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Pets On Holiday

Summer has arrived, and you want to be out and about. But what about your pets?

This section deals with holidays from your pets' perspectives. Since the introduction of the Pet Passport, it is easier to travel with your cat or dog. If you do, always make sure you can contact a vet near you incase of emergency. Or, you may want to stay closer to home and holiday in the UK - in which case you'll need to find pet-friendly accomodation. Hopefully, the following information will come in handy!

A useful site: Dogs On Tour . This site has loads of information about travelling with dogs and also about shows happening in the UK.


Pet Passports - the pet travel scheme

Holidays in the UK

Hot Dogs!

Car safety

Boarding Kennels

The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS)

This scheme only applies to cats and dogs and allows them to enter the UK (from an approved country) without having to go into quarantine. The approved countries are:

San Marino

So, if you took your cat or dog to Cyprus, it would not have to go into quarantine when you returned. For your pet to be eligible for the PETS scheme, you must:





































































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1. Get your pet microchipped;

2. Vaccinate your pet;

3. Arrange a blood test;

4. Get a certificate;

5. Treat your pet for ticks and tapeworm;

6. Sign a declaration of residency.

1) This is the order that the events must be taken. The microchip is your pet's ID. It records the animal's details, and its owner's details. It is a tiny chip placed under the skin via an injection, and doesn't cause the animal any discomfort.

2) The vaccination will protect your pet from rabies. Rabies is a viral disease, transferred from the bite of a rabid animal. It affects the central nervous system, ultimately causing death within days.

3) The blood test is done 30 days after the vaccination. The test checks that your pet has sufficient protection against rabies. Your pet can't enter the UK until 6 months after the blood test was taken.

4) Without a PETS certificate, your pet can't enter (or re-enter) the UK. It won't be issued until 6 months after the date that the blood sample was taken (providing a successful result was obtained). The certificate proves that your pet is identified by a microchip, has a current rabies vaccination and has passed the blood test. The PETS certificate will expire on the date that your pet's booster vaccination is due.

5) Your pet must be treated against ticks and tapeworm (Echinococcus multilocularis) by a PETS qualified vet 24 - 48 hours before you check in for your journey to the UK. This ensures that tapeworm eggs will not be shed in the UK. You will be issued with a certificate.

6) The declaration states that your pet has not been outside any of the PETS qualifying countries in the last 6 months. You can obtain the form in advance, but must fill it in and sign it on the day you come to the UK with your pet.

For more information, visit the DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) website.


Holidays in the UK

If travelling in the UK with your pets, you'll need to find a pet-friendly place to stay. Most hotels won't allow pets, but there are lots of B&B's and self-catering holiday houses that do. Check out Pets On to find a location near you.

When travelling with pets, it is very important to remember that dogs DIE in hot cars.

On a hot day, the temperature inside the car can rise to double that of the outside, in just 6 - 10 minutes. Dogs have a warm fur coat, can't sweat and only lose heat via panting. Even with windows left open, or with a bowl of water, dogs can soon succumb to heatstroke.

The symptoms of heatstroke:

1. Increased activity, panting accompanied by barking or whining;

2. Panting becomes excessive, with lots of saliva;

3. The dog is struggling to breathe and may become glassy-eyed, with dark red gums;

4. The dog's temperature reaches the point where cell death occurs in the brain, causing seizures, coma and death.

If you think your dog is suffering from heat stroke, call a vet immediately.

To help cool the animal down, find a shady area and remove him from the heat. Keep him calm and quiet and spray him with water. If possible, direct a fan onto him to increase heat loss by evaporation. Wrap some ice in a cloth and apply to the inside of the thigh, armpits, and base of the brain (this is where major blood vessels are found close to the skin).

To prevent this happening to your pet, never leave them unattended in the car. Always take water with you, have a fan blowing cool air towards the animal and try to park in the shade and use sun screens.


Car Safety

It is important that your pets are safe when travelling in the car. Cats should be transported in carriers, securely fastened down. If dogs are travelling in the boot, you should fit a dog guard to stop them leaping about and prevent impact in the case of an emergency stop or a crash. Alternatively, travel-cages are available for restless dogs. Dog seat-belts are also available. Small animals should travel in their cage, securely fastened. Make frequent stops for a breath of fresh air and for the toilet. Always provide water for your pets, and make sure they don't get too hot (open windows, have a fan on, use sun-shades).


Boarding Kennels

If you can't take your pet with you, you will have to find someone to take care of him for you. The obvious choice is a boarding kennel. Always choose a reputable kennel, and visit first before you leave your animals there. Dogs, cats and rabbits must be fully vaccinated before they can board, and dogs should be vaccinated against kennel cough. Some kennels will not take bitches in season, so check first. To find a kennel near you, take a look at the directory at

Boarding kennels should have insurance and veterinary cover at all times. You can leave bedding, toys, food and treats for your pets, but not food bowls for hygiene reasons. Since each kennel will be different in its layout and operation, you should always visit first.