Travelling abroad with your dog

Dog on a boatDifferent countries allow pets to travel in and out of them without having to stay in quarantine, under the ruling of the Pet Travel Scheme for dogs.

However, to be able to take your dog abroad you need to apply for a dog passport. This can be time consuming, so preparations should begin at least 6 or 7 months ahead of your planned journey.

The main requirements for a dog passport are:

1. Micro-chipping your pet. This gives him his own unique identity number. His personal number will be used on all relevant travel papers; a vet will provide this service.

2. A local vet will give your dog a blood test to check that his antibodies are high enough to protect him against Rabies. He will also make sure that your pet’s vaccinations and boosters are up to date. However, vaccinations that are not in good order can result in the whole application for your dog’s travel plans being rejected.

3. When all the vaccinations and blood tests have been carried out, and your dog has passed his health tests, a vet will proceed to issue a dog passport.

Planning in advance is crucial. To bring your dog back into the UK he must have an up to date blood test 6 months previous to entry, a rabies booster vaccination, along with up to date treatment against the invasion of tape worm – normally carried out at least 24 to 48 hours before travelling back to the UK.

Plan an appointment with a vet early and make sure your dog is travelling with a travel company that has been approved by the Pet Travel Scheme.

If your dog’s mode of transport is a ship, and it stops at a country that is not named with the Pet Travel Scheme, the company must provide a letter confirming your pet remained on board and did not disembark.

Note: A private boat or aeroplane can not transport your dog from country to country.