Pet owners often can’t bear to leave their beloved companions behind when they go on holiday, and with the introduction of pet passports in 2003, this is no longer a requirement if you want to go abroad. However, the pet travel scheme does still have certain regulations which must be followed. Here’s what you need to do if you want to take your pets on holiday without being arrested on your return.

1. Passport
Unlike humans, the kind of pet passport you need will depend on the country you are travelling to. There are separate passports for EU and non-EU countries. For the former, an EU pet passport will suffice, while for non-EU listed countries, you will need an official third-country veterinary certificate.

2. Microchip
You must have a microchip fitted to your pet so that he or she can be properly identified. This gives you the best chance of having your pet returned to you should he get lost or stolen. A very small chip will be inserted under his skin, and this will contain your contact details. Should a pet be found, the chip will be scanned and the details used to contact you.

3. Vaccinations
All pets travelling abroad must be vaccinated against rabies. You will also need to have a blood test carried out to ensure that the vaccination is giving a satisfactory level of protection. 48 to 24 hours before you travel back to the UK, you should also treat your pet against ticks and tapeworms.