When holidays are being planned, there’s almost always someone who gets left behind – the family pet! Sadly, it’s often seen as too much hassle to bring Fido along on the annual getaway, and they end up missing out on the fun by being left with a neighbour – or sometimes in kennels. However, their owners may not be aware that following recent changes to legislation, taking pets abroad on holiday is now much less trouble than it once was.
It can still be a little expensive, and you need to plan some things out ahead of time – but if you’re prepared to do this, you can have a holiday abroad with the whole family for once! As long as your pet is happy to travel, and is covered by a pet insurance policy that includes incidents taking place abroad, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy your break all together.
If you’re travelling within the EU (and a number of other countries involved in the PETS scheme, including Japan and the USA), you just need to follow a few steps to make sure your pet can travel with you:
- Get your pet microchipped. Many people have their pets microchipped already because it makes them much easier to find if they get lost – so if yours isn’t, this is a good opportunity to do it!
- Get their rabies vaccination. Pets travelling abroad need to be vaccinated against rabies, which needs to be kept up to date with booster shots. Your pet’s latest shot needs to have been administered at least 21 days before you travel, so make sure you leave plenty of time to arrange it with a vet.
- Get their pet passport. Yes, even pets need a passport! This puts all their medical documentation into one convenient place so officials can see it when you cross the border.
- Arrange their transport. You need to arrange special transportation for your pet, using a DEFRA-approved company using an approved route – you can see the complete list of these here.
- (For dogs only) Arrange tapeworm treatment. All dogs entering the UK must be treated for tapeworm between one and five days before they arrive – so you will need to find a vet in your destination country to do this.
This sounds like a lot, but most of it only needs to be done once – after that, you can bring your pet with you on holiday as often as you like in the future!