5. Rabies vaccination, boosters and blood tests
You must get your dog, cat or ferret vaccinated against rabies before it can travel. Your vet needs proof that your pet’s at least 12 weeks old before vaccinating them.
You must get your pet microchipped before, or at the same time as, their rabies vaccination. If you don’t, they’ll need to be vaccinated again.
The vaccine must be an inactivated vaccine or recombinant vaccine that’s approved in the country of use.
Countries the UK accepts pet passports from and listed countries
You must wait 21 days after the vaccination (or the last of the primary course of vaccinations) before bringing your pet to the UK from:
You must follow certain rules after having your pet vaccinated if you’re travelling to the UK from an unlisted country:
Your pet must have a blood sample taken at least 30 days after the rabies vaccination.
Your vet must send the blood sample to an EU-approved blood testing laboratory from either inside the EU or outside the EU.
The results of the blood test must show that the vaccination was successful (rabies antibody level of at least 0.5 IU/ml).
You must wait 3 months from the date the blood sample was taken before you travel - you don’t need to wait if your pet was vaccinated, blood tested and given a pet passport in the EU before travelling to an unlisted country.
The vet must give you a copy of the test results and enter the day the blood sample was taken in a third-country official veterinary certificate.
The blood test will continue to be valid as long as your pet’s rabies vaccinations are kept up to date.
You must get regular booster vaccinations for your pet. Check your pet passport or third-country official veterinary certificate to find out when the booster vaccination is due.
Get a third-country official veterinary certificate if your pet needs a booster vaccination while you’re outside the EU.
If you miss the booster and you’re travelling from an unlisted country, your pet will need to be vaccinated and blood tested again and you’ll have to wait for 3 months before travelling.
Your pet’s vaccination record in their passport or third-country official veterinary certificate must show:
- your pet’s date of birth
- microchip number, date it was put in or read, and where it is on your pet’s body
- vaccination date
- vaccine manufacturer and product name, for example Nobivac
- vaccine batch number
- date the vaccination is valid until
- the vet’s signature and contact details
Your pet can be stopped from travelling if the details in their pet passport are in the wrong place.
Pet passports issued from 29 December 2014
The vet only needs to fill in the ‘valid from’ date for the first vaccination (or re-vaccination if you missed a booster).
If the rabies vaccination record is a sticker, it must be covered by a laminated strip (included with the pet passport).