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Pet Travel Scheme

This scheme is only for dogs & cats RETURNING TO THE UK from one of the participating countries - mainly members of the E.U. but also now extended to include certain other countries e.g. Australia. It also applies to only certain specified routes through which the pet can be brought back into the UK e.g. by ferry from Calais to Dover, by rail with Eurostar or certain flights into Heathrow.

It DOES NOT COVER the export of dogs/cats to these countries - generally the owner will need to contact DEFRA to sort out the necessary requirements for the export of the dog/cat e.g. export health certificates, other blood tests, etc. The exception to this is travel to & from France which is now covered by a 'Pet Passport' which acts as an export certificate as well.

It is the OWNERS RESPONSIBILTY to ensure they have ALL the relevant paperwork and tests/procedures before they travel. DEFRA states that "... You are responsible for ensuring that your pet meets all the rules for entering the UK under the Pet Travel Scheme. Make sure that you have had the procedures carried out in the correct order and that your pet’s documentation is correctly completed. If you do not, your pet may not be able to enter the country or may have to be licensed into quarantine on arrival. This will mean delay and cost you money."

We will help as much as possible but it is vital for the owners to let us know as soon as possible if they are planning a trip abroad.

It is a good idea to fix an initial planning consultation with the vet to discuss what is required and to fix an action plan as soon as the client has received all the relevant information.

This is charged as a normal consultation and may be deducted off the final bill.

Alternatively if the owner has plans to take his dog/cat abroad in the future he can still get the dog/cat registered on the PETS scheme in advance.


This information is only intended to be used a guide, for full information please consult with your vet or contact DEFRA for the latest available information.
  • Implant ID-chip and register.

  • Vaccinate for Rabies and certificate

  • After approximately 30 days arrange for blood test to check Rabies antibody titre

  • After all the above is done, a 'Pet Passport' can be issued. NOTE: The owner will need to bring in all the relevant documents along with the cat/dog. The 'Pet Passport' DOES NOT BECOME VALID for re-entry to the UK until 6 months from the time of the blood test.

  • Additionally before being allowed to re-enter the UK, the owner must get the cat/dog treated with approved drugs for tapeworm and tick infections and have the vet fill in the appropriate certificate.

  • The cat/dog will then be checked at the point of export back to the UK to make sure all its papers and ID Chip are correct.

Useful Contacts;

Pet Travel Scheme Helpline = 0870 241 1710 (lines open Monday to Friday – 8am to 6pm)


The 'Pet Passport' only allows entry into the UK after a 6 month qualification period (starting from 6 months after the blood test was taken), during this time the animal is observed to make sure no clinical signs of rabies develop.

Our estimates do not include other associated costs e.g. veterinary treatment and certification before returning to UK.

The PETS scheme only covers entry of animals into the UK it does not cover the export of the animals to their destination countries. It is therefore important that owners sort out the requirements for export with the local DEFRA office.

There will be additional costs for any export examination or certification carried out by the practice.

Rabies vaccination boosters - these are generally each year, depending on the vaccine used and must be carried out strictly the day before the booster period is up.

Generally the 'Pet Passport' is renewed annually at the rabies booster vaccination. The 'Pet Passport' may be dated to last for two years from the rabies vaccination given, but after taking advice from DEFRA our recommendation is that it is safer to renew it yearly.

N.B. If the booster vaccination period is exceeded then you will have to RESTART the whole PETS qualification again.

The 'Pet Passport' is only valid until the next rabies booster is due.

We recommend that you have your pet’s Id Chip tested each time you visit us - if the Id Chip does not read you will not be able to travel. Ensure you bring all your certificates and papers with you on each visit. 

As well as following the guidelines for the PETS Scheme it is vital that your pet is protected against other exotic diseases he may encounter on your travels -please ask the vet for guidance on prevention of such diseases e.g. Leishmaniasis, Ehrliciosis.

Due to the time delay involved in the PETS scheme, if you are considering registering your dog or cat for the PETS scheme it is imperative that you speak to us as soon as possible so we can organise all the necessary requirements as quickly as we can.