Travelling with your pet
Taking your pet abroad is now relatively easy however there are some criteria that need to be fulfilled before they can travel. The requirements vary between EU and non-EU countries.
To travel from an EU listed country your pet must have:
- A valid pet passport
- A rabies vaccination
- A microchip (implanted prior to the rabies vaccine being administered)
- A tapeworm treatment given at most five days prior to travelling to the UK and administered by a vet
- A tick treatment is no longer a requirement but would be advised due to the risk of various tick bourne diseases that can be picked up in Europe
Your pet must also travel by an approved carrier (unless between the UK and Ireland) and you and your pet must enter the UK within five days of each other (other rules apply if this is not the case).
The requirements above allow your pet to travel back into the UK without the need for quarantine and also satisfy the requirements for many European countries. It is however best policy to check the DEFRA website for up to date advice: www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad.
Any travel outside of the EU will always need to be discussed with DEFRA as the requirements can be very variable. It is always your responsibility to have the requirements fulfilled, and the length of your stay does not matter. If you are, for example, driving through multiple countries, you need to satisfy the requirements of each individual country.
When travelling abroad we would still advise regular tick control although it is no longer mandatory as some tick bourne diseases can be found in southern Europe e.g. Ehrlichia canis, Leishmania, and Babesia. Preventative treatments for heartworm are also advised.
Currently the situation is yet to be decided and will depend on how it is resolved. If there is no deal it is likely that pets will need to travel on a pet export certificate instead of the pet passport and that blood titre testing may be required 30 days after the rabies vaccine is given to prove it has been effective. Travel may only be allowed three months after a positive titre test so if you are planning to travel abroad next year it is important to ensure you allow plenty of time to prepare (minimum of four months but ideally six months in case of problems).