Pet travel

What you need to do to take your pet abroad and how to obtain a pet passport.

How can I travel abroad and return to the UK with my pet?

In order to take your dog, cat or ferret abroad and be able to bring them back to the UK without the need of quarantine, you need to have a 'pet passport' issued under the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS). Read about travelling with other kinds of animals, including horses.

Most EU countries and many outside the EU have joined PETS. The scheme is designed to stop the spread of rabies and other diseases while still allowing pets to travel.

This Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) is administered by official vets on behalf of the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA). 

Make sure your pet is eligible for a pet passport

To be eligible, your pet must:

  • be a cat, dog or ferret (read about travelling with other kinds of animals, including horses)
  • be fitted with a microchip
  • vaccinated against rabies
  • wait 21 days from the date of their first rabies vaccination before travelling to another European Community (EC) country
  • not have visited any non-approved countries or territories for at least six months before they enter or re-enter the United Kingdom (UK).

Cats and dogs must also: 

  • be blood tested with a satisfactory result by a European Union (EU) approved laboratory
  • wait six calendar months from the date the blood sample was taken before re-entering the UK.

You must also ensure your pet:

  • is issued with a pet passport by their vet
  • is treated by a vet for tapeworm and ticks, not less than 24 hours and not more than 48 hours before checking in with a PETS-approved carrier for the journey back to the UK
  • travels into the UK on a PETS-approved sea, air or rail route.

How to get a pet passport

Contact your local veterinary practice who will hold copies of pet passports, micro-chips and rabies vaccines and will be familiar with getting you started on the scheme.

Further PETS guidance

Read more pet travel advice on the GOV.UK website.

This includes guidance on:

  • what pet owners need to do
  • making sure your trip goes smoothly
  • countries, routes and transport companies
  • what vets need to do.