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  • Taking Your Pet Abroad
  • Taking Your Pet Abroad
  • Taking Your Pet Abroad

Your pet will need:

  • Up to date routine vaccinations
  • Microchip
  • Rabies Vaccination
  • Appropriate tapeworm treatment
  • Authorised EU Pet Passport
  • Approved travel route

What is the PETS Scheme?

PETS (PETS Travel Scheme) was set up to allow cats, dogs & ferrets (over 3 months old) to visit certain countries, with a passport, without the need for quarantine on return provided they fulfil a series of requirements.

Countries included in the Scheme

All EU and some listed non EU countries are included in the PETS Scheme. If you are travelling to countries outside the EU or non-listed countries your pet will need a different passport with further requirements to fulfil. You can find full details of participating countries from the PETS helpline.


Pets may travel on authorised routes by car, boat and by air. Routes & travel companies are regularly amended. You are advised to check all travel arrangements with your travel company BEFORE booking your return journey.

Some companies may require a private veterinary health statement in addition to your pet passport.

You must use a commercial sea or air carrier to transport your pet legally under this scheme. Privately owned boats / planes are not accepted.

Advice for Travel

Sea Travel - If you are travelling on a long ferry route it is recommended that you arrive at the port early for the best vehicle position. Also, travel overnight, when your pet is used to sleeping.

Car Travel - Again try to travel at night when your pet will hopefully sleep, and if you can, feed earlier in the day to avoid travel sickness and toileting. There are extremely effective treatments for travel sickness – please ask your vet.

Remember - pets can die in hot vehicles, so unless fully acclimatised, your pet is likely to overheat & suffer in temperatures of 25°C and over, even if just for a few minutes. Keep your vehicle well ventilated.

Air Travel - It is normal for handling charges to be covered in the pet travel ticket price but it may be a good idea to check with the airline first. No charges are made by DEFRA. Contact your airline for their specific requirements for pet travelling kennels and cages.

Your pet’s health while abroad

Your pet may be exposed to serious diseases (other than Rabies) that do not occur in the UK. These may pose major risks to human health. Dogs are mainly at risk but cats can also be exposed.

The main diseases are:

Leishmaniasis - causes widespread organ damage & is transmitted by sand-flies, commonly found in woodland. They can infect humans.

Ehrlichiosis - causes blood disorders and is transmitted by ticks. Some types can infect humans.

Babesiosis - a blood parasite largely found in warmer countries and is spread by ticks.

Dirofilariasis - dog heartworm. Widely seen across Europe & other countries & is transmitted by mosquitoes.

In order to prevent these diseases we recommend a package of measures:

  • Treat dogs with Advantix every 2 weeks to prevent ticks & repel sand-flies. Do not let cats come into contact with
    Advantix as it is very dangerous for them. Cats should be treated with Frontline.
  • Treat with Milbemax wormer at least once, or monthly throughout the visit to prevent heartworm.
  • Avoid walks at peak midge times (dawn & dusk).
  • Check for ticks every day & remove them as soon as found using a proper tick removal hook. (The O’Tom hook

Before returning to the UK

Contact a vet in plenty of time before you return to the UK.

Your dog will need to be treated by a vet against Tapeworms with a product containing praziquantel (e.g. Droncit)

This must be done between 24 - 120 hours before your pet’s scheduled arrival time in the UK.

Ensure the vet checks your pet's microchip number and completes the relevant sections of the passport entering the date and time of treatment.

NOTE: If when you arrive at the check-in point, less than 24 hrs have passed since tapeworm treatment, you will have to wait until the full 24 hrs have passed before travelling. If the treatment was carried out more than 120 hrs before you check in, you will have to have your pet treated again and recorded in the relevant documentation.

EU Pet Passport


  • Routine Vaccination - Your pet must be up to date with all annual vaccinations.
  • Microchip – Your pet must have had permanent microchip implanted BEFORE vaccinating against rabies.
  • Rabies Vaccination - A booster is necessary every 3 years and must be completed on or before the date it is due for the passport to remain valid. ‘Miss by a day and your pet can’t go away’

NOTE: some countries may require more frequent rabies vaccination so check with your destination country.

Your pet cannot enter EU countries including the UK until a waiting period of 21 days after the date of the rabies vaccination has elapsed.

An EU Passport - This must be issued by an authorised Official Veterinarian and verifies the identity, microchip and vaccination of your pet. All Avonvale vets are certified to do this. The EU Pet Passport must accompany your pet when travelling. Annual vaccination and 3 yearly rabies vaccination MUST be maintained for the passport to remain valid. Your pet will be returned to the country of origin or placed in quarantine if documentation is not in order. It is your responsibility to check this.

Tapeworm Treatment (dogs only) - Your dog must be treated for tapeworms before they travel, between 1- 5 days (not less than 24 hours or longer than 120 hours) before re-entering the UK. This treatment must be verified by a veterinary surgeon and recorded on your pet’s travel documents.

NOTE: if you are planning to take your pet to a non-EU or unlisted country please see the requirements overleaf as a rabies anti-body serum blood test will be required.

Travelling to and from non-EU or unlisted Countries

Dogs and cats being exported to countries outside the EU must comply with the import conditions of those countries. You are advised to find out what import requirements apply before you travel. Many countries require an Export Health Certificate and some an import licence. Other documents may also be required. Your pet can enter Croatia, Gibraltar, Norway, San Marino and Switzerland with an EU pet passport.

Pets returning from non EU passport countries will need to have documentation to show that they have completed a successful rabies anti-body serum blood test. The test must be completed at least 30 days after the rabies vaccination was given and 3 months must have elapsed between the blood test and arrival in the UK.

Some countries require your pet to have a rabies vaccination within a specified period before its arrival regardless of when your pet’s booster is due.

Further Information

Check the DEFRA helpline or website for the latest information regarding your destination.

PETS Helpline: 0870 241 1710 Fax: 020 7904 6206 (8.30 am – 5pm weekdays) E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Microchip £29.00 (with discount if vaccinated at Avonvale) (£21.74)
Rabies primary vaccination/booster £66.10
Issue of EU PETS Passport £92.50
Prices are subject to change; correct as of December 2019