Pet Travel Scheme

The PET Travel Scheme (PETS) was introduced on 28 February 2000 and revised in January 2012. It is the system that allows dogs, cats and ferrets from certain countries to enter the UK without quarantine as long as they meet the rules. The rules are to keep the UK free from rabies and other certain diseases. Further information about all aspects of PETS can be found on the DEFRA website and also additional advice can be found at

Taking your Pet Abroad

Please think ahead before taking your pet abroad. Not all countries will accept a Pet Passport so please check the DEFRA website. There are important welfare considerations when taking a pet on a long journey to a climate they’re not used to. Also understand that they may be exposed to certain serious diseases not currently epidemic in the UK.

Getting a Pet Passport

  1. First your pet will need to have a microchip inserted if this has not already been done.
  2. Microchipped pets then receive a rabies vaccination. We recommend that dogs and cats are vaccinated from three months of age. (If vaccinated earlier they must have a second vaccination at three months).
  3. If you are travelling to (and returning from) an EU member state or certain listed non-EU countries (see DEFRA website for details), a passport may then be issued. You will need to wait THREE WEEKS from the date of rabies vaccination before taking your pet into one of these countries.
  4. If you are travelling to (and returning from) a non-EU unlisted country, a blood test is taken at least 30 days after vaccination. The blood is sent to a government appointed laboratory. If this blood test is satisfactory and shows your pet has adequate immunity to rabies, a passport may then be issued. There may be restrictions on the timing of travel in relation to the blood test so please check the up to date rules on the DEFRA website.
  5. The passport is valid until a rabies vaccination booster is required (currently three years), however this varies between countries. We recommend you contact DEFRA to establish the rabies vaccination interval required by your destination.


Returning to the UK

You will need

  • A valid passport.
  • To visit an approved veterinary surgeon 1-5 days before arrival into the UK.  The vet will administer treatment against tapeworms.
    This treatment will be recorded in the appropriate section of the pet passport.

Before you Travel

  • You need to arrange for your animal to travel on an authorised route and may require the assistance of an approved transport company.
  • Please check the DEFRA website before travel for any changes.


The Pet Travel Scheme only protects the UK from diseases that are transmissible to people. Following the protocol required DOES NOT protect your pet from other exotic diseases, some of which can be fatal. Please get advice on prevention of these diseases (which will vary depending upon where you are going) in advance of travel. We suggest that you book an appointment at least a couple of weeks before you travel.