Taking Pets Abroad: Don’t forget your pet passports

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So you’ve checked that everyone’s passports are in date and all of your visas are sorted and then it hits you, an important part of the family hasn’t got one yet! When it came time for us to sort out Bella, Bear and Puss in Boot’s UK/EU pet passports, I can honestly say it was the most confusing process ever! The GOV website was useless and confusing and the vets told me three different stories!  So, if you are moving within EU from the UK with your cat, dog or ferret (same rules apply) then I thought it would be useful to share what you need, where you can get it from, how long it takes and the costs involved.

The actual costs of taking a pet abroad, not just your pet passports



1 Book the cats / dogs flights Always go directly to the airline that you are flying with. ASAP £283 PER CAT





2 Microchip Your Pet Vets, Animal shelters, Animal Charity Before you apply for your pet passport £99.99 PER CAT

£59.99 PER DOG



3 Pet Passport Directly with Vet AT LEAST 21 days before travel £99.99 PER CAT

£59.99 PER DOG



4 Medical Health Check and Safe to Fly Certificate At the Vets MAXIMUM 10 days before travel £59.99 PER CAT

£59.99 PER DOG



Book the cats / dogs’ flights

If the airline don’t handle it themselves they will have an exclusive third party, but it is important to book flights as early as possible as certain airlines do not accept pets and the ones that do will only accept a set number of animals on each flight.

Once the flight is confirmed you will need to buy special cases that are IATA approved. Luckily we just sent our cats’ weights to the company and they ordered them for us, as I would never have thought that the carriers needed to be a size that could fit Jayden and Elliott and the whole cat clan in!!!

*This cost of pet travel is dependent on your destination and size of your pet but for us to take three cats to Gibraltar it cost £850

Microchip Your Pet

Your vet will offer this service but also there are charities like Cats Protect that run special offers on microchips, which is worth bearing in mind if you have more than one pet – the costs certainly add up! Your pet passport requires microchip information so that it can be cross-referenced on arrival at the airport – apparently a photo isn’t enough!

The Actual Pet Passport

Now we had a nightmare with this as no one seemed to know their ass from their elbow! The .Gov website was saying one thing, our vets (who are usually pretty amazing) told us to go to DEFRA and then DEFRA told us to directly to the vet!! So, enough was enough; after finally speaking to the right person, we found out that this is done directly at the vets. If your local vet doesn’t offer this, then just call round to a number of different vets. This needs to be done at least 21 days before your pet travels, as your cat or dog will need to have a rabies jab that doesn’t become effective for 21 days. They will not be allowed fly until 21 days has passed.  As dogs are extra special, your dog will also need to be treated for tapeworm.

It took us around 1hr and 20mins for the appointment which is 90% paperwork, so you could always take your pets for their part which takes about 5/10 minutes and then go and grab a coffee.  But you do actually walk away with your pet passport on the day, so no massive wait times like our passports.

Medical Health Check and Safe to Fly Certificate

What a nightmare! If you haven’t got enough to think about on the countdown to travel you have to get a certificate for your pets to say they are safe to fly just before you do! Ideally they want these reports completed as close to the flight as possible so book them in when you’ve had your pet passport done.


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