The Pet Travel Scheme allows pets to travel abroad without going into quarantine on their return.
Can I take my dog on holiday with me?
Well it depends where you are going! The Pet Travel Scheme allows you to take pets to Europe if they have a pet passport. Many of our clients regularly take their pet to Europe with them, and typically find it fairly straightforward. Almost all will travel by car.
So what do I need to do?
Your dog (or cat or ferret!) can go abroad and return to the UK if it:
Has been microchipped
Has a pet passport
Has been vaccinated against rabies. Pets must be must be at least 12 wks old for rabies vaccination.
Once your pet has been chipped and vaccinated against rabies, we can issue an EU Passport, which will be valid for travel 21 days after the rabies vaccination. This means you can travel with your pet 3 weeks after you have him/her chipped and vaccinated against rabies.
Passports issued since December 2014 now have special laminated sections to make them harder to tamper with, hence improving security.
How do I start the process off?
Phone for an appointment, telling the receptionist that you want to start the passport process. The vet will then go through it all with you during the consultation.
My dog is quite nervous, shall I take him with me?
Obviously you need to consider carefully whether it’s a good idea to take your pet away with you, and ensure you are well informed before you decide to do this.
It’s not always enjoyable for pets to go with you, some pets will find the whole experience very stressful and will feel anxious away from their normal familiar environment. Alternatives include leaving your pet with a friend, using a boarding kennel, or consider using an approved Pet Sitter. For more information, please read the BVA Animal Welfare Foundation's leaflet 'Taking your Pets Abroad'
I’ve recently moved to the UK, can I bring my pet in from abroad?
Pets can also be brought into the UK from abroad, but the rules vary depending on which country they are coming from – please see the GOV.UK website for more details. Also, if you are not travelling with your pet, there are additional guidelines to follow.
Will my pet be at risk of tropical diseases?
The diseases present in the north of Europe are similar to here, but as you travel further south in Europe, there are diseases present there that we don’t have (much!) in the UK, such as Leishmaniasis, Babesia, Ehlichia and others, many of which are spread by insects (such as sand flies and mosquitoes) or ticks. Therefore, depending on where you are going, you will need to consider how best to protect your pet against these potentially serious diseases.
Please ask us for advice, we can recommend products to keep your pet safe. For additional information, check the ESCCAP map (this is a map showing parasites present in Europe) to see which diseases are present in the areas you are planning to visit.
One option is to use a flea/tick product which will kill but also repel ticks, mosquitoes and sand flies, alongside a multiwormer to control roundworms, tapeworms and lungworm.
Does my pet need a ticket?!
Before you go, you need to make sure that the company (eg the airline, ferry or Eurostar) will accept your pet for travel. The list of approved routes of travel are on the GOV.UK website. You will need to book your pet in at the time you make your holiday booking (channel crossings normally charge around £30 for a return ticket for a dog).
You should ask the company if they want proof that your pet is fit and healthy to travel (eg a letter from a vet certifying this).
They may want pets to be contained in certain sized carriers (esp for airline travel) but a dog would be fine in the car with you without him/her needing to be in a carrier.
Your dog (or cat/ferret) will need to stay in the car during the crossing. For longer crossings (eg to Spain) there will be kennels or dog cabins available, and dedicated areas outside to exercise dogs (they must be muzzled when out of the cabin) – the dogs have to remain in the cabin or between the cabin and outside areas.
At the end of the holiday, do we just head straight for the ferry terminal?
No. Before returning to the UK, your pet must be given a tapeworm treatment by a veterinary surgeon, who must record this in your pet’s passport (in the Echinococcus treatment section). The treatment must be given no less than 24 hours and no more than 120 hours (5 days) before you enter the UK. The vet will also check your pet's microchip is working.
You can do this at the port, but you may well be able to do this where you are staying, as the local vets are often familiar with seeing British dogs - they typically charge around €30 for this, and are normally quite happy for you to have brought your tapeworm treatment with you from the UK (we can sort this for you before you go).
I want to take my dog to Australia with me. How do I go about it?
Well this is much more complicated, and annually give all the vets here grey hair trying to make sure all the requirements are met for an export!
We would STRONGLY advise using the services of a Pet Travel Company - they are highly experienced in exports, and can guide you every step of the way, which is a huge plus at it's so complex!
Please remember at all times it is your responsibility to ensure you have fulfilled all the necessary requirements for pet travel. Failure to do so could result in your pet having to go into quarantine for up to 4 months, with you being responsible for fees and charges. If coming by sea, you could be refused entry.