All this cold weather is making us dream of summer holidays!

Please be aware though that you may need to plan ahead if you want to take your pets away with you next summer.

The government has issued advice for pet owners outlining how pet travel arrangements may change if the UK leaves the EU with no deal. In a no deal situation, pet owners would still be able to travel to Europe with their pet after Brexit, but they could need to take additional steps
and start preparations at least four months ahead of their planned departure date. If you are looking to travel to the EU with your pet after March 2019, then you should speak to your vet as soon as possible, ideally before the end of November 2018, to give enough time for health
checks, vaccination and testing to be carried out. With the Easter holidays falling soon after EU exit day, it’s essential that pet owners know to start planning ahead now to avoid disappointment.

At the moment if your pet is at least 12 weeks old and has a microchip, they can have a rabies vaccination, be issued a passport and travel 3 weeks after the vaccination date, with the rabies vaccine needing boosters within 3 years. If the UK leaves the EU with no deal we could be
treated as an unlisted country and in this situation, your pet will need a blood sample taken at least 30 days after the rabies vaccine and the results the blood test must show that the vaccination was successful. You must then wait 3 months from the date the successful blood sample was taken before you can travel. You will also need to take your pet to an Official Veterinarian (OV) no more than 10 days before travel to get a health certificate. This health certificate will be valid for 10 days after the date of issue for entry into the EU, for 4 months of onward travel within the EU and for re-entry to the UK for 4 months after the date of issue. On arrival in the EU, pet owners travelling with their pets will be required to enter through a designated Travellers’ Point of Entry (TPE) where they may be asked to present proof of microchip, rabies vaccine and the blood test result alongside their pet’s health certificate. In order to return to the UK, your pet will need either an existing EU pet passport, an EU health certificate or a UK pet health certificate.

As we don’t yet know what will be happening in March it’s important to plan ahead and be prepared for the worst case scenario if you want to ensure that your pet doesn’t miss their summer holiday!