Pet Passport Scheme

shutterstock_99555074The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) has been running since 2000, and has made it increasingly easy for people to take their pets abroad with them when, either going on holiday, or moving away for longer periods. The regulations have been refined a number of times, and travel around Europe, in particular, is very easy.

  • The rules currently apply to dogs, cats and ferrets.
  • The scheme applies to an increasing number of countries (listed at the end).
  • You must travel with an authorized carrier on an authorized route.
  • Further advice can be obtained from the DEFRA website ( or helpline 0870 241 1710.

The Scheme – Pet Passports and Holiday

To take your pet from the UK to a Pet Travel Scheme country:

  • First, your pet must be fitted with an approved microchip so that it can be properly identified. This is a simple and quick procedure (see ‘microchipping’  under the ‘Services’ tab).
  • Secondly, your pet must be vaccinated against Rabies and those vaccinations kept uptodate.
  • Thirdly, your vet will complete a Pet Passport for your pet, containing all relevant information for travelling within the Pet Travel Scheme.
  • At Pool House Veterinary Hospital, all three of the above steps can be completed in one consultation if necessary.
  • Once 21 days have lapsed since Rabies vaccine was administered, your pet can leave and re-enter the UK as often as you like.

To return from a PETS country to the UK:

  • All of the above criteria must be met and an in-date Passport carried for your pet.
  • FOR DOGS ONLY – your dog must see a vet (between 24 and 120 hours prior to arriving in the UK) to be treated for Tapeworm. There is no longer a requirement to treat for Ticks. If your visit abroad is less than 5 days, this treatment can be performed by your own vet before you leave the UK.
  • DOGS returning from Finland, Ireland or Malta do not require Tapeworm treatment.
  • CATS – there are no longer any required treatments or checks for cats returning to the UK.

Should you miss a Rabies vaccination booster, then the Passport lapses and your pet’s ability to travel will be suspended. To re-instate the Passport, your pet must be vaccinated for Rabies again and then a further 21 days lapse, after which time travelling can be resumed. Emigration and Export The requirements for moving pets to other non-PETS countries are wide and varied, and some are very time-consuming. These measures may involve applying for an Export Health Certificate from DEFRA, acquiring Import Permits from destination countries, arranging Quarantine Kennels at some destination countries, running multiple blood tests at predetermined times and intervals, and performing Health Checks to qualify for export. As soon as you think you may be taking your pet abroad, please contact Alex at the practice or DEFRA, to allow as much time as possible to organize all of the required elements for the export.   Fitness to Travel Depending on destination and route taken, your pet may require a final Health Check immediately prior to travelling (usually within 5-7 days of departure). Certification may take the form of signing the appropriate section in the Pet Passport, or a separate Export Health Certificate.   Disease Awareness when traveling Rabies is not the only ‘foreign’ disease which your pet may be exposed to on holiday. Heartworm, Leishmania, Babesiosis, and Ehrlichiosis are a similar threat to the traveling pet. These diseases are transmitted by insects, and are all potentially fatal. We are very lazy about parasite control in this country. Taking care of parasites is much more important on the Continent, particularly the warmer areas. Ask your vet (either in UK or at destination) for advice on appropriate tick, flea, worm and fly treatments.   Countries eligible for the Pet Travel Scheme UK-resident pets can travel to any of the countries below and return to the UK under the Pet Travel Scheme. Pets coming from any of these countries can also enter the UK under PETS, providing they have not been outside any of these countries in the 6 months prior to travelling to the UK.   EU:

Austria Estonia Hungary Netherlands
Azores Faroe Islands Ireland(3) Poland
Balaeric Islands Finland Italy Portugal
Belgium France Latvia Reunion
Bulgaria French Guiana Lithuania Romania
Canary Islands Germany Luxembourg Slovakia
Ceuta Gibraltar Madeira Slovenia
Cyprus(1) Greece Malta  Spain
CzechRepublic Greenland Martinique Sweden
Denmark Guadeloupe(2) Melilla

(1)               Pets entering from Northern Cyprus will be subject to non-PETS entry requirements. (2)               Includes St. Barthelemy and St. Martin (French part of the island). (3)               Pets travelling between UK and the Republic of Ireland now require a passport.


Andorra Cayman Islands Malaysia St.Pierre & Miquelon
Antigua&Barbuda Chile Mauritius St.Vincent & theGrenadines
Argentina Croatia Mayotte
Aruba Curacao Mexico San Marino
Ascension Island Falkland Islands Monaco Singapore
Australia Fiji Montserrat Switzerland
Bahrain French Polynesia New Caledonia Taiwan
Barbados Guam New Zealand Trinidad & Tobago
Belarus Hawaii Norway UAE *
Bermuda Hong Kong Russian Federation* USA(mainland)
BESIslands* Iceland Saint Maarten* Vanuatu
Brit.Virgin Islands Japan St.Kitts & Nevis Wallis & Futuna
Canada Liechtenstein St.Lucia


(All prices are incl. VAT and were correct on 30.10.18)

Microchip (incl. lifelong registration)                        £16.50
Rabies vaccination                                                             £54.22
Health Check and issue Passport                                   £87.60
Rabies booster vaccination                                         £54.22

Rabies vaccination intervals:

Rabisin (Merial)                     1 year after first vaccine then every 3 years
Nobivac Rabies (Intervet Dogs and cats every 3 years
Quantum Rabies (Schering Plough) Dogs and cats every 3 years
Canigen Rabies (Virbac)        Dogs and cats every 3 years

Pool House Veterinary Group currently uses Rabisin (Merial). In Europe many Rabies vaccines require 12-monthly boosters, and clients should be aware of this if their pet has a Rabies vaccine whilst abroad.   Pet Insurance Not all pet insurance policies extend the cover for your pet whilst travelling abroad, but some do. It would be wise to check whether you have cover for your pet whilst on holiday, before departing.   General Considerations It is the responsibility of pet owners to ensure that the correct regulations have been complied with, when travelling abroad, NOT DEFRA OR YOUR VETERINARY SURGEON. Failure to do so could result in your pet being quarantined or refused entry into the UK.  Alex England is the clinical director responsible for Pet Passports and Exports at Pool House Veterinary Hospital and, if possible, deals with every single case at the Practice. The paperwork, timings, and individual requirements of each country are very complex, and we at Pool House find that continuity is crucial in eliminating mistakes. Tips and advice on Pet Travel –

Pool House Vets