Home > Special Pets > Travelling with Guide Dogs

Travelling with Guide Dogs

By: Elaine Everest - Updated: 3 Jul 2010 | comments*Discuss
Guide Dog Defra Ferries Trains Airport

Since the introduction of the Pet Travel Scheme it has been possible to travel to many countries with a dog and return to the UK without having to pout the dog into quarantine. For those people with guide dogs there have been some changes to the system.

Pet Passport

Like all other dogs a guide dog has to obtain its pet passport before travelling overseas. This can take some time to get organised so do not leave this until you are ready to travel.
  • Have your dog micro chipped
  • Vaccinated against rabies
  • Blood tested to check that the rabies vaccination has worked
Once the above is done you can apply for the pet passport. Allow six months for these procedures as you cannot travel until six months after the vet has taken the blood sample. When coming back to the UK your dog will have to be treated for tapeworm and ticks between 24 and 48 hours before re entry.


Since the Pet Travel Scheme was introduced in 2000 there have been some changes in the rules about guide dogs travelling with their owners. Until 2004 all dogs had to travel in sealed containers in the hold of planes and this was not really suitable or helpful to the visually impaired. Fortunately this requirement was removed and guide dogs can now travel in the cabin with their owners.

Help and Support

In light of the changes in regulations the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association formed a working group and invited Defra, the Department of Transport, The Civil Aviation Authority and members of the airline industry to discuss and plan the changes needed for the Pet Travel Scheme. By April 2005 a guide document had been formatted that produced a policy outline for guide dogs and other assistance dogs to travel through UK airports.


Owners are requested to bring with them a suitable car safety harness to secure the dog during takeoff and landing.

Book Ahead

Guide dog owners are advised to book ahead and also fax a copy of their travel documents and the dog's pet passport to the animal Assistance Centre ahead of arriving for the flight. They should also carry suitable identification with them on arrival.


When returning into the UK there will be someone available at the arrival gate to inspect the dog's passport documentation. Staff will put a sticker on the dog to enable dog and owner to progress through customs and immigration.


At present this scheme is available through Manchester, Heathrow and Gatwick airports and it is expected that this will soon be expanded to other airports in the UK.

Ferries and Trains

When travelling by train or ferry contact the relevant office of the travel company to check that they have the facilities to accommodate guide dogs and to ensure that you get the best service available. Assistance dogs will normally travel free but it is best to check ahead of your journey.


For more help and guidance through the system contact a Defra pet travel advisor on 0870 241 1710 or email pets.helpline@defra.gsi.gov.uk

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • RodDangle
    Re: Pet Courier Scams
    Ive just come across a Norbert Barrow selling english bulldogs originally he was in birkenhead now he is in Kirkwall in Orkney in Scotland. He…
    15 July 2018
  • riv
    Re: Pet Courier Scams
    We came across Norbert Barrow selling 4 husky pups. Originally was located not far from us and then when i enquired he said they had moved to…
    10 July 2018
  • Eni
    Re: Pet Courier Scams
    Hello I have the same situation, they advertise themselves as they are in London, then asking me to send email, the person is Norbert Barrow!…
    6 June 2018
  • Rasha
    Re: Pet Courier Scams
    So I've been paying for a dog using this website and it's a scam I've never thought until I typed the 'business' name in and I've paid £600 all…
    5 April 2018
  • Sam
    Re: Pet Courier Scams
    So a lady going by Mary Nixon was selling an 11 week pug puppy through a Facebook page as she had to take her aunt over seas for treatment. My…
    22 March 2018
  • N/A
    Re: Pet Courier Scams
    I pretty sure I am being scammed. Larry Vena says he has a 12 week old English Bulldog puppy. I need to pay $50 plus $175 transport with $25…
    21 March 2018
  • Domi
    Re: Pet Courier Scams
    Dont trust loot. com pet adverts. The people thag post there are simply scamers. I have recived email from Susan saying she has husky puppies to…
    27 December 2017
  • PetsAndTravel
    Re: Pet Courier Scams
    Cheryl - Your Question:I found a lady giving a 12 week old pug away for free from the isle of man only catch was I had to pay the pet taxi vip…
    19 December 2017
  • Cheryl
    Re: Pet Courier Scams
    I found a lady giving a 12 week old pug away for free from the isle of man only catch was i had to pay the pet taxi vip firm £215 for delivery…
    17 December 2017
  • Kat
    Re: Pet Courier Scams
    I have just had lucky escape. A Nacey Winifred. Posted a pug puppy 11weeks of age needing a new home due to her having to relocate to the Isle…
    20 October 2017