What is the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS)?


Getting a pet passport can allow you to take your pet abroad or on holiday with you.

PETS is a scheme which has been brought in by which animals can travel more freely between certain overseas countries. Provided that animals entering the scheme have fulfilled certain criteria and conditions, there is no need to place the animal in quarantine conditions upon returning to the United Kingdom.  This means that it is now possible to take your pet on holiday or take travelling to certain places a bit more easily.


In summary the Pet Travel Scheme provides a method of bringing your pet back into the United Kingdom without having to go through the enforced quarantine system. It is strict because at the moment the UK is lucky to be "free" of certain diseases and parasites and we would like it to stay that way!



Can any animal go onto the PETS?


Unfortunately not. It is only dogs, cats and ferrets; and care must be taken to respect each countries specific laws with regards certain breeds of dogs. For example you are not able to bring the following dogs into the United Kingdom under any circumstances: the Pit Bull Terrier, the Japanese Tosa, the Dogo Argentino and the Fila Braziliero.  You should always check that your pet will be accepted in any country that you are visiting or travelling through - for example Germany is very strict about muzzling certain types of dog (English Bull Terrier for example) if they are out in public areas.



What do I have to do into to qualify for PETS?


The following procedures have to be carried out in this sequence, in order to qualify for PETS.


  • MICROCHIPPED -  your dog or cat has to be permanently identified with a microchip inserted under the skin (see our Microchipping advice section for more information). This is the only tamper proof method of uniquely identifying your animals. Ear tattoos can be altered or changed and so are not acceptable.  Microchips should conform to specific standard and so can be read by a universal reader. If your animal is chipped with a non-standard microchip, it is your responsibility to supply a specific reader.  The microchips used at the Bilton Veterinary Centre and most other vets will conform to the universal standard.


  • RABIES VACCINATION - your dog or cat will have to be vaccinated against rabies.  Vaccination can take place at any age from 3 months old onwards.  Normally the initial course is just a single injection, but often in younger animals it may be necessary to perform two starting injections. The rabies vaccination is just an injection under the skin (like the normal annual vaccination) but rather than being recorded in the normal vaccine certificate,  will require to be recorded in the passport.  Once vaccinated against rabies, in order to continue to be eligible for PETS, you will have to have a booster vaccine BEFORE the current certificate expires (this is usually within 1-3 years, depending on the type of vaccine used)


  • VET COMPLETES PET PASSPORT DOCUMENT - Once the rabies vaccine has been administered, a certificate ("Pet Passport") can be issued issued by a veterinary surgeon appointed by the government (called a Local Veterinary Inspector or LVI). The Bilton Veterinary Centre has LVI's qualified to perform this duty so you will not have to take your animal to a special place for this to be done.


  • WAIT 21 DAYS from the time of vaccination before entering/re-entering the UK or other EU countries.


  • HAVE TAPEWORM TREATMENT done 1-5 days (24-120 hrs) before entering/re-entering the UK (dogs only)



Although now longer required for the PETS scheme, we strongly recommend that your pet has prophylactic tick treatment during their stay abroad.



What does the pet passport entitle me to do?


Having a pet passport allows you to take your pet abroad.

The Pet-Passport allows you and your pet to travel between member countries without having to be quarantined.  It also allows you to return back to the UK unhindered.   You must however ensure that you have fulfilled the criteria outlined above.  Failure to do so may results in your pet being quarantined upon return to the UK.



Where can I get further information?


The DEFRA website  is very useful and should be read thoroughly before considering taking out a pet passport. There are also useful links to the French Yellow Pages which will help you find a vet able to treat your pet for tapeworms before returning to the UK.


Please be aware that there are often a lot of subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) differences in the requirements for animals travelling to/from certain countries. Our advice to people using the PETS scheme is:


  • Plan your journey - remember you will have to consider countries that you pass through as well as stay in.
  • Be aware of the legislation - especially with regards treatment for the parasites.
  • If you are aware of what is required, then there are less likely to be slip-ups when in a foreign country.



What does all this cost?


Please contact reception to find out the current costs for this service or visit the Fees section of the website.


Remember that the vet in the foreign country will also charge you for the drugs and the treatment certificate. This will obviously vary from practice to practice.

24hr Emergency Service

For Registered Clients

Find Us

259 Bilton Road, Rugby,

CV22 7EQ

Call Us

01788 812650








Monday to Friday





08.00 AM to 19.00 PM


08.00 AM to 12.00 PM



click here for our consulting times



259 Bilton Road, Rugby

Warwickshire, CV22 7EQ


01788 812650

01788 522439

 Copyright © 2011-2017 Bilton Veterinary Centre.

Company Reg No 05143483

Getting a pet passport can allow you to take your pet abroad or on holiday with you.

Having a pet passport allows you to take your pet abroad.

Call Us

01788 812650

Find Us

259 Bilton Road, Rugby, CV22 7EQ

24hr Emergency Service

For Registered Clients