The term “pet passport” was originally popularized in the European Union (EU) where dog, cat or ferret owners could get a blue pet passport from their veterinarian under the Pet Travel Scheme and travel freely through the EU member countries. This is still true today for people living in the EU. It will last for the lifetime of the pet as long as the rabies vaccination is kept up to date and you don’t run out of pages.
However, for pet owners residing in countries outside of the EU, a “pet passport” is simply a term we use to represent all of the pertinent documentation needed to take your pet to other countries. Customs officials will need to see these documents in order to clear your pet, and the inconvenience caused by losing them can be significant.
Your veterinarian can help you create a pet passport for your pet to enter almost any country in the world. For example, if you are from the United States and are visiting most European Union countries, then the pet passport will consist of the following:
- The Annex IV and APHIS 7001 forms (if required by your airline) for the country you will be visiting (they are all different) completed by your veterinarian and endorsed by the State USDA veterinarian.
- Your pet’s inoculation record which must be attached to the certified Annex IV form. (Sometimes the inoculation record is referred to as the Rabies Certificate.)
If you are visiting one of the United Kingdom countries (England, Ireland or Scotland) or Finland or Malta, your pet will need proof of a tapeworm test to complete your pet passport.
UPDATE: When Brexit occurs, note that the United Kingdom will no longer be a part of the European Union and UK Pet Passports will no longer be accepted for pets entering the EU. The requirements will depend on how the UK is classified by the EU after Brexit. More details on how Brexit will affect your pet.
Every country in the world will require a minimum of proof of good health and a rabies certificate, although the rules for additional testing vary widely from country to country. You should have a health certificate completed by your veterinarian. This certificate is also referred to as a Veterinary or Sanitary Certificate. Sometimes, import permits and other testing is required.
The cost for a pet passport will depend on your veterinarian’s fees, the fees for microchipping (if required), and the fees for completing and endorsing the necessary forms. There will always be a trip to the vet just prior to travel for a health certificate. Other tests such as tapeworm, internal/external parasites, microchips, and rabies titer tests, if required, will affect the cost. USDA endorsement in the USA or CFIA endorsement in Canada will add $38.00 per form at this writing and if a titer test is required, the costs rise to $121.00. Many countries also require an import permit and they will charge for processing it.
The first thing to do is to find out the requirements to bring your pet to your destination country. In some cases (like Hawaii), you have to plan 6 months in advance to avoid quarantine. The key to avoiding delays at the border and/or quarantine when traveling with your pet is to have your pet passport complete and accurate for the countries you are visiting.
You can find information on country requirements in our immigration section and pet passports with instructions on over 220 countries all over the world. You can also post questions on our blog homepage or forum and we will answer them promptly. More information on pet passports can be found here: https://www.pettravel.com/news_pet_passport.cfm