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How to Get an EU Pet Passport

How to Get an EU Pet Passport

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:

    • Name
    • 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.

    Upclose view of Laila's EU Pet Passport

    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.

    Sora traveling with her EU Pet Passport in Argentina.

    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?

    PIN FOR LATER!

    EU Pet Passport Pinterest Image.

Kate T

Saturday 30th of July 2022

Hi there, Thank you for the above. My daughter will be in Dublin for university for 4 years. We live in USA. I figure i want to take our dogs often when we go to visit and travel through Europe for the next few years. I just am not fully clear on acquiring the passport. So i get all my papers/vaccination records in order and go through our vet here in the USA. Then travel to Dublin and there i set up an appointment with a vet in Dublin to review, examine our dogs and that vet will issue the passport? Then after that I’m good to travel without issue back and forth to Europe with our dogs just keeping the vet records/vaccinations up to date? Primary focus is going to and from Ireland with the dogs.

Kate NYC

Karen Pearl

Monday 18th of July 2022

Hi Dave- My dog is 16 years old, blind and weighs 8 pounds. I am planning to take her to Italy and since she has never been micro chipped, it's been advised it could be detrimental to her health as her age. Is there a contact in Italy that I can reach out to in order to get the Micro Chip portion of her documents waived? Second question, we were hoping to take a ferry the next morning to Corfu, but I see she will need an EU Passport and since we arrive in Italy late evening and planned to leave the next morning, I was wondering if there are any Vets at either the Zurich Airport or Brindisi Airport to assist with a Pet Passport. Thank you in advance.

Angelina

Sunday 17th of July 2022

Hello 👋🏼 So in March I travelled with my dog to Canada from Greece So my dog has an EU passport which I got from Greece (He is also vaccinated, micro) he has everything But now I am going back to Greece And I’m not sure what paperwork needs to be done I actually got a fit to fly from the vet but he told me that I need to go get his health certificate from Canada, signed and stamped by the CFIA here Do I have to go there? Or with his passport and the fit to fly certificate do it’s job for me to fly back? Any ideas?

Jen Sotolongo

Wednesday 20th of July 2022

You'll have to check with the Greek agricultural department. In general, I believe that you can use the passport and not have to redo all of the paperwork. However, some countries only allow 30 days in between travel, and then require certificate of health, but just the one from the vet, not the Canada agricultural department. To summarize: every country is different, so it's best to just call directly to find out! Sorry I don't have a better answer for you!

Cagla

Thursday 10th of March 2022

Hi i’m planning to visit Spain from Us so in that case i just need to give a local adress like a friends adress?

Also i’m originally from Turkey so i’m planning to go to Turkey from Spain and then from Turkey back to home to the USA. Do you think this is doable? I have a very small breed rescue dog i can’t be without 😁

Jen Sotolongo

Friday 11th of March 2022

Hey Cagla. Yes, I think that should be fine to use your friend's address, but you should double check with a veterinarian there. Also, since Turkey is a high rabies country, you cannot go from Turkey back to the EU without a titer test, which needs to be three months old, I believe. So unfortunately, I'm not sure that you'll be able to bring your pup along. Can you leave them in Spain with your friend when you go to Turkey?

Julie

Monday 8th of November 2021

Hello, I'm moving to France from the US (I have dual citizenship) with my vaccinated & ISO microchipped cat. How do I get an EU Passport to come into France if only an EU located vet can grant the EU passport? Do I have to do the annex IV form and provide all documentations for my first entry with my cat, and therefore only get and use the EU passport after that for future travel?

Emilie

Monday 21st of February 2022

@Jen Sotolongo,

Hi Jen,

Thanks for all this great info.

Could you clarify the "under 30 days" requirement and the "within 21 days" requirement listed further above?

We will be going to Italy for 3 months with our dog (will do the APHIS/USDA papers less than 10 days before arrival, and my understanding was that those are valid for 4 months of travel in the EU). I was also under the impression that the EU pet passport is valid indefinitely, as long as the vaccines do not expire and are administered by an EU vet. What is the 30 day limit for?

Separately, because Italy does not appear to be willing to issue pet passports to nonresidents (we do not have long term visas and will not be registered with the local anagrafe), we were planning to transit through Amsterdam to get a pet passport there on the way (which will be harder on the dog) OR make a separate trip from Italy to Amsterdam later in the 3mo stay (hopefully easier on the dog) to get the pet passport in the Netherlands. (Yes, France is closer, but they seem to be cracking down on nonresidents as well.) Are you saying the 2nd plan is not an option due to the 21 day limit between the issuance of the USDA documents and the vet visit for the EU pet passport? Like I can't just go anytime within the 4mo validity of my USDA papers to get an EU pet passport; it must be in the first 21 days?

Thank you!!

Jen Sotolongo

Saturday 12th of February 2022

You get your pet passport in France after you land. You do not need it to enter from the US, but you can use it in the future, as long as your travels between the two continents remain under 30 days.