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5 steps to getting an EU Pet Passport

What you need to know about applying for an EU Pet Passport, from within the EU, can be found on this page.  We will look at what needs to be done to ensure that your EU Pet Passport application goes smoothly and, most importantly, is completed in plenty of time for your holiday.  The following areas will be covered

  • The EU Pet Passport application deadlines.
  • The five steps to obtaining an EU Pet Passport.

For those who already have a pet passport the rules and regulations for travelling to the UK with your pet and travelling with your pet from the UK to other EU countries are required reading.

EU Pet Passport Application Deadlines - Timing is Everything

Timing is everything when applying for an EU Pet Passport.  Failure to meet any of the deadlines set in the EU Pet Passport application process could prove to be extremely costly as your pet will be refused entry into the country you wish to travel to and in the case of the UK, which has very stringent rules, you could be forced to have your pet quarantined. It is vital that you know what the timelines are and that you are able to meet them before you travel with your pet.  The timelines break down into

  • 21 Days wait before entering an EU listed country - There is a 21 day wait from the date of your pet's first rabies vaccination before you can enter an EU listed country with it. This is for initial pet passport applications.
  • 24 to 120 hours before entry into the UK - You need to have your pet treated for parasites (tapeworm) by a registered vet not less than 24 hours and no more than 120 hours before you arrive in the UK with an approved transport company.

You cannot afford to hang around and must begin your EU Pet Passport application process as soon as possible.  Therefore for first time pet passport applications for entry or re-entry to the UK you must begin the process at least a month ahead of time.

Step 1 of the EU Pet Passport Application Process - Microchip your pet

The microchip is the most reliable and effective way of identifying your pet.  The microchip reading is used to match your pet with its EU Pet Passport.  You need to ensure the following

  • To guarantee that it can be read by the widest range of readers the microchip should ideally conform to ISO Standard 11784 or Annex A to ISO Standard 11785.  If your pet's microchip does not conform to these ISO standards you must have a suitable reader with you at the time of inspection.
  • Top tip - make sure you know what your pet's microchip number is and always check that it has been correctly recorded on all documentation.  

 Step 2 of the EU Pet Passport Application Process - Vaccinate your pet

As the microchip number is needed to identify it on the vaccination record your pet must have the rabies vaccination AFTER it has been fitted with a microchip. This may mean having to vaccinate your pet again if it was initially vaccinated without a microchip. Make sure the vaccination record contains the following

  • The microchip number (ensure it matches your records).
  • The vaccination date and vaccine details.
  • The date by which the booster vaccination must be given. This "valid until" date is crucial because if it is missed you will need to have your pet revaccinated, and in the case of the UK wait a further 21 days before entry or re-entry into the UK.

Step 3 of the EU Pet Passport Application Process - Apply for the EU Pet Passport

You can apply for an EU Pet Passport AFTER your pet has been fitted with a microchip, has had a rabies vaccination.    You should note the following

  • In the UK only Official Veterinarians (OV) can issue EU Pet Passports.  If your vet is not an OV they should be able to direct you to the nearest OV.
  • In other EU countries vets are able to issue EU Pet Passports.
  • When applying for an EU Pet Passport you must make sure you have your pet's vaccination record and evidence showing the date your pet's microchip was fitted (remember only vaccinations AFTER the microchip has been fitted are accepted).
  • For entry or re-entry to the UK the EU Pet Passport must also have a record of recent treatment for parasites (see Step 4).
  • Make sure that the EU Pet Passport, and associated documents, has the correct microchip number.

Step 4 of the EU Pet Passport Application Process - Treat your pet against parasites (tapeworm)

Your pet must be treated for tapeworm no less than 24 hours and no more than 120 hours before checking in with the approved transport company.  Note that this is a UK specific requirement for pets entering or re-entering the UK.  This treatment must be carried out by a vet who must fill in sections VI and VII of the EU Pet Passport. You should note the following

  • The treatment must be carried out by a vet.  You cannot do it yourself.
  • The treatment must be no less than 24 hours and no more than 120 hours before your scheduled arrival time in the UK.
  • The product for treating tapeworm must contain Praziquantel.
  • Make sure that the vet takes a reading of your pet's microchip before starting the treatment.
  • Make sure the vet completes section VI and VII of the EU Pet Passport with the date and time (24 hour clock) of the treatment, product name and manufacturer details and that the EU Pet Passport is stamped and signed.
  • If you are travelling abroad from the UK with your pet on a day trip you will have to have it treated in the UK no less than 24 hours and no more than 120 hours before your scheduled return time to the UK. 
  • The treatment must be carried out every time your pet enters or re-enters the UK.

Step 5 of the EU Pet Passport Application Process - Arrange for your pet to travel with an approved transport company on an approved route

Your pet must enter the UK from a listed country or territory traveling with an approved transport company on an authorised route.

Useful information about travelling to and from the UK with your pet

Once you have successfully negotiated the EU Pet Passport application process and you are the proud owner of a jet setting pooch with its own passport, this is a good time to introduce you to the rules and regulations for travelling to the UK with your pet and travelling with your pet from the UK to other EU countries which are available on the madreddog site.