Pet Passport – what is it? Why does your pet need one? How much will it cost?

Pet Passport - why it is important for international pet travelThe term “pet passport” was originally popularized in the European Union (EU) where dog, cat or ferret owners could get a blue pet passport from their veterinarian and travel freely through the EU member countries. This is still true today for people living in the EU. It will last for the lifetime of the pet as long as the rabies vaccination is kept up to date.

However, for pet owners residing in countries outside of the EU, a “pet passport” is simply a term we use to represent all of the pertinent documentation needed to take your pet to other countries. Customs officials will need to see these documents in order to clear your pet, and the inconvenience caused by losing them can be significant.

Your veterinarian can help you create a pet passport for your pet to enter almost any country in the world. For example, if you are from the United States and are visiting most European Union countries, then the pet passport will consist of the following:

  • The Annex IV and APHIS 7001 forms for the country you will be visiting (they are all different) completed by your veterinarian and endorsed by the State USDA veterinarian.
  • Your pet’s inoculation record which must be attached to the certified Annex IV form. (Sometimes the inoculation record is referred to as the Rabies Certificate.)

If you are visiting one of the United Kingdom countries (England, Ireland or Scotland) or Finland or Malta, your pet will need proof of a tapeworm test to complete your pet passport.

Every country in the world will require a minimum of proof of good health and a rabies certificate, although the rules for additional testing vary widely from country to country. You should have a Health Certificate completed by your veterinarian. This certificate is also referred to as a Veterinary or Sanitary Certificate. Sometimes, Import Permits and other testing is required.

The cost for a pet passport will depend on your veterinarian’s fees, the fees for micro chipping (if required), and the fees for completing and endorsing the necessary forms. There will always be a trip to the vet just prior to travel for a health certificate. Other tests such as tapeworm, internal/external parasites, microchips, and blood titer tests, if required, will affect the cost. USDA endorsement in the USA or CFIA endorsement in Canada will add $38.00 per form at this writing and if a titer test is required, the costs rise to $121.00. Many countries also require an Import Permit and they will charge for processing it.

The first thing to do is to find out the requirements to bring your pet to your destination country. In some cases (like Hawaii), you have to plan 6 months in advance to avoid quarantine. The key to avoiding delays at the border and/or quarantine when traveling with your pet is to have your pet passport complete and accurate for the countries you are visiting.

You can find information on country requirements in our immigration section and pet passports with instructions on over 240 countries all over the world. You can also post questions on our blog homepage or forum and we will answer them promptly. More information on pet passports can be found here:


Pet Passport – what is it? Why does your pet need one? How much will it cost? — 108 Comments

  1. Susie – the airlines will never give you a guarantee that your pup will be on the same flight as you are; however, you can request to see the manifest before you board. Pups flying as air cargo as subject to the demands on the cargo hold, a bit more than those flying as checked baggage. If not on your flight, then the airline will prioritize the transport on the next flight and will care for your dog during the holding time. That said, when you land in London, a registered agent must pick up your dog and take it to the Animal Reception Center where you will claim it. Normally, the process can take 2-4 hours to complete. The agent is normally arranged by the airline and built into the price of the ticket.

  2. I am at my wits and trying to get my little 9 pound dog into England. Airlines give such different opinions that I dare not book a flight. I’m happy to have my dog in cargo but would like it to be on the same flight as myself. How do I go around guaranteeing that.? Rather than a transport company that may not get in or be around when I get there either can anyone help me?

  3. Vanessa – veterinary officials must have told your husband why there was a problem with your dog. Were the veterinary offices closed? If you still need assistance, this agent may be able to help you:

  4. My husband flew in our pet to the USA from Honduras and is flying back, but once at the airport they won’t let him get on the plane with our dog….although she has all her papers in order. What can we do.

  5. Hello Fi – we intended to say Northern Ireland, of course. What page are you seeing this statement on?

  6. hello,can you please correct the above error?
    You wrote ” If you are visiting one of the United Kingdom countries (England, Ireland or Scotland) …” The Republic of Ireland is not in the United Kingdom so like any country it has its own legal system which would also involve it’s own laws around bringing animals to Ireland . Thank you

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