Passports for Pets: How to take your pet abroad

Taking your pet beloved on holiday is no longer the rigmarole of before. The recent introduction of pet passports means quarantines can be avoided as long as the right documents and vaccines have been arranged. Here is our guide to taking your pet abroad either for holiday or if you are emigrating.

Preparing your pet for travel

Kennels are often distressing for pets and can have long-lasting effects on their mental health, hence the increase in owners bringing their pets (especially cats and dogs) on holiday.  Before committing to the process, you must make sure your pet is allowed to enter your chosen destination. To do this, look on embassy websites or talk to one of their representatives. Your pet must have a set of criteria verified in order to travel between the UK and Europe, which follows:

  • Be microchipped
  • Have had a rabies vaccination
  • Have had a tapeworm treatment
  • Have a pet passport (issued by an authorised vet)
  • To travel in an approved carrier on certified routes

For international travel, pets may have to spend time in quarantine or be subject to vaccinations every 21 days. Some countries such as Australia, are known for their rigorous procedures which often decline pets from entering. On the other hand, charity programmes such as the AAIDD find homes for stray Indian street dogs in countries such as America and Canada.

Can my pet fly?

If it’s a budgie, we sincerely hope so!

Contact the airline you wish to fly with as each company has their own set of rules and regulations. Pets are usually stored in the hold, therefore, certain flights are prohibited due to temperature extremities.
If you are planning on taking a ferry, your pet must remain in the car. This can cause issues as some ferry companies do not allow passengers access to their cars during the journey.
The Cunard Queen Mary 2 is the only cruise liner that will accept pets aboard their ships, as spaces are limited to twenty-four kennels, there is often an 8-month wait for tickets. The only route available is the transatlantic Southampton to New York, which was specially requested by Queen Mary herself to accommodate her pampered pooches.
Taking the train is the easiest approach as most companies are lenient in their attitude to pets. As long as your dog is on a lead or cat in a carry cage, they are allowed to travel for free, even on the Eurostar.

Which hotels allow pets?

Cats are notorious for being fussy with their food. Double Tree Hotels by Hilton have special pet menus and other concierge pet services; by the end of their stay, your glamourpuss will think she is the real Paris Hilton. Countryside and coastal based hotels are the most accommodating for dogs; however many city dwelling hotels are becoming dog-friendly, especially towards lap dogs. In any case, contact the hotel to find out all their pet amenities or search TripAdvisor for advice.

Important Contacts

One of the most important people to contact is your vet as they will have to provide an assessment of your pet, give it its vaccinations and assign the Pet Passport. Without the Pet Passport, Mr.Snuggles is not leaving the UK border!

Organising the appropriate transport, hotels and acquiring embassy information can be time consuming. Our services fit furrily in your hand to book the perfect travel for you and your pets. We regularly organise travel for clients with cats, dogs and the occasional chinchilla.

Contact us via email on or call us on +44 (0)20 7332 6935 to find out how we can purrfect your travel plans.

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