Thinking of Travelling Abroad This Summer? Get Jet Set With Your Pet Using This Guide
With travel restrictions easing and pet passports changing, the team at Roundwood vets have been receiving numerous requests to discuss how to travel with your pet this summer. To help both you and your furry friends, we have put together this guide on how to travel abroad with your animal companion.
How to Travel to Europe With Your Pet
Looking forward to taking your beagle on a beach holiday? Or perhaps perusing around Paris with your poodle? Planning a last-minute getaway?
Whilst we're all looking forward to a well-deserved break, it pays to be organised. Otherwise, you may not be able to take your pet on that last minute break, as animals who do not meet the new requirements will not be able to travel out of the UK for at least 22 days.
Travel for pets (dogs, cats and ferrets) from the UK to Europe changed when we left the EU. Pet passports issued in the UK are no longer valid, even if your pet's passport is still in date. It has been replaced by the Animal Health Certificate (AHC). Your pet will need a new 10-page certificate each time you travel out of the UK issued by an Official Veterinarian (OV). If you have an EU pet passport, but your pet's rabies vaccination has expired, this cannot be updated by a UK vet and you will need an AHC to leave the UK.
Pets will require a microchip, a valid rabies vaccine, and an AHC (although some pets may require different paperwork).
Animal Health Certificates
Before an AHC can be issued, your pet will need to have a microchip and a valid rabies vaccination. If your pet hasn’t got a rabies vaccine that is in date, you will need to allow at least 21 days before the certificate can be completed.
The rabies vaccination is not part of your pets primary or annual vaccination course, it is a vaccine you have to request from your vet to be able to leave the UK. Pets can only have the rabies vaccination from 12 weeks of age.
The AHC needs to be issued within 10 days of your planned departure and the person travelling with the pet must be present to sign the paperwork.
Only an 'Official Veterinarian' can issue an AHC- but thankfully we have two on our team! During this appointment, your vet will go through your pet's vaccination, medical records, carry out a general health check and complete the certificate for each pet that is travelling. The certificate is ten pages long and takes a long time to complete (typically an hour) so it can be costly and you will need to book this type of appointment in advance.
Additionally, the AHC will only allow pets to enter and exit the UK once through a Traveller's Point of Entry (TPE), these are listed on the Government website (the link is at the bottom of the blog!). Once you and your furry friend are in the EU, this certificate is valid for travel within the EU for four months. Your pet will need a new AHC each time you wish to travel out of the UK.
Some specific breeds (such as wolf breeds or wild cat breeds) cannot be issued an AHC.
Reentering the UK
When coming back to the UK, your pet will need a parasite treatment 24 - 120 hours before reentering. Some countries (such as Northern Ireland, Ireland, Norway, Malta and Finland) require a parasite treatment 24-120 hours before entry.
Whilst we're all eager to get away as soon as possible when planning a holiday with your pet, preparation is key. Allow at least 30 days before travel to get everything your pet needs- and do not leave it to the last minute!
Always check the rules of each country you are travelling through for any additional pet travel restrictions, as each may have different requirements which could be a barrier to your entry.
Some countries may request a rabies titre blood test before your paperwork can be issued, this can only be done 30 days after the rabies vaccination and can take 2-3 weeks to get the official certificate which adds more delay to your departure. Most EU countries will not allow a pet to travel that is under 15 weeks of age. Failure to comply with local rules may result in up to four months of quarantine or outright refusal of entry.
At Roundwood, we've heard of cases of pets being permitted to leave the UK for them only to be declined reentry due to incorrect paperwork. So take care and make sure you have everything in check!
A new AHC is required every time you leave the UK with your pet. Advice and requirements have changed many times over the last 6 months and they may change again so always keep up to date with the latest travel requirements on the government website.
For more information follow this link here - https://www.gov.uk/taking-your-pet-abroad/travelling-to-an-eu-country-or-northern-ireland
Book a telehealth appointment with our OV to discuss your pets travel requirements.
Didn't catch last weeks blog? We give an update on the Kanal Katz- the kittens rescued from the local canal. To see their progress, click here.