European Travel with Your Pet

It can be really difficult to go away when you’ve got pets, especially abroad. Our pets are members of the family too and it can be a real wrench to leave them behind for a couple of weeks.

It is difficult for pet owners to leave their animals behind
It is difficult for pet owners to leave their animals behind

Many people feel that a holiday is simply out of the question, but it doesn’t have to be. Now your four-pawed friend can travel with you in Europe thanks to the introduction of the pet passport. It is really easy to apply for the EU Pet Travel Scheme; it is just as easy as applying for a European Health Insurance Card. You can apply for an EHIC Card at https://www.europeanhealthcard.org.uk/apply-ehic/

Travelling with pets is becoming increasingly popular. In fact, between the 2014-2015 period, ferry companies found an increase of 30% in tourists being accompanied by their furry companions. So if you’re considering taking your pet on your European adventure there’s just a few things you need to do.

It is becoming increasingly popular to take pets on holiday
It is becoming increasingly popular to take pets on holiday

Firstly, make sure that your pet is microchipped. The law states that all UK pets must have a microchip. You will find that many animal charities offer this for free or for a small donation, so cost needn’t be a worry.

It is important that all your animals’ routine vaccinations are up to date. You will need official documentation showing this along with the microchip number. Keep this with you when you travel. All pets will need to have a rabies vaccination and it is vital that this is administered 21 days before you travel at the very least as it needs that time to work properly. According to the law, your pet’s travel documents are only valid if you have both a microchip and proof of rabies vaccination, so it is best to get this sorted ASAP. If you are travelling with a dog, it will also have to undergo tapeworm treatment.

Unfortunately, not all travel companies are classed as “authorized carriers”, so you will need to look this up before you book your transport. A lot of ferry companies going to and from the UK are approved but you will need to make sure that the route you wish to take is in fact an authorized one. If it doesn’t say on their website it is worth giving them a call. It isn’t as simple to fly with your animals though. Some cheaper airline companies such as Ryanair and EasyJet do not allow animals on board, they may only make exceptions for assistance animals. So it is recommended to travel by ferry, as there will be a lot more options open to you.

Whilst on your holiday, your dog will need to be administered a second tapeworm treatment between 1-5 days of you start travelling back to the UK. Therefore, you will need to find a vet near where you are staying. Again, this is only for dogs.

Always think of your pet before you start preparing to travel abroad. Not all pets enjoy travelling and some can find it quite stressful. It is best to consult a vet beforehand if your pet has any health conditions as travelling could potentially exacerbate their condition.