I’ve been asked by many people how is it possible to travel with a pet around Europe. A very simple way is by issuing a Pet Passport or Pet Travel Scheme, which contains the pet’s identification and all your pet’s health check history. This is a standard document recognized all over Europe in multiple languages, pretty similar to your own travel passport.
I provide here as an illustration several samples of my dog’s passport pages, which can help you to understand better what to expect from the passport. Hopefully this will help you to clarify any doubts and uncertainties, specially in the case of adoption from another country. In the end of this post I provide as well a video from EU related to the Pet passport.
This Pet Passport is valid around Europe as long as you comply with the pet vaccinations and health tests requirements of the country of destination. It is useful as well outside of Europe, in addition to other forms needed to fill from the country of destination, such as USA and Canada. Any veterinary can issue the Pet passport on request that is provided by the national authorities. This document costs very little to acquire. What will cost more are all the vaccinations, chip, tests, medicines and veterinary consultations.
Travelling in EU with your pet has become easier with the Pet Passport. There are general guidelines issued by the EU. Below a small excerpt with information from the EU travelling in Europe with Pets 2012-2013:
“All dogs, cats and ferrets must have a passport and, for identification purposes, be fitted with an electronic microchip or have a clearly readable tattoo, applied before July 2011. (Tattoos are not accepted by Ireland, Malta or the United Kingdom which only admit microchipped animals).
All pets must be vaccinated against rabies and the details entered in their pet passport. The vaccination must be carried out after the microchipping or tattooing.
From January 2012, specific tapeworm treatment must be given to all dogs by a vet before travelling to Finland, Ireland, Malta and the United Kingdom. Details of the treatment must appear in the pet passport and the dog can then travel between one to five days after the treatment.”
The Pet passport is also very important during the adoption process from an outside country since it is a reliable document, which proves the basic vaccinations, the chip implantation and health tests done to the dog in the country of origin. It also makes the adoption institution in your residence country accountable for if something is missing regarding the requirements of entry in the country. Our rescued dog travelled from Romania to Finland on the 24.3.2013. Before the journey several vaccinations and tests were needed to do, some of which needed to be a month in advance, such as tick and different worms treatment.
A side note is that each country has its own requirements and criteria for non commercial and commercial pets to enter the country. It is important to know the entity or institution responsible for such legislation to entry the country, as these rules will determinate what vaccinations and additional tests are needed and when they should be performed before entering the country. Once you have this passport, you only need to update it each time you are about to travel within Europe.
The EU has issued an excellent video providing awareness of the need for the Pet Passport and the advantages towards control of rabies and other diseases brought from outside of Europe. Check the video below: