If you’re planning to take your family on holiday abroad, you’ll need to ensure that all of your passports and documentation are up to date, including your pet’s. Getting a “pet passport” to fly your pet to the UK involves several steps, but it’s not a complicated process as long as you plan ahead. However, just like there are costs involved in getting your own passport, you’re going to have to pay to get your pet’s passport.
We’re here to help you on your journey to getting your pet’s papers in order and setting up a budget for it.
The Importance of a UK Pet Passport
Although the UK doesn’t accept pet passports from any country other than those with Part 1 listed status, they do accept Great Britain health certificates from the USA and other Part 2 listed countries.1 These health certificates are similar to the EU’s pet passports and are the only way you’ll be able to travel into the UK with your pet. We’ll refer to the documents involved by using the term “pet passport.” If your pet’s documentation doesn’t meet the requirements or has missing information, your pet will be placed into quarantine upon arrival in the country.
Pet passports or health certificates are important for officials to be able to confirm that the pet matches the documentation provided, which prevents people from being able to steal a pet and fly out of the country with them. It also shows officials that your pet is microchipped and up to date with all their vaccines and won’t bring and spread foreign diseases into the country, allowing your pet to enter without having to undergo a quarantine period.
You will need a pet passport for your pet regardless of how long you plan to be away. Whether it’s only a few days or a few months, your pet will only be accepted into the country with the correct documentation. It is also necessary regardless of your mode of travel, so there is no way to bypass getting one other than by leaving your pet at home.
How Much Does a UK Pet Passport Cost?
You’ll need to budget around $140 for your pet’s health certificate. This cost should cover a physical examination of your pet, a review of your paperwork, and signing and dating the health certificate. These steps need to be done by a registered veterinarian for it to be recognized and accepted.
However, this cost can vary depending on the facility you take your pet to, as veterinary clinics don’t all charge the same price for their consultations and completing your documents. Costs also vary on the location of the practice as fees are often based on their expenses. So, veterinary practices that operate in areas with high rental costs will charge more than veterinary practices that operate in areas with lower rental costs.
To qualify for a pet passport, your pet will need to be microchipped and fully vaccinated against rabies. If your pet is up to date, you won’t have to worry about these additional costs, but they will apply if your pet requires them.
Additional Costs to Anticipate
In order to obtain a pet passport, your pet must have a microchip. Thankfully, most people microchip their pets from an early age and won’t need to redo it when they prepare to travel. If your pet already has a microchip, this step toward getting a pet passport will be free.
However, if your pet needs to be microchipped, you’re likely to pay around $50, which includes the procedure and the registration of the microchip. Of course, this cost could differ depending on where you get your pet microchipped as it’ll be more expensive when done through a veterinary center than through a charity.
Your pet will also need to be up to date with their rabies shots, which can cost between $15 and $50. The vaccine cost differs slightly between dogs and cats, but the cost difference has more to do with the type of facility you get your pet vaccinated at, and where you live, so it is possible to go through more affordable routes.
The Requirements for a Pet Passport
You’ll need to get a pet passport or health certificate from an official vet, who must sign and date the form. The UK requires all pets traveling from the USA to be microchipped and up to date on their vaccinations.
Any vaccinations your pet requires must be given by a vet at least 21 days before your trip, and the health certificate from the vet must be issued within 10 days of you entering the UK.
Does Pet Insurance Cover Pet Passports?
Pet insurance doesn’t cover the cost of a pet passport but depending on which provider you’re with and the plan you’re on, you could get reimbursed for certain expenses that fall under the pet wellness package. Pet insurance usually doesn’t cover microchipping or vaccinations, but if you’re on a wellness plan that does cover those costs, it’ll save you from paying out more money throughout the process of getting the pet passport because they’ll cover the microchip, vaccinations, and vet consultations.
You should also check if your pet insurance covers travel to have peace of mind that your pet will receive veterinary care should they need it while you’re traveling overseas. You could also check if they offer any travel benefits such as lost or stolen health certificate coverage, quarantine coverage, and advertisement and reward coverage if your pet disappears.
Traveling to the UK with your pet can be an exciting adventure as long as you have all your paperwork in order. Your pet will need a health certificate which must be signed and dated by a registered veterinarian, to get into the country. These documents are sometimes referred to as a pet passport, although an official pet passport isn’t valid in the UK unless you’re entering from EU countries with Part 1 listed status.
To get a pet passport, you can expect to pay between $140–$300. These costs will differ depending on the facility you take your pet to and where the veterinary center is located.
Featured Image Credit: Javier Brosch, Shutterstock