With the up and coming holiday season soon to be upon us you may have planned to take your beloved four-legged friend abroad with you – after all, they are part of the family too! With the introduction of the ‘pet passport scheme’ and the elongating of the worming treatment for re-entry into the UK, if you stick to some simple rules travelling with your dog is relatively easy.
Travelling within the EU
When planning your journey the most important item to have besides your dog is a pet passport. It is very important when having your vet prepare your pet passport to make sure they add the correct information and in the correct order.
Page 1 – Entry of the owner’s full name and address including postcode
Page 2 – All of your dogs details: name, breed, sex, date of birth, colour and type of coat. We recommend you stick a current photograph of your dog also to avoid any confusion
Page 3 – This is a very important page in the passport! Before you can travel with your dog and for your own identification reasons your dog MUST be microchipped. This MUST be done BEFORE or at the same time as the ANTI RABIES vaccination and the details entered into the passport making sure the microchip number matched EXACTLY to the number entered. The date MUST be entered as dd/mm/yy and not in any other format.
Page 4 – The MOST IMPORTANT PAGE. The rabies vaccination. The first column MUST have the label of the vaccine used with its batch number and expiry date clearly visible. The second column is for the date administered. Again this must be written in dd/mm/yy format and MUST NOT be earlier than the microchip date. The third column is for the vet’s SIGNATURE over the stamp of the administering vet. It is also very important for there not to be any breaks between booster jabs as this will mean a 21 day incubation period to start from the booster injection being given – therefore possibly disrupting booked travel journeys.
You must wait 21 days from the date of the rabies vaccination before travelling
These are the basic requirements for dogs travelling OUT of the UK and around Europe although for RE-ENTRY there are more entries to be made and this is where a lot of ‘Doggy Travellers’ find themselves stranded at various European ports being refused entry for incorrectly filled out pet passports. At the pet passport checking area it does not matter if you have all the certificates stating that your dog has had all the required injections and treatments because if it is not entered in the pet passport in the correct way, your dog WILL NOT be entering the UK. For re-entry into the UK there is one more treatment that MUST be entered correctly.
Re-entry to the UK
Page 16 – Worming Treatment (Echinococcus). If you are only travelling into Europe for a short visit and do not plan to be out of the UK for more than 4 days get your vet to give your dog a worming treatment prior to your departure from the UK. Please MAKE sure the following is entered correctly:
Column 1 – the name and manufacturer of the treatment used is clearly stated
Column 2 – is for the date and time
Column 3 – Vet stamps and then signs over
From this date and time your dog CANNOT re-enter the UK within the first 24 hours but MUST re-enter within the next 96 hours (4 days) and this is the reason why the date and time entry is so important.
If you are planning to be in Europe longer than 4 days you will have to locate a vet near your departure location and have them administer the worm treatment as stated above. It is VERY IMPORTANT that you double-check the entries because sometimes language barriers and not fully understanding the passport checking criteria, information can be left out or entered in the wrong spaces. If you like to use a particular worming treatment on your dog, then take this with you, have the vet administer and enter all the information required.
This is the main reason for refusal of entry and results in the owner having to find a vet near to the port, having another dose administered and waiting another 24 hours before entry is allowed.
If you follow these guidelines you should have an event free trip with no problems at European ports. If you are daunted by all the red tape, please do not hesitate to contact us as we are happy to help. We can also put you in touch with Lucy Pitts, Le Moulin Pitts who regularly travels to France with her dog !