Our pets are much more than furry creatures we share our home with, they are four legged family members. Taking them abroad on holiday with us can really enhance the memories that our downtime can leave us with, and with just a little bit of foresight and planning this is easily achievable.

Why does my Dog, Cat, or Ferret need a Pet Passport?

The Main purpose of pet passports is to keep the United Kingdom free from rabies, and also free from certain other non-UK diseases which are transmitted (spread) by biting ticks and insects. Our pets are vulnerable to these exotic diseases which, unfortunately, in the majority of cases are not easily treated and often prove to be fatal.

The other reason for having pet passports is so that most animals will not need to spend time in quarantine facilities, either in the UK or abroad. Quarantine can often be a very bewildering, stressful experience for domestic pets, despite professional care in quarantine.

How do I get a Pet Passport?

You can get one from any vets that issue them in European Union (EU) countries and it is a service that we are happy to offer here at Saint Leonard. Our Pet Passport Package covers your pet for travel within the EU (other countries may have specific requirements like rabies blood tests etc) and costs £130.You will need to bring your pet, its identity and vaccination records, and any previous Rabies blood test results (if you have them) when you come to us to get a pet passport.

At Saint Leonard we include the following in our pet passport service:

· Rabies Vaccination

· The Passport itself

· 3 months Vectra 3D which is a spot on that repels Ticks, Mosquitoes, and Sand Flies (which can pass on disease in mainland Europe if they bite)

· Worming tablet (required for re-entry into the UK)

· A Fitness to Travel check which must be done within 48 hours of travel and Passport completion.

We offer this comprehensive service so that you can have complete peace of mind that this essential holiday job can be easily ticked off your list of “things-to-do”; and of course we’ll be happy to answer any queries/questions you may have at the same time.

You won’t need to get a new style pet passport (issued from 29/12/14) until all the treatment spaces in your old style one are full. It is prudent to travel with previous pet passports in some cases too, for example if your pet has had a recent blood test.

By coming to see us you can be confident that everything will be ship shape to meet all your travel needs, so that you don’t get unnecessarily stressed yourself. After all, your pet isn’t getting stressed so why should you?

What about my Pets Insurance?

If you are planning to take your animal out of the UK it’s definitely worth checking with your insurer to see if your policy is valid overseas. If it isn’t, you may well be able to extend the cover by paying an additional premium. Alternatively you may need to buy another policy.

It’s also a good idea to get in touch with the Pet Travel Scheme Helpline on 0370 241 1710 prior to making your travel plans to discuss any recent changes to specific restrictions pertinent to the country you plan to visit. To find out which countries are listed, and those that aren’t, visit https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/articles/eu-and-non-eu-listed-countries

Guide and Assistance dogs still need to satisfy all the criteria that pet dogs have to follow but they get to travel in different parts of the aircraft/train/boat. Ordinarily your pet will travel as cargo in whichever section is designated to carry it; clearly these specially trained pooches are needed at all times so they get to travel in relative creature comfort (excuse the pun).

So in a nutshell, your furry family member needs pretty much the same thing as its humans do to travel; a passport, insurance, and relevant vaccinations. The government website has a fairly user-friendly overview to look at: www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad/overview

As always, if you have any queries or need any support with applying for a pet passport, then don’t hesitate to contact the Saint Leonard team; it’s why we’re here, and we’ll be happy to help you in any way.

And don’t forget that if you do take your pet abroad, whether it’s your pooch in Paris, your cat in Cologne or your ferret in Florence we’d love a postcard or a photo from you to pin up in our reception.

Until the next blog stay safe, be well, and most importantly be happy.