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Pet travel

What do I need to do to enable me to take my pet abroad?

The pet travel scheme (PETS) allows you to take certain pet animals abroad such as dogs, cats and ferrets. The scheme is designed to stop the spread of rabies and other diseases while still allowing pets to travel.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) website provides details and the full procedure for preparing your pet:

Pet travel: information for pet owners - GOV.UK website (external website)

PETS eligibility

To be eligible, your cat, dog or ferret must:

  • 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).

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 rout.

The DEFRA website has details of PETS-approved routes.

PETS routes and transport companies - GOV.UK website (external website)

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 U.

Where PETS applies

Most EU countries and many outside the EU have joined PETS.

The DEFRA website provides details of all relevant countries who have joined PETS.

DPet travel countries and territories (external website)

For any further guidance or information

You can contact the animal health duty officer by:


Telephone: (01482) 396107

The Directgov website provides additional guidance on pet travel.

Directgov (external website)

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How do I obtain a pet passport?

Pet travel scheme

In order to take your dog, cat or ferret to other EU countries 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).

Getting your passport

This scheme is administered by official veterinarians on behalf of DEFRA. 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

Extensive information on the pet travel scheme can be found on the DEFRA website.

Pets travel scheme (external 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.

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