If you’re planning a holiday abroad you may not know that it can be easier and cheaper to bring your pet along with you for the trip instead of leaving them behind with a pet sitter or in a cattery or kennel.

If you’re travelling within Europe, then you simply need to get your furry friend a pet passport, which enables your animal to travel to any EU-member state without the need to put your animal in quarantine.

Where to apply

To get a passport you must visit an Official Veterinarian who can provide you with all of the necessary paperwork to let your pet travel abroad. Visit the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratory Agency’s website if you’re not sure of where your nearest one is.

Your pet will need to be microchipped if they aren’t already. If you got your pet microchipped a long time ago, make sure you update the details on the chip if you’ve since moved home or changed phone number. You can renew the details on the Pet Chip Update website.

Your pet will also need to have vaccinations against rabies and may even require a blood test. It’s recommended that you start the application process well in advance, as they need to wait 21 days after getting vaccinated to travel.

After your pet has been vaccinated you just need to get them dewormed and you’ll be issued with the passport. It’s usually issued as a small blue booklet but can also come in the form of a pink A4 sheet of paper. The cost of the whole process depends on what vet you visit and whether you need to get your pet microchipped but is usually around £150.

Transporting your pet

After you’ve got your passport you can plan how you’ll transport your pet to your holiday destination. Whilst air freight might seem like the only option, this isn’t the case and it’s usually very expensive and stressful for your pet. If you can avoid transporting your pet by air, it’s worth arranging alternative transport

Travelling to Europe by car can be fun and is often the cheapest way to transport your pet. You usually only have to pay an extra £10 or so to transport your pet on the ferry over and once you get to the other side you can move freely between countries as long as you have your pet’s passport.

You can also travel as a foot passenger with your pet and take the train to your destination on the other side. Unfortunately the Eurostar doesn’t allow pets on board, but most other train companies in Europe allow pets on as long as they are caged or on a lead.

However you decide to get your pet abroad, make sure you plan well in advance to get their passport on time and choose the best mode of transport to ensure your pet travels in comfort and with ease. Once you’ve done this, you’ll have a holiday to remember with your pet in tow!