Planning ahead can help your holiday run smoothly, in more ways than one!
Last week in this column I was encouraging you not to get caught out when planning your holidays with your pet in the UK. But we can now travel around the world with our pets too, if we wish.
Going abroad with your pet is much easier now than it used to be, but does require some planning ahead – you can’t be a last minute Minnie about this! Dogs, cats and ferrets can all have a passport and travel, but we mostly see holidaying dogs at The Mewes Vets.
The new PETS passport requires your pet to be microchipped and vaccinated against rabies. Then you must wait 21 days before you can leave the UK. There is no longer any requirement for a blood test, so it is very easy.
Before your return from the EU you simply find a Vet advertising their OV status which allows them to certify your passport. They administer a dose against tapeworm to your pet, and you are good to return to the UK within 5 days.
Other parts of the world have slightly different requirements, so make sure you check at your Vets or on the DEFRA website before you make plans.
But remember, this only protects the UK from undesirable issues such as rabies. A simple passport does not fully protect your pet. For that you need to do a disease risk assessment with your own Vet about the areas you may be travelling through and where you are staying. There are many pet diseases in Europe that are absent in the UK, so your English-born dog will have no natural immunity and could be at risk.
These include Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis, Leishmaniasis and Dirofilariasis or heartworm. These are all potentially fatal but easily preventable, if you plan ahead. Rather like taking an anti-malaria tablet 2 weeks before travelling to a malaria area, dogs need to start their travel medication 2 weeks before their journey, if they are going to a risk area.
We keep maps of current risk areas at The Mewes Vets, so that you can quickly identify which, if any, diseases may be a problem to you, and arrange your personalised protective program for your best friend. We don’t want anything bad to happen whilst you are enjoying your holidays!