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Pet Travel

We all need a holiday!

As the UK is now leaving the EU on 1st January 2021, Pet Travel regulations are changing.  Click here for the latest Government advice. 

Following the end of the EU Exit transition period on 31 December 2020 the current UK branded EU Pet Passport will no longer be valid for travel to EU Member States including the Republic of Ireland (ROI). However, under the terms of the Northern Ireland Protocol agreed between the EU and the UK the current EU Pet Travel Scheme continues to apply to Northern Ireland (NI).

What this means in practical terms is that Northern Ireland pet owners intending to travel with their pets to the EU (including the ROI), will continue to be required to ensure their pets are prepared in accordance with the EU Pet Travel Scheme including the requirement for a valid EU Pet Passport. The requirement for a valid Pet Passport also applies to pets returning to NI from mainland Great Britain (GB) from 1 January 2021.

Travelling from Belfast to Scotland, England or Wales does NOT require a Pet Passport, but a Pet Passport or valid Animal Health Certificate issued in GB, is required to come back into NI.

Current EU UK pet passports are invalid for travel after 1st January. You must get your current passport updated with the new EU UK (NI) pet passport labelling. Contact us for more information on how to do get your passport updated.

What you need to do before you travel with your pet dog, cat or ferret;

  • Microchip must be fitted and checked
  • Pet Passport (designated as EU UK (NI)
  • Rabies vaccine – pet must be microchipped prior to vaccination, must be over 12 weeks old, and it must be given at least 21 days before the 1st entry into another EU country
  • Approved travel arrangements, Entry into NI must be through an approved Travellers Point of Entry
  • If coming into NI (not if travelling from ROI) – Dogs require a tapeworm treatment 1-5 days before entry  – must be administered by a vet and your pet passport completed and signed. (A tapeworm treatment is not required before travelling out of NI to another EU country, or GB. A tapeworm treatment is needed if coming into NI from GB)
  • If your travel arrangements start in GB and you do not have an EU UK(NI) Pet Passport, then you will need an Animal Health Certificate, issued by an official vet, which allows 4 months onward travel within the EU and must be issued within 10 days of leaving GB. Requirements are the same as for a Pet Passport.
  • Some travel companies require a Fitness to Travel certificate

PETS enforces protection against the major zoonotic (diseases that pass between humans and animals) diseases – Rabies and Echinococcus multilocularis (a tapeworm), but it does not consider any of the multitude of diseases that exist in many European countries, but not in NI, that can infect your pet while on holiday.

Many of these diseases can be life threatening, especially when your pet has never had any previous exposure, and most are transmitted by biting flies, mosquitoes or ticks.

See below a list of diseases that may be contracted during travel: 


  • Information - Acute, life threatening illness 
  • Prevention - Rabies vaccine (legal requirement) 

Ehrlichia Canis

  • Information - Spread by ticks. Causes chronic or acute disease
  • Prevention - Tick Control

Babesia Canis

  • Information - Spread by ticks. Causes chronic or acute disease
  • Prevention - Tick Control 

Dirofilaria Immitus “heartworm”

  • Information - Parasite spread by mosquitoes, causes heart failure etc.
  • Prevention - Drugs to prevent infection and mosquito control


  • Information - Multi-systemic illness, spread by sand flies
  • Prevention - Vaccine and control of sand flies

Echinococcus Multilocularis

  • Information - May not affect the dog but significant risk to human health
  • Prevention - Worming treatment on return to UK (legal requirement) and every 4 weeks while abroad

Echinococcus Granulosus

  • Information - May not affect the dog but risk of infection from dog / fox faeces
  • Prevention - Worming treatment every 4 weeks will prevent infection and shedding

What Do I Need To Do? 

Organise your PETS passport etc with plenty of time to spare – Contact DAERA Pet Travel Dept. and Cedarmount for details.

Have a look at where you are travelling to, and what countries you pass through. If you will be in southern Europe particularly then you need to organise protection against, ticks, biting flies and heartworm.

  • Milbemax – every 4 weeks will prevent heartworm infection and treat tapeworms (including Echinococcus)
  • Advantix – every 2 weeks will help repel sand flies and mosquitoes. This also kills and repels ticks
  • Nexgard Spectra – every 4 weeks will control roundworms, heartworm, fleas and ticks (but not tapeworms)
  • Seresto or Scalibor collars are effective long term control for ticks, fleas, and biting flies
  • Nexgard – every 4 weeks will kill ticks and fleas

NO spot-on collars or treatments will stop all insect bites or ticks. Check your pet daily and remove any ticks found, stay away from forests, wetlands etc and keep your dog indoors at night. Vapouriser repellents etc. can help indoors.

  • Canileash vaccine against leishmaniasis.

Dogs must be over 6mths old, primary course is 3 injections 3 weeks apart and immunity is complete 4 weeks after this course Immunity lasts for a year. Single annual booster.

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