Thanks to last week’s sunshine-filled days, summer is now on many people’s minds. No one likes to leave their four-legged friends behind when they go on holiday, but how easy is it to take your dog abroad?
Cottages in Northumberland, specialists in dog friendly accommodation, delve into the issues facing Brits taking their furry-friends abroad.
What needs to be considered
Although we’re all aware of the rule and regulations and extra costs that come along with traveling abroad ourselves, but did you know that traveling abroad with your pet requires a lot more preparation and an even bigger budget?
This guide is here to help you get organised for your future pet-friendly holiday, covering everything from arranging microchipping vaccinations and pet passports with your vet, to organising all the necessary transportation.
Step 1: Microchipping
Be sure to move onto the next step if you’ve already got this one sorted, which as loving dog owners, we’re sure you have! If not, wherever your dog may be travelling this year, it’s vital that they are microchipped for identification purposes. Usually, this costs about £20 and should be done before the rabies vaccination so that your vet is able to record the unique microchip number on your dog’s pet passport application form.
Step 2: Rabies vaccinations
Before taking your fury friend for a vacation abroad, you must first make sure that they are vaccinated against rabies first (these cost around £32.50). You must wait 21 days until after the vaccination before taking your dog abroad, or return, to the UK from another EU or non-EU country. Dogs entering from a non-EU country will also need to undergo a blood test before they can be granted entry into the UK. Your pet may be put into quarantine for up to four months if you fail to follow these rules and may even be refused entry if you are travelling by sea.
While you’re at the vets getting vaccinations crossed off on your to-do list, make sure you also record these important details:
- Microchip number, the date it was inserted and where it is located on your dog.
- Batch number.
- Date of birth and age.
- Vaccination date.
- Vaccine product name.
Step 3: Pet passports
Now that you have your dog microchipped and vaccinated, your vet will issue you with a pet passport. This will set you back £60, however pet passports are very important as they provide a full list of the different treatments your pet has had. Pet passports remain valid as along as your pet continues to meet the country’s entry requirements.
Step 4: Transportation
Tackling transport can be tricky as only a small number of approved transport companies and routes are available which can be used to take your dog abroad. It also isn’t unusual for companies to request a statement from your vet to confirm your dog is fit to travel, so be prepared for this and check their requirements before you travel.
You’ll also need something for transporting your dog. Unfortunately, travelling abroad isn’t just a case of getting your dog in the car, you’ll need an authorised pet carrier (a decent one starts at around £40 and must be large enough for them to stand up and turn around in) to transport them safely and securely.
Your dog’s needs
Perhaps the most important thing to consider when choosing whether to travel abroad is your dog’s needs:
- Factor in plenty of comfort breaks to your journey where your dog can relieve themselves.
- Prepare them for the trip by slightly reducing their daily food intake and feeding them as early as you can on your day of departure. Also pack plenty of your regular dog food brand as it is unlikely you’ll be able to find it abroad.
- Stop them becoming a hot dog(!) by packing plenty of water and a cooling mat to relax on when the temperature rises.
While we would love to have our pets with us wherever we go, sometimes this can prove to be very costly and time-consuming. If you want your dog to be able to enjoy the sea and sun with you with less hassle, considering a long staycation or weekend away at a dog friendly cottage in the UK may be a great alternative.