Does my dog or cat need a passport to travel to Europe?

Dog with Sunhat

Taking your dog or cat on a continental holiday is now quite a straightforward proposition, compared to how it was in the days when a six-month stay in quarantine was the only option for pets crossing the channel.

European pet passports have made life a whole lot simpler for pet lovers who want to take their best friend traveling with them. Some quick vaccinations and a few blood tests are all that’s required before sending off for your pet’s passport.

You’re probably looking at a bill of around £200 for the vet visits and documentation. This may sound a lot but it’s worth considering if you compare this cost with what you are likely to pay to board your fury friend or have it cared for at home while you’re away.

A pet passport is an official registration document listing its owners name, the pet’s microchip number and a number of health related aspects, including certification of rabies vaccination, blood tests and treatment for ticks. Dogs will also need worming. These measures are compulsory for anyone wanting to get their dog or cat into Europe without having to sit them in quarantine.

Your dog or cat must be at least three months of age before he can travel abroad on a pet passport. Although the Pet Passport can be issued following the rabies vaccination, the UK require a further three week qualification period before the passport is valid for travel from or entry into the UK.

Regular rabies boosters are required to keep the passport valid. The timing of the renewal depends on the specific vaccine used, but generally needs to be done every two to three years. You would need to check this detail if you intend to stay in a country for more than three months at a time.
For the full pet passport checklist, please visit the UK government website

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