If you’re taking your pet on holiday, there’s a lot of admin you need to make sure you’ve done first. It isn’t just the human members of your family who need a passport: your pet does too, and the rules have changed since Brexit. Here’s everything you need to know about pet passports.
When Britain left the European Union, it wasn’t just your travel rights that changed, but also your pets’.
If your pet has a passport issued before January 1, 2021, they are now invalid for travelling to an EU country.
You can still use your pet passport to travel to the European Union if it was issued in Northern Ireland or another European Union country.
Here’s everything you need to know about getting your pet a passport.
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What does my pet need to travel to countries in the EU?
All pets including assistance dogs need the following to travel to countries in the EU, and to return to the UK:
- A microchip
- A rabies vaccination
- Tapeworm treatment (for some countries)
- An animal health certificate issued within 10 days of travelling
Make sure to check the rules for the area you are travelling to, and also be aware of any possible health risks to your pet – such as diseases we don’t have in the UK, heat exposure and dangerous pests.
You will also need to check the approved routes you can travel when you have a pet in tow, as these can change depending on the time of year you are travelling.
The approved routes to England can be found on the GOV.UK website here.
How many pets can you travel with?
You can travel with up to five pets to and from the UK.
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There are exceptions to this rule if you are taking part in:
- A competition
- A show
- A sporting event
You will need to bring proof of your reasons for travelling with this number of pets.
The animals must also be at least six months old, be taking part in the event and meet all the other entry requirements.
Tips for travelling with pets
Even after you’ve made your journey, be aware that rules for pet owners may differ in the country you are in.
For example, in Italy all dog owners can be asked to muzzle their pet in public, so you may need to carry a muzzle with you.
You should speak to your vet about risks from ticks, fleas and sandflies in the country you are travelling to.
If you are travelling to a hot country you may also need to look out for blisters on paws.
You can find out more information by calling the Government’s pet travel helpline on 0370 241 1710 Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5pm or emailing them at [email protected]
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