pet passports what you need to know to take your pet abroad

If you are planning to travel to the EU post 29th March 2019 Brexit with your pet, it is important you contact your local veterinary surgery as soon as possible for an update of any potential new requirements.  

We advise clients to think well in advance of travel and allow at least 4 months before the date of travel to make any new possible requirements.  

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal on the 29th March 2019 then it is likely that EU pet passports issued by a UK Official Veterinarian will no longer be valid. An Animal Health Certificate will need to be issued instead, this would be valid for:

  • A single trip
  • 10 days after the date of issue for entry into the EU
  • 4 months of onward travel within the EU after the date of entry to the EU
  • Re-entry to the UK for 4 months after the date of issue.

The final arrangements have still to be confirmed depending on any negotiations but your veterinary surgery will be able to advise further.

For more detailed information in regards to pet passports after Brexit, please visit the GOV website >

If you’re thinking of going on holiday or a trip abroad to an EU country and you want to bring your cat or dog along for the ride, they will need a valid pet passport to come back into the UK without having to go into quarantine.

Pet passport current requirements 

Please note - These may change as a result of Brexit negotiations.  Please keep in touch with your vets and remember to plan in advance for travel.

There are several different requirements which need covering before your pet can be issued a pet passport, these include:

  • A microchip: Your pet has to be microchipped and we’d advise that you check your contact details are up to date before you travel. Don’t forget, a free microchip is included in your Healthy Pet Club membership!
  • A valid rabies vaccination at least 21 days before you travel: Bear in mind that your pet passport will not be valid until three weeks after your pet has had their rabies vaccination. Book this in with your vet as soon as possible once you know you’ll be travelling so it’s not left to the last minute. Regular booster vaccinations will also be required for the passport to stay valid.
  • Treated for tapeworm 24 – 120 hours before coming back into the UK: This requirement is for dogs only and the vet must sign your pet passport to confirm this has been done. You will need to pay a vet in the country you have travelled abroad to, to administer this.
  • Your pet must be three months old or older when you apply for their passport
  • The vet who issues your pet passport must be an Official Veterinarian: this means they are qualified to issue pet passports, ask at your local Healthy Pet Club practice to see if they have an Official Veterinarian team member.

Other things to consider

When you visit your veterinary practice for your pet’s passport, have a chat with your vet for further advice on protecting your pet abroad outside of the minimum requirements of a pet passport. As an example, ticks and other insects that bite in Europe can pass on disease to your pet if they are bitten. Therefore, we would advise you ask your vet about preventative treatment for these critters before you go, as well as other factors you may need to consider.

Check out the Government website for the most up to date and official guidelines on pet passports.

Remember it is your responsibility to meet the pet passport requirements and ensure your pet is fully protected when travelling abroad.