Pet Travel Scheme


From 1 January 2012 the PETS Travel Scheme, a system that allows dogs, cats and ferrets to travel freely between certain countries, changed.

Below is an outline of what you need to do to get your pet ready to travel *.  The PETS Travel Scheme generally applies to most EU countries, including the UK.  If you wish to take your pet to countries not covered by the scheme you need to contact DEFRA and and discuss the requirements with them.

Vaccination Status

We recommend that your pet's annual vaccinations are kept up to date.


Your pet can be microchipped at an appointment with a veterinary surgeon or nurse. A microchip is a permanent implant (the size of a grain of rice) that is injected beneath the pet's skin. When scanned with a special scanner, an individual code is read. The code number is entered on a nationwide database alongside details of the owner and of the pet.

Rabies Vaccination

This can be done at the same time as microchipping, or you can make a separate appointment. This is another injection, similar to your pet's annual booster vaccination. The vaccine used is a dead vaccine; this means your pet will not be subjected to living rabies antibodies. This vaccine will need to be administered every three years (every two years depending on the brand of vaccine) on or before the date the vaccine is due if you want to keep your dogs protection and passport current.

Blood Test

Pets no longer require a blood test to check their response to the rabies vaccination under the new laws.  Your pet simply has to wait 21 days from the date of the rabies vaccination before they can travel.

Before You Travel

Although the PETS travel scheme makes it easier for pets to travel between certain countries we still recommend you contact DEFRA and the quarantine authority in the country you are traveling to, before you travel to ensure regulations in that country have not changed.

Returning to the UK

In the past, pets returning to the UK required both a flea and tick treatment from a official veterinarian.  Pets are still required to have a worming treatment but the tick treatment has been abolished.  We still recommend keeping up your pets tick prevention programme in order to protect them from tick borne diseases that we do not currently have in the UK.



* The information on this website is correct at the time of writing.  Please contact DEFRA and the clinic before considering travel.

We have attached a PDF document below (created by MSD animal health)  with further information on the changes.