Taking Your Dog On Holiday

  • Date posted4 years ago
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If you’ve got a dog, then you are probably aware of how expensive it is to put him or her in kennels whilst you go on your holidays.

It’s expensive for you, and also emotionally stressful for both of you. Your dog doesn't understand what’s happening and you have the worry whilst you’re away that they are being taken care of.

Have you ever considered going on holiday with your dog? It’s an option.

The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS)

The Pet Travel Scheme, also known as PETS allows provides a way for animals to travel between participating member countries without having to undergo quarantine when they get there.

The scheme is available within most European EU member states, as well as some other non-EU countries in the mainland of Europe.

The scheme was initially set up in 2000 to allow the easier transportation of animals to and from the UK. Here, regulations to stop the spread of ticks and rabies are more stringent than in most other countries.


Your dog is going to have to fulfil some stringent requirements before he or she will be allowed to travel and return to the UK.

  • A microchip. Your dog will need to be microchipped. You will need to do this first because the rabies vaccination has to be recorded with a valid chip number
  • A rabies vaccination. This is going to be needed even if your dog has a current vaccination.
  • Rabies blood test. You will have to take your dog to the vet to have a blood sample. Your vet will then need to send this sample to an approved laboratory to be tested. You will be able to travel only 90 after the results are back from the lab.
  • Tapeworm treatment. You will need to have your dog treated against tapeworm between 24 and 120 hours before travel. You’ll have to have this done by an authorised vet.
  • An Animal Health Certificate (AHC). Again, this will need to be issued by an approved bet. You can usually get this done at the same time as the tapeworm treatment.

This may seem like a lot of work, but it isn’t really, once you get the rabies vaccination sorted out. In fact, regular travel becomes a whole lot easier with the right certificates in place.

Methods Of Travel

Once you’ve got all your veterinary paperwork sorted out, then you may be thinking about methods of travel.

You can fly, but you will have to conform to a lot of further restrictions and rules imposed by the IATA, individual country legislation and air travel company rules. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to travel with your dog in the cabin, however.

If you are travelling in and out of the UK by car, your options are much more numerous.

Multiple ferry companies will allow dogs to travel with their owners, and you’ll be able to take your car on the ferry.

In addition, you may choose to travel on the Channel Tunnel rail link. You can take your dog with you on the 35-minute crossing over the water, and when you’re on the other side, you’ll have the freedom of your car in Europe.

Bear in mind you’ll need to have all your documents with you, and each border crossing will require you to show these, but travel with your dog in Europe is completely possible in 2020 and beyond!