Pet passports

These days, taking your pet on holiday with you is much easier, especially if you’re travelling within Europe, Canada, the US and a selection of other listed countries.

Your pet’s passport to the good life

Everything you need to know about taking your pet on holiday.

  • Step 1: your pet needs an ISO standard identification microchip. This can be done any time before a rabies vaccination or even on the same day, but it must be before the vaccination. See our Identity microchips page for more details.
  • Step 2: a rabies vaccination. The microchip will be read immediately before vaccination so that it’s all recorded. A rabies vaccination can be carried out once your pet is 3 calendar months old.
  • Step 3: a passport can usually be issued at the vaccination appointment. But your pet can’t travel until 21 days after the rabies vaccination has been administered.
  • Step 4: Coming back in the UK with your dog? Dogs must be treated for tapeworm between 24 and 120 hours before they’re scheduled to come back into the UK. This treatment must be given by a vet and certified in the passport. You don’t need to treat your dog for tapeworm if you’re coming directly to the UK from Finland, Ireland, Malta or Norway.
  • Step 5: on returning to the UK, you should also use an approved transport company and route, unless you’re travelling between the UK and the Republic of Ireland (the other rules still apply).

While you’re away

When you’re abroad, remember that a Pet Passport is designed to protect human health rather than your pet’s. So we recommend taking a few extra steps to guard your pet from any exotic diseases that can be transmitted from animal to animal. We strongly advise tick prevention (Advocate doesn’t prevent ticks) while travelling due to the risk of serious tick-borne disease, such as Babesia and Ehrlichia, which are not currently in this country. Heartworm (treated with Advocate) and Leishmania are present in some parts of Europe. Ask us about the best treatments before you travel and speak to a local vet about disease risks.

Keeping the passport up to date

Following the first vaccination, the passport will have a ‘valid until’ date. To keep the passport up to date, a rabies booster vaccination must be given on or before that expiry date. We cannot guarantee a rabies vaccination reminder, so please put a note in your diary to have it administered in time. If you miss the revaccination date, even by one day, the 21-day rule will be re-applied before you can travel again. The vaccine we use currently requires boosters at least every 3 years.

Travel to non-EU countries

Many non-EU listed countries have additional requirements for importing animals. Allowing plenty of time before you travel, contact DEFRA and the country’s Embassy to confirm requirements.

Long stays abroad

If a pet stays in another country for more than a certain period of time, it may become subject to that country’s rules. That may mean rabies vaccinations are required more frequently. We recommend registering with a local vet.

Rules for particular breeds

Certain breeds of dog, classed as dangerous dogs, may be forbidden entry to certain countries. For some countries this includes Staffordshire Bull Terriers. Bengal cats require documentation proving that they are status F5 or beyond and a certified pedigree certificate. Speak to one of our team for help with this.