Taking Pets to Europe

The PETS Scheme

Dog in bag

If you are driving to Europe and want to take your pet cat, dog (or ferret!) with you, the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) is designed to avoid long quarantine periods when you return to the UK. Working guide dogs and hearing dogs are also covered by the scheme.

The scheme is designed to stop the spread of rabies and other animal diseases from Europe to the UK, while still allowing pets to travel. Normally, all rabies-susceptible animals entering the UK have to spend six months in quarantine, unless they arrived under and meet all the conditions of PETS.

All European (EU) countries and some outside the EU have joined PETS and has become the norm for traveling with pets, avoiding the previous long quarantine.

PETS Scheme Guidelines

You can check details and the full procedure for preparing your pet on the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) website.

To be eligible for PETS, your cat, dog or ferret must:

  • Be fitted with a microchip
  • Be vaccinated against rabies
  • Wait 21 days from the date of their first rabies vaccination before travelling
  • Not have visited any non-approved countries or territories for at least six months before they enter or re-enter the UK 

Cats and dogs must also:

  • Blood test shown clear by an approved laboratory more than 30 days after rabies vaccination
  • Wait three months from the date the blood sample was taken before re-entering the UK
  • Pets must also be treated for tapeworms (under consideration) before return to the UK

You must also ensure that your pet:

  • Is issued with a pet passport by their vet
  • Travels into the UK on a PETS-approved sea, air or rail route

Useful Links