It’s pretty remarkable how difficult it is for a human to get a foreign passport, compared to the ease of getting one for your pet! We liked to joke that Sora was Norwegian because she had the passport to prove it.
If you plan on living in or traveling to the European Union with your pets, it makes sense to get the proper documentation. An EU Pet Passport ensures that your pet meets all the requirements for travel across EU borders.
Table of Contents
- What is a European Pet Passport?
- How to Get a Pet Passport
- What Does an EU Pet Passport Contain?
- How Much does a Pet Passport Cost?
- Advantages of Getting an EU Pet Passport
- How to Use a Pet Passport
What is a European Pet Passport?
An EU Pet Passport is a document that contains information about your pet, including:
- Microchip number
- Owner information
- Vaccination history
Pet passports for dogs, cats, and ferrets are issued by official veterinarians within the European Union. They cannot be obtained outside of the EU.
They are meant to facilitate the travel of pets between European Union countries, including many non-EU countries, without the need to complete the Annex IV form required for pets.
How to Get a Pet Passport
Getting a pet passport is a simple and painless process that takes about a half hour.
You do not need to apply for a pet passport. Simply find a licensed veterinarian and make an appointment after you have arrived in Europe.
Be sure to bring the following documents along to the appointment:
- Annex IV Form completed by your home veterinarian and endorsed by the governing body (USDA if your from the US)
- Rabies vaccination certificate or rabies titer test results
- ISO microchip information
- A local address
- Your own passport
These are the same documents required to fly internationally with a pet, so they should already be in order.
Generally, your pet’s documents should not be older than 21 days.
Travelers headed to countries like the United Kingdom are also required to provide proof of tapeworm treatment administered at least 24 hours, but no more than five days prior to arrival.
What does an EU Pet Passport Contain?
There is a ton of information inside the little blue book including:
- Details of ownership (name, address, passport number, telephone, etc.)
- Description of the animal (name, species, breed, date of birth, etc.)
- Microchip number and details
- Veterinarian details issuing the passport
- Vaccination against rabies
- Rabies antibody titer test approval
- Anti-echinococcus treatment records
- Other parasite treatment records
- Other vaccinations recorded and treatment records
All records are signed and stamped by your veterinarian with official stickers from the medication used.
How Much does a Pet Passport Cost?
We have obtained pet passports in Germany, Norway, and Spain and the price varies by country, but expect to pay between $60 and $100.
Some veterinarians may ask to do a quick check up or require a rabies shot, , which can add on additional fees.
Advantages of Getting an EU Pet Passport
While pets are not required to travel with a passport, it sure makes crossing borders easier.
The main reason to get a pet passport is to facilitate the ease of travel within the EU. However, there are many more benefits of getting an EU pet passport.
- Easily travel across European borders, including the UK, Norway, Switzerland, and the Balkans.
- You can store all of your pet’s medical records in one location.
- Travel back and forth between the US and some other countries without the need to obtain all of the importation paperwork (provided it is a non-commercial relocation)
How to Use a Pet Passport
You pretty much use it just as you would your own passport!
At the border crossing, inform the customs agent that you are bringing your pet and present the passport.
Keep in mind that vaccinations must remain up to date and remember to check border requirements prior to entry.
If you plan to travel back and forth between the US and the EU, never allow a non-EU veterinarian to enter information into the passport. This invalidates it and means going through the importation process all over again.
Tip: bring your pet’s passport with you to your veterinary appointments. This way, they can update any vaccines and other important medical information and keep your pet’s medial records current.
Do you have any tips for getting a pet passport?
What is your experience using one?
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