Summer holidays are great fun and something we look forward to all year, but don’t leave it until last minute to get your pet’s sorted if you’re planning on taking them along for the ride
The travel of animals from country to country is strictly managed by DEFRA and failure to comply with the rules and regulations outlined by them will mean that your summer holidays could end up being cancelled before they’ve even begun.
What will my pet need for travelling abroad?
When you take your pet abroad there are strict regulations for entering (or re-entering) the UK. In order to bring pets back home they must have the following:
- A working pet microchip
- A valid pet passport
- Up to date Rabies vaccinations (they must not expire whilst you are away)
- Dogs must also have been treated for Tapeworm
The rules of entry will vary depending on which country you are travelling to so it’s best to check the requirements for the specific country(s) you are visiting before you travel (visit DEFRA for more information).
What if I don’t have the above things?
Failure to comply with the regulations could result in your pet being held in quarantine for up to 4 months before they are allowed to return to the UK. You will be responsible for the costs involved in quarantine, (which can be very expensive) and the process can be upsetting for both animals and owners, so it’s important to get it right before you leave.
Choosing a travel company
Our pets are important members of the family, so you’ll want to ensure their safety during travel.
Do your research and choose an approved pet transport company. They may require additional proof that your pet is fit for travel in the form of a letter from the vet, if this is the case, please allow enough time for our vets to provide this documentation for you and to update your pet passport.
If your pet isn’t great at travelling, speak to the vet about pheromones, medication and travel aids to make the journey a smoother ride.
Getting a Pet Passport
Pet passports are issued by Veterinary Practices and can only be completed by an Official Veterinarian (OV), this is to ensure the welfare of small animals being exported and to ensuring they are compliant with legal requirements.
In order to obtain a passport, you will need to arrange an appointment with the suitably qualified Vet. Your pet will be health checked to ensure they are fit to travel and their medical history will be reviewed, including their vaccination status (this must be updated if it has lapsed or will lapse whilst you are away).
If your pet is not yet microchipped, this will be done and the number recorded inside the passport.
Rabies vaccinations are also required, the vet will not issue you with the passport until this course is complete.
Protecting your pet against rabies can’t be done overnight so make sure you leave enough time to fit the course in.
Your pet must be at least 12 weeks old before the first vaccination, and you will need to arrange a follow up visit 4 weeks later for the second part of the vaccine. Once this course is completed, the vet will issue your completed passport.
You must wait 21 days from the second vaccination before your pet can travel