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Pet Passports

It is important to obtain the correct documentation when travelling to and from the UK with your pet. Below we detail how to obtain a pet passport and some of the key information and rules.

Taking your pet from the UK:

  • Your pet must be microchipped
  • A rabies vaccination will be given after the microchip is implanted. Your pet cannot leave the UK for 21 days after the vaccination. We do not send out reminders for the rabies vaccines so please check with the vet when the next vaccination will be due.
  • Your vet will issue you with an EU pet passport to verify the microchip and vaccination
  • A blood sample is no longer required if you are travelling to an EU or non-EU approved country. However if you are travelling outside the EU you will need to check this on the Defra website to see if your pet requires a blood sample to be taken
  • Although it is not required for your pet to be treated for parasites to leave the UK, there are several diseases that are very common in mainland Europe. We strongly recommend that your take the necessary steps to protect your pet against these. Please discuss with the vet which treatments will be best suited to protect your pet on his/her travels.

Leishmaniasis – This is often a fatal disease spread by the bite of sand flies,¬† a little like malaria. The best way to protect your dog is by a ‘scalibor’ collar, which will prevent 95% of sand fly bites for the whole season.

Canine Babesiosis and Erlichiosis – Both diseases are spread by ticks. The scalibor collar is effective in dogs in preventing tick infestation and hence will prevent these diseases. The collar needs to be fitted to your dog at least 14 days before departure to ensure full protection.

Heartworm – This is a parasite which invades the blood stream and causes heart failure. It may be prevented by spot-on application monthly of a drug called Advocate. It is best to start treatment 1 month before you leave this country and to continue for a month after you get back. Your dog will still need to have treatment for worms given by a vet 1-5 days before re-embarking back into the UK. We recommend that flea control be applied regularly before and during your trip and after your return. Advocate is a suitable choice for heartworm prevention and flea control.

Protecting your cat:

Infection in cats caused by Leishmaniasis and Babesiosis is rare.

The scalibor collar is not appropriate for cats, so tick control in your cat would be best done with a frontline spot on if you wanted to be very careful and take all precautions.

Heartworm infection in cat however is not so rare so your cat should be protected with advocate spot-on as with dogs, starting 1 month before you leave the country.

Returning to the UK from EU and approved non EU countries:

  • Your pet must have been treated by a vet for tapeworm no less than 24 hours and up to 5 days before its arrival in the UK. Please make arrangements to find a vet in your area of departure prior to travel.

Information Contacts:

This page contains a summary of the rules. Please check on the Defra website for full details 

Email: pettravel@ahvla.gsi.gov.uk or animal health and veterinary laboratories agencies (AHVLA) CatandDogExports.Carlisle@animalhealth.gsi.giv.uk for details of the export certification requirements for the destination country.

Helpline: +44 (0)870 241 (Defra)

You are responsible for ensuring your pet meets all the rules for travelling.