Going on Holidays With Your Dog? They Need a Passport Too!

Summer is in full swing now and it has been a busy season at Downe Vets.  This is the time of year that many of our clients are preparing to depart on holiday.  Being an animal-loving bunch, many decide to take their dogs with them to the continent and we often get asked the question “What does my dog need in order to travel?”  Well, believe it or not, your dog needs a passport just like you do!

Now, where do you get a pet passport?  This is a straightforward procedure.  Simply browse our local Department of Agriculture (DAERA) website and download an application form.  Fill in the form and email it back to the Department.  You have to nominate your local veterinary practice (e.g. Downe Vets!) and your passport will be posted there when ready. This usually takes about 5 working days. Your vet will contact you to arrange an appointment where your pooch will be presented with his or her passport. The form can be found at: https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/articles/travelling-pets

If you are taking your dog to the continent, the most important vaccination needed is one that protects against Rabies.   We don’t have rabies in the UK, so we don’t routinely vaccinate our pets against it.  However, rabies is endemic on the continent and you must vaccinate your dog against it before leaving the UK.  This vaccination has to be given at least 6 weeks before travel.  A blood test is no longer required for most countries, but your dog must be microchipped, and your vet has to certify and stamp your pet passport when the vaccination is performed.

We recommend that at least two weeks before your dog travels they are also up to date with their annual vaccinations and kennel cough.  They are likely to meet lots of new friends on their travels and so should be kept safe from disease.  It is also useful to worm and flea them before departure.  Your vet can take care of this and record it in your passport.  When returning to the UK it is a requirement that your pet is wormed and flea’d shortly before re-entering the country by a local vet.

Double and triple-check your travel itinerary and requirements before going on holiday.  It pays to put the time in with the paperwork so you are not held up at the border, or – worst case scenario – end up seeing your dog quarantined.  Liaise with your transport companies as to their recommendations.  As ever, feel free to contact Downe Vets and we will help where we can.

*Details on travel requirements can vary by destination country.  This article is a guide only.  We recommend you check with both the Department of Agriculture and the Authorities in the Destination Country well before date of departure as to their requirements.