Pets Travel Scheme


When travelling with your pet dog, cat or ferret, the rules you must follow depend on the country you are going to or from. Please ring your nearest surgery if you need any advice or assistance.

Travelling within the EU (or into the EU from another 'listed' country)

Your pet needs (in this order):

  • Microchip which can be scanned by an ISO scanner
  • Rabies vaccination (your pet must be chipped first or the vaccine will not count) which lasts for 3 years
  • Pet passport (issued by your veterinary surgeon) which lasts for lifetime of your pet
  • Tapeworm treatment (for dogs only)

You must also use an authorised carrier and an approved route.


Guide dogs and assistance dogs

Assistance dogs are allowed to travel in the aircraft cabin with their owner on approved routes and carriers who are registered to carry assistance does. They can normally also travel in areas of other forms of transport where other animals are not allowed. Apart from that, the rules for assistance doges travelling under the EU pet travel scheme are for the same as for other dogs. The Guide Dog Association website has advice about taking assistance dogs abroad.

Returning to the UK

As from 1 January 2012, tick treatment before returning to the UK is no longer required. However, tapeworm treatment for dogs only must be given by a qualified veterinary surgeon between 1 and 5 days before embarkation back to the UK.

If you are using a travel company, staff will scan your pet's microchip and check your documents. It is your responsibility that you have the correct documents and if your pet has not been properly prepared it will be put into quarantine or sent back to the country it travelled from. You must pay the costs for this.

Other types of pet

There are no restriction on bringing pet rodents, rabbits, birds or ornamental fish, invertebrates, amphibians and reptile into the UK from other EU countries.

Pet rabbits and rodents from other countries must spend 4 months in quarantine and need a rabies import licence and must enter the UK at a Border Inspection Post.

Please contact the Animal Health and Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) for more information on the rules for travelling with your pet. Our local office is based in Carlisle and can be contacted on 01228 403600 for advice and guidance.

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