Pet Passports: How to Take Your Pet Abroad

Whether it's a Manhattan city break with your pug or exploring the Austrian Alps with your collie, most holidays are improved by the presence of your faithful companion.

If you've never taken your pet on holiday before, the idea – and the bureaucracy – can seem quite overwhelming. But never fear. Here, Simplexity's Travel Managers will guide you through pet-friendly holidays, giving both legal and practical tips to make sure your pet is happy and safe abroad.

Legal Requirements of Taking Your Pet Abroad

The first thing to know is that your pet must be microchipped to travel aboard. Just like other bits of very important cargo, chipping your pet will help you be reunited should anything go amiss on the way.

Within the EU (and for most countries), pets must be vaccinated against rabies before travelling. This must be done at least 21 days before you travel. If your destination is not part of the Pet Travel Scheme (EU countries and listed third countries), then things are tougher. You must wait 30 days after the vaccine, give a blood test, then wait another 3 months before traveling.

Dog also must have had a tapeworm treatment no less than 24 hours and no more than 120 hours (5 days) before entry.

In terms of documents, you will need a pet passport or third country official veterinary certificate. This is exactly what it sounds like – a passport with your pet's details and the owner's details inside. Importantly, the previous treatments will be documented inside the passport. If you coming from outside the EU you need a third-country official veterinary certificate if you don't have an EU pet passport. You also need to fill in a declaration confirming that you aren't going to sell or transfer the ownership of your pet.

Finally, to get back into the UK, you need to transport your pet via an approved route. Major ferries (P&O Ferries, Brittany Ferries etc.) allow pets to be carried, but may require them to stay in the car. Check all approved routes for sea and air here

Helpful Tips for Travelling with Your Pet

Travelling can be really stressful for your pet. There are loud noises, unfamiliar people and unsettling movements. Plus they may not see you for hours on end.

Not matter how you travel, bring plenty of water. Don't fed your pet for two hours before setting off. This will make them less likely to experience nausea.

If travelling by car, remember to let your pet out regularly. Cars can, of course, heat up very quickly on hot days, so leave windows open if leaving them in the car alone. Let them out regularly to exercise and do their business.

If traveling on public transport – planes, trains and ferries – try and acquaint your animal with the kind of crates they might have to stay in for the journey. This will help them adjust to their environment.

If you think your pet will react very badly to any form of unaccompanied travel, you should think hard about taking them on holiday with you.

At Simplexity, we know the importance of great family-friendly holidays. The pet is as much part of the family as anyone else, so trust us to arrange your perfect family-friendly holiday.

Call us on 0203 535 9290 or email

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