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Animal Ark Veterinary Centre

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PETS passport travel documentation

What Is It?

  • A PETS Passport allows you to take your pet on holiday with you to any country that accepts the PETS Passport scheme.
  • It allows your pet to enter the country without the need for quarantine.

Pets Entering the UK

  • Simpler rules have been introduced from 1 January 2012 for the entry of pets into the UK.
  • For pets entering from the EU or non-EU listed countries you should obtain a passport.
  • For pets entering from unlisted non-EU countries, additional steps are required, such as blood tests.

What Do I Need To Do To Get A Passport?

Step 1: The Microchip
  • Your pet must first be fitted with a microchip which meets ISO standard 11784 or Annex A to ISO standard 11785.
  • Pets that are identified solely by tattoo do not meet the rules of the pet travel scheme.
Step 2: The Rabies Vaccination
  • Rabies vaccinations can only take place after your pet has been microchipped and must be at least 3 months old.
  • Animals vaccinated before they have a microchip will have to be vaccinated again.
  • Your pet will need booster vaccinations, and MUST be given by the ‘valid until’ date shown on your PETS passport or on the PETS certificate.
  • Rabies vaccinations can last between 1 to 3 years depending on the manufacturer.
  • We use a 3 year duration vaccine.
Step 3: Issue of PETS Passport Certification
  • The passport is issued by a government authorised vet known as an Official Veterinarian (OV).
  • We currently have three OVs available at Animal Ark.
  • When you go to get your PETS passport make sure you take your pet’s vaccination records.
  • The document must show your pet’s microchip number and you need to make sure the vet correctly completes sections I to V of the passport.
Using the Passport (21 day rule)
  • Once you receive your passport you can leave the country as soon as you wish.
  • But the passport will only become valid for re-entry into the UK 21 days after the initial rabies vaccination.
  • The passport will remain valid provided your pet is re-vaccinated by the valid until date shown on the passport.
 Step 4: Treatment Against Tapeworm
  • Dogs must be treated by a registered vet for tapeworm between 24 and 120 hours before your scheduled arrival time into the UK.
  • If going abroad on a day trip your dog will need to be treated in the UK between 24 and 120 hours before your dog’s scheduled arrival time back into the UK.
Step 5: Arrange Transport with an Approved Transporter on an Authorised Route.
  • Your pet must re-enter the UK from a listed country or territory travelling with an approved transport company on an authorised route.

General Vaccinations

  • In addition to the rabies vaccination it is in the best interest of your pet to ensure they are up to date with routine vaccinations.

Travelling Safely

  • The correct size container is essential when travelling, it is there to protect the animal during transport. It needs to be secure and have sufficient ventilation.
  • The container must be large enough for the pet to stand up, turn around and lie down in a natural manner.
  • Your pet will be in the container for some time, therefore it should be as comfortable as possible.
  • It must have a water pot and food container accessible from the outside.
  • Ensuring that your pet is up to date with worming and tick treatment (in the last 3 to 6 months) is a very important step as ticks and tapeworms carry diseases which can infect other animals and humans causing illness and sometimes death.

 Returning to the UK

  • You cannot re-enter the UK until 21 days after the date of the first rabies vaccination.
  • For dogs, a registered vet will need to treat for tapeworms 24-120 hours before your scheduled arrival time back into the UK and the vet will need to correctly fill in sections VI and VII of the passport, sign and date it.

Unlisted non-EU countries

  • These countries fall outside the scope of the PETS passport and require additional steps.
  • Visit www.defra.gov.uk for the latest requirements needed for your country of interest.


For more information on the PETS passport scheme go to www.defra.gov.uk or you can contact the PETS helpline on 0870 241 1710.

Please note the above information that we have provided is for guideline purposes only. Please ensure that you contact DEFRA to confirm the most recent rules as they apply to you and your pet. Animal Ark will not be held responsible for any loss or damages arising from information provided on this page.