Passports for pets

Computerquote Insurance - Guide to Pet Passport

Traveling with your pet can be an enjoyable experience, so long as you’re adequately prepared for it. By completing the necessary steps and adhering to international regulations, you can prevent any last-minute complications. Here are some helpful tips to ensure you’re well-equipped with the knowledge you need to travel abroad with your dog or cat.

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Computerquote Insurance - Guide to Pet Passport

Plan ahead for pet passports and travel

Before you take your pet abroad, it is best to contact your airline ahead of travel to confirm any logistical limitations.

Pet travel questions to ask your airline:

  • Are there any restrictions that will affect your travel plans?
  • Do you limit the number of pets you can take on a single trip?
  • Will my pet have to change planes to reach your destination? If so, ask for details about how and when this will occur
  • What are the container requirements?
  • Are there any breeds which are not allowed to travel internationally?
  • Where will my pet clear customs?
  • What documents do I need to transport my pet?
  • Will my pet be able to relieve him or herself during the flight?

Once you’ve taken all these things into consideration, you’re ready to move onto the next step and prepare your dog or cat for international travel.

Get a passport for your pet

As with any human, your pet needs a passport to travel abroad. And as you can imagine, there’s a multi-step application process and some paperwork involved. However, the process is fairly straightforward. First, you’ll need to consult your official veterinarian (OV) for advice. If your veterinary practice doesn’t have an (OV) in residence, they should be able to point you in the right direction.

Additionally, you can find the nearest OV by contacting your local Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency Office for more information. Take a look at the EU site for more information on taking animals overseas.

What you’ll need to get a passport for your dog or cat:

  • A microchip for easy identification.
  • Proper vaccinations, including rabies and booster shots. Your vet must administer these at least three weeks prior to your travel date. If you’re going to a country within the EU, bear in mind that a rabies shot will require an even longer wait before you’re okay to travel.
  • In the case of a rabies vaccination, your pet will need to have a blood test 30 days after the injection, and wait three more months on top of that before they are considered safe to take abroad.
  • If you’re travelling to a country outside the EU, your vet will need to provide you with a certificate verifying your pet’s health and vaccinations.

Additionally, upon re-entry to the UK, you’ll need to have a tapeworm treatment for dogs administered between one to five days before your scheduled arrival. When you return home, ensure you have all the necessary documents in order, or your pet will be quarantined and you’ll be forced to pay additional costs. Preparing in advance will ensure travelling abroad with your pet is an affordable, enjoyable experience for everyone involved, including your four-legged companion.

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See our update on how Brexit may affect pet travel


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