The Pet Travel Scheme was established to allow:
- Pet dogs, cats and ferrets to enter the UK without quarantine as long as they meet the rules.
- People in the UK to take their dogs, cats and ferrets to other countries and territories, and return with them to the UK without the need for quarantine.
(See the Defra website for details)
Travelling from the UK to another EU country
If you’re planning a trip within the EU, you need to make sure your dog is microchipped, vaccinated against rabies and has a pet passport. You need to wait at least 21 days from the date of the first vaccination before you can travel. If the vaccination is in two parts the 21 day wait will be from the date of the second vaccination. Remember that the date of vaccination is counted as day zero.
Entering the UK from the EU and listed non-EU countries
As well as the microchip, rabies vaccination and pet passport, you will need to get tapeworm treatment before returning to the UK. This must be administered by a vet at least 24 hours, but not more than 120 hours in advance – ie 1 to 5 days. You must travel via an authorised route – in other words, you can’t take a private boat or plane across the channel.
How to get an EU pet passport in the UK
Most importantly ... don't worry, it's really very simple!
- Call your local vet surgery and ask if they can issue pet passports. In the UK, not all vets can; they need to be an Official Veterinarian (OV). If your local vet isn't an OV, they will be able to recommend one.
- Next, make an appointment to get the passport. Take your dog along with its identity and vaccination record. If your dog hasn't been microchipped, it will need one. It will also need a rabies vaccination. However, blood tests are not needed for travelling in the EU. Make sure the OV completes all required sections of the paperwork.
- Having microchipped and vaccinated your dog, the vet should be able to give you a passport on the spot, but it might take a few days if they're particularly busy as they enter the information on their computer records.
Passports are valid for re-entry to the UK 21 days after vaccination for rabies. If it’s longer than 21 days and the vaccinations are up to date, you can use the passport to return to the UK. The passport will remain valid as long as your dog is re-vaccinated by the “valid until” date. NOTE: This is only my interpretation of the scheme – for full information see the Defra website.