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Travelling with your furry friend is an exciting venture that requires lots of research. For many people, a holiday with their pet signals a peak point in the pet ownership journey where they can trust their pet and relax into the dynamic, looking forward to the endless adventures ahead.

Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway in the UK or are thinking of flying further afield and taking your pet abroad with you, planning is always important and can ensure your trip goes as smoothly and safely as possible.

With an insurance policy from Waggel, your pet is covered whilst they’re on holiday or travelling in a country within the EU Pet Travel Scheme for up to 90 days each year. It’s just one of the many added benefits of their Lifetime policies that help bring owners peace of mind. 

Pet-friendly hotel stays

So you’ve decided to take your pet on holiday with you, great news! But don’t forget, you’ll be packing for two so it’s important not to forget everything they need. Whilst lots of hotels are now dog-friendly, it’s unlikely they’ll include beds and toys. You’ll also need to work out how much food to take so your furry companion has plenty to chow down on.

Taking a pet on holiday isn’t limited to just dogs - cats are also welcome at many hotels both in the UK and abroad. Though this means not forgetting a litter box and familiar items to soothe your cat, especially if this is the first time they’ve travelled with you.

Fortunately, Pet Hamper is the perfect place to shop for all your pet travel essentials. From dog and cat beds to toys and treats, we’ve got you covered. Why not build your own hamper or gift one to a friend who’s travelling with their pet?

To ensure there are no hiccups on your trip, it’s best to take some time to research pet-friendly hotels. A quick call to the reception desk of your chosen hotel should give you all the information you need. It’s best to do this ahead of time rather than being stuck in a pickle during check-in when you find out your chosen hotel doesn’t accommodate pets.

Pet passports

A pet passport is a document that allows pets to enter different countries without having to be placed in quarantine. Whilst this once applied to pets in Great Britain, since Brexit, pet owners can no longer apply for or use pet passports. If your pet passport was issued in an EU country or Northern Ireland, you are still able to use it. Alternatively, if your pet passport was issued in Great Britain before 1st January 2021, you can legally still use it. 

If you don’t have a pet passport, don’t fret - the good news is that you and your pet can still travel together, you just need to ensure you follow the regulations and meet the criteria. These are as follows:

  • Your pet is microchipped (this includes cats and dogs)
  • Your pet is more than 12 weeks old
  • They have a valid rabies vaccination 21 days prior to travel (for both cats and dogs)
  • They have an Animal Health Certificate (if the pet passport is invalid)
  • They have had tapeworm treatment upon return to the UK 

Great Britain is now listed as a Part 2 country in terms of travelling to Europe and Northern Ireland. This means that those wanting to travel to the EU or NI with their cats or dogs won’t be able to use a Great Britain-issued passport. Instead, you’ll need to obtain an Animal Health Certificate (AHC). You can get these from your vet and will need one for each trip you wish to embark on.

An AHC has its own restrictions and criteria that must be strictly adhered to. These are as follows:

  • An Animal Health Certificate is valid for one single trip. 
  • New trips must be issued with additional AHCs for trips into Northern Ireland and the European Union.
  • You must use your AHC within 10 days of it being issued.
  • Once you have entered the EU or NI, your AHC is valid for 4 months, or until your pet’s rabies vaccination expires (whichever one comes first).
  • This means you can spend up to 4 months in Europe or Northern Ireland and must return at the end of the 4 months
  • The AHC can only be used in the EU and NI - to visit a country outside of the EU you must ensure you obtain the correct documentation
  • The AHC only applies to non-commercial dogs and cats (or ferrets)
  • You can use the AHC for a maximum of 5 pets.

If you’re travelling from Britain to a non-EU country, you’ll need to obtain an Export Health Certificate that checks your pet meets the requirements of the country you wish to enter. Every country has its own requirements which can be found on the website. 

Pet Travel Scheme

The EU Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) allows pets to travel between certain countries without undergoing quarantine. To qualify, pets typically need a microchip for identification, a rabies vaccination followed by a waiting period and a pet passport or health certificate issued by a veterinarian. 

Some countries may also require a rabies titre test to demonstrate sufficient antibodies. Pets might need treatment for ticks and tapeworms and must travel using an approved route and transport method. Upon arrival, they may face additional entry requirements such as inspection by customs officials. This scheme facilitates international pet travel while ensuring health standards are maintained.

The Pet Travel Scheme has made it easier for pet owners to travel internationally with their furry companions while ensuring that appropriate measures are in place to prevent the spread of diseases like rabies. However, as pet owners, we encourage you to familiarise yourself with the specific requirements of both the country you’re travelling from and the country you’re travelling to, as regulations can vary.

Pet travel insurance

Pet travel insurance is vital for ensuring your pet's well-being during holidays and trips away. It essentially provides peace of mind by covering unexpected medical emergencies, accidental injuries and expenses related to lost or stolen pets. With a pet insurance policy in place, you can focus on enjoying your holiday knowing your pet's veterinary bills are covered, even if you're travelling abroad and jetting off multiple times throughout the year.

Waggel's pet insurance offers comprehensive coverage, including protection for accidents, illnesses and third-party liability. Their Lifetime policies include travel cover, extending protection to trips in countries within the Pet Travel Scheme. Waggel also provides emergency treatment coverage abroad, ensuring your pet receives prompt medical care while travelling for up to 90 days each year.

Tips for travelling with pets

When travelling with pets, it's essential to ensure their comfort and safety. Crate training can help dogs to feel secure during travel and prevent them from roaming around the vehicle, which could be distracting or dangerous for both you and them. Introduce the crate gradually, using positive reinforcement to create a positive association. We also recommend investing in a secure harness or seatbelt designed for dogs to keep them safe while in the car.

For cats, getting them accustomed to their carrier and the car is crucial. Start by placing the carrier in a familiar and comfortable environment at home, allowing your cat to explore it at their own pace. Gradually introduce short car rides, offering treats and praise to create positive associations with the experience. Ensure the carrier is secure in the car and consider covering it with a blanket to provide a sense of security.

When staying in hotels with pets, research and choose pet-friendly accommodations in advance. Look for hotels that welcome pets and offer amenities such as pet beds, food bowls, and designated pet areas. Inform the hotel staff in advance about your pet's needs and any specific requirements.

Upon arrival, familiarise your pet with the new environment, keeping them on a lead or in their carrier when moving through common areas. Be respectful of hotel rules and policies regarding pets and clean up after your pet to maintain a positive relationship with the hotel staff and other guests.


When travelling with your pets, planning ahead and prioritising their comfort and safety is crucial. Start by crate training dogs and familiarising cats with carriers and car rides to reduce stress during travel. Invest in secure harnesses or seatbelts to ensure carriers are securely fastened in the car at all times.

To further safeguard your pet's well-being, consider Waggel Pet Insurance. Their comprehensive coverage offers peace of mind and travel protection - covering unexpected medical emergencies, accidents and treatment in countries within the Pet Travel Scheme for up to 90 days each year.

With Waggel, you can enjoy worry-free travel and get back to making long-lasting memories knowing that your furry friend is protected every step of the way.

Don’t forget to check the regulations for the country you wish to visit as the criteria are likely to vary from country to country. For a stress-free travel experience, find everything you need to know by visiting

owner and dog sat looking out of campervan


Can I take my dog to France from the UK?

Yes, you can take your dog to France from the UK. However, your dog must be microchipped, have had a rabies vaccination with the appropriate waiting period and will need a pet passport or a health certificate from a vet. You must also ensure your dog has received tick and tapeworm treatment before travelling. As an owner, it is your responsibility to fulfil any entry requirements upon arrival in France.

What are the requirements for taking a dog to Spain?

The requirements for taking a dog to Spain are the same as travelling to France since they are both members of the EU Pet Travel Scheme. Your dog will need to have received a rabies vaccination and be microchipped. They’ll also need to have received parasite treatment to protect them from ticks and tapeworms. When arriving in Spain you’ll need the appropriate documentation such as a pet passport or health certificate if you’re travelling from the UK.

How much does a dog passport cost?

The cost of obtaining a pet passport (or health certificate) can vary depending on several factors, including the veterinarian's fees for the necessary vaccinations, microchipping and issuing the document itself. On average, you can expect to pay between £60 to £150 for the entire process.

Can I fly with my cat?

Yes, you can fly abroad with your cat from the UK. However, it's essential to check the specific requirements and regulations of the airline you plan to use, as well as the entry requirements of the destination country. Typically, you'll need to ensure your cat is microchipped and has received a rabies vaccination. You will also require a health certificate issued by a vet. Before you travel it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the airline's pet travel policies, including carrier specifications and any associated fees.

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