Changes to the pet travel scheme came into effect on December 29, 2014. The following guidance comes from GOV.UK.The guidance explains what’s changed and why.

The changes are mainly designed to strengthen enforcement across the EU, increase levels of compliance and improve the security and traceability of the pet passport.

The changes give effect to a new EU pet travel Regulation (576/2013).

If you already have a passport for your pets, you do not need to get a new one.

The Pet Travel Scheme

The main requirements of the scheme will stay the same. All dogs, cats and ferrets travelling with their owner will still require:

  • microchipping
  • vaccination against rabies
  • a blood test 30 days after vaccination (if returning or travelling from an unlisted third country)
  • a pet passport issued by an authorised vet (or third country certificate issued by an official vet)
  • a waiting period after primary vaccination and prior to travel:
    o 21 days if travelling from another EU country or a listed third country
  • a waiting period following blood sampling
    o 3 months if traveling from for unlisted third countries
    treatment against the EM tapeworm (dogs only)

There are exceptions to some of these preparations in certain circumstances. If you are planning to travel with your pet you must read the detailed guidance at:

What’s Changing and What You Have to Do

The key changes affecting pet owners are outlined below:

1. A new pet passport
A new style pet passport will be introduced from 29 December 2014.
However if you already have a passport for your pet you do not need to get a new one. Existing passports will remain valid for the lifetime of the pet (or until all the treatment spaces are filled).

The new style passport will include laminated strips designed to cover those pages with the pet’s details, microchip information and each rabies vaccination entry. This will help prevent anyone tampering with this information once it has been completed by a vet.
The vet issuing the pet passport will also need to fill in their details on a new ‘Issuing of the passport’ page and must make sure that all their contact details are included when they certify vaccinations and treatments.

The UK pet passport will also now include a unique passport number printed on every page .
These changes will improve the traceability and security of the pet passport and enable us to contact the vet who issued the passport if anything goes wrong.

2. The introduction of checks across the EU
If you travel with your pet in the EU you may be asked for your pet’s passport when entering other countries. This is because all EU countries are required to carry out some checks on pet movements within the EU.

You must make sure that your pet is fully compliant with the rules of the EU pet travel scheme before you leave the UK. In particular, you must wait 21 days from the date of your pet’s primary rabies vaccination before you travel (the day of vaccination counts as day 0 not day 1). Your vet can advise you on this point. If you have a new style pet passport they will put a ‘valid from’ date in the primary vaccination entry; this will be the earliest date you can travel.

All pets entering Britain on approved routes will continue to be checked by the carriers either prior to boarding (for rail or sea) or upon entry (air).

3. A new minimum age for rabies vaccination
From 29 December 2014 your pet must be at least 12 weeks old before you can get it vaccinated against rabies for the purposes of pet travel.

These rules will be the same across the EU and help pet checkers carry out compliance checks. It will also prevent very young pets being moved across the EU.

4. New rules for those travelling with more than five pets
If you have more than five pets and wish to travel with them within the EU and/or return to the UK (unless you are going to a show or competition) you will need to comply with additional rules. These include:

• traveling from a registered premises
• using an authorised transporter and
• registering the movement on the TRACES system

If you are traveling from outside the EU you will also need to enter through a Border Inspection Post.

Shows and competitions
If you are travelling with more than five pets (aged over six months) and can present written evidence that they are registered to attend a show, competition or sporting event (or training for such an event) you do not need to comply with these extra rules and can continue to travel under the EU pet travel scheme.

The evidence you provide will need to show at least the name of the event, together with the address and date(s) it is taking place. You may also be asked to sign a declaration confirming that you are eligible to make use of this exemption. This requirement may change – we’re consulting on some of these details – so you should check the website for up to date information before you travel.

5. Requirements for pets entering the UK/EU
If you are entering the UK (or another EU country) and your journey began outside the EU you must sign a declaration confirming that you do not intend to sell or transfer ownership of your pet. The format of this declaration is outlined in Part 3 of Annex IV to Regulation 577/2013..
If you are not able to accompany your pet then you (or a person you have authorised in writing) must travel within 5 days of your pet’s movement. This rule applies both to travel within the EU and for movements from outside the EU.

6. Clearer definition of cat, dog and ferret
The new EU Regulation specifically states that the only species of pet animal that can travel under the EU pet travel rules are:

• Canis lupis familiaris – domestic dog
• Felis silvestris catus – domestic cat
• Mustela putorius furo – ferret

The reason for this change is to make sure that wild animals can’t be moved under rules designed for pet travel.

This change will not affect the majority of pet owners. However, if your pet is a hybrid (such as a Bengal or Savannah cat, or a Wolfdog) then you must seek advice from the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency before you travel. They will advise you on the import requirements for your pet. See ‘Contact us’ below.

Don’t forget…

• Your pet must receive the correct treatments in the correct order. In particular, your pet must have been microchipped before it receives its rabies vaccination. If your pet was vaccinated before being microchipped then it will need to be re-vaccinated after the microchip is inserted.

• If you take your pet abroad it may be exposed to diseases which we do not have in the UK. We recommend you consult your vet about your pet’s health and fitness to travel before you take it abroad. Ask your vet for advice on the appropriate treatments for the part of the world you are travelling to.

• The pet travel rules apply to all dogs, cats and ferrets travelling with their owners (including assistance and guide dogs). You are responsible for ensuring your pet meets all the rules for entering the UK under the pet travel scheme. Make sure you have had the procedures carried out in the correct order and that your pet’s documentation is correctly completed. If you do not, your pet may not be able to enter the country or may have to be quarantined on arrival. This will mean delay and cost you money.

• If you are bringing a dog, cat or ferret into the UK in order to sell it or pass it to a new owner (e.g. for rehoming), you cannot travel under the pet travel scheme. Instead you must comply with the rules of the Balai Directive. Further information is available: balai/iin-bllv-5/

Stringent penalties are in place for those that break the pet travel rules in order to bring animals into the UK illegally. Pets that are non-compliant pose a potentially serious risk to both animal and human health. Anyone with information relating to illegal activity should contact their local Trading Standards office.


Source: GOV.UK is the best place to find government services and information. Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v2.0.


Curious cat
There are plenty of dog-friendly hotels, but is the welcome mat extended to cats? Yes! Pet expert Sandy Robins provides a list of cat-friendly hotel chains on It’s important to note hotel policies regarding your feline companion. Tips for booking and information on additional pet fees are included in the article at

Need to find a dog-friendly hotel in a jiffy? has a list of the leading hotel and motel chains at


CBC News: Marketplace interviews Lindsey Wolko from the Center For Pet Safety.


CBC News: Marketplace investigated dog safety harnesses, even going so far as crash-testing. There’s graphic footage of several harnesses that failed.With help from Center For Pet Safety‘s crash test dogs, 16 harnesses have been independently tested.Only ONE BRAND PROTECTED PET & PASSENGER: Sleepypod.



With The Original Cat Fancy Cat Bible, award-winning pet expert Sandy Robins and her authoritative team have compiled a 544-page reference book with more than 500 full-color photos that is THE definitive source for all things cat. Period.

Its utility begins with the history of cats, breed characteristics, and necessary considerations to help determine if a cat is right for you, and then continues as a go-to resource through the lifespan of a cat with topics that include bringing your cat home, establishing a healthcare regimen, lifecycle needs, and emergency situations.

The chapter on traveling with your cat helps sort the planning process and navigate the many details to consider such as airport pet potty areas, airline reservations, pet passport and documentation, to tranquilize or not to tranquilize, frequent flyer programs for pets, and checking into a hotel.

The Original Cat Fancy Cat Bible is an essential reference for cat owners, those thinking of adopting a cat, and cat fanciers. It is available on (Pet Travel Experts)

The Original Cat Fancy Cat Bible

Following the best-selling The Original Dog Bible and The Original Horse Bible comes the long-awaited feline blockbuster, The Original Cat Bible from the award-winning editors of Cat Fancy magazine. The collaborative effort of four of the most respected experts in the cat world, this definitive feline reference book is a must-have for all cat lovers.

Sandy Robins and her team of authors have put forth the most comprehensive, up-to-date, and entertaining volume imaginable. Beginning with a lively history of the cat—from idols in ancient Egypt and mousers on the Mayflower to 21st-century DNA revelations and cats on the Web—The Original Cat Fancy Cat Bible investigates felines in our homes and popular culture, our art, music, and literature, and our folklore and religions.

Cat owners will welcome the abundance of information on purchasing a kitten, cat-proofing and safety for the home, basic care, grooming and feeding, traveling, first aid, lost cat recovery, and so much more.

Following a discussion of the genetics and development of purebred cats, the book presents an extensive breed section, featuring every recognized cat breed in the world—over 60 breeds—as well as another 30 experimental and extinct breeds, written by breed specialists Lorraine M. Shelton and Sarah Hartwell. All breeds are described according to place of origin, history, physical conformation, colors/varieties, temperament, variations, activity level, vocal level, and special needs.

The extensive health section of the book, written by cat veterinary expert Dr. Arnold Plotnick, discusses all of the major disorders and diseases of the cat, categorized by anatomical system.

Special features of this extensive volume include: 

• 60 recognized cat breeds described and illustrated in color

• Training section, featuring positive methods and clicker training, as well as understanding behavior and body language

• Solving common feline problems, including litter-box messes, marking, scratching, aggression, separation anxiety, and more

• Health section, including information on vaccinations, parasites, and major diseases and concerns (diabetes, allergies, kidney disease, asthma, and cancer)

• Feline anatomy: understanding the five body types as well as various coat types, colors, and patterns

• Care information for all cats: kittens, adults, pregnant queens, and seniors

• Activities for cats and their people: indoor toys and games, cat agility, and showing

• Careers with cats, geared toward readers wishing to explore working as a veterinarian or vet tech, chiropractor, behaviorist, groomer, massage therapist, shelter attendant, cat trainer, photographer, and more

• Animal-welfare organizations and rescue

• Extensive glossaries, including show and breed standard terms, medical terms, grooming tools, and activities

This colorful celebration of the cat will be irresistible to all cat lovers who want to expand their understanding of their best feline pals, a perfect encyclopedia for the whole family to enjoy for years to come.

About the authors:

Sandy Robins is an awarding-winning multimedia pet-lifestyle expert, author, TV and radio personality, and pet industry spokesperson. She was the 2013 recipient of the Excellence in Journalism and Outstanding Contributions to the Pet Industry Award presented by the American Pet Products Association. Her two cat books, Fabulous Felines: Health and Beauty Secrets for the Pampered Cat and For The Love of Cats, have both won awards from the Cat Writers Association of America, of which she is a longtime member. She is also a member of the Dog Writers Association of America and received more than 30 awards of excellence from both these organizations for her contributions to the pet world. She lives in Irvine, Calif.

Arnold Plotnick, MS, DVM, aCViM, is the founder of Manhattan Cat Specialists (MCS), a cats-only veterinary facility on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. A graduate of the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Plotnick served as the vice president of the prestigious ASPCA Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital before founding MCS. He contributes the Ask the Vet column for Cat Fancy magazine and also writes for Catnip magazine,, and He lives in New York City.

Sarah Hartwell, the originator of the website, is a writer on various feline-related topics, including breed history, behavior, rescue, senior cats, and care. Her articles have appeared in Cat Fancy, Cat World, The Cat, Fab, and other magazines and newsletters around the world. Sarah lives in Essex, England.

Lorraine M. Shelton is a research scientist, an author, a cat show judge for The International Cat Association (TICA), and a lecturer in the fields of avian and feline genetics. For two decades, her Featherland Cattery has specialized in rare-colored Persians, Turkish Angoras, Selkirk Rex, and Norwegian Forest Cats. She is the co-author of Robinson’s Genetics for Cat Breeders & Veterinarians. She is a regular contributor to Cat Fancy,, and She lives in Corona, Calif.



AAA Travel projects 46.3 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving weekend, the highest volume for the holiday since 2007 and a 4.2 percent increase over 2013. Almost 90 percent of travelers (41.3 million) will celebrate the holiday with a road trip and likely will enjoy the lowest Thanksgiving gas prices in five years.

So if you are traveling with your pet, this means a little extra preparation (and patience) is necessary to brave the roads, rails, and sky.

If you are traveling with your pet for the first time, pet travel and safety expert Melanie Monteiro offers tips and tricks for making trips with pets a safer and less stressful experience in this brief video.

Don’t forget:

  • Extra food, treats, and water
  • Pet first aid kit
  • Make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up-to-date
  • A photo of you and your pet in case your pet is lost while traveling
  • A travel i.d. tag with the address of your destination

Safe travels!


little boy playing with a puppy

from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The ongoing epidemic of Ebola in West Africa has raised several questions about how the disease affects the animal population, and in particular, the risk to household pets. While the information available suggests that the virus may be found in several kinds of animals, CDC, the US Department of Agriculture, and the American Veterinary Medical Association do not believe that pets are at significant risk for Ebola in the United States.

How are animals involved in Ebola outbreaks?

Because the natural reservoir host of Ebola has not yet been confirmed, the way in which the virus first appears in a human at the start of an outbreak is unknown. However, scientists believe that the first patient becomes infected through contact with an infected animal, such as a fruit bat or primate (apes and monkeys), which is called a spillover event. Person-to-person transmission follows and can lead to large numbers of affected persons. In some past Ebola outbreaks, primates were also affected by Ebola, and multiple spillover events occurred when people touched or ate infected primates. In the current West African epidemic, animals have not been found to be a factor in ongoing Ebola transmission.

How does Ebola spread?

When infection occurs in humans, the virus can be spread in several ways to others. Ebola is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes in, for example, the eyes, nose, or mouth) with

  • blood or body fluids (including but not limited to urine, saliva, sweat, feces, vomit, breast milk, and semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola
  • objects (like needles and syringes) that have been contaminated with the virus
  • Ebola is not spread through the air or by water, or in general, by food. However, in Africa, Ebola may be spread as a result of handling bushmeat (wild animals hunted for food) and contact with infected bats.
  • Only a few species of mammals (for example, humans, monkeys, and apes) have shown the ability to become infected with and spread Ebola virus. There is no evidence that mosquitos or other insects can transmit Ebola virus.

Can dogs get infected or sick with Ebola?

At this time, there have been no reports of dogs or cats becoming sick with Ebola or of being able to spread Ebola to people or other animals. Even in areas in Africa where Ebola is present, there have been no reports of dogs and cats becoming sick with Ebola. There is limited evidence that dogs become infected with Ebola virus, but there is no evidence that they develop disease.

Here in the United States, are our dogs and cats at risk of becoming sick with Ebola?

The risk of an Ebola outbreak affecting multiple people in the United States is very low. Therefore, the risk to pets is also very low, as they would have to come into contact with blood and body fluids of a person with Ebola. Even in areas in Africa where Ebola is present, there have been no reports of dogs and cats becoming sick with Ebola.

Can I get Ebola from my dog or cat?

At this time, there have been no reports of dogs or cats becoming sick with Ebola or of being able to spread Ebola to people or animals. The chances of a dog or cat being exposed to Ebola virus in the United States is very low as they would have to come into contact with blood and body fluids of a symptomatic person sick with Ebola.

Can my pet’s body, fur, or paws spread Ebola to a person?

We do not yet know whether or not a pet’s body, paws, or fur can pick up and spread Ebola to people or other animals. It is important to keep people and animals away from blood or body fluids of a person with symptoms of Ebola infection.

What if there is a pet in the home of an Ebola patient?

CDC recommends that public health officials in collaboration with a veterinarian evaluate the pet’s risk of exposure to the virus (close contact or exposure to blood or body fluids of an Ebola patient). Based on this evaluation as well as the specific situation, local and state human and animal health officials will determine how the pet should be handled.

Can I get my dog or cat tested for Ebola?

There would not be any reason to test a dog or cat for Ebola if there was no exposure to a person infected with Ebola. Currently, routine testing for Ebola is not available for pets.

What are the requirements for bringing pets or other animals into the United States from West Africa?

CDC regulations require that dogs and cats imported into the United States be healthy. Dogs must be vaccinated against rabies before arrival into the United States. Monkeys and African rodents are not allowed to be imported as pets under any circumstances.

Each state and U.S. Territory has its own rules for pet ownership and importation, and these rules may be different from federal regulations. Airlines may have additional requirements.

Can monkeys spread Ebola?

Yes, monkeys are at risk for Ebola. Symptoms of Ebola infection in monkeys include fever, decreased appetite, and sudden death. Monkeys should not be allowed to have contact with anyone who may have Ebola. Healthy monkeys already living in the United States and without exposure to a person infected with Ebola are not at risk for spreading Ebola.

Can bats spread Ebola?

Fruit bats in Africa are considered to be a natural reservoir for Ebola. Bats in North America are not known to carry Ebola and so CDC considers the risk of an Ebola outbreak from bats occurring in the United States to be very low. However, bats are known to carry rabies and other diseases here in the United States. To reduce the risk of disease transmission, never attempt to touch a bat, living or dead.

Where can I find more information about Ebola and pet dogs and cats?

CDC is currently working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the American Veterinary Medical Association, and many other partners to develop additional guidance for the U.S. pet population. Additional information and guidance will be posted on this website as well as partner websites as soon as it becomes available.


CDC works 24/7 to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same.

CDC increases the health security of our nation. As the nation’s health protection agency, CDC saves lives and protects people from health threats. To accomplish our mission, CDC conducts critical science and provides health information that protects our nation against expensive and dangerous health threats, and responds when these arise.

Photo courtesy of Pup'uccino

Photo courtesy of Pup’uccino

Dog lovers and coffee lovers unite! There’s a dog cafe coming to Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Pup’uccino Dog Rescue Cafe will open with help from the public in a Kickstarter campaign that ends November 11.

There will be two rooms in the new dog cafe, the front room being a traditional cafe with the addition of dog hitches for cafe-goers who bring their own dogs. A second room will be an indoor dog lounge for customers to enjoy off-leash play with their pets. It is in this room where Pup’uccino will incorporate the element of dog rescue and adoption. Here, rescue dogs and potential dog adopters are brought together in a space where dogs are free to bond and express their true personalities without the border of a cage or anxiety derived from isolation.

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Cafes have long been community hubs, serving up coffee and conviviality in a friendly atmosphere. By allowing dogs in its cafe, Pup’uccino extends an opportunity for community members to develop connections with dogs and fellow dog lovers.

If you are interested in helping to fund Pup’uccino, here a link to its Kickstarter campaign:




Send the Crash Test Dogs – The Adventures of MAX & DUKE a private message with a brief description. Be prepared, they may show up at your door!

If we can fit your adventure into their travel itinerary, we’ll contact you – so be sure to include your contact info!


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We say goodbye to three Pet Travel Experts friends whose work richly benefited companion animals and those who loved them. We will see you in the stars.

• Dr. Sophia Yin: pioneer in humane training of pets, animal behavior expert; author, lecturer, freelance writer and blogger –

• Dr. Lorie Huston: pet health and pet care expert; president of the Cat Writers’ Association; freelance writer and blogger –

• Lucy Carter: as the research assistant for The Dog Lover’s Guide to Travel and the face of The Jet Set Pets, Lucy inspired pet owners to travel the world with their furry loved ones –