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Taking Your Pet Abroad

The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS)

Pet Travel Regulations

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 1st 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.

Entering UK from EU/Listed Non-EU Countries

As of 1st January 2012, your pet needs:

  • To be microchipped         
  • Tapeworm treatment               
  • Documentation (pet passport or third country certificate)                                      
  • Rabies vaccination – administered 21 days before travel

Entering UK from Unlisted Non-EU Countries

Your pet will need all of the requirements listed above, plus a blood test - administered 30 days after all relevant vaccinations.

Entry to the UK cannot be granted until 3 months after the date of the blood sample. 

Other Considerations

1. Take your pet to the vet for a health check in advance of your journey.

2. Get advice from your vet on pregnant animals.

3. Speak to the carrier in advance to ascertain the conditions your pet will travel in and to ensure that you have the required paperwork.

4. Do not use sedatives unless advised by a vet.

5. Roughly 2 hours before travel, give your pet a light meal.

6. Check with the carrier that your pet will have full and constant access to fresh water.

7. Use a container which enables your pet to stand, sit, lie down and turn around with comfort and ease. The container should contain absorbent bedding and provide ample ventilation. A familiar toy can help your pet adjust.

8. Ensure that your pet will not be exposed to extreme temperatures.

9. Where possible, try and match your pet's sleeping patterns by travelling overnight.