If you want to travel abroad with your pet you need to get a Pet Passport as this will help you avoid long quarantine periods when you return. The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) is designed to stop the spread of rabies and other diseases while still allowing your pet to travel. From 1st January 2012 all pet cats, dogs and ferrets can enter or re-enter the UK from any country in the world without quarantine provided they meet the scheme criteria. Rabbits or rodents that are travelling around the EU do not need one as they are not subject to any requirements with regard to rabies.
The criteria for your pet cat, dog or ferret is:
They must be fitted with a microchip and once this has been done they need to be vaccinated against rabies.
Your pet will need to be issued with a Pet Passport
There will need to be a gap of at least 21 days from the date of the first rabies vaccination before re-entering the UK or travelling to another country.
If you are travelling with a dog you will need to ensure it is treated for tapeworm 1-5 days before returning to the UK.
Finally, your pet will need to travel into the UK on a PETS-approved sea, air or rail route.
When you get your Pet Passport it will contain the details of you (the owner), the pet, including the microchip number, rabies vaccination and blood test details. There are also sections to record the tapeworm treatments required for entry to the UK. You can even have a scary passport photo of your pet included although this is optional.
If you do plan to go abroad with your pet, one thing to remember, you must book your return journey home with one of the PETS approved carriers on a PETS approved route. There is a limited amount of space and it is allocated on a first come first served basis. Make sure you book in plenty of time or your pet won’t be able to travel. Also, when returning to the UK the Pet Passport will be checked and if there is any paperwork missing or the pet has not had the correct checks and vaccinations, it could be taken into quarantine
If you would like more information about the approved carriers and routes, please click here
Finally, if you are taking your pet abroad you need to ensure it will be comfortable during the journey. Here are a few tips:
Make sure you get a carrying container that is big enough for your pet. Before the trip, let your pet try it out and get used to it. Put a familiar cushion or blanket in there as this will help your pet to settle. The carrier should be well ventilated and there should be enough room for the animal to move around. Also, ensure it has enough food and water for the trip with easily refillable containers for longer journeys.
If it’s going to be a long journey make sure your pet is fit and healthy enough to do it.
Make sure you feed your pet about 2 hours before the trip. Nothing too heavy.
Make sure your pet has had a walk and been to the toilet before travelling.
Below are more links to the Defra website where you will find lots of other useful information about travelling with your pet. If you have any questions about getting a passport for your pet please call us at the clinic, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or post a message on our Facebook page
Traveling with your pet – http://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-pets/pets/travel/
List of countries and territories – http://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-pets/pets/travel/pets/countries/
Bringing pets into the UK – http://www.defra.gov.uk/publications/2011/06/30/pb13582-bringing-pets-into-uk/