Travelling with Pets

Advice for taking your pet on holiday

Thinking of taking your pet on holiday?

The Pet Travel Scheme has been set up to enable people in the UK to travel with their dog, cat or ferret to other countries within the EU and return to the UK without having to spend time in quarantine. Some non EU countries are also included - see DEFRA website.

If you are planning on joining the scheme there are several procedures that need to be done prior to a
passport being issued. These are:

  • Identichip - your pet must be identichipped. This involves subcutaneous injection of a microchip which has a specific barcode registered to your pet. It is a quick and easy procedure and well tolerated by the animal.
  • Rabies Vaccination and follow up (Blood Test for Rabies Serology) – the blood test is taken 14 - 21 days after the vaccination to ensure that your pet has responded to the vaccine and is protected against the disease. However, the timing is dependant on the exact vaccine used.
  • 6 Month Rule - your pet will not be able to re enter the UK until 6 months have passed from the date of the blood sample. This is very important - if you try and return earlier than this your pet will have to enter quarantine, usually for 6months.

Other rules apply at the time of re-entering the UK where you will have to find a vet to apply an anti-tick

Preparation and a wormer. This should be researched before you go to avoid any last minute panics or problems!

Prevention of "exotic" diseases also has to be considered while your pet is abroad as it is not only rabies which the UK is free from - there are several unpleasant diseases which your pet may encounter depending on the country you are travelling in. Please contact DEFRA or use their website for the most up to date information.

Please speak to one of our veterinary surgeons who can discuss the above issues in more detail.

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