needs to be given a few days before re-entering into the United Kingdom. The reasoning behind this is to prevent a type of tapeworm that can infect humans from being brought into the country. Your pet passport will receive an annotation that this vital task is complete.
You should conduct research about the parasites and other dangers to your pet in the country that you plan to travel to and have a discussion with our vet. In warm climates, dogs should have sand-fly protection to reduce the risk of leishmaniasis and heartworm. Other regions have various seasonal outbreaks that require medication. Remember that veterinary standards vary across the globe and you may not receive the same level of care you are accustomed to in the United Kingdom.
Make sure your pet is healthy enough to travel. If you have any doubts, consider leaving your pet with a friend, family member, boarding kennel, or cattery during your trip, especially if they have ongoing medical issues.
With careful planning and research, your pet will arrive both at its destination and return home healthy and safe.