IMPORTANT NOTE: The information below is correct up until the date of Brexit. Thereafter, requirements concerning travel to EU countries may change. If you plan to travel to an EU country such that you will leave and/or return to the UK after Brexit, your pet may need a rabies vaccination, a blood test a month later, and a three month wait after that, before they can return to the UK. If this applies to you, please either call Chipping Norton Vets on 01608 642547 or the PETS Travel Scheme helpline on 0370 241 1710 for further information.
All pet dogs, cats and ferrets (including guide dogs and other assistance dogs) can enter or re-enter the UK without quarantine provided they meet the rules of the scheme, which differ depending on the country or territory the pet is coming from.
Animals which do not meet all the rules will be put into quarantine. They might then be able to obtain early release if they can be shown to comply with the necessary pet travel requirements.
What you need to do if you are entering or re-entering the UK from the EU and listed non-EU countries
The full details of how to prepare your dog, cat or ferret are found on DEFRA's Pet Travel Scheme web page. The following is a brief summary of the process:
What you need to do if you are entering or re-entering the UK from outside of the EU, from a country not listed in the PETS Travel Scheme
The requirements in this situation are more complex and more rigorous. For the purposes of entering the UK, your dog, cat or ferret will still require a microchip and rabies vaccination, but will also require a blood test (about three weeks after rabies vaccination) to ensure that the rabies vaccination has generated sufficient antibodies, and then a three month wait after the date of a successful rabies vaccination before your pet can enter the UK. There may well be other requirements depending on the country you are coming from.
For purposes of entering non-listed countries from the UK, your pet will need an Export Health Certificate issued by DEFRA. Your pet will need to meet certain requirements before the certificate will be issued, which vary greatly depending on the destination country, and for some countries are quite complex requiring a number of treatments and/or blood tests at specified times prior to the date of travel.
You can contact the PETS Travel Scheme helpline on email@example.com or on 0370 241 1710, Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5pm (closed on bank holidays).
Please give careful consideration to whether taking your pet abroad is the right thing for your dog, particularly if the travel time is long and if it will be very hot at your destination.
Finally, do bear in mind that there are diseases of pets abroad, including in France and the rest of Europe, that are not present in the UK. Some of these diseases can be fatal - our practice has seen dogs die of diseases picked up in Europe during a holiday. These diseases are not necessarily a reason not to take your pet on holiday with you, but you should talk to your vet about preventative measures before you go.