Although many of us would like to take the family dog or cat abroad with us when we go away, it’s often viewed as too complicated or expensive. However, the rules have changed in the last few years – while taking a pet out of the country used to involve months of quarantine, it’s now a much simpler process that doesn’t have to mean you are separated for long.
Under the UK Pet Travel Scheme, cats, dogs and ferrets can travel between any EU country (and some non-EU ones, listed here) as long as it has been microchipped, vaccinated against rabies and is accompanied by a pet passport. Fitting a pet with a microchip is a good idea anyway, as it helps you to track down your pet if they go missing, so this is a good reason to get it done! It costs around £20-£30 to get it your pet microchipped at the vet’s, although some charities and local authorities offer it free of charge.
The next step is for your pet to get a rabies vaccination, which must be administered at least 21 days before the day you are due to travel. Dogs also need to be treated for tapeworm in the five days before they travel. Your vet will be able to give you a pet passport, but make sure you leave plenty of time to arrange this!
Your pet will have to be transported on with an approved carrier (this means may not be taking the same plane or ferry as you) and collected when you get to your destination. You should check this ahead of time too as some routes only operate at certain times of the year. While this may sound like a lot of organisation, it’s much more convenient than the months of quarantine and separation the old system involved.
Once you’ve made all the arrangements, you’re free to travel between listed countries with your pet! Book into a pet-friendly hotel and enjoy giving your best friend a whole new country to explore. If you don’t already have it, you should seriously consider gettingpet insurance in case your pet falls ill, as veterinary treatment can be very expensive abroad. Make sure your policy covers overseas travel and that your provider knows you’re going on holiday. With that load off your mind, you’re free to enjoy a relaxing holiday with your pet!