Pet Travel Advice & Diseases




The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) is the system that allows:

  • Pet dogs, cats and ferrets to enter the UK without quarantine as long as they meet the rules.
  • People in the UK to take their dogs, cats and ferrets to other countries and territories, and return with them to the UK without the need for quarantine.

The rules are to keep the UK free from rabies and tapeworm Echinococcus.  Information can be obtained from DEFRA tel. 0870 241 1710 or

Getting a Passport

These steps must be carried out in the correct order before a passport can be issued.

1 Identichip £22.00
2 Rabies vaccination £36.00
3 Issue of passport £52.61
Estimated total cost: £110.61 Prices include VAT and are correct as of 24.5.16


Your pet may only travel out of the UK 3 weeks after the date of rabies vaccination. Rabies boosters are given every 3 years. It is your responsibility to remember this (we do not send reminders for rabies boosters).
If you miss a booster even by one day you will need to have your dog vaccinated again and wait a further 3 weeks before travel.

We suggest that you allow at least 1 month from starting the above process before your expected date of travel from the UK with your pet.

Where Can You Go?

A passport allows you to move freely between countries in the EU. Other selected countries are also part of the Pet Travel Scheme, but travel to/from these countries may require extra travel documents or export certificates. It is your responsibility to check whether extra documentation is required.

Coming Home

Dogs, cats & ferrets must be seen by a vet abroad before returning to the UK. The vet must administer treatment for tapeworms that are not present in this country, and then sign and record in the passport that this has been done. The treatment must be carried out 24-120 hours (1-5 days) before you embark on your return journey.


When you travel abroad your pet is at risk from diseases that are not present in the UK, particularly ones spread by ticks and biting flies. They are all serious, difficult to treat and potentially life threatening. Leishmaniasis is transmittable to man. We strongly advise that you take precautions to prevent your pet becoming infected. They affect mainly dogs but cats and ferrets are at risk. If your pet is ill abroad or when you return you MUST take it to a vet and explain where you have been.

Leishmaniasis – Present along the Mediterranean coasts (including France, Spain, Italy), Germany, South America, the Middle East and the Tropics. Transmitted by sandflies, symptoms include weight loss, skin and eye disease, lameness, fever and liver and kidney damage. Can take years to develop after infection, humans can also be infected.

Babesiosis – Throughout Europe, particularly France. Transmitted by ticks, causes severe anaemia, weakness and collapse 2-3 weeks after infection.

Ehrlichiosis – Wide distribution throughout Europe (especially the Mediterranean), North and South America, Asia, Africa. Transmitted by ticks, symptoms include fever, poor appetite, vomiting, nose bleeds and neurological signs. German Shepherd dogs are particularly sensitive to the disease.

Hepatozoonosis – Present in Southern Europe, South America, Asia and Africa. Transmitted by ticks, symptoms include lethargy, weight loss, fever, anaemia, kidney and lung disease.

Heartworm – Present along the Mediterranean coast and North and South America. Transmitted by mosquitoes. Adult worms line the lungs and the heart. Symptoms can take months or years to develop, and include breathing difficulties, coughing, collapse and heart failure.



  • Mosquitoes/Sandflies: active at night, mainly May-October. Do not let pets sleep outside unless protected by a mosquito net.
  • Avoid walking in areas densely populated with ticks e.g. forest and rough grazing areas.  This applies mainly in Spring – Autumn but can be all year around.


  • Ticks: Use either ADVANTIX SPOT-ON which repels and kills ticks for 3-4 weeks or a SCALLIBOR collar which repels ticks for 5-6 months*. Check pet daily and remove any ticks with an O’TOM TICK TWISTER.
    *PLEASE NOTE SCALIBOR and ADVANTIX SPOT-ON must NOT be used at the same time. ADVANTIX must NOT be used on cats.
  • Sandflies (Leishmaniasis): As for ticks, but please note that ADVANTIX repels sandflies for only 2 weeks.
  • Heartworm: No prevention of mosquito bites possible (except by use of net) so use MILBEMAX TABLETS to kill any transmitted worms. Must begin one month before travel and continue monthly until one month after return.


  • A vaccine is now available to protect your pet against Leishmaniasis. Please ask for our information sheet if this is relevant to your travel plans.


Your dog will need to visit a vet 1-5 days (24-120 hours) before your return journey for tapeworm treatment; try to time treatments so that they are due to be repeated around this time, to avoid overdosing.

If you are using ADVANTIX, MILBEMAX or FRONTLINE then you can take the product abroad with you. If you are travelling with cats or ferrets then please contact us for specific advice.

Page last updated: April 2014