Planning on taking your pet on holiday? Here are some tips

Before I begin I have to say that most pets prefer to remain in their own home being cared for by someone they know. However, more and more British holidaymakers are taking their dogs abroad, maybe it is the cost of leaving them at home or that they just can’t bear to be without them. In any case, I have been looking into what travelling with your dog entails and here are the rules and my own tips.

Be prepared

Obviously, since we left the EU it has become more complicated, more expensive and very bureaucratic. You need the correct travel insurance and also an up-to-date travel certificate from your vet.

The health regulations have not changed:

  • your dog must be microchipped
  • it must also be vaccinated against Rabies (your dog can travel 21 days after the vaccination)

Animal Health Certificate

The AHC has replaced the blue Pet Passport

The Animal Health Certificate is a 10 to 14-page document which confirms your pet is microchipped and vaccinated against rabies (both of which are charged separately).

You need a new Animal Health Certificate (AHC) issued by a UK ‘Official Veterinarian’ (OV) within the ten days prior to departure. Your OV must apply to the Animal and Plant Health Agency for a unique number for each AHC. The AHC is valid for four months but your OV needs to apply for a new one, and a new number, each time you revisit the continent with your pet. And sign each AHC 12 tims! That’s what the exorbitant charges are for!

 The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) quoted £94 for the certificate.

But we’ve heard from owners who have been asked to pay significantly more (with vets charging as much as £300).

Before returning to the UK

Each dog must visit a vet between one and five days before its return, be given a tapeworm tablet and confirmed healthy and safe to travel.

The UK continues to recognise pet passports issued by all EU countries, so if you have one of these travel is much easier.


Continental mosquitoes, sandflies and ticks carry serious diseases that don’t exist in the U.K. The best protection is an insect repellent collar.

At your anti-tapeworm appointment if your dog has not been wearing an insect repellant collar then ask your vet to treat your dog for any ticks trying to hitch a ride back to the U.K.

I have a friend who was stopped by border control for not having an up-to-date tapeworm cerificate and was not allowed to travel thus incurring the owners an extra 24 hour stay in France and the subsequent costs.