Dog Passports – All you need to know

Travelling to or from Europe with your dog is much easier now than it was a few years ago. The European Commission created a pet passport, for transporting dogs, cats and ferrets.  The Pet Travel Scheme (or PETS) was first created by the DEFRA in the UK to allow pets to travel in and out of the country without having to undergo a lengthy quarantine. It has since been adopted by all EU member states. While there is still some significant preparation required and some additional variation of work needed in a few EU countries, the Pet Travel Scheme has simplified the process tremendously.

The document includes the medical history of the pet and vaccinations. Until the end of 2011, Ireland, Malta, Sweden and the United Kingdom also require proof that the rabies vaccination has been effective with a test called antibody titration. Also until the end of 2011, treatment for ticks and tapeworm is required for entry into Ireland, Malta and the United Kingdom. Finland and Sweden require just a tapeworm treatment.

The passport is issued by a vet, who will also make sure the animal has all the proper shots and medical history. The big advantage for pet owners is not having to deal with different regulations and paperwork at each country. As an option, you may have a passport style photo of your dog included.

An electronic microchip is required for easy identification of the animals to the passport. Until 3 July 2011, a clearly visible tattoo will be allowed as a way to identify the animal, except for the UK, Ireland and Malta, who already require the microchip. If your dog is too young to be vaccinated, it may still be allowed to travel without vaccination on the conditions defined by each EU member state.

The pet passport was designed to enable people from one EU member state to travel with their pet to another EU state, not for people outside the EU to come into the EU with their pet, however if you reside in one of the non-continental EU territories you may use the pet passport to travel to the EU continent member states.

You can use the pet passport if you are travelling to or from the following territories:

  • Greenland and the Faroe Islands (Danish pet passport)
  • French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Réunion (French pet passport)
  • Canary Islands (Spanish pet passport)
  • Azores and Madeira (Portuguese pet passport)
  • Gibraltar (specific Gibraltar pet passport, not UK pet passport)

If you are a non-EU citizen but plan to live in the EU with your pet for several years, you may get a pet passport to use during your stay. Simply contact a veterinarian in any of the EU member states to get the necessary vaccination and obtain the passport.

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About the author

Proud owner of two Miniature Schnauzers (Archie and Lola), and a Giant Schnauzer (Milo). Favourite Dog Trick: Turn. Enjoys Southern Comfort.

3 Responses to “Dog Passports – All you need to know”

  1. says:

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  3. Mark says:

    After close inspection of the image above… It appears the “Species” and “Breed” are listed the wrong way round.
    In the image is says:
    Name: NICA…. Species: ALASKAN MALAMUTE…. Breed: DOG.

    Should that not read:

    Not sure who filled it out but an accurate picture wouldn’t go a miss.

    Fantastic idea though!!

    Signed: Jonny English.

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