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Taking your pet abroad on the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS)

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The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) means that you can now take your dog or cat with you when you travel providing all the requirements of the scheme have been met. To do this you will need to get a Pet Passport, which requires your pet to be microchipped and vaccinated.  In addition, you might need a blood test to check whether the vaccination has been effective. Your local Vetsure practice can arrange all the necessary procedures and certification and provide advice on your travel requirements.

It is very important to note that the requirements vary depending upon the country from which you will be returning.

Once your pet has a PETS passport, it can enter back into the UK providing that:

- your pet is microchipped
- your pet is up to date with his/her rabies vaccination.
- your pet is travelling on an authorised route with an approved travel company.

In addition:

- your pet might require treatment for parasites 24-48 hours before their return journey back to the UK
- there are special requirements if you are travelling with more than 5 pets

You should also consider protection for your pet against certain infectious diseases found in many warmer countries including:

1) tick-borne diseases such as babesiosis and ehrlichiosis
2) mosquito-borne diseases such as heartworm
3) sand fly-borne diseases such as leishmaniasis

Advice will vary slightly depending on the country you are visiting but in general, to cover all of the above, your vet may prescribe for you:

For countries where sand flies are a particular problem they may in addition recommend:

Please note that these products are only available through your veterinary surgery. Treatments that are required 24-48 hours before returning to the UK must be administered by a veterinary surgeon and this undertaking needs certifying in the passport. To maximize protection you should start application of treatments prior to leaving the UK. Whilst abroad you should check your pet daily for ticks and remove any found. In warmer countries we would also recommend that you avoid walks at dusk and dawn when many of the mosquitos and sand flies are most active. For peace of mind we would suggest that you visit your Vetsure vet prior to travel to check that your pet’s microchip is functioning correctly.

For further information on the Pet Travel scheme visit the Defra website by clicking here.

Don’t leave it too late to get a Pet Passport. It’s now possible to travel abroad with your pet, but the necessary regulations must be satisfied. Please contact your local Vetsure practice with plenty of time before you travel so they can help and advice you on the process. The regulations can change frequently and whilst we have made every effort to ensure the summary above is correct  and up to date we advise that you consult the Pet Travel Scheme website run by DEFRA to ensure you have the specifics of your travel with your pet comprehensively covered.

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