Travelling abroad with your pet

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There's no need for tearful goodbyes with your pet when you go on holiday. The EU rules allows your pet to travel with you*.

  • The vaccinations and treatments your pet will need before you travel 
  • Why your pet needs its own Animal Health Certificate 
  • Five tips for happy travels with your pet 
*As long as they have the right vaccinations and paperwork.

What is the Pet Travel Scheme?

The new EU rules still allows your pet cat, dog or ferret to travel to and from the UK without the need for quarantine.

Before your pet travels abroad they must be microchipped and you must make sure they have certain vaccinations and treatments.

It's also a good idea to make sure they have pet insurance in place that provides cover for unexpected vet costs when they're overseas.
They must be microchipped and you must make sure they have certain vaccinations and treatments.

What is an Animal Health Certificate?

An Animal Health Certificate is the name given to the record of all the procedures and treatments your pet has had which allows them to travel abroad.

Before you travel you'll need to make sure that your pet has a rabies vaccination and it is still current. If your pet needs to be vaccinated, they won't be able to travel until after the vaccination has taken effect, at least 21 days after it is administered.

You may also need to make sure your pet takes preventative treatment for tapeworm before they come back to the UK. Plus, it's a good idea to protect your pet against harmful biting insects like ticks and sand flies.

Speak to your vet before you go. They can let you know what treatments your pet will need depending on which countries you plan to travel to.

Why do I need an Animal Health Certificate?

The Pet Travel Scheme and pet passports (which have just been replaced by the Animal Health certificates)  were introduced to allow freedom of movement for domestic pets between countries, particularly in the EU.

However, some diseases that occur overseas are not common in the UK, so the scheme has rules that reduce the risk of diseases such as rabies, coming to the UK.

Without an Animal Health Certificate or a third-country official veterinary certificate, which proves your pet has the necessary vaccinations and treatment, you won't be able to bring your animal back in to the UK.

If you don't follow the rules about travelling abroad with your pet, they could be put in to quarantine or refused entry if they travel by sea. And you'll need to pay the quarantine or kennel costs during this time.

Fortunately, LV= will provide cover towards the cost of quarantining your pet if you lose your Animal Health Certificate or if your pet's microchip fails.

How do I get an Animal Health Certificate?

Many vets will be able to provide you with an Animal Health Certificate. If your local vet doesn't issue Animal Health Certificates, they'll be able to refer you to one that does.

You'll need to take along all the evidence you have that your pet has been vaccinated and treated accordingly. And proof that your pet is microchipped.

It's estimated that An Animal Health Certificate will cost roughly around
£100 plus the costs of any treatments and vaccinations your pet needs. This may seem like a lot of money, but when you compare it to the cost of kennelling your pet over several holidays, it can look more affordable.

Five top tips when travelling with your pet

  • Get your pet used to their travel carrier before you leave. Or if your dog is travelling in the boot of the car try to leave it room to stand up and lie down comfortably.
  • Make sure your dog wears an identification tag at all times. Update the tag with the contact details of your holiday destination.
  • Try to exercise your dog and give it an opportunity to go to the toilet before a long journey.
  • Check your pet insurance to make sure your pet is covered when overseas.
  • Make regular stops if you can to let your pet stretch their legs. Make sure there is always water available to drink.

For the latest advice on travelling with your pet after Brexit you can visit Gov.UK

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