Travelling abroad with your pet

pet passportThe Pet Passport

You must apply for a Pet Passport. This can be used for dogs, cats, and ferrets and allows your pet to return to the UK without the requirement of quarantine. The Pet Passport scheme includes a timescale of veterinary requirements which can be performed by your local vet. All vets who are LVI’s (Local Veterinary Inspectors) can carry out these procedures. The specific requirements for pets returning to the UK changed in 2012, making the whole process simpler and giving a longer qualifying period for re-entry to the UK. You are advised to check with your own vet and with DEFRA before planning your holiday. Failure to comply with regulations will involve your pet being placed into quarantine upon arrival in the UK.

Be aware of the dangers

When travelling to Spain and southern France, it is important to be aware that there are a number of diseases and dangers for pets that are not found in most other European countries. For dogs these include;

  • The fatal Leishmaniosis (also called Mediterranean or sand fly disease)
  • Ehrlchiosis also called Tick Disease)
  • Filariosis (also know as heartworm) 

The sand fly is active between April and November (during the warm season) and disappears in winter. They hide during the daytime and come out in late afternoon, with the highest period of activity occurring at night between 2-4am. 

Ticks hide in well-watered gardens and in the bushes and shrubbery of fields, especially in areas frequented by passing sheep and goats. 

Heartworm is a disease primarily of dogs, although cats are also at risk. It is transmitted by certain mosquitoes and has a worldwide distribution including southern Europe. 

Ask your vet about these before you travel to make sure you are satisfied your animals will be protected. 

The BVA website has useful information on the above. Have a great pet friendly holiday in Europe. Paws Abroad and Paws In Britain do not guarantee the complete accuracy of all these details. Please check with Defra, your vet and the relevant travel companies before travelling.