How to apply for a pet passport

Those of us that love travelling but can’t bear to leave our furry friends at home can breathe a sigh of relief because the days of having to put your beloved pet in quarantine may be over.

You can now enter and return to the UK with your dog or cat as long as you obtain a pet passport (cute photo not required) and strictly follow the government’s pet travel rules.

You can obtain a pet passport once your pet has been microchipped and vaccinated against rabies.

Most vets in the UK should be able to issue your dog or cat with a pet passport but if your vet doesn’t do them, then ask them for the details of the next local one that does, or contact the Animal and Plant Health Agency.

You’ll need to take your pet, their identity documentation and vaccination records with you, along with any rabies blood test results you may have, when you apply for a pet passport.

The good news is that once your pet has a passport you won’t need to renew it until you run out of space to log relevant treatments, as it stays valid as long as you continue to meet the entry requirements.

If you do have old pet passports, they may be required when traveling, especially if they contain blood test results - if you're unsure about whether you'll need them or not, contact your local vet for more information.

Before you travel

If your pet has recently had their rabies vaccinations, you won't be able to travel until 21 days or more have passed since they received them and you must check that your vet has filled in all relevant sections correctly within your pet's passport before you jet off:

  • Details of pet ownership.
  • A description of your pet.
  • Details of any distinct marking or means of identification of your pet.
  • Details of vaccination against rabies.
  • Details of any rabies blood test (if relevant).
  • Details of the vet issuing the passport (this is only necessary for passports issued from 29 December 2014 onwards).

Please remember that you’re responsible for any fees or charges if you don’t follow the pet travel rules.

We love our pets and they’re an important part of our family, they're reassuring and a constant presence in our lives. Pet insurance provides peace of mind and can help to cover the cost of unexpected vet fees when your pet needs treatment due to an accident or illness. 

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