Your Pet Needs A Holiday too! The PETS Travel Scheme allows you to take all of your family on holiday.
Getting a Pet Passport
To enter or leave the UK you need an EU Pet Passport. The passport shows that your pet has been microchipped and had a rabies vaccination/booster. Please note: the information on this page only refers to travelling with your pets; it is important that you make sure your holiday venue is pet-friendly before you book.
In the UK you must visit a Local Veterinary Inspector (LVI), a government-authorised vet. Your local vet will probably have a resident LVI but if not, they will tell you where to find the nearest one, or you could contact your local Animal Health Office to find the closest LVI.
Your vet must record in your pet's passport:
- Your pet's vaccination record and blood test result.
- Evidence of the date your pet was microchipped, and their microchip number.
For more details about requirements for pets, visit the Gov.co.uk website
Make sure your pet has been microchipped and vaccinated against rabies 21 days before you travel. All dogs, cats and ferrets must have a pet passport (or third country official veterinary certificate) to enter or re-enter the UK. You get this from your vet.
To return to the UK from the Continent, your pet will need:
- Dogs - A pet passport or third country certificate showing the dog has been treated against tapeworm not less than 24 hours, and not more than 120 hours before arrival in the UK. The vet MUST stamp the relevant page to show that treatment has been given (with date and time). Tick treatment is no longer required.
- Cats and Ferrets - A pet passport or third country certificate. Tick and tapeworm treatment is no longer needed.
- At the port or Eurotunnel terminal, you need to visit the Pet Control Centre to have your pet’s chip read and the Pet Passport scrutinised.
Visit your Vet
Before your travel abroad with your pet, visit your vet and get them the required microchips, vaccinations and tests. Your vet will be aware of what is required, but get in touch with them well before you travel.
- A microchip. This must be done before any inoculations. If your dog had a rabies injection before, you'll have to get another one after.
- Rabies vaccination. Have your pet vaccinated against rabies after having a microchip. There is no exemption - it doesn't matter if your pet has already had a rabies vaccination before.
- Dogs entering/returning to the UK need a tapeworm treatment. If you are coming back to the UK, before you take your pet on the ferry you must get it treated against tapeworm. This is a simple inexpensive procedure but very important. You must do this not less than 24 hours before you check in and 1-5 days before you check in. The check must be recorded in your pet's passport. If you are going on a day trip with your pet, you will will need to have the treatment carried out in the UK 1-5 days before they are checked in for the return journey.
- Blood test. A blood test is only required if you are departing from countries not listed below.
Remember when travelling:
- Make sure there is good ventilation in your vehicle and never leave your pets inside a car without making sure the windows are open at least a little
- Temperatures tend to be cooler at night, so if you are travelling at hot times of the year, consider travelling overnight where possible
- Leave your pet enough food and water for the duration of the journey
- Exercise your dogs as close to embarkation as possible in order to minimise restlessness and toilet accidents!
- If you are able to take your dog on to the ferry decks (you will need to check the ferry company's terms to see if this is allowed), for larger dogs we recommend you bring a muzzle. Not all ferry companies require this, but many do so it is a good idea to bring one.