Travelling With Your Pet

pet passport

The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) is designed to allow us to travel abroad with our pets without introducing serious diseases, such as rabies, to the UK. These diseases would endanger both human and animal health.

If you are considering taking your pet with you when you travel, please get in touch with the surgery to discuss your requirements, the legislation involved, and the best ways to protect your pet abroad.

Before travelling, all pets MUST have

  • A microchip
  • An up-to-date rabies vaccination
  • A pet passport
  • Appropriate parasite treatments

Other treatments may be necessary depending on where you are travelling to, and further parasite treatment will be required before you re-enter the UK.

For more specific information, please see defra.gov.uk

Exotic diseases

These are a few of the diseases we do not want you or your pet to be exposed to on holidays

Rabies - This is a virus affecting mammals, including humans. It is usually spread by bites from infected dogs, foxes and other wildlife, and once symptoms are seen it is fatal. The UK has fortunately been rabies free since 1922, and the aim of PETS is to keep it that way through compulsory rabies vaccination for travelling animals.

Tick-Borne Diseases - the parasite treatments we recommend before travel and before re-entering the UK will aim to kill and repel ticks. Ticks both here and abroad carry diseases that can affect you and your pet, but ticks from abroad carry serious diseases not found in this country - and we do not want to import them!

Tapeworms - these will also be covered in your pet’s parasite treatments before travel, and for much the same reasons. The Echinococcus tapeworm can cause fatal disease in humans, so we don’t want to import it.

Leishmaniasis - this is a blood-borne parasite which affects dogs (and people in some parts of the world). It is spread by sand-fly bites. It causes skin, liver and kidney disease, is difficult to diagnose and treatment is very costly. The sand-fly is a major problem in Mediterranean countries, and is spreading north through Europe. Prevention of bites is essential if you are travelling in affected areas, and a vaccine has recently been created. Please contact us for further details and advice before you travel.

Heartworm(D. Immitis) This parasite affects dogs, and is spread by mosquito bites; if untreated it will lead to heart disease and death. Avoidance of bites and appropriate parasite treatment will prevent infection, and we can advise you on this if you are travelling to an affected area.

Please consider your pet

While we all feel our pets are members of the family and would love them to travel with us, for some animals this is sadly not appropriate. For example, many dogs can be stressed by travel or suffer from motion sickness.

We want our patients (and their owners) to enjoy themselves on holiday, so if you have any concerns please get in touch and we will be happy to chat about your pet’s needs.