I own a rather large black Labrador called Olly and one of the main objections to us getting a dog in the first place was who is going to look after him when we travel. It was not so much that I could not bear to go without him it was probably more to do with the fact I could not bear the thought of paying kennel fees!
However we soon discovered that under the Pet Travel Scheme Olly could have his own passport, with his own photo and he was set to explore new places with us.
We take it for granted that the UK is free from rabies but travellers will realise that it is a large problem in many other countries and keeping the UK free from this disease is what the scheme is all about. Olly can re-enter the UK from any country in the world without quarantine provided he meets the rules of the scheme, which will be different depending on the country or territory we are coming from.
The steps you need to take can be found on the DEFRA website.
We then spent a little time taking and choosing the best photo shot to go in his passport (this is optional) and then we were off in the car travelling through Europe to our holiday destination in Croatia. He loved it and many of the European motels have rooms to stay with your dog or cat and there are lots of places to stop and walk on the autobahns but most of all Olly was happy to be with us. At the end of our holiday we had to ensure we followed the last requirement to enable Olly to actually come home with us and this involves a visit to a vet wherever is convenient before you reach the UK.
We have found that any vet we have used in Europe have been friendly and helpful and know what is required and so makes the process very easy. We have found a great vet in Italy close to the motorway and he knows Olly by name now.
You must enter the UK through an authorised place, again listed on the website, as your dog or cat’s paperwork will need to be checked. This year the Government is reducing quarantine from six months to 21 days so if you don’t get it quite right you stand a chance that your pet will remember you when you go to get them!!
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