Pet Travel Scheme
What do I need to do to bring my dog to the UK?
The Pet Travel Scheme, known as PETS, has been in effect for several years. PETS is a system that permits Pet Travel to the UK – dogs can enter or re-enter the UK from the qualified EU countries, and certain other countries in Europe and elsewhere. Pet travel from the USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand is also included.
In order to do comply with the Pet Travel Scheme, dogs must meet the following conditions:
Travelling from an EU or Listed Country
Your dog must be microchipped and this must be done prior to it being vaccinated against rabies. There is no exemption to this requirement. Following vaccination a blood test will be required to ensure the animal has sufficient protection against the disease. The time period between vaccination and testing will vary depending on the specific vaccine used and a vet’s advice should be sought. However, you must wait at least 21 days before travelling to the UK. The date of vaccination is classed as day 0. So if vaccination takes place on 1st of the month you cannot travel before the 22nd of the month.
The vet will issue a EU PETS Passport if you are travelling from an EU or listed country. Your dog will also require tapeworm treatment and this must be recorded on the Pet Passport by your vet. The treatment must be administered within 1 and 5 days (between 24 and 120 hours) before travel. (Tapeworm treatment is not required if you are travelling direct to the UK from Finland, Ireland, Malta or Norway.) If you are travelling from a ‘listed country’ you must also complete a declaration confirming that you will not sell or transfer ownership of the dog.
Only certain transport companies can be used and there are approved travel routes which you must use to enter England, Scotland or Wales unless you are travelling from Ireland. Slightly different procedures apply to Northern Ireland.
Travelling from an Unlisted Country
The dog must be microchipped prior to vaccination and must have a blood sample taken at least 30 days after the rabies vaccination. (The date of the vaccination counts as day 0, not day 1.)
The blood sample must be tested by an EU approved blood testing laboratory. A successful vaccination will show a rabies antibody level of at least 0.5 IU/ml. A period of 3 calendar months must elapse from the date the blood sample was taken before travelling to the UK.
The vet must provide a copy of the test results and must enter the date the blood sample was taken in a third-country official veterinary certificate.
In all cases you must get regular booster vaccinations for your pet before they are due. Check the ‘valid until’ date in the relevant section of the pet passport or third-country official veterinary certificate to find out when the booster vaccination is due.
PLEASE NOTE: Dogs must travel with supporting documentation – this means:
- Proof of microchipping: certificate of registration/ patient notes/ letter from vet.
- Proof of rabies vaccination: Vaccination card/ Rabies vaccination certificate – these MUST have the microchip number on or there will be delays.
- Blood test result: Official test result certificate from the approved lab.