Getting your dog a passport
Are you planning to take your dog abroad? There are several requirements that you will need to be aware of before you leave to make sure that your pet is not quarantined when you arrive back in the UK.
You must meet the entry requirements for the countries that you are entering and leaving. They must also have a pet passport and meet the requirements for this.
Pet passports are mandatory for taking your dog out of the UK. This proves that your pet has been microchipped, vaccinated against rabies and had blood tests to indicate that the vaccination has worked.
Microchipping needs to be done before vaccination – otherwise, the vaccination will need to be repeated.
No blood test after the rabies vaccination is required with EU and non-EU countries. However you have to wait 21 days after the vaccination before you can re-enter the UK.
A blood test to confirm the pet has been vaccinated is required for unlisted countries 30 days after the vaccination.
Pet passports can be obtained from your vet.
It is vital to get your timings right or you will have problems bringing your pet back to the UK. The blood test for rabies should be done 30 days after the vaccination. There is then a 3-month wait before you can travel to unlisted countries. This means that you should start getting your pet properly prepared for travel at least 4 months before you plan to go abroad to be sure of a smooth return.
As well as microchipping, a rabies vaccination and a blood test to check the vaccination has taken place, dogs will also need to be treated for tapeworm prior to entering the UK and for day trips prior to leaving the UK.
You must use an authorised carrier on an approved route, unless you are travelling to the Republic of Ireland (in which case, this does not apply).
Assistance dogs have different procedures than pets.
For air travel, be aware that waiting to board and the journey can be highly traumatic for pets. Unless they are assistance dogs, they will not be allowed into the cabin with you and must spend the flight in the hold. Always take the most direct route possible to limit your pet’s distress and try to travel at times when the temperature will be coolest, such as overnight.
If you are traveling by ferry, most pets will not be allowed into passenger areas (with the exception of assistance dogs). This means that you will need to leave your pet in the car, during which time it is unlikely that you will be allowed back to check on them until it is time to disembark. This is something to bear in mind if you plan to take your pet on a ferry.
Returning to the UK
Before your dog returns to the UK, they will need to be treated for tapeworms and ticks. This needs to happen between 24 and 120 hours prior to coming home. You should get certification from your vet that the treatment was done.
The exception to this rule comes if you are returning to the UK directly from Finland, Norway, Malta or Ireland.
Thoroughly plan and check to make sure that your pet will meet all the requirements of the Pet Travel Scheme for exit and entry for the UK as well as the requirements for the specific countries you will visit.
Check arrangements with your vet and use the comprehensive guidelines for pet travel requirements for additional information, which can be found at http://www.gov.uk
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