Home > Overseas Travel > What is the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS)

What is the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS)

By: Elaine Everest - Updated: 25 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
Pet Pets Pet Travel Dogs Travel Cats Pet

The pet travel scheme (pets) was introduced so that dogs, cats and ferrets could be brought into the UK without having to go through six months quarantine. Although UK based owners can avail themselves of this scheme it is not open to pets from every country.

Pet Travel

It is now possible to go on holiday and take your dog, cat or ferret with you without the worry of then spending six months in quarantine kennels upon your return thanks to the Pet Travel Scheme. However before you set off overseas with your pet make sure that you are up to date with the current regulations and that your pet conforms to the legislation.


The pet travel scheme was introduced in February 2000 and now covers most of the member countries of the EU. America and Canada and certain other countries are now part of the travel scheme but if you are unsure if your destination is covered either contact the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) or your vet who will be able to give you details of the current member countries.


Before setting off with your pet there are certain formalities that have to be undertaken so that your dog, cat or ferret has an up to date pet passport.

  • A micro chip must be fitted to your pet and it must be able to be read when scanned. Failure to scan the chip is the major problem encountered when entering the UK with a pet. The microchip details are unique to each animal and must be readable when scanned. Paper documentation is not sufficient as proof of the animal’s identity.
  • Your pet must be vaccinated against rabies by your vet and the information recorded on an official form. If by chance the rabies shot was given before the pet was micro chipped it has to done again. Booster injections have to be done and records kept up to date.
  • Blood tests are the next item on the agenda after the rabies shot. These blood tests are to prove that the dog has sufficient protection against rabies. This has to be done in an EU approved laboratory but your vet is able to help with the process. If the blood tests are successful your vet will be able to issue your pet with his pet passport. Some people have their pets vaccinated twice before having a blood test in case it proves negative.
  • Before re entering the UK your pet has to be treated against ticks and tapeworm. This has to be done no less than 24 or no later than 48 hours before entering the UK. Your pet has to be treated against the worm Echinococcus multilocularis with a reputable product. Again your vet can issue you with details of veterinary surgeries able to provide this service.

The Six Month Rule

Remember that your dog is not able to travel back into the UK until six months after the results of the blood tests.

Other Pets

Other pets such as rabbits and hamsters are able to travel without needing a pet passport as they do not roam off lead and tend to travel in crates and cages so they are not likely to be in contact with animal infested with the rabies virus.


It may seem a lot of trouble to undertake before one is allowed to travel with a pet however it is imperative that we all follow these rules and have a pet passport if we wish to travel with our animals. Failure to follow the rules will means that our shores will soon become infected with rabies and both animals and their owners will be at risk.

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
  • 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
  • BellaP
    Re: Pet Courier Scams
    I saw a post on a facebook group of a lady(Ann Shirley Ashley) trying to rehome her 11 week old pug puppy, contacted her via facebook but then…
    30 August 2017
  • Zohan87
    Re: Pet Courier Scams
    I have been speaking to a woman in Dublin and said she could courier a Dachshund. She has sent pics and I have told her the date I want the…
    27 August 2017
  • Lucy Jia
    Re: Pet Courier Scams
    After seeing a puppy advertised on online, I contacted the breeder on email to get some more details. He responded via email by the name Arnold.…
    27 August 2017
  • Han1238
    Re: Pet Courier Scams
    I am speaking to a lady and she wants To sell me to pug puppies for free but I have to pay 100 towards derlivey.. I'm not sure whenever she is…
    26 August 2017
  • Deefac
    Re: Pet Courier Scams
    I was scammed for a lot of money from a company calling themselves Royal Pet Express. I saw a cockapoo puppy advertised and thought it was a…
    26 August 2017
  • Lynn
    Re: Pet Courier Scams
    There's slot of these scammers about I nearly got caught up in one a few months ago but the broken English in the emails made me wary ...from…
    28 July 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the PetsAndTravel website. Please read our Disclaimer.