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Travelling Abroad

Rules for taking your canine companion to the rest of Europe have changed

Travelling Abroad

Rules for taking your canine companion to the rest of Europe have changed

Taking your dog abroad within Europe

Following the changes that came into effect from 31st December 2020, the rules for taking your canine companion to the rest of Europe have changed. You can no longer use a blue PETS travel scheme passport issued within Great Britain that you were once able to under the EU PETS travel scheme. You now require a more comprehensive set of documents in order to take your pet abroad with you that needs to be issued by your vet within 10 days of travel abroad.


The situation can change frequently so please ensure you follow the up to date guidance that can be found on the government website at Taking your pet dog, cat or ferret abroad - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

  • If you are travelling to Ireland, Northern Ireland, Finland, Malta or Norway, you are required to give a tapeworm treatment no less than 24 hours before leaving Great Britain. This must be given no longer than 5 days before departure. This must be logged on your dog’s health certificate with the date and time it was given, the manufacturer and drug type given. This must also be signed by your vet, who must be an Official Veterinarian (OV)– see below for what an OV is.


    This treatment must be repeated upon returning to the country if you are away from Great Britain with your dog for more than 5 days (120 hours). This will require you to locate an OV nearby your destination in order to provide this medication and sign your health certificate for your dogs return.


    For regularly updated information, please visit the official government website on https://www.gov.uk/taking-your-pet-abroad/tapeworm-treatment-for-dogs 


  • If you are not travelling to a country within Europe then you will need an export certificate which you will need to apply for online.


    Please contact the practice first to ensure we can help you with this paperwork and process, and we will provide a link for you to apply for your export certificate.

  • Depending on which country you are going to, and depending on whether you are taking a dog, cat or ferret, determines what documents you require. Travel to any EU country or Northern Ireland FROM Great Britain requires an animal health certificate issued within 10 days of you going abroad.


  • This process takes some time, and if you’ve never had a passport for your dog before, or your dog has not had a rabies vaccination before, the minimum length of time this process can be completed within is 3-4 weeks because you must ensure that you leave 21 days from the date of any primary course of rabies vaccination for your dog.


    We cannot guarantee short notice appointments for emergency travel or for travel where you have not allowed time to complete this process properly.

  • An animal health certificate cannot be issued by simply any vet within the UK, it needs to be issued by an Official Veterinarian (OV), this is a vet who has undertaken official government training in order to ensure they are able to complete the forms. This is a specialist procedure and takes your vet a considerable amount of time to ensure the correct procedures and documents have been completed and in the correct order.


    It’s not just a simple 10 minute appointment, once you have left the practice your OV trained vet has to allocate roughly half and hour to an hour of time to ensure documents are completely fully and correctly to ensure you have no trouble at international borders.


  • We currently have two Official Veterinarian vets with the practice. Due to the time this paperwork takes we regret that we are unable to offer this service to newly registering clients, and reserve the appointments and time available for this service for registered clients of our practice only.


    If you are an active and existing client of the practice, and have used our services for routine healthcare or any health concerns over the last 18 months, then you can book an appointment with the practice by contacting us on 0113 267 8419 (Cookridge) or 01274 610627 (Greengates). YOU MUST CALL THE PRACTICE FOR THIS APPOINTMENT, YOU CANNOT USE THE ONLINE BOOKING TOOL TO BOOK THIS TYPE OF APPOINTMENT.


    We need to ensure we have some basic information from you before we start this process, so please download this form and complete it before your appointment, emailing it to info@towerwoodvets.co.uk or results@towerwoodvets.co.uk so we can attach the information to your pets record for the vet to review before your appointment.

For more information on the new rules regarding taking your pet abroad, please visit the government website at Taking your pet dog, cat or ferret abroad - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) where you will always find the most up to date information.