Are you planning to take your beloved pup on holiday abroad? If so, you’ll need more than just packing their favourite toys and treats – you’ll also need a pet passport.
A pet passport is an essential document that allows canine travellers to enter another country without restrictions or quarantine.
To obtain a pet passport, you’ll need to have your dog’s rabies vaccination certificate and the application form completed and signed by a veterinarian. Once all the necessary paperwork is collected, you will need to submit it along with the applicable fee to obtain your pet passport.
This blog post will provide step-by-step instructions on how to get a dog passport so they can join in the fun of international travel and exploration!
What is a Pet Passport?
Pet Passports are a form of PROOF that your pet has received all the necessary vaccinations required for international travel. These passports are commonly used in Europe, and if you plan on travelling with a pet outside of your home country, it’s essential to have one.
A passport will include ESSENTIAL information such as the pet’s name, species and breed, as well as—most importantly—documentation of all required vaccinations.
The passport also includes an owner identification card, and if necessary for certain countries, rabies serology test results or a rabies vaccination certificate can be added .
Pets Travel Scheme
The Pets Travel scheme is a system of regulations that permits pet owners to take their pets abroad with them, and it applies to all EU member countries and several non-EU countries. It will now allow your pet to travel without the need to quarantine .
To make sure your pet qualifies for the scheme, you must ensure that your pet is microchipped and has a valid rabies vaccination. The pet passport must also be completed and signed by a veterinarian, who may need to provide additional documents depending on the country of entry.
Depending on where you’re travelling to and from, additional EXAMINATIONS may be needed to ensure safe passage and minimum disruption to other animals upon entry.
What changes occur to Pet Passports after Brexit?
A SIGNIFICANT change has been made to pet passports in 2021 for those who want to travel with their pets between the UK and EU countries or Northern Ireland .
A current EU pet passport from Great Britain will NO LONGER be able to travel after January 1st, 2021 – pet owners must now get an animal healthcare certificate.
If you’re travelling to an EU country or Northern Ireland from Great Britain with your pet, you MUST go to an approved entry point.
Before taking any pets on holiday with you, check all animal welfare regulations and requirements regarding documents—yours and your pet’s.
What is an Animal Healthcare Certificate?
A veterinary document called an animal healthcare certificate denotes that your pet is able to travel (including a pet dog, cat or ferret).
You must get it from a LICENSED veterinarian who will include noted information about both you and your pet, for example, evidence of rabies vaccinations and tapeworm treatment.
The certificate needs to be procured 10 days or less BEFORE the journey starts. Your EU animal health certificate is valid for up to 4 months from the date you enter the EU.
It will cost approximately £180, including your consultation and your certificate; any necessary vaccinations will incur extra costs.
A VALID animal healthcare certificate guarantees your pet’s well-being when travelling within or outside of the European Union.
What do you need to travel to the EU with your dog?
If you’re planning to travel with your pet to the EU or Northern Ireland, you’ll need:
- A microchip – microchips are used to identify your pet
- A rabies vaccination certificate – it must be valid on the day you enter and return to the UK
- An animal health certificate (only for travel to/from Great Britain after January 1st, 2021).
- Tapeworm treatment – if travelling from certain countries, a tapeworm treatment may be required (such as Finland or Ireland).
It’s IMPORTANT to check with your vet and research the regulations in effect for travel between the two countries. In some cases, you may also need an additional form, such as an export health certificate .
Pro Tip: Make sure your vet has an official veterinarian status from Animal Plant Health Agency (APHA).
What do you need to travel outside of the EU with your dog?
If you’re planning to take a trip outside of the EU with your pet, you will need to obtain an export health certificate (EHC). The EHC is an OFFICIAL document that confirms that your animal meets all of the necessary health and safety requirements of the country of travel.
You will need to submit the EHC, along with all of the other RELEVANT documents, such as rabies vaccinations and microchip information, at least 3-4 weeks before you are due to depart.
Your pet must also undergo an inspection prior to travel. Depending on your destination, additional examinations may be required in order to certify your pet’s health and welfare.
Will pet insurance cover your dog outside of the UK?
Yes, pet insurance can be VALID for dogs travelling abroad. However, it is important to check with your insurer if the policy covers travel outside of the UK.
Most pet insurance policies have coverage LIMITS and may not cover certain medical costs incurred during foreign trips—such as vet fees or medication. Additionally, some insurers will only pay out up to a certain amount each year, so checking the policy before you travel is important.
Lastly, note that other types of insurance are specifically designed for pet owners who want ADDITIONAL coverage when travelling abroad with their pets.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to get a Dog Passport?
It usually takes around 3 – 4 weeks to receive your pet passport. This will depend on your veterinarian’s processing times and any additional examinations that may be required.
How much is a Dog Passport in the UK?
The cost of a pet passport in the UK is typically around £180, depending on your veterinarian, and a valid animal healthcare certificate.
How long do Dog’s Passports last?
An official pet passport issued by a veterinarian is valid for life as long as you keep up with the necessary vaccinations and necessary treatments.
The rabies vaccination must be kept up to date, and your animal health certificate is valid for up to 4 months from the date you enter the EU.
Now that you know what a dog passport is and the changes that are occurring with Brexit, it’s important to understand how to get an animal healthcare certificate. This document will be essential for your furry friend should you decide to travel internationally with them.
Before embarking on your journey, check all relevant regulations and document requirements to ensure a smooth travel experience with your pet. You can have fun exploring the world with your four-legged companion with the right preparation and paperwork!
- APHA rabies serology for pet travel schemes. Defra.gov.uk. Published 2022. Accessed December 8, 2022. http://apha.defra.gov.uk/apha-scientific/services/lab/rabies-serology.htm#
- Pet Travel Scheme (PETS). nidirect. Published October 13, 2015. Accessed December 8, 2022. https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/contacts/pet-travel-scheme-pets
- Worthington S. Travel with your pet: animal health certificate replaces pet passport. Nerdwallet.com. Published March 31, 2021. Accessed December 8, 2022. https://www.nerdwallet.com/uk/pet-insurance/animal-health-certificate-replaces-pet-passport/
- for D. Get an export health certificate. GOV.UK. Published April 17, 2019. Accessed December 8, 2022. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/get-an-export-health-certificate