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.
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.