The Pet Travel Scheme is for cats, dogs and ferrets who are travelling abroad. To be allowed to travel and return to the UK they require a Pet Passport.
A pet passport can only be issued by an Official Veterinarian (OV). All of our vets are OVs and will be able to assist you with any queries regarding your pet’s passport. If you intend to travel with your pet, an OV will have to examine your pet and sign the passport to declare that they are fit and healthy to travel. If you are travelling outwith the EU you may require an additional export certificate. You should contact your local Animal Health Office (listed on the DEFRA website below) who will inform you if one is required and arrange for one to be sent to the vet 10 days before the date you intend to leave the UK.
Before beginning the process of getting a passport your pet will need to have a microchip. This is to ensure your pet can be identified at all stages of the passport process and is best done at least 8 months before you plan to travel.
Your pet will need to be vaccinated against rabies as the UK is a rabies-free country. A blood test is also required 30 days later, if you are visiting an unlisted country outside the EU, to ensure the vaccine has worked. The passport is valid for re-entry to the UK from 21 days after the rabies vaccination was given, or immediately if your rabies booster is kept up to date. Rabies boosters are given every 2 years.
It is advised that your pet is treated for ticks as they can carry a number of diseases, such as babesiosis and Lyme’s disease. Some of these can be transmitted to humans. Depending on the country you intend to travel to, the vet may advise a preventative product which also protects against other biting insects such as sandflies.
Tapeworm treatment should also be given 24-120 hours (1-5 days) prior to your pet entering the UK. This must be administered by a qualified vet in the country you are visiting and recorded on the pet passport.
It is sensible whilst travelling abroad with your pet to make sure you have contact details for some local practices in case your pet requires any emergency treatment whilst you are away.
For more information on the Pet Travel Scheme visit the Government website.