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Pet Travel

Thanks to the EU Pet Passport Scheme, we can now issue cats, dogs and ferrets with PET Passports which allow them to travel abroad to certain countries without having to enter quarantine upon their return.

New Style Passports

  • Passports issued after 28th December 2014 will have a new look. They have changed to make the information more secure. Plus they have more space for entries which will be useful for frequently travelling pets.
  • Old style passports will remain usable until they are full or until your pet has passed away.
  • The full list of qualifying countries can be obtained from DEFRA.

The steps are as follows:

  • The pet must be microchipped to individually identify them through the whole process
  • The pet must then be vaccinated against rabies, this can be done from 12 weeks of age.
  • Microchip number and Rabies Vaccinations must be recorded by an official vet onto a PETS passport.
  • Most close EU countries require 21 days before travelling after the Rabies Vaccination (but check with DEFRA for any variations from the rule).
  • Your pet’s passport remains valid so long as their Rabies Vaccination remains current. Regular booster vaccination against rabies is essential.
  • Don’t forget that some countries may have other requirements before admitting your pet – so it is vital to check with DEFRA Animal Health Office well in advance of you travelling. (Regulations changed on 1st January 2012)

Other conditions the scheme requires are:

  • The pet must be treated by a vet for tapeworms 1 to 5 days prior to embarkation on the return journey to the UK. A record of these treatments must be made by the veterinary surgeon in your pet’s passport.
  • You may need to sign a declaration stating that your pet has not been outside of the qualifying countries in the 6 months before re-entering the UK.

Protecting Your Dog Abroad

Although your dog will be protected against rabies by vaccination, there are several other infectious diseases that can be caught by dogs travelling to Europe, which are not covered by the PETS Travel Scheme.

These include Heartworm, Babesiosis, Ehrichiosis and Leishmaniasis. These conditions are transmitted by blood sucking insects; ticks, mosquitos and sand flies. 

  • Babesiosis and Ehrichiosis are transmitted by ticks and are prevalent all over Europe.
  • Heartworm is transmitted by mosquitoes and is found mainly in the Mediterranean areas especially Italy, Spain and Portugal and is particularly associated with river valleys.
  • Leishmaniasis is transmitted by sand flies and is mainly a problem in Spain and other Mediterranean areas.

All these conditions can be easily prevented but are very difficult to treat and can be fatal. Please contact the surgery to discuss what can be given to minimise the risks of these serious diseases.

If your dog is unwell in any way upon their return home, it is very important you make us aware of any recent travel to Europe as special blood tests will have to be carried out to determine promptly whether any of these diseases may be causing the problems.

For more information please visit or call DEFRA on 0370 241 1710.