Does My Dog Need a Pet Passport?

Written by: John Teaford

Travelling abroad requires documentation, and your dog needs a passport just like you do. The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) is the basis of the pet passport, a document that allows pets to be transported across international borders without quarantine or the need for excessive paperwork.

How Do I Get a Pet Passport?

The first steps in acquiring the pet passport are having a veterinarian vaccinate and microchip your pet. Then the veterinarian can create, sign, and officially approve your Pet Passport on the spot. Pets in the UK already require proof of a tapeworm test, so Britons need not bother addressing this additional standard expected by countries like Finland, Malta, or Ireland. With a Pet Passport in hand, your pet is prepared to accompany you on your travels, and to gain quick entry into most countries you hope to visit.

Do I Already Have a Pet Passport?

Your veterinarian may have provided you with a pet passport in the past, and checking through your pet’s documents may reveal that you already possess one. Valid, renewable Pet Passports appear in multiple forms:

● The Pink A4 sheet is a valid pet passport.
● Your small blue booklet issued by a veterinarian is a valid pet passport..
● New-style Pet Passports (introduced in December 2014) have laminated strips and additional security features.
● Pet vaccination history often appears in a PURPLE FOLDER issued by veterinarians. This purple folder IS NOT a Pet Passport.

Planning to Travel With Your Dog?

Important things to consider:

● Pet passports expire after two-to-three years (an exasperatingly imprecise standard), and must be renewed before international travel with your dog . Check with your veterinarian to confirm passport validity, or the need for renewal.
● Though veterinarians issue a pet passport during your office visit, a three-week qualification period exists before the passport is valid for travel into or out of the UK.

As members of the EU, Britons are entitled to travel with their pets (free of any pet quarantine requirement) to any EU destination, and without needing to complete additional forms for each country. Many non-EU countries also honor this same EU pet passport. Additional advice about travelling with pets can be obtained from veterinarians, but the most reliable sources of information will be the websites of any country you intend to visit.


One thought on “Does My Dog Need a Pet Passport?

  1. Richard Banbury

    If travelling to an EU country, be aware your dog will require a tapeworm tablet administered by a qualified vet in that country before return to UK. There is a time window for this. If you do not have this done and documented in the passport, your dog may be refused entry back into the UK. Check with your vet before departure.


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