Do Pets Need Passports – How To Get It And How Long Is It Valid?

Your pet forms part of your family, so why shouldn’t he or she accompany you on your travels?

Or perhaps you plan on moving outside your country’s borders and need to get your pet’s paperwork in order? Did you know they can get passports too?

Travel documentation can get complicated so let’s help you clarify at least one aspect of your animals’ travels. Here’s all you need to know about your pet’s passport.


What is a Pet Passport?

A pet passport as it’s used in the EU, including Ireland, is a document that contains the basic information about your animal. It’s specifically meant for dogs, cats and ferrets.

The details will include:

  • Your own personal information as owner of the pet, including your contact details
  • The dog’s details, such as breed and a complete description
  • For identification, the microchip or tattoo code must be shown on the passport
  • There must be an up-to-date vaccination record
  • Information about the individual who issued the passport

Pet passports are mostly an EU option and not many other countries use this terminology.


When Do You Need A Pet Passport?

You will need a pet passport if you plan on travelling with your pet to or between EU countries. You’ll also need documentation if you plan on travelling to some other countries, such as the US.

This can be an EU pet passport—obtained in an EU country—or simply the list of documents the destination country requires you to have on hand.

Pet passports mostly apply to the following animals that need to travel in the EU:

  • Cats
  • Dogs
  • Ferrets

For other animals you may need other documentation, related to commercial imports.


How To Get Your Pet Passport

A European pet passport is easy to obtain from a vet within the EU. This must be a vet that has been authorised by relevant authorities to provide these types of documents.

There are countries in which you can obtain a pet passport, even though they’re not part of the EU. The list includes:

  • Switzerland
  • Andorra
  • Norway
  • Monaco
  • Liechtenstein
  • Greenland
  • Gibraltar
  • Faroe Islands
  • Iceland


For How Long is a Pet Passport Valid?

You only have to apply for a pet passport once in your pet’s life. This document will stay valid for any future travels you plan with your animal.

The only responsibility you will have is to ensure the animal’s rabies shots are up to date. A vet performing these vaccinations and others must enter the relevant details on the passport as proof for anyone requesting to see your documents.


Final Words

While you’re putting all your own travel documentation together, don’t forget to add your pet’s papers to the list.

In addition to a passport, in the EU you’ll also need a health certificate and some other written permissions. If you want more information on these, we’ll be happy to assist.

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