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Pet Passports

Pet passport for cats, dogs and ferrets

If you are thinking of travelling within Europe with your cat or dog, or travelling to another country which is included in the UK passport scheme, the following procedures apply.

Entering UK from EU/non-EU listed countries

Preparing your dog, cat or ferret if you are entering the UK from the EU and listed non-EU countries

  • Your pet needs to be microchipped - or the existing microchip checked. Before any other procedures are carried out, your pet must be able to be properly identified.
  • Have your pet vaccinated - your pet must be vaccinated against Rabies. There is no exemption to this requirement. Rabies boosters must be kept up to date.
  • There is a 21-day waiting period after vaccination before entry into the UK is allowed. If the vaccination is two parts, the 21-day wait will be from the date of the second vaccination.
  • Get pet travel documentation - for animals being prepared in an EU country, you should get an EU Pet Passport.
  • Tapeworm treatment - all dogs must be treated for tapeworm. The treatment must be administered by a vet not less than 24 hours and no more than 120 hours (1-5 days) before its scheduled arrival time in the UK. There is no mandatory requirement for tick reatment. No treatment is required for dogs entering the UK from Finland, Ireland, Malta or Norway. The vet MUST fill out this information on your passport.
  • Travel arrangements - Your pet must enter the UK from a listed country or territory, travelling with an approved transport company on an authorised route.

This information is checked before you leave by the Port Officials, and can be checked on arrival in the UK.

Please contact the surgery or DEFRA for further advice if you are entering the UK from unlisted non-EU countries.

Leaving the UK and not returning

Your pet will still need to have the microchip and rabies vaccination for travelling to Europe. They cannot travel until 21 days after the vaccination is given. A passport will be issued so you can leave the country.

Please contact the surgery if you are planning on travelling to a country other than those covered by the Pet Passport so we can obtain the up-to-date information/requirements you will need for travelling with your pet.

To maintain your passport

The Rabies vaccination is licensed for three years but must be revaccinated on the day or before the due date in the passport, otherwise the passport becomes invalid. The vaccination can be done either in this country or the country you are residing in. The vaccines are licensed for different periods of time in each country. 

Other information

Animals should be protected from ticks and heartworm whilst visiting Europe. Ideally, treatment should be started 8 weeks before leaving the UK and should continue on return. Please ask surgery staff for the relevant information.

Animal diseases which also affect human health

There are four main exotic diseases related to animals travelling to Europe which affect animal and human health.

  • Spread by sandflies
  • Present in Europe, Middle East and many tropical countries
  • Organism can cause disease in humans


  • Disease of cattle and other mammals
  • Transmitted by ticks
  • Present worldwide, including in some areas of the UK and mainland Europe, and particularly in southern France


  • Adult worms live in the heart and blood vessels
  • Dogs are most commonly infected but cats and ferrets are also at risk 
  • Transmitted by mosquitoes
  • Mainly in hot countries – including France and Spain


  • Affects dogs, horses and people
  • Transmitted by ticks
  • Occurs in North Africa and several European countries