Pet Passports

Dogs, cats and pet ferrets entering the UK from an EU or ‘listed’ non-EU country must have a pet passport completed by an Official Veterinarian (OV) stating that they have:

* been microchipped,

* been vaccinated against rabies,

* waited 21 days after vaccination before travel,

* been treated against the tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis 1-5 days before each return journey to the UK

Pets entering from a non-listed third country must have passed a blood test 30 days after vaccination, followed by a three-month wait before they are allowed into the UK.

Your pet must enter the UK from a listed country or territory travelling with an approved transport company on an authorised route.

The passport is valid for life, as long as you keep up to date with your pet’s rabies vaccination. A rabies booster vaccination is required every 3 years, and MUST be given on or before the date stated in the passport.
NB: The rabies vaccination is not part of your routine annual vaccination. You will not automatically receive a reminder from us about your pet’s rabies vaccination, so it is your responsibility to ensure the vaccination is kept up to date.

The UK Pet Passport is a re-entry passport for coming back into this country.  It does not necessarily give you the right to enter foreign countries with your pet.  You must always contact DEFRA to enquire about the import requirements for any particular country.

Entry into most European countries is generally straight-forward.  However, import requirements to other countries might involve a veterinary health certificate and official certification perhaps 48 hours before departure. Certain countries have slightly different rabies booster protocols in order to satisfy their import requirements.  An example of this is Spain that requires a yearly vaccine, even though the re-entry passport for the UK may be fully valid. Sweden and Malta also have certain additional entry requirements. There are currently no requirements for pets travelling directly between the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

While overseas, it is important to realise that the Pet passport scheme is designed only to protect human health, not the health of your pet. We strongly advise the use of tick prevention (please note Advocate does NOT protect against ticks) while travelling due to the risk of serious tick borne disease, such as Babesia and Ehlichia which are not currently in this country. Please speak to us about the best treatments before you travel. In addition, Heartworm and Leishmania are present in some parts of Europe.

The PETS (Pet Travel Scheme) is run by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). For the most up to date details please contact the PETS helpline on 0370 241 1710
or email

For full details visit