Taking your pet abroad - know the rules

The introduction of the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) has allowed Brits to take their pets on holiday relatively easily within the EU. However, there are certain conditions that apply, and it is essential to know the rules if you plan on taking your furry friend abroad.

Travelling abroad with your pet

Pic: Getty

Anyone travelling within the EU with a cat, dog or ferret must have their pet microchipped. Microchips can be inserted by the vet, who will record the number of the chip on a pet passport. These can be scanned at check-in, as long as the chip meets the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) standards.

Similarly, cats, dogs and ferrets must be vaccinated against rabies, and this should be done after microchipping. It is also essential to wait 21 days after the initial vaccination before you can travel so it's important to plan ahead. You must then keep up with regular booster vaccinations if you are likely to take your pet abroad in the future.

Tapeworm treatment is also required for dogs returning to the UK, and treatment should be given between one and five days before travel. The vet should record the details of the product manufacture in the pet's passport, along with the date and time the medication was given, and a stamp or signature.

Pet passports
Any dog, cat or ferret must carry a pet passport in order to travel abroad. These are available from a government-authorised vet, who must record the above requirements in the passport. As long as you continue to meet these requirements, the passport will remain valid.

Under the Pet Travel Scheme, only certain transport companies and routes can be used to take your pet abroad, in order that the rules are met and the proper checks carried out. The rules may differ for assistance dogs, but if you are taking your pet on holiday, visit www.gov.uk for a list of the approved firms and routes you may use.

Do you take your pet on holiday? What advice would you give to others considering taking their pet abroad? Leave your comments below...