How to Get a Dog Passport: The Basics

How to Get a Dog Passport: The Basics

Have you ever wondered how to get a dog passport?

Travelling the world and exploring new places is a lot of fun, but it’s even better when you can do it in the company of your furry best friend. However, just like you, your pooch needs the right documentation if they’re going to go globe-trotting.

You’ll even need to look into a pet passport and other documents before you travel if you’re bringing your pet dog to Great Britain. The right documentation is crucial to ensuring your dog doesn’t end up stuck in quarantine when you arrive wherever you want to go.

Today, we’re going to cover the basics of getting your dog the passport he needs for successful pet travel. Let’s dive in.

What is a Pet Passport? Understanding Pet Travel

A pet passport is basically an animal health certificate or veterinary certificate including vital information about your pooch. This documentation will cover things like whether your dog has had tapeworm treatment, or a rabes vaccine, what kind of health conditions they might have, and even what the number on their microchip is, so they’re easier to find.

The pet passport you get from your vet may differ depending on your destination country, and whether the location in question has any specific health requirements before allowing your pet to enter a country. In some cases, having a pet passport will mean your pet won’t have to go into quarantine when they enter a new country.

Following Brexit, pet passports will no longer be issued in Great Britain for travel to EU countries and Northern Ireland. This means that you’ll need to check out the rules and regulations online for any country you’re planning on visiting, and make sure you meet the entry requirements.

What is an Animal Healthcare Certificate?

Following Brexit, new rules have been implemented in the UK about how and where you can travel in the EU with your dog if you live in Wales, Scotland, or England. This usually involves contacting a licensed veterinarian and getting an animal healthcare certificate. Animal healthcare certificates are documents from official veterinarians containing similar details to a pet passport.

The certificate will include your details (as the pet owner), and how to contact you, as well as proof of rabies vaccination dates for your dog, and any information needed for the country you’re travelling job. You’ll need a valid certificate for your dog no more than 10 days before travelling.

Unfortunately, unlike a standard passport, an animal health certificate isn’t something you can use for years at a time. You’ll need a new certificate every time you travel, and this can cost you around £100 every time.

How to Get A Pet Health Certificate

The first thing you’ll need to do when getting health certificates for your pet is make an appointment with your vet. A professional need to examine your dog before they can give you the certificate. The veterinarian or staff will use the appointment you make to check your pet’s vital signs, scan for your microchip, and address any worries you have about your dog’s health.

Your vet may be able to give you some advice about what kind of veterinary health certificate you need based on where you’re going, but it’s best to do some research online, just in case. You may be asked to purchase a passport-style photograph on your pet to include on the certificate. This is generally to ensure that authorities have what they need to help identify your pet if they go missing.

What Does Your Dog Need to Travel to the EU?

Travelling to the EU following Brexit requires a valid animal healthcare certificate issued within ten days of the date you’re travelling. Don’t make the mistake of waiting until hours before you travel to get your certificate, but avoid getting the information too early, as this could mean that it won’t be accepted., Health certificates for dogs go out of date quite quickly, as a dog’s health can change within a short space of time.

10 days before travel, plan to get your check-up, and the certificate, and make sure you double-check any requirements fore travel to the country you’re visiting. The European pet passport travel scheme requires all dogs to have a rabies vaccination. The vaccination cannot be issued within 21 days of you going on vacation.

Remember, your dog needs booster rabies vaccines every year, so making sure you know when the top up date is before you book your trip could be a good idea. Once you’ve got your rabies vaccine, and you’ve arranged for your certificate, you can look into:

  • The microchip: Most of the time, a pet travel scheme will require your pet to have a microchip to make it easier to find and identify your dog if anything happens. The microchip number should be listed on the UK-issued pet passport or health certificate.
  • Tapeworm treatment: For dogs visiting certain countries like Northern Ireland, Finland, Malta, and Norway, Tapeworm treatment is required. This treatment must be given no more than 5 days before you arrive at your destination, and no less than 24 hours before the first day of your trip.
  • Other medical requirements: If you want to make sure you don’t have to deal with quarantine on arrival in your destination, make sure you check any other veterinary treatment your dog might need before travelling. Animals can spend months in quarantine under the wrong circumstances, so it’s important to be cautious.

What Does Your Dog Need to Travel to the UK?

If you’re travelling into the UK from Europe with your dog, you should be eligible to enter the country if you have an EU-issued pet passport delivered in a member state. However, it’s important to double-check this before you begin planning your travel.

If a pet passport is not suitable documentation for re-entry into the country, you will need a health certificate from a registered vet. A pet can be put into quarantine for up to 4 months if you don’t follow the rules issued by the UK carefully, this includes making sure your dog is micro-chipped before travel and vaccinated against rabies at least 21 days before entering Britain.

You will also need to give your dog the approved tapeworm treatment if the country you’re coming from isn’t free from tapeworm issues. Again, you’ll need to give the treatment no less than 24 hours before travel, and no more than 5 days before arriving in Great Britain.

There are additional rules if you’re planning on selling or re-homing any animals you bring into Great Britain. You’ll also need to get a blood test done if you’re travelling from an unlisted country into the UK. There may be charges for all of these steps.

Travelling with a Pet Passport

Whether you need to travel with assistance dogs, or you just want to take your dog with you around the world, it’s important to ensure you have the right documentation in place. The last thing you want is to deal with a lengthy waiting period because you didn’t get your anti-rabies vaccination to your dog on time. Make sure you’re careful about double-checking the requirements of any country you might be travelling to, so you have the right legal document.



Best wishes, tummy tickles & ear scratches,

Paws & Presto