Taking your pet abroad

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Off on your holidays and planning on taking your pet with you? Thanks to these guidelines, letting animals join in the fun couldn't be easier.

The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) dedicates itself to ensuring the UK stays free from rabies and other diseases. It allows UK residents and their dogs, cats and ferrets to travel freely to and from the EU and some non-EU countries without the need for quarantine.

Before you go overseas on your adventures, here is a list of their essential requirements that must be met in order to enter or return to the UK with your faithful companion:

  • Microchips – these should be fitted prior to rabies injections. Each small device holds vital information about your pet, including your contact details should they get lost.
  • A rabies vaccination – this must be administered no less than 21 days prior to travel. Rabies is a virus that can affect most mammals, including humans, and affects the nervous system.
  • A pet passport or official 3rd country vet certificate – these documents provide vaccination history, microchip numbers and any necessary notes from vets. Each passport much be regularly updated before travel.
  • Tapeworm treatment – this must be administered at least 24 hours prior to travel. Tapeworm can not only affect dogs, but can also be fatal in humans.

Ticks are another parasite to keep an eye out for. Second only to mosquitos in transmitting diseases from animals to humans, the blood sucking critters can be easily fended off by well-known products. If your pet has a fever, is lethargic and experiences seizures, take them straight to the vet.

In the last few years, rules have changed regarding pet travel:

1. It is no longer compulsory for pets to have a blood test after their rabies injection

2. Pets are no longer required to wait six months after the date of the blood test before re-entering the UK

3. There is no longer the requirement to treat pets for ticks 24-48 hours before re-entering the UK

Don't forget to give your pets plenty of water and toilet breaks when travelling!