Taking Your Pet Abroad - The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) 

Pet Travel Regulations
Other considerations

Pet Travel regulations enable you to avoid putting your cat or dog into quarantine when you travel to certain countries (most countries in Western Europe & Scandinavia). To qualify for exemption from quarantine, you must meet various conditions relating to your pet´s health.

NOTE: Pet travel rules changed on 1 January 2012 when the UK brought its procedures into line with the European Union. We strongly suggest that you visit the government website to familiarise yourself with the most up to date information on this subject.

Entry rules for pets entering the UK from the EU and listed non-EU countries:

What has to be done Before 1 January 2012 From 1 January 2012
Microchip Yes Yes
Rabies vaccination Yes Yes
Documentation (pet passport or third country certificate) Yes Yes
Blood test (dogs and cats) Yes No
Pre-entry waiting period Yes Yes
Length of waiting period before entry to the UK 6 months from date  sample taken for blood test 21 days after vaccination against rabies
Tick treatment Yes (24-48 hours before embarkation) No
Tapeworm treatment Yes (as for ticks) Under consideration at European level

Entry rules for pets entering the UK from unlisted non-EU countries:

What has to be done Before 1 January 2012 From 1 January 2012
Microchip All pets from unlisted third countries are licensed into quarantine for 6 months and vaccinated against rabies on arrival Yes
Rabies vaccination Yes
Blood test Yes.  Blood sample taken at least 30 days after vaccination.
Documentation ( third country certificate) Yes
Pre-entry waiting period Yes
Length of waiting period before entry to the UK 3 months after blood sample date
Tick treatment No
Tapeworm treatment Under consideration at European level

Other considerations

  • take your pet for a health check by your vet in advance of your journey. Get advice from your vet on pregnant animals.
  • speak to the carrier in advance to ascertain the conditions that your pet will travel in and to ensure that you have the required paperwork.
  • do not use sedatives unless advised by a vet.
  • give your pet only a light meal about 2 hours before travel.
  • check with the carrier that your pet will have full and constant access to fresh water.
  • use a container which enables your pet to stand, sit and lie down in a natural position, and to turn around easily. The container should contain absorbent bedding and provide ample ventilation. A familiar toy can help your pet get used to the container.
  • ensure that your pet will not be exposed to extreme temperatures.
  • try and match your pets sleeping patterns by travelling overnight where possible
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