The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) was introduced in 2000 allowing cats, dogs and ferrets to travel, between certain countries, without being placed in quarantine, and in 2012 the rules were relaxed further making it easier than ever for us to travel with our pets.
The current requirements for taking your pet abroad, to EU countries*, are shown below but please be aware that these are subject to change post-Brexit and to be prepared for all eventualities please visit your vet at least 4 months in advance of the date you are travelling.
Before you travel ensure you have the most up to date advice by visiting www.gov.uk/guidance/pet-travel-to-europe-after-brexit
* For travel advice to countries outside the EU visit https://www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad/listed-and-unlisted-countries
To travel abroad your pet must have had a rabies vaccination. This can be given from 12 weeks of age. You must also wait until 21 days after the first vaccination until you travel*.
Your pet must have had an ISO compatible microchip inserted either before or at the time of rabies vaccination.
*Wait period is only required after the first vaccination, providing that booster vaccines are kept up to date.
Before you travel to the EU your pet will need to be issued with a Pet Passport. This will detail their microchip number, rabies vaccinations, details of ownership and a description of your pet.
Before returning to the UK with your dog they will need to be administered a tapeworm treatment. This must be given by a veterinary surgeon (and recorded in the passport) 1-5 days before return to the UK.
You do not need to administer this if returning from Ireland, Finland, Malta or Norway.
You should treat your dog again within 28 days of returning to the UK.
** The rules for travelling to EU countries with your pet will change from the 1st January 2021. If you plan to travel after that date please go to https://www.gov.uk/guidance/pet-travel-to-europe-after-brexit for the most up to date travel advice and speak to your vet.