Taking your pet abroad

Taking your pet abroad

Posted on: Monday 7th of August 2017



Taking your beloved pet abroad (and bringing it back again!) used to be a right headache, often involving months of separation while Tyson was quarantined against rabies and alike. Not anymore.

Since 2012, the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) means that its now far easier to take your dog, cat, or ferret on holiday. PETS allows you to take your pet to EU and certain non-EU countries without the need for lengthy periods of quarantine or extensive blood tests.

Dog in a car

There are, however, still a few things that you will need to be aware of, so we’ve put together this handy checklist of things you need to know.

Your pet will need…
To be microchipped All pets travelling abroad must be microchipped for identification purposes. A tag on the collar with your phone number isn’t enough! Your pet will need to be microchipped before any rabies vaccination so that your vet can record your pet’s unique microchip number on their pet passport.
Have the rabies vaccination There are no exemptions to this. The rules have eased slightly but you must wait 21 days after the vaccination before your pet can travel, or return, to the UK from another EU or non-EU listed country.
A valid Pet Passport Like us humans, your pet will require a valid Pet Passport to travel abroad. These are available from any authorised veterinarian and must contain the following details:

  • Pet’s date of birth/age
  • Microchip number, date of insertion and location in your pet
  • Date of rabies vaccination
  • Vaccine manufacturer, product name and batch number
  • Date by which the booster vaccination must be given
Treatment for Tapeworm (dogs only)

If you’re out of the country for more than five days, you’ll need to find a registered vet to administer the tapeworm treatment before you return to the UK.

Treatment must be administered by a vet not less than 24 hours (1 day) and no more than 120 hours (5 days) before the dog’s scheduled arrival time in the UK. Ensure that the vet dates and signs the EU Pet Passport to confirm the tapeworm treatment has been given.

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A couple of other things that it may be worth doing, or at least thinking about, are:

1) Tick treatments are no longer compulsory, but still may be worth doing as a precaution, particularly if the current course will run out whilst away.

2) Make sure your pet insurance is up to date. It’s also a good idea to take your details and policy number with you.

3) Remember to take your own vet’s contact details in case of an emergency.

4) Research vets nearby to where you’re staying. This way you’ll be ahead of the game when it comes to getting the tapeworm treatment before your return.

5) It’s always a good idea to get your pets checked over before you travel. As well as making sure they are fit for travel it will give you the chance to ask your vet any questions you may have, and about the necessary requirements for your particular destination.