Pet Passport – what is it? Why does your pet need one? How much will it cost?

Pet Passport - why it is important for international pet travelThe 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 pets 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 pet owners 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 the collection of the required documentation needed to take your pet to other countries. Customs officials will need to see these documents in order to clear your pet through customs, 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 form for the country you will be visiting (they are all different) completed by your veterinarian and endorsed by a USDA veterinarian. You airline may also require and health certificate, especially if your pet is flying under an air waybill in the cargo hold. A microchip certificate can identify when your pet’s microchip was implanted and which veterinarian administered the implantation. This is important because your pet must be identified by a microchip prior to receiving the rabies vaccination.
  • Your pet’s rabies certificate or inoculation record which must be attached to the certified Annex IV form.

If you are visiting one of the United Kingdom countries (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales) as well as Finland or Malta, your pet will need proof of a tapeworm treatment to complete your pet passport.

UPDATE: As Brexit has occurred, note that the United Kingdom is no longer be a part of the European Union and UK Pet Passports are no longer be accepted for pets entering the EU. To enter the EU from the UK, your pet will need either an EU Pet Passport with the most current rabies vaccination recorded in it or an Animal Health Certificate (AHC) issued by an Official Veterinarian in the UK. The AHC can be used to travel throughout the EU for 4 months after issuance or until your pet’s rabies vaccination expires, whichever comes first. It can also be used to reenter the UK during the 4 month validity period.

More details on how Brexit will affect your pet.

Every country in the world will require a health certificate and proof of rabies vaccination, although the rules for additional treatments and testing vary widely from country to country. You should have a health certificate completed by your veterinarian prior to travel. This certificate is also referred to as a Veterinary or Sanitary Certificate.

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 prior to travel for a health certificate. Other tests and treatments, such as tapeworm, internal/external parasites, microchips, and rabies titer tests, if required, will affect the cost. Endorsement by a government veterinarian will always incur a fee. 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 Australia), you have to plan 6 months in advance. 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 forms and instructions on over 220 countries all over the world. You can also post questions on our blog homepage and we will answer them promptly. More information pet passports can be found here:


Pet Passport – what is it? Why does your pet need one? How much will it cost? — 172 Comments

  1. Hello Dawn – if your dog’s rabies vaccinations as well as microchip implantation date are recorded in your dog’s EU Pet Passport, then you do not need an endorsed EU Health Certificate to travel to Germany. If your airline does not accept your EU Pet Passport and instead requires a health certificate, the certificate can be issued by any licensed veterinarian in the US and will not need endorsement.

    If your dog has received a rabies vaccination while in the United States, then you will need the EU Health Certificate endorsed by the United States Department of Agriculture within 10 days of transport. US veterinarians cannot enter rabies vaccinations in EU Pet Passports.

  2. If I have an EU Pet Passport for my dog from Germany and I am entering the EU from the United States, do I need any other documentation for my dog? Do I also have to get an American vet to fill out forms as well?

  3. Anna – every country has their own pet import regulations, so the answer to your question no, you do not need to return to the United States; however, you may need to see a veterinarian in Aruba to meet requirements to enter other Caribbean islands. You can find requirements for over 200 countries here:
    Let us know if you have additional questions. Susan

  4. Travling to Aruba from Usa with small dog.Do I have to come back to Usa in order to go to other islands from Aruba ?

  5. FYI Ireland is not in the United Kingdom! Please remove Ireland (an EU country with EU laws) and insert Wales.

  6. Gloria – we regret that we were not notified of your post. If you still need assistance, we would recommend contacting a local agent in the Philippines. You can search for one at Susan

  7. Hello, I am traveling with my dog to Philippines up coming December this year how can I obtain a travel permit for my dog. Please help. I tried calling and emailing the bureau of Animal Industry but no luck

  8. The requirements depend on your origination country. Your parrots may be subject to CITES permits as well. You will need the assistance of an agent in your country to arrange the transport. You can search for an agent in your country at Susan

  9. Please I need information on transportation of two small parrots to the uk. What paperwork is required and which is the best airline.

  10. Lesley – Fiji is a challenging country to import a dog or cat. You can review requirements here: The airline availability will depend on current service offered as a result of the pandemic. The goal when flying a pet is to stay on the same airline for the entire trip. On this route, it appears difficult. Try researching airline service in and out of Fiji first, then see what countries where they connect. Know that if you change airline companies along the way, your dog will need to clear customs and enter the layover country and conform to import requirements. You can check those requirements here:

  11. I am looking to take my dalmatian out to Fiji, not as yet sure of airlines? could do with some help for best dog care, re travel? I will be travelling from Scotland, so long flight.

  12. Monica – EU Pet Passports are only issued to dogs, cats and ferrets. Your chinchilla will need a health certificate issued within 10 days of travel to enter Sweden.

  13. Hello, I’m looking for information about whether my chinchilla needs a pet passport before travelling to Sweden from the UK before Brexit. The UK website for animals coming into the UK from EU countries such as Sweden says that rodents such as chinchillas don’t require passports but I’m unsure if this carries over to travelling to Sweden.
    If there’s anyone that can help it would be greatly appreciated.

  14. Sid – you can find current regulations to import your Great Pyranees to India here and there are links to further instructions and forms that can be emailed to you: You will need someone in India (friend, family, representative or agent) to apply for the Notice of No Objection for you. If you need the assistance of an agent, you can search for one at The weight of your dog and its crate may necessitate that your dog fly as air cargo. In that case, you should contact the cargo department of an airline that flies the entire route and ask them if you can book the route or whether an agent will be needed in Canada to book the transport.

  15. Hello i am looking to take my 1year old great pyranees( weighs about 98 pounds) to India from Canada.
    Want some information on the average cost for his move and of you guys have any sort of packages at a total cost to help with the appropriate travel arrangements.


  16. Simone – you can find current regulations to import your puppy to South Africa here and there are links to further instructions and forms that can be emailed to you: Your veterinarian should keep track of your puppy’s shots and will give you a vaccination book that reflects those shots. Be sure and get a microchip implanted at the same time or prior to rabies vaccination. This vaccination should not be administered prior to 3 months of age. Some vets will wait longer than that to give rabies vaccination shots.

  17. Hello I just got a new puppy I came to work here in Zhengzhou china.I got him a week ago as a gift .Simply adore him but it worries me that once my contract is up in a year I Dont want to leave him behind .What do I need to get to take him back home to South Africa.I am taking him for his first set of shots in Thursday and wanted to know what I need to do from the time I get his shots Do I need to keep record of all the shots he gets ?Pls help also does the record of his shots need to be in English as the vets here are Chinese and most of the Chinese in this city are not very good with English

  18. Hi Sue – the requirements to import your dogs to Spain will depend on what country you will be entering from. You can find those requirements here and there are links to further instructions and forms that can be emailed to you: If you are entering Spain from another EU Member State then yes, an EU Pet Passport will be required. If you are entering Spain from outside of the EU, then your pet’s passport will be the collection of documents required to enter Spain.

  19. Hi I?m moving to Spain with my 2 small dogs do I have to get passports for them.thay have been chipped and had 2 injections what do I need now.thanks.

  20. Debra – as you are accompanying your cats, they can fly into Glasgow on an approved airline. Due to regulations imposed by all commercial airlines, live animals must arrive in the UK as air cargo and likely, an agent will be required to book the transport. Some approved airlines to fly live animals into Manchester are Air Canada, Air France, KLM, American, Delta, United, SAS, Lufthansa and Virgin Atlantic.

    You can avoid the air cargo regulations by flying into Paris or Amsterdam and taking Le Shuttle our of Calais (vehicle needed) or DFDS out of Amsterdam. Not sure how to get 3 cats in the cabin with you to these airports unless you purchase an extra seat (if allowed) and someone flies with you.

  21. I am moving to Scotland with my 3 cats and family. Am I correct that you cannot fly direct to the UK with cats from the US?
    Trying to find best airline and way to get them there safely. I need to be able to keep them in the cabin. They have all shots, rabies, all internationally chipped, VET certified

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