Travelling With Your Pet

If you are planning a trip to Europe this summer, will you also be travelling with your dog?
The PETS Travel Scheme was introduced in February 2000 and is governed by DEFRA. If you fail to follow the rules then you may be fined or your dog may be quarantined, so it’s really important that you do your research before you travel. Each country has different legislation and the UK has strict requirements that must be followed. Here are the key points to consider;
Microchip your dog before they have their initial rabies vaccination. Microchipping is now a legal requirement for dogs in the UK. Ensure your Vet records the chip number accurately in your pet’s passport.
A Rabies vaccination must be given 21 clear days before you are due to depart the UK. This must be given by a Vet and accurately recorded in the passport.
Tapeworm treatment is required for dogs 1-5 days before re-entering the UK. Check this very carefully before travelling home and arrange a trip to a Vet before your return.
However, with all this in mind, travelling with your pet around EU ‘listed’ countrie’s is now far easier. Since December 2014 the Rabies vaccination requirements are less stringent. If you are travelling to an ‘un-listed’ EU destination however then you are still required to have a post-rabies blood test at your Vets and then a wait of 3 months before your pet is allowed to re-enter the UK.
Through Mediterranean Europe the disease Leishmaniosis is present and therefore your dog may also require a vaccine for this before travel.
Once issued, a Pet Passport is valid for life as long as you stay up to date with annual vaccinations, parasite treatment and a rabies vaccination, which is to be given every 3 years. It must be completed by a Vet that is trained to do so and each entry must be signed, dated and stamped. There is also a laminate seal that must be correctly placed to ensure each entry is valid.
Your dog must be at least 15 weeks old to travel and if you’re flying then your dog will be travelled in a crate. Please make sure your dog is comfortable being confined in a crate, practice some positive crate training before travel. On the Eurotunnel, dogs must stay within the car at all times and on the ferry, dogs are not permitted on deck.
For further advice talk to your Vet and check with DEFRA. www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad
I’d love to hear about your own pet travel tales and stories of well-travelled pets.
Your Pet Nurse is an independent mobile Veterinary Nurse offering support and advice for owners and caring for pets in their home. Email yourpetnurse.hastings@gmail.com or find me on Facebook Your Pet Nurse Hastings.