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The Traveller's Magazine
  •   3 min read

Take’em or leave’em? It was only this year that the UK really relaxed with their pet travel legislations, allowing all dogs, cats and ferrets (yes, you read that correctly). If you plan to travel with your pets, you’re going to need a passport.

Should you travel with your pet?

Now that the rules have changed, pets can enter the UK without needing to be quarantines as long as they met all the requirements of the Pet Travel Scheme and also depending from which country they were arriving from.


Some pet experts don’t actually recommend you take your pooch or kitty with you at all, especially if they’re not used to travelling and also if you’re heading somewhere that is hugely different in terms of climate. It can be harder to adjust to these kinds of changes, especially older pets or those that tend to be fussy. If your furry companion travels well however, and it’ll be as much of a holiday for them as it will be for you, here’s what you need to know about getting them their very own pet passport before you go.

First, check the DEFRA website for the latest rules and restrictions for pet travel. All the information is up to date and contains detailed steps on how to get the necessary paperwork your pet will need for crossing borders. For some countries, your pooch or kitty will need blood tests and vaccinations which takes both time and money so do your research well in advance.

Still want to take your pet on your trip?

Next, it’s essential to get your pet ready for travel if they aren’t already. If they’re in for long car rides, start taking your pet on shorter rides to train them to relax in the car. Always reward them when you stop at the end of the ride or during pit-stops. Introduce them slowly to the carrying crate they’ll be travelling in if you’re taking them on a flight. Start by feeding them in the crate and build up their comfort level from there. Eventually they’ll be comfortable being inside over night. The crate should never be treated as a punishment.


Pet passports

All pets with passports need to be microchipped and given a rabies shot. Then they’ll be issued a signed and dated passport. In order for it to stay valid, your pooch or kitty will need continuous rabies shots every 2-3 years.

While you’re on holidays, your pet must visit the vet between 1-5 days before you return to the UK to be tested against tapeworm. The vet in your visiting country will stamp and date the passport giving the okay for your pet to travel back to the UK.

That’s it! Don’t forget to pack a nice treat for when your pet arrives after a long trip.

Have you ever travelled with your pet? Is it worth it? Would you do it again?

Imgs: antichrist / Flickr cc.

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