Pet passport procedure

Pet passport procedure

To obtain an EU passport your pet must be (in this order):

  • Microchipped with an ISO standard microchip, prior to rabies vaccination.
  • Vaccinated against rabies with an approved vaccine, the microchip having been read by a vet just prior to giving the vaccine.The passport can now be issued BUT the date of entry into the UK cannot be earlier than three weeks after the first rabies vaccine. This is the time it takes for the vaccine to become active.

Validity of passport

The pet passport has an expiry date which is linked to the rabies vaccination. If the date of rabies vaccination is missed – even by one day – then the pet passport is invalidated and only becomes active three weeks after the rabies revaccination date.

Organising your trip to the UK

The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) allows the entry of pets from certain countries into the UK, without passing through quarantine, using an EU pet passport.

Your pet must travel on an authorised route with an approved transport company.

Cats and ferrets can return to the UK with no veterinary treatment or health check.

Dogs can come back into the UK provided that 24-120 hours (1-5 days) prior to check-in for the return journey, a vet treats your pet against tapeworm (with a product containing praziquantel), signing and stamping the passport appropriately.

Your pet must not have been outside any of the PETS qualifying countries in the three months before it enters the UK. If it has then other regulations apply – see the defra website for details.


IMPORTANT – In this scenario, the time between the vaccine against rabies and the rabies antibody titre test has changed and is now a minimum period of one month.

Before boarding the ferry, or Eurotunnel train, you are responsible for:

  • Checking the identity of your pet by scanning with a microchip reader.
  • Checking the pet passport presented relates to your pet, is valid and shows that your pet has successfully been vaccinated for rabies,
  • Checking that treatment for tapeworm has been carried out.If you do not have the correct documentation, or the 24-120 hour limit is not respected, your pet will not be allowed back into the UK without going through quarantine, or re-treating against tapeworm.

•With thanks to Diana James
Photo by Andrew Gustar


Please Note :

The above information relates to a pre-Brexit environment which is likely to remain unchanged for at least 2 years after the UK has triggered Article 50 but may change thereafter.
Please read our Brexit update articles to keep abreast of the situation>>>

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  • mkmb2006
    2016-01-14 21:35:17
    How do I find out about bringing my pet from the US to France?


    • Sylvia Davis
      2016-01-15 08:42:32
      Sylvia Davis
      Hi Mkmb2006, thanks for your question. Here is a link to the information currently offered by the French Embassy in the US, listing the requirements to bring your pet to France: Hope that helps!