Travelling with pets: the rules abroad
For most pet owners, your dog or cat isn’t just a furry friend, but an important member of the family.
So it’s no surprise then that many people consider taking their pet abroad with them to Europe and beyond when they want to go travelling. If you’re planning a holiday and thinking of bringing your pet with you, there’s some important considerations that should be taken into account before you go.
If you’re keen to bring your pet with you on holiday to Europe, you’re not alone – last year P&O ferries alone carried 19,478 cats and dogs on its Dover-Calais route.
If you want to bring your four-legged friend on holiday with you, here’s what you need to know…
EU Pet Travel Scheme
You can bring your dog, cat or ferret into the EU and UK without quarantine so long as it meets the requirements of the EU Travel Scheme.
At a glance, the requirements are:
- Pets must be be identified with a microchip
- Pets must have received a rabies vaccination followed by a 21 day wait (make sure this is done after being microchipped so it’s properly recorded)
- Travel with the relevant documentation
- Dogs should be treated for tapeworm
- Pets must enter with an approved transport company on an authorised route
Getting your pet ready to travel can be expensive for a one-off holiday, but if for example you have a timeshare and holiday in the same place each year or own a second home, the travel scheme eliminates the need for a quarantine and can make travelling back and forth considerably easier.
To read more about the requirements of the EU Travel Scheme, check the government website.
Fulfilling the requirements of the EU Pet Travel Scheme is only one piece of the puzzle. In addition to the list of approved routes and transport companies, you need to be sure whatever carrier you are using allows animals on board.
Guide dogs are the exception here, and if you have a pet that offers you assistance in general you are allowed to bring them on board regardless of how you travel. For anyone else, however, the rules are more stringent. Most budget airlines – Ryanair and Easyjet for example – won’t allow animals on board. In some instance airlines will allow small animals in the cabin but for longer journeys or larger pets they must travel in the hold.
If you’re going by train, check the rail company’s pet policy before you leave and on the day of travel make sure on-board staff are aware you have an animal with you before departing. Most ferries generally allow animals, but some have rules about whether your pet must stay in the car or go in a designated container area. Always check the rules before you book to avoid disappointment.
Stop and consider
Travelling with an animal can be stressful and expensive for everyone involved, so unless you intend to be away for a long period of time it might make more sense to leave your pet with a friend, family member or at a kennel until you return home.
Like humans, every pet has a different personality – some dogs and cats are relaxed and don’t mind interacting with strangers or being moved to new environments. Others are much more sensitive and can find even a trip to the groomer or Veterinarian’s office a little traumatic. Be realistic and consider how your dog or cat will handle travelling and what you can do to make your holiday as enjoyable as possible for them, whether they’re coming with you or staying at home.
Have you ever taken your pet abroad? Let us know your best tips in the comments below.
Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor
Latest posts by Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor (see all)
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!